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Ending Hunger- The Campaign So Far

Blog by Sophie Badham, student at Nottingham Trent University

Sophie Badham

With food banks already stretched to their limit, the COVID pandemic couldn’t have hit at a worse time.

However, a group of keen Rotarians made it their mission to step up and put a stop to thousands of people going to bed hungry.

Rotary4foodbanks is a project providing a sustainable supply channel for the future. The scheme dispenses food donations to food banks cost effectively and enables them to purchase foods at the most competitive price with the cash donations they receive.

The scheme has proven to be a huge success, with Rotary4foodbanks donating an initial £150,000 which has already enabled the regular supply of up to 60 food banks in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire area.

Local food banks can’t thank the scheme enough and say Rotary4foodbanks have saved them this year.

An army of volunteers are busily getting to know food banks on a personal level by carrying out interviews each week to find out specifically what is needed for their area. This means that many more families are getting the food they need!

With the summer months approaching, and the promise of life going back to normal in July, unfortunately it is inevitable that the level of support shown currently will decrease considerably. Many furloughed people will return to their jobs, and others will rightly so enjoy their summer socialising with friends and family. But this is when food banks and thousands of families will suffer.

With the age group of volunteers being 30-60-year-olds, there is a want and need for younger people and students with more time on their hands, to turn their attention to food banks and provide fresh and innovative ideas.

As a student, I understand that this might be easier said than done, but as I become more and more aware of this crisis, the urge to offer my help becomes ever stronger.

There are many ways to get involved, whether it be technical support, distribution, packing, or even raising awareness on your own social media accounts.

We are the future, and together we can make a difference!

Who do we contact?

I want to join the project team – John Cavey (rotaryfoundation1220@gmail.com)

I can help with physical distribution – Lesley Reynolds (lesleyreynolds1@msn.com)

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks through our JustGiving page

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks

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Wirksworth Rotary Club Makes French Connection

Using the wonders of Zoom technology, members of the Wirksworth Rotary Club enjoyed an excellent evening of joint fellowship with the Rotary Club of Valreas Nyons in France on Thursday 25th March. During the meeting, we heard presentations on the activities of our respective clubs. It was interesting to learn that our two clubs shared many common projects, for example we have both been supporting our local foodbanks during the Covid pandemic.

We were joined by Roz Adamson, Aquabox Trustee and Bakewell Rotarian, who gave a very informative talk about Aquabox, which generated much interest from the members of the French club. 

Their President, Sarah Cook, is a former colleague of Wirksworth Rotarian Roger Cassidy from their time as members of Marlow Thames RC, hence the connection. Having spent 5 years living in France, Sarah is bilingual and was able to translate between French and English for everyone. She is also an Aquabox Ambassador in her adopted country.

Posted in: Aquabox, Wirksworth

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Famous TV presenters pay tribute to inspirational young people at Courage Awards

The president-elect of Mansfield Rotary Club and famous television presenters Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford led the praise for 11 inspirational children and young people at the annual Mansfield Rotary Club Courage Awards.

The event, now in its 30th year, was held virtually because of the coronavirus pandemic and a total of 75 people logged on to Zoom to celebrate with the 11 brave young people.

Karen Johnson, president-elect of the Rotary Club, said: “We hope everyone enjoyed the event, despite the changed circumstances, and that they were impressed with these young people and were moved by their stories. We doubt there was a dry eye on screen.

“It is a privilege for Mansfield Rotary Club to present the Courage Awards, which reflect our own motto of Service Above Self.”

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford, well known for fronting This Morning, recorded a special message for the event. 

They said: “We would like to pay our tribute to the 11 young people who are being honoured.

“You are an inspiration to all of us in these very difficult times and, despite the covid pandemic, we are sure that the parents and carers of the nominees are delighted that these awards are going ahead — albeit in a virtual format.

“So well done. And congratulations to everyone involved.”

