Moved by the distressing images of the Ukrainian people under attack from the Russian military, Swanage has quickly sprung into action to help those fleeing their country.
Swanage and Purbeck Rotary was able to bank £8,822.80 in just two days after organising a fundraising street collection over Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March 2022.
Rotary member, Mike Bonfield – a man on a mission!
Raising money for Ukraine – Sue Whitton and Mary Pike in charge of refreshments at The Centre during the Swanage Blues Festival
With the Swanage Blues Festival in full swing, the town was busy and Rotary was delighted by the generous response. The charity had already offered to provide the refreshments at The Centre, one of the Blues festival venues, so all those proceeds were added to the pot too.
The team was also able to collect donations in the foyer of The Mowlem, as the audience arrived to see The Swanage School’s sold out production of Joseph.
The Corbens with Maggie Hardy (pictured far left)
“Swanage community is so amazing!”
Rotary’s international chair, Maggie Hardy, who organised the collection, said:
“I had absolutely no problem filling a collecting team rota for the two days with Rotarians and Rotary Friends who, without exception, were happy to help and who like me, were overwhelmed by the generosity of the local community.
“I don’t think we’ve ever collected so much money so quickly. The Swanage community is so amazing!
“I guess there’s a local expectation that Swanage and Purbeck Rotary, as a trusted fundraising organisation, will be out in the town supporting disaster areas – the last time was in August for Haiti.
“In fact, one lady who I encountered in the street said to me, ‘I knew you would be here’ – we were more than happy to oblige!”
All the money raised has gone to the Rotary International Foundation Charity which will distribute funds in support of Ukraine and its people, through its clubs and partner organisations like Shelterbox.
Rotary also collected money as the audience arrived for The Swanage School’s energetic production of Joseph at The Mowlem
The Swanage School non-uniform blue and yellow day
While The Swanage School kindly allowed the Rotary to collect donations at its performances of Joseph, the students also wanted to do their own fundraising, so they came up with the idea of having a non-uniform blue and yellow day in support of Ukraine.
Everyone was encouraged to attend school dressed in blue and yellow clothes on Monday 7th March 2022 and donations were collected for a charity on the ground in Ukraine that helps children traumatised by war. So far they have raised more than £650.
Well known local singer Karen Grant, pictured here at St James’ Church in Kingston, will perform at the United Reform Church in Swanage
Concert in aid of Ukraine
More fundraising events are planned across Swanage, including local singer Karen Grant who is promising to perform a hit-list of firm favourites at a concert on Friday 11th March at the United Reform Church in Swanage.
Karen Grant said:
“Please come along to raise your spirits and to raise badly needed funds for Ukraine. It’s free entry and there are no tickets – doors open at 5.30 pm for a 6 pm start and we’ll be collecting donations for Ukraine relief. Please do spread the word and tell your friends and neighbours!”
The Mowlem is planning a special fundraiser for Ukraine
Charity film preview
There’s also plans for a charity screening of the new independent film Olga at The Mowlem in a few weeks’ time.
The film set in 2013 is about a Ukrainian gymnast who is living in exile in Switzerland and trying to prepare for the European Gymnastics Championships, when political protests break out in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
While all the details haven’t been confirmed yet, it’s expected to be a special and poignant evening.
Dulce by the Purbeck Deli is raffling this spectacular cake in the hope of raising a total of £500, which will be sent to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees
Delicious sweet treats”
Dulce by the Purbeck Deli on Institute Road has raised an amazing £365.41, just from a cake sale. The team said:
“We are so grateful to everyone who came down and donated some money in exchange for our delicious sweet treats. All of you are amazing.
“We will now be passing 100 percent of the money raised over to our neighbour, Sylvia at Amber Bay, who will be sending this money direct to her parents in Przemysl to help fund refugees desperately in need of aid.”
However they aren’t stopping there and if you pop into the shop they are raffling a large blue and yellow cake to raise even more money.
The winner will be announced on Monday 14th March and raffle tickets at £1 each will be available to purchase until Sunday 13th March 2022.
An impressive sight at St George’s
“St George’s was transformed into a warehouse”
Meanwhile, back at the start of March 2022 as the crisis in Ukraine started to unfold, people across Swanage started donating items to send out to those in need. St George’s Church in Langton Matravers became a collection hub, attracting donations from across Purbeck.
Reverend James Mercer from St George’s Church said:
“St George’s was transformed into a warehouse, thanks to the amazing generosity of the local community, with mountains of warm coats, bedding, tents, food and toiletries filling the aisles.
“The goods were loaded onto several vans and transported to the Castlepoint collection centre near Bournemouth and should by now be heading towards those displaced by the conflict in Ukraine.
“All of us at St George’s are grateful to everyone who donated, packed, sorted and offered transport – a great community effort all round!”
Loading the lorry that took the donations to the collection point near Bournemouth