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Rotary Thanks Local Businesses

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While it proved impossible to hold Swanage & Purbeck Rotary’s annual Summer Fête and Craft Fair this year, we went ahead with the Grand Summer Draw which has traditionally taken place at the event.

Tickets were sold up to the date that the fête would have taken place and the draw took place at precisely 3.30pm near the wishing well on Swanage seafront (pictured).

President Deirdre, accompanied by Rotarian and Former Mayor of Swanage Mike Bonfield as well as Rotarians John Babbage and Sarah Randall, drew the tickets for the many prizes that had been generously donated by local business and organisations.

We would like to publically thank the following who so generously donated prizes for the draw:

The Cabin
Dorset Water Park
Friends of Swanage Pier
I Can Be (Helen Hardy)
Isle of Purbeck Golf Club
J J Moore
Swanage Railway
Swanage Tourist Information Centre

Many thanks from us all for making our draw so successful. £775 has been raised for good causes

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Disaster Response from Swanage Rotarians

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Our Rotarians getting down to work!

Swanage & Purbeck Rotary is proud of its fast response to disasters around the world when they happen.

So when the earthquake hit Haiti last week, it was “all systems go” to try and do something to help.

Thanks to Dorset Council granting us a Street Collection Licence in double-quick time, we were out in Station Road Swanage on 24th August collecting money for a ShelterBox to help those in Haiti who are in dire need.

The ShelterBox charity provides equipment that enables up to 10 people to have shelter and basic equipment to be able to survive the aftermath of a natural disaster until more permanent help is able to be provided. More details about the charity is available on their website.

Each ShelterBox is numbered so that they can be tracked wherever they go around the world and organisations like Rotary who raise funding for them can see exactly where the money that they have raised has gone.

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We were also indebted (as always) to Corbens Estate Agents, who once again offered to take donations in envelopes on our behalf. Total funding raised from the day so far is almost £900, from both cash and card donations, which is a fantastic achievement and we are incredibly grateful to the generous Swanage residents and visitors to our town who gave so willingly.

Grateful thanks also go to Rotarian Maggie Hardy who co-ordinated the day and to our Rotarians and friends who turned out on the day to help collect.


Nurturing the Talent of the Future

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Swanage Cricket Club held their Presentation and Fun Day on Sunday 15th August. Part of the event was to present medals for all the younger members and Swanage and Purbeck Rotary was delighted to be able to sponsor these.

The photograph above, courtesy of the cricket club, shows the youngsters proudly showing their medals and certificates. It is heartening to see so many young people showing such an interest in the club and in cricket. Who knows, we may have an England star of the future amongst this group?

The club is thriving at all levels and more details about its activities are available on its website via this link.

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A Traveller’s Life

We had a talk from our very own Susan Treadwell last week.

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Susan has had a fascinating life in the Business Travel industry. She has spent her career managing travel arrangements for everyone from senior business managers, to the BBC and even royalty!

It sounds like the perfect job, but it is clearly extremely hard work, often involving travelling to locations around the world and working whatever hours are required to keep customers happy. Susan has spent time in locations such as Hong Kong and the Caribbean during her career. Pictured to the left is Susan in the Arctic when the temperature dropped to -34 degrees centigrade!

It was a fascinating insight into an area that most of us have experience of, albeit through our summer holidays (when we could travel!) but very few would have had any awareness of what is involved in ensuring that things go to plan. Susan was at pains to point out that arranging business travel is rather different to managing the annual trip to the sun. Nevertheless, we were fascinated to hear Susan’s stories from her many years in the business.

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Rotary Young Musicians Entertain and Delight!

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Swanage & Purbeck Rotary CIO is delighted to announce the winners of its Young Musician competition. Open to all music genres, entries included a funky violin piece “Mr Kool”, a lively piano solo “Struttin’at the Waldorf”, songs from West Side Story and Les Miserables, and the winning performance from Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E Minor. The competition was held online for the first time due to the Covid restrictions. 14 dedicated young musicians aged 8 – 18 years recorded their pieces and then uploaded them for the adjudicators to review. The whole process was masterminded by Tim Arnold.  

To celebrate their achievement, a compilation video of all the entries at local level was played via Zoom to Rotary members, participants and their parents and teachers. It is hoped that certificates will be presented in person to all participants at a celebration evening in July, at which the main winners have been invited to perform.

The winners were as follows:

1st Suzanne Lejeune – piano
2nd Alfie Yew – piano
3rd Rory Kerins – violin
Highly commended – Lily Fawcett, Lily Harris, Rosie Kent and Alvin Yew

1st Sally Aiko Dando – violin
2nd Nick Aiko Dando – piano
3rd Oscar Brady – piano

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1st Olivia Marcus
2nd Reuben Marcus

Sally and Nicholas were invited to go forward to the Rotary Wessex District level of the competition, and we’re delighted to announce that Sally not only won her Instrumental Class but was judged Overall Wessex District Winner too! She will now go forward to the Regional round, to be judged in June. President-Elect, Chris le Fevre, presented Sally with her District prize and certificate at Swanage Bandstand. (photos attached). Unfortunately, it was too wet for Sally to bring her violin. Sally is very excited to have been selected to compete in the next round of the Rotary Young Musician Competition 2021 and to have got a place to study violin at the Royal College of Music in September. “I’m hoping this will open doors in the future for me to one day become a professional orchestral player. After I finish college, I would like to have the opportunity to travel and give poorer communities the chance to appreciate music as I have.”