The 11 young people were: Leoni Bragg and Abigail Cross, of Meden School, Warsop; Owen Brown and Rachel Tweedie, of Portland College;  Adam Hooley, of Reach Learning Disability; Corey Root, of A Place To Call Our Own; Annabelle Pye, of West Nottinghamshire College;  James Slaney, of R.E.A.L. Education; Daisy MarieStanley, of The Beech Academy, Mansfield; Connor Summerell, of Samworth Church Academy, Mansfield; and Joshua Stead, of The Joseph Whitaker School, Rainworth.

To read their stories of courage, click here

The 11 all received a plaque from the Rotary Club and a civic citation from the Mayor of Mansfield, Andy Abrahams.

The recipients of the awards had been nominated by their school or college for “exemplifying moral and spiritual courage in the face of personal adversity and difficulty.”

Education Mutual was the event’s main sponsor.

Others sponsors were: Tyler Bros (Sutton-in-Ashfield) Ltd, HW Martin Waste Ltd, Asmech Systems Ltd, Portland College, Hall-Fast Industrial Supplies, Mansfield Building Society, Fidler & Pepper, Hopkins Solicitors, Mansfield Garage Doors, The Rose Bower, Bee Noticed, Alison and Phil Constantine, Overton Electrical and Ravenshead Consultancy.

Posted in: Mansfield

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Rotarians call on public to continue litter campaign

Mansfield Rotary Club is again urging people to take part in its initiative to clean up the town — the Just Bin It scheme.

Rotarians are providing litter-pick tools free to anyone who will pick up litter around their neighbourhood, roadsides, pavements, parks and schools.

Throughout winter many supporters of the campaign have continued to help keep their locality clean by picking up rubbish.

One Mansfield Rotarian, Stewart Rickersey, said he and his wife had recently filled three rubbish bags with assorted rubbish.
But he added: “It’s a constant effort to keep our streets tidy.

“The mindless few continue to drop their litter, lottery tickets, cans, covid face coverings, empty cigarette packets and much more that would be impolite to mention in print. Often the rubbish is dropped within a few yards of a letter bin.”

He added that Mansfield Rotary is committed to providing a litter picking tool to anyone who wants to play their part in keeping their neighbourhood clean.

Those interested are asked to register on Mansfield Rotary’s website — https://mansfieldrotary.co.uk/mansfields-big-clean — or call 01623 706540 and leave a message.

Kate Allsop, president of Mansfield Rotary Club, added: “We are appealing for residents in the Mansfield area to come forward and litter pick in the vicinity of their own homes or whilst they might be out exercising or walking their dog.

“Let’s all make a positive difference to our town in these difficult times.”

Posted in: Mansfield

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Keeping Up With Christmas

Is an event organised by the Rotary District 1220 E-Club taking place at 6PM on the 29th of December.

Support mental health and join us for our “Keeping up with Christmas”

Help us to raise money for a worthwhile cause while enjoying a wonderful evening of Scottish bagpipes, Christmas carols, the big fat quiz of the year, with terrible christmasy jokes & prizes to be won!

Donations made to MIND.ORG.UK via https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/District1220ECLUB

Posted in: E-Club, Uncategorized

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Second Mansfield Charity Swimathon a success

It has been revealed that the second Charity Swimathon organised by the Rotary Club of Mansfield and the Armchair Club has raised more than £4,000 for charities and good causes.

The event, held in October at Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex, Mansfield, was attended in person by the town’s Olympic swimming champion, Rebecca Adlington, and her daughter, Summer.

They were among the swimmers, together with individuals and teams from business, charities, a school and Sutton Swimming Club.

Now trophies are also being handed out to the star swimmers and fundraisers on the day.

The president of Mansfield Rotary Club, Kate Allsop, said they were delighted through the joint initiative with the Armchair Club to have raised £4,038 for local charities, particularly in the “most difficult time” of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am sure that your readers will want to join in in a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped to raise this staggering amount during the pandemic.
“Local charities know that there are people in the community who care very deeply.”

The swimathon was held at the Water Meadows Swimming and Fitness Complex, Mansfield.

