Clubs

Epworth Planting Crocuses

To celebrate world polio day we joined with Epworth Town Council. They funded the purchase of the crocus corms and we planted them together in a prominent location. An article about this in local paper and in the Town Council newsletter. 

Picture shows Councillors Caroline Finch
& Ross Whittaker with Rotarians Sally Hughes & John Lambert

Posted in: Epworth & Isle of Axholme

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Youngsters Xanthe and Seb Shop for Other Children this Christmas

Two Belper young people Xanthe McAughtrie 10yrs and brother Sebastian (Seb) 9 have been part of a local Rotary scheme to fill shoe boxes with toys, clothes and put them with love into shoe boxes to bring the spirit of Christmas to vulnerable children.

Xanthe and Seb along with local Rotarians, Belper Central Methodist church, and the Women’s Institute to fill and collect 46 boxes to send to eastern Europe through the Teams4U international and development charity.

 Xanthe and Seb live with their mum and dad in Belper and attend Belper St Johns School. Grandfather and Rotarian David Ashley said, “It’s good to encourage young people like Xanthe and Seb to think about less fortunate people.”

Rotarian and local organiser John Scotney said, “The shoeboxes will go abroad. I know it’s a difficult time here but for some of the world’s poorest families the situation is dire, and a small box of gifts sent with love can at least raise a smile.” 

This year the shoeboxes will go to vulnerable people in Belarus, Bosnia, Moldova, and Romania. Boxes are filled for age groups, 3-5, 6-11 and 12+ years with such things as toothbrushes, toothpaste, hair accessories, socks, underwear along with treats such as toys, games and sweets and may even have a photograph of the donors. Boxes are then collected in Belper and Duffield by John Scotney who delivers to a collection point in Derby organised by Rotary Club of Derby. From there they go onto a national Teams4U warehouse for transport to their destinations in eastern Europe.

John said, “Forty-six boxes have been delivered to the Derby Rotary Club warehouse in Derby. That is 46 smiles that would not otherwise have happened. A big well done to Xanthe and Seb and the people in Belper and Duffield.”

Background

Derby Rotary Club have organised a collection point for Teams4U Christmas shoeboxes for several years.

Teams4U is a national charity set up by Dave Cooke, who has nearly 30 years’ experience working within international relief and development. In 1990 Dave was moved by the needs of the Romanian children he saw on the TV screen, so he put teams together and took aid to Romanian orphanages.

In 2006 Dave founded Teams4U to enable many others to be able to have the opportunity and experience of working with and supporting vulnerable children and their families. “I set up Teams4U because I wanted to give people that wanted to help the opportunity to give more than just money”

Teams4Uto help give support to vulnerable children and their families including sending Christmas shoeboxes to vulnerable families