It’s that time of year when we start to look at our targets and objectives for the new Rotary year, which begins on July 1st.
The group holds an ‘Assembly’ every June to identify the events that the CIO plans to run and the areas that it would like to support, assuming we are able to raise the funds to do so, in 2022/23. These include:
The Rotary fete on August 11 2022
The Young Musicians competition for school children
Help with the Friendly Food Club
Environmental projects including helping Greengage and restoring the Rotary garden
A host of Christmas events including the street market, Santa’s sleigh and charity Christmas mail
Christmas shoeboxes for deprived children in parts of the world less privileged than our own
A pop up shop to raise funds for various international projects including Rotary’s disaster relief charities, Shelterbox, WaterAid and the people of Ukraine
Support for pre-school and primary schools in Swanage and surrounding villages
A range of projects with Swanage School
Initiatives to help local children get involved with various sports clubs
Silver Saturday – an afternoon of fun and refreshment for Swanage’s older residents
We look forward to seeing our wonderful local community at many of the events and sincerely hope that we will be able to raise the funds required to fulfil these plans.
Anyone who would like to know more about the group, what we do and how they can get involved can contact us via email here.
Maggie Hardy reports on a fun morning of food preparation:
The Friendly Food Club, supported and funded by Swanage & Purbeck Rotary, held an event in partnership with the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust at Herston Village Hall this week.
Fifteen youngsters and their parents and carers attended to prepare and enjoy a delicious vegetable stew and some chocolate cornflake baskets.
In addition to the food, Kim Gallagher provided a craft session just before lunch while the food was cooking. Judging by the amount of chocolate that ended up everywhere at the end (!) everyone present thoroughly enjoyed the day.
“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.
The lockdown brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic has forced plenty of people to make enormous changes to their lives. Here in our own community it has also presented some wonderful opportunities.
One of those is the expansion of the Friendly Food Club. Dorset-based, it is a not-for-profit organisation which aims to get as many people as possible to care about what they eat and enjoy the process of cooking and eating together. The workshops are free are a chance for people to make new friends within their community as well as learning some basic cooking skills whilst preparing, cooking and eating a meal together.
But we’re currently in the middle of a pandemic lockdown so the workshops can’t take place as normal. Undeterred, the organisation has modified its model to continue to provide some of the benefits of the club by providing the ingredients for a different meal every week, which are bagged up and instead distributed to the homes of local families.
It has now opened an operation in Swanage, supported by the Swanage and Purbeck Development Trust and Swanage & Purbeck Rotary and co-ordinated by Kim Gallagher. The service started this week, and members of Swanage Rotary have just created the first 44 bags of ingredients, at all times observing strict social distancing rules of course, which will be distributed to people’s homes by staff and pupils at Swanage School, St Mark’s and Swanage First School.
It is intended that this will continue at least until lockdown rules are relaxed but it may well continue beyond that.