Christmas activities organised by Swanage and Purbeck Rotary brought not only seasonal cheer but also raised an impressive £20,000 for good causes.
In 2020 its events programme was curtailed by Covid and its Christmas Market had to be cancelled, however the popular market was back for Christmas 2021 and was well received by visitors.
The Rotary Christmas Market was able to go ahead in 2021
Santa brought much needed festive joy
Santa, supported by his Rotary helpers, put in a number of appearances. First he was spotted in Station Road in Swanage for the turning on of the Christmas lights, then joined in the fun at the Christmas market and also popped into all the local primary schools and preschools dropping off Christmas goodies.
Santa then brought much needed festive joy to the residents of Swanage, Langton Matravers and Corfe Castle as he toured the streets in his sleigh.
As he waved to all the children and big kids, he was ably helped by members of the Swanage Carnival Committee, Swanage Town and Herston Football Club, Swanage Primary School and Crazy4Corfe.
Santa made several personal appearances in Swanage
Christmas pop-up shop
Rotary’s pop-up Christmas shop in Station Road, made available by owners Derek and Julie Handcock, was initially open for two weeks to sell bric-a-brac and second-hand books.
It was then transformed with a festive window display created by Pat Cooper and Nick Acres, selling jars of chutney, pickle, jams and marmalades, together with homemade Christmas cakes and a range of other Christmas produce.
Rotary’s pop-up Christmas shop
Delivered 3,400 Christmas cards
Not to forget the Rotary’s charity mail service, which took in, stamped, sorted, checked (at least three times!
They were then finally delivered 3,400 Christmas cards to local addresses.
Christmas stockings were delivered personally to Swanage residents who were on their own at Christmas
Helping others over Christmas
However, it wasn’t all about fundraising. Rotary, supported by friends and local schools, was able to send more than 300 completed Christmas shoeboxes filled with goodies to children in Montenegro, Albania and Romania.
In Christmas week, Rotary supported the Friendly Food Club by funding and preparing 150 food bags with ingredients to make a gingerbread figure. The bags also included games and quizzes supplied by the Friendly Food Club.
Unable to host the popular Christmas Day breakfast due to Covid restrictions, Rotary filled and personally delivered Christmas stockings to 34 Swanage residents spending Christmas Day on their own.
The goodies in the stockings were made possible with the support of the Barnett family, Nicola Morgan, Inner Wheel, Budgens, W.H Smith, Chococo and Corbens.
Making a delivery – The Friendly Food Club bags with festive goodies
The Rotary Christmas Market had to be cancelled in 2020 but was able to bounce back in 2021
“Can do ethos”
Swanage and Purbeck Rotary president, Deirdre Selwyn said:
“With the restrictions put on us all by Covid, our members and Rotary friends really showed their ‘can do’ ethos with everyone wanting to make the most of the Christmas festivities that Rotary organised.
“Support from our local community and visitors was incredible, raising more than £20,000, which will go to local community groups and projects as well as some international projects that our club supports as part of the Global Rotary Network.
“In the next few months we will publish how the funds have been distributed.”