Well, the Big Day is almost upon us and we hope that everyone has done everything that they need to do to prepare for it.
We’d just like to say, whether you bought something from our Pop-Up Charity Shop, posted your cards with our Charity Mail service, took part in or attended the Christmas Market or came out to see Santa and his Elves when the Rotary sleigh toured our area, that we are so grateful for the incredible generosity of our lovely community once again.
Especially this year, with finances being so stretched, with your help we have raised thousands of pounds which will go towards supporting local worthy causes and important projects further afield.
We would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and we are all looking forward to what we hope will be a much better 2023.
“December will be Magic Again” is what Kate Bush sang back in 1983, and for Swanage & Purbeck Rotary it’s December 2021 that’s been magic thanks to the activities of its Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO – the club’s fundraising arm) during the month.
From the pop-up shop in Station Road, to the Christmas Market, the Charity Mail to Santa’s Sleigh, our wonderful local community has stepped forward and supported the CIO’s fundraising activities in a quite phenomenal way.
The shop started back in November selling books and bric-a-brac before opening its Christmas door at the beginning of December. We have been delighted with the response from the community, who flocked to the shop and quickly snapped up virtually everything we had for sale. Last year was the first time we had tried to run the shop and the funds raised this year have smashed through what we already thought was a good year in 2020.
On 4th December the CIO, after an enforced year’s absence, was once again able to run the popular Swanage Christmas Market in Station Road and despite forecasts of strong winds the day turned out to be beautifully clear and sunny with less strong winds, resulting in hundreds of people coming down to sample what was on offer. All the traders who spoke to us told us how pleased they were to be able to take part in the event again and it was great success.
The CIO also ran the Charity Mail service, with offices in Swanage town centre, Studland and Langton accepting Christmas cards for local addresses and personally delivering them during the third week of the month. Our members and volunteers worked tirelessly to ensure that everything given to us was correctly sorted and delivered in plenty of time.
And, of course, Santa came to town and spent almost three weeks travelling around Swanage, Herston, Langton Matravers and Corfe Castle (in association with Crazy4Corfe) with his elves, bringing happiness and joy to local residents and handing out sweets to the children. The reaction of local residents to the sleigh has been amazing and enabled the CIO, again, to break all records for fundraising.
As well as all that, we have been able to recommence our support of the Friendly Food Club. Our Youth committee was able to provide 149 Christmas food bags for local pre-schools, following on from the efforts that took place at the start of the pandemic in providing ingredients and preparation instructions for local people to cook wholesome festive meals for their families.
We never cease to be amazed by the support we get from our community, and we are incredibly grateful to you all for the way that you help us to help those less fortunate, not only in our local community but also in national funding initiatives in the UK and across the world with campaigns such as JabItForward, which has helped to fund COVID-19 vaccinations to poorer countries and End Polio Now, aiming to finally eradicate polio from the world.
From all of us in Swanage & Purbeck Rotary, and our lovely friends, volunteers and Business Partners, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and the hope that 2022 will be a better year for us all.
SANTA’S COMING BUT ROTARY CHRISTMAS EVENTS ARE HIT BY COVID-19 CONCERNS
It is with huge regret that Swanage & Purbeck Rotary has decided to cancel this year’s Christmas Market, due to take place on 5 December. Plans were progressing well to extend stalls into Institute Road to keep them well-spaced and, working with the Carnival Committee, to provide fun and games in Shore Road. However, Rotary’s overriding priority is to ensure that guidelines are followed and public safety maintained. It was potentially going to be difficult to maintain social distancing if the market attracted large crowds, so the decision to cancel was made.
However, Santa will still be visiting the streets as usual to bring festive cheer and hand out sweets to the children but, to keep everyone safe, his elves will not be knocking on doors. Rotary will still be collecting for local good causes but, as well as its normal buckets, will offer contactless donations on the night and the option for online donations too.
It will not be possible to go ahead with the popular Christmas Breakfast this year but Rotary is looking at alternative ways of making contact with those who might normally attend.
See our Christmas 2020 page for further information about all Rotary’s Christmas activities. This page will continue to be updated as information becomes available.
The weather was fine for the annual Swanage Christmas Market and the public responded by coming out in their droves.
Over 60 stalls selling a variety of produce, gifts, leisurewear, mulled wine, spiced cider and many other items were available for those browsing to see and buy from. There were also children’s rides and musical entertainment ranging from Festive songs, to classic favourites and carols. Santa did not disappoint either, by turning up and handing gifts to hundreds of children in his grotto situated in the middle of the Market.
The following photos are just a small selection showcasing the fun people had:
It’s been a busy few weeks for Swanage & Purbeck Rotary.
The Annual Christmas Street Market on the 8th was again a great success. Over 50 stalls braved the rather windy weather and the threat of rain, and were rewarded by being well supported by the local community.
Either side of that, Santa and his sleigh have been touring Swanage, Langton and Corfe Castle over a 16 day period from 3rd. Large groups of children came out in all weathers to see him and there were plenty of sweets to go round! Keep an eye out for the winner of the Giant Hamper, which is being drawn at Hays Travel on the afternoon of 22nd December from the free raffle tickets that were handed out on the sleigh’s rounds and which have been entered into the draw. It could be you!
At the same time, our Christmas post service has been operating over the first half of December, and we have hand delivered over 4,000 cards to local addresses in the run up to Christmas.
In total, we have raised thousands of pounds for Rotary-supported projects and our grateful thanks go to everyone who has supported, attended and contributed to our events.
We will once again be running our breakfast on Christmas morning, for people who will be on their own and who have registered to attend. This is always a happy and joyful event that we all look forward to.
We would like to thank our wonderful Business Partners for their fantastic and ongoing support of our activities, and we wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Successful 2019.
Despite warnings of a washout, the annual Rotary Christmas Market proceeded as planned, with over 50 stallholders setting up in Station Road in Swanage.
Although windy, the day remained relatively dry for most of the time and the event was well supported as ever by the local community. As well as the multitude of different stalls selling everything from jam and chutneys to clothes, ornaments and jewellery, there were food outlets selling mulled wine, spiced cider, hot dogs and beef burgers.
The event was as ever visited by Santa in his grotto, with a healthy queue forming to see him, and entertainment was provided throughout the day on the main stage at Mermond Place.
Take a look at some of the highlights of the day below :