Congratulations to all the competitors for their enthusiasm and commitment during these tricky times!

Grateful thanks go, of course, to Tim for his hard work in ensuring that the competition could take place at all, to Rotarian Hilary Thraves, Swanage Rotary’s Youth Committee Chair, to our adjudicator Dilys Thomas and to all the children and their families who took part in the event and enabled us to run it despite everything that’s going on.

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World Immunisation Week, 24th – 30th April 2021

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Rotarian Maggie Hardy reports on a real good news story:

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary has supported the Global Polio Eradication Programme for many years both financially and by the attendance of three club members at a National Immunisation Day in Delhi, India. Rotary members know the power of immunisation well and are delighted that this awful virus is now only endemic in two countries but recognise that this disease is only a plane ride away so every effort must be made to continue support and completely eradicate Polio.

Over the last year S&P has raised £2,000 for Polio Eradication which is an amazing achievement during the coronavirus. This amount will be trebled by the Bill and Melinda Gate ‘s Foundation giving a sizeable donation of £6,000 to Polio eradication.

And now as Covid -19 vaccines are distributed around the world the well- established infrastructure for Polio is being used to support the pandemic with every effort being made to promote the value of immunisation/vaccination which will be highlighted with greater importance this year during World Immunisation week at the end of April. 

In S&P Rotary our support continues positively with the ‘Jab it Forward’ campaign, devised by a local Rotarian and her nephew to encourage all those who have been given their Covid vaccines by the NHS to donate the sum of £5 per vaccine to a fund aiming to provide Covid-19 vaccines to low- income nations around the world.

                                                “No one is safe until we are all safe”  

And locally Rotarians have also been supporting the Purbeck Vaccination Centre in Wareham as members of the vaccinator team working alongside many other volunteers who wish to help with the important work of Covid -19 vaccination.

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Jab It Forward

Swanage and Purbeck Rotary CIO is delighted to be involved with the Jab It Forward campaign, an initiative created by an Aunt and Nephew duo Ben and Mo Andrews, aimed at helping communities in low-income countries to become vaccinated against Covid-19.

Full details are available on the campaign’s JustGiving page.

No one’s safe until we’re all safe, so please take a look and see if you can help with this very important initiative.


Fighting Diabetes

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We heard from Ellen Brenner at our latest Zoom gathering.

Ellen works for the NHS but specifically with the ‘Living Well Taking Control’ programme, aimed at reducing instances of diabetes and, in particular, Type 2 diabetes which is mainly caused by lifestyle factors. Diabetes can cause significant health problems affecting heart, brain and eyesight if not treated.

It was explained that the number of cases of diabetes in the UK runs into the millions and would have a much higher profile were it not for the presence of the current COVID crisis.

While there are a number of factors that are outside our control such as age, gender and ethnicity, we can control elements such as weight, alcohol intake and sleep, all of which can contribute to increases in the risk of developing diabetes.

The discussion was very interactive with questions being asked both by Ellen and by the audience. Everyone present felt a lot better informed following the session.

At the end of the questions and answer session, David Pike thanked Ellen for taking time out to come and talk to us all.

A lot more information can be found on the Living Well Taking Control website and at

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Santa Supports Schools!

The Swanage & Purbeck Rotary Charitable Incorporated Organisation has recently agreed a generous support package to help young people in the Isle of Purbeck. Its Youth Committee recently contacted all schools and associated pre-schools in Swanage, Langton Matravers and Corfe Castle to see what help Rotary could offer in this unprecedented year in which schools and pre-schools have been unable to hold their usual fundraising activities. 

By Christmas, Rotary was able to hold several successful fundraising events and financial support has therefore been agreed for each school and pre-school to support a variety of projects, such as:

  • financial help towards the construction of an electric car at The Swanage School, under the Greenpower/IET Formula 24 initiative, and the purchase of equipment for its Band Club
  • financial and practical help towards the construction of ponds and development of wildlife areas in primary schools, and a therapeutic Year 6 legacy art project with The Koru Project
  • provision of an outdoor shelter/reading room and play facilities, a bench for outdoor use and support to purchase IT equipment and consumables for pre-school children.

The local community gave generously to Santa’s Sleigh, so it seems fitting that Santa helps its children move out of lockdown and back into life at school.


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Happy Birthday Rotary!

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On February 23rd 1905, a man called Paul Harris, a lawyer in Chicago Illinois, arranged to meet up with some of his business acquaintances from the city to see what they could do to help the local community.

And so Rotary was born.

One hundred and sixteen years later, it now numbers over 1.2 million members in more than 35,000 clubs covering virtually every country of the world. And as we celebrate its birthday today, it has probably never been more relevant, supporting its local community and projects around the world through its seven areas of focus and helping to make the world a better place.

And what better way to demonstrate that in our own group than through the help that members of Swanage Rotary are providing to the COVID-19 vaccination programme. The picture above shows two members of our group – Maggie Hardy and Sue Whitton – at the Wareham Hospital vaccination centre where they have been supporting the incredible rollout to our community.

Rotary is open to anyone over the age of 18, so if you are interested in finding out more about us, what we do, the projects we’re involved in and how you can get involved, take a look at the Volunteer’ page on this website or contact our secretary.