Swanage and Purbeck Rotary’s festive activities had to be scaled back due to coronavirus restrictions but with huge support from the local community, it still managed to help those alone at Christmas and raise over £9,000 for local good causes.
The usual Rotary Christmas Day breakfast for those spending the day on their own, couldn’t go ahead due to the ban on large gatherings, so instead food-filled stockings were safely delivered to 36 Swanage residents who were spending Christmas home alone.
Acts of kindness at Christmas
Other acts of kindness at Christmas included sending 286 shoeboxes filled with festive goodies to children in Montenegroi, Albania and the Philippines. Locally, bags of ingredients to make a Yule log cake were delivered to families in partnership with the Friendly Food Club.
The major fundraising blow was the cancellation of the popular Christmas Market but not to be defeated, a pop up shop kindly lent by Deanne and Geoff Drury, was set up to sell produce that would have normally been sold on the Rotary stall.
This included jars of chutney, pickle, jam, marmalade and jellies together with home-made Christmas cakes and puddings. It was a sell-out success and raised over £4,000.
The Rotary team supported by the Swanage Carnival Committee also managed to help Santa in his sleigh visit most roads in Swanage, Langton Matravers and Corfe Castle raising £4,343.
Proving that no job is beyond a Rotarian, they then organised the stamping, sorting, checking and the local delivery of 4,153 Christmas cards, raising £1,100.
“Thank you to all who braved the inclement weather”
Rotary’s newly elected president, Deirdre Selwyn said:
“It looked likely that, alongside the Rotary Christmas Market, the rest of our usual Christmas events would have to be cancelled. However, thanks to our members, we were able to find new ways of working which were well received by our local community, whose support was incredible.
“Thanks are also due to the Swanage Carnival Committee, Swanage Resilience Group, Crazy4Corfe, Rotary friends, community volunteers and business partners. Without their help, we would not have been able to proceed with our varied Christmas programme.
“Once again, a huge thank you to all who braved the inclement weather to support and encourage us and raise over £9,000 for distribution over the coming year to local projects.”