Half of the money raised by each team of up to six went to their chosen cause — an organisation or charity — with the remaining 50% being shared by Mansfield Rotary Club Benevolent Fund and the Armchair Club Sports Foundation Trust. The Armchair Club is a group of local businessmen who have been providing financial support for local sports people since 1982.

A further £750 was raised via commercial sponsorship, which covered the operating costs and meant that all the swimmers’ fundraising went to good causes.
The Armchair Club particularly praised the efforts of Sutton Swimming Club, which received four awards.

Trophy winners were:

Intermediate
Individual Most Lengths — Ethan Potter.
Individual Most Sponsorship — Callum Mills.
Team Most Lengths — Sutton Swimming Club.
Team Most Sponsorship — Sutton Swimming Club.

Junior
Individual Most Lengths — Harry Arnold.
Team Most Lengths — Wynndale Primary School, Mansfield.
Team Most Sponsorship — Wynndale Primary School, Mansfield.

Senior
Individual Most Lengths — James Taylor.
Individual Most Sponsorship — Emma Dalman.
Team Most Lengths — North Notts Hockey.
Team Most Sponsorship — Notts Women’s Aid.

Sutton Swimming Club also received the Organisation Special Award.

The event was sponsored by Education Mutual, HW Martin Waste, I-Sourcer, Kath Jephson, Smart Digital, Mansfield and Ashfield 2020, Mansfield 103.2 and Jane Box.

Posted in: Mansfield

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Rushcliffe Rotary Club helps Cotgrave foodbank with ‘Elfy’ meals

Rushcliffe Rotary Club has stepped up to the plate to help the award-winning Cotgrave Community Kitchen ensure that no-one in the community goes hungry this winter.

Through Rotary4foodbanks, the Rushcliffe club has made donations totalling £1500 in recent months, providing vital food supplies for food parcels and weekly cooked meals for around 100 people locally.

Santa’s elf, Sandra Morrey, is one of eight Rotary Club members helping to pick up food donated by local supermarkets and deliver fresh hot and healthy meals each week to people in need in the Cotgrave area.  This year especially, the work they do is proving vital as people struggle to cope with the impact of the pandemic, and the economic downturn.

Santa’s elf, Sandra Morrey, of Rushcliffe Rotary Club with some of the supplies provided by Rotary4foodbanks to Cotgrave Community Kitchen

The kitchen was set up by Jill Mathers and Farah Jamil in 2019, in conjunction with Metropolitan Housing and Rushcliffe Borough Council, to help combat loneliness as well as to prevent food waste and make sure no-one went hungry.  Local people came together to eat and share company each Thursday at the Community café in Woodview. 

But when the pandemic struck earlier this year the team had to change the way they worked and they needed extra volunteers to help out.  When Sandra Morrey and her Rushcliffe Rotary colleagues heard of the need, they stepped in.  “I mentioned it at a club Zoom meeting and immediately eight members volunteered practical help.  Straight away we made a financial donation from our club funds and it has grown from there,” says Sandra.

The Rushcliffe Club teamed up with other Rotary Clubs as part of Rotary4foodbanks – which pools funds and buys food at bulk discounted prices which it then shares between over 50 foodbanks across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.  So far Rotary4foodbanks has distributed over £100,000 worth of food supplies across the region.

Now, while Sandra’s daughter’s partner Jon volunteers as a chef the kitchens, she and her husband Chris deliver 18 meals every Thursday, together with food parcels of essential supplies for some of the most vulnerable in the community.  “The food provides a vital lifeline,” she explains, “but so does the company we provide on our rounds, just checking that people are OK.  For some people who are shielding, we may be the only human contact they have each week.” 

Currently, Cotgrave Community Kitchen delivers 100 meals every week. Like Rotary, the project is run entirely by volunteers.

Sandra fears that demand for foodbank services will grow as the winter progresses.  “There is real hardship out there.  Rotary is renowned for the work it does in local communities and our club link with Cotgrave Community Kitchen is just one example of that commitment.  Regionwide, the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is looking to raise another £100,000 through donations to ensure that it can continue its work in 2021.  The scheme is run entirely by volunteers so has no overheads – every penny given goes straight to buying food for those in need.”

Rotary4foodbanks has set up a just giving page for those wishing to help. To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/rotary4foodbanks

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks through our JustGiving page

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks, Rushcliffe

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Santa’s wave brings cheer to kids – and to foodbanks too

Great news for the children of Ravenshead and Blidworth! Santa has announced that he will be doing his local rounds this year but has asked children to take special care and wave from the safety of their homes when he comes to their street.

While Santa’s reindeer build their strength for their big night on Christmas Eve, local Ravenshead and Blidworth Rotary Club have stepped in to help pull the sleigh as Santa makes his tour of the villages between the 7th and 17th December.

“Sadly,” says Santa, “I won’t be able to hand out sweets in the way I normally do, but I will be giving an extra cheery wave as I pass by.”

Full details of Santa’s timetable and route are available at https://www.wavetosanta.org/routes

Vital help for local foodbanks

Local foodbanks especially are hoping that residents will show their support by making donations online to the Rotary Santa appeal.  Says local Rotary Club President Richard Lord, “People are always so generous when putting money into the buckets as Santa makes his rounds.  This year is different but donations are needed more than ever and we implore people to go online and give their support at https://www.wavetosanta.org/donate”.

Much of the money raised by Santa will go directly to local foodbanks which are under greater pressure than ever this year. Rotary has long-standing links with two organisations which are desperate for their help.

Between them so far in 2020, Sherwood Community Church and The Social Action Hub have received donations from Rotary totalling over £2600.  Money has come directly from the Ravenshead and Blidworth Club and via a regional Rotary4foodbanks programme which bulk buys food at discount prices.  The scheme supports around 50 foodbanks across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

With the help of donations from Rotary, The Social Action Hub based in Rainworth has delivered 16,633 meals to local people and families in need since the start of the first lockdown.  A food action scheme run by Sherwood Forest Community Church in Blidworth has helped 291 families so far this year with over 1500 meals delivered.  They are looking to brighten Christmas for many by providing 100 hampers to local families in the next couple of weeks.

“There is no way we could provide the vital help we do for some of the neediest in our community without the donations made by Rotary Club,” says the Hub’s food share co-ordinator Amelia Betts.

Both organisations report a flood of new clients seeking their support. Explains Sherwood Community Church’s Mark Himsworth: “We don’t operate any means-testing of those seeking our support – we just help everyone who is clearly in need.  And we are seeing many new first time users of our foodbank services, people who previously would never have imagined they would need to use foodbanks to prevent their children from going hungry.”

Mark Himsworth receives one of the Rotary4Foodbanks cases from Santa

Both Mark and Amelia expect the demand for their services to increase in the New Year.  Says Mark, “People are always generous around Christmas time and we appreciate that, but the problem is going to get worse from January as redundancies increase and the furlough scheme ends.  Rotary’s long-term commitment to support our work means so much to organisations like ours and the people we help.”

More than just food support

Both charities do so much more than just providing food.  They offer moral and practical support for some of the most isolated and vulnerable in society.  Mark gives an example:

“Single mum Mary (not her real name) had moved to Blidworth with her children.  She knew no-one and was totally socially isolated.  She has serious health issues and needed support.  She contacted us and we stepped in to help. We provided food, helped get her children into the local school and used our Blidworth on the Move transport scheme to ensure she could attend hospital appointments.  When she had to spend time in hospital, it was us she turned to, to arrange for her own mum to come from out of the area to look after her children.  It is a holistic approach to caring for the most vulnerable in our community.  Donations from Rotary play a vital part in keeping that service going.”

Make your donations here…

To donate to the Rotary Club appeal visit https://www.wavetosanta.org/donate or to make a donation to Rotary4foodbanks visit – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/rotary4foodbanks

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks through our JustGiving page

While Santa’s reindeer build their strength for their big night on Christmas Eve, local Ravenshead and Blidworth Rotary Club have stepped in to help pull the sleigh as Santa makes his tour of the villages between the 7th and 17th December.

“Sadly,” says Santa, “I won’t be able to hand out sweets in the way I normally do, but I will be giving an extra cheery wave as I pass by.”

Full details of Santa’s timetable and route are available at https://www.wavetosanta.org/routes

Vital help for local foodbanks

Local foodbanks especially are hoping that residents will show their support by making donations online to the Rotary Santa appeal.  Says local Rotary Club President Richard Lord, “People are always so generous when putting money into the buckets as Santa makes his rounds.  This year is different but donations are needed more than ever and we implore people to go online and give their support at https://www.wavetosanta.org/donate”.

Much of the money raised by Santa will go directly to local foodbanks which are under greater pressure than ever this year. Rotary has long-standing links with two organisations which are desperate for their help.

Between them so far in 2020, Sherwood Community Church and The Social Action Hub have received donations from Rotary totalling over £2600.  Money has come directly from the Ravenshead and Blidworth Club and via a regional Rotary4foodbanks programme which bulk buys food at discount prices.  The scheme supports around 50 foodbanks across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

With the help of donations from Rotary, The Social Action Hub based in Rainworth has delivered 16,633 meals to local people and families in need since the start of the first lockdown.  A food action scheme run by Sherwood Forest Community Church in Blidworth has helped 291 families so far this year with over 1500 meals delivered.  They are looking to brighten Christmas for many by providing 100 hampers to local families in the next couple of weeks.

“There is no way we could provide the vital help we do for some of the neediest in our community without the donations made by Rotary Club,” says the Hub’s food share co-ordinator Amelia Betts.

Both organisations report a flood of new clients seeking their support. Explains Sherwood Community Church’s Mark Himsworth: “We don’t operate any means-testing of those seeking our support – we just help everyone who is clearly in need.  And we are seeing many new first time users of our foodbank services, people who previously would never have imagined they would need to use foodbanks to prevent their children from going hungry.”

Both Mark and Amelia expect the demand for their services to increase in the New Year.  Says Mark, “People are always generous around Christmas time and we appreciate that, but the problem is going to get worse from January as redundancies increase and the furlough scheme ends.  Rotary’s long-term commitment to support our work means so much to organisations like ours and the people we help.”

More than just food support

Both charities do so much more than just providing food.  They offer moral and practical support for some of the most isolated and vulnerable in society.  Mark gives an example:

“Single mum Mary (not her real name) had moved to Blidworth with her children.  She knew no-one and was totally socially isolated.  She has serious health issues and needed support.  She contacted us and we stepped in to help. We provided food, helped get her children into the local school and used our Blidworth on the Move transport scheme to ensure she could attend hospital appointments.  When she had to spend time in hospital, it was us she turned to, to arrange for her own mum to come from out of the area to look after her children.  It is a holistic approach to caring for the most vulnerable in our community.  Donations from Rotary play a vital part in keeping that service going.”

Make your donations here…

To donate to the Rotary Club appeal visit https://www.wavetosanta.org/donate or to make a donation to Rotary4foodbanks visit – https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/rotary4foodbanks

Posted in: Ravenshead and Blidworth, Rotary4Foodbanks

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Christmas Cheer in Epworth

Epworth & Isle of Axholme Rotary Club has a history of local community service. We have held an annual winter party for old and isolated folk and were involved in the setting up and running of the Neighbourhood Help Scheme at the start of Lockdown.

We realised that isolated folk would not have much cheer this christmas and we are wanting to increase our involvement with local schools.

Solution a christmas gift from us with a personal card made by children of a local primary school.

One of our members has business contact with Thorntons who, at his request, donated boxes of chocolates (we may need to purchase more) and we have given plain card to the school who were pleased to be involved.We will be delivering to those in need before christmas .

Carol Walsh

Posted in: Epworth & Isle of Axholme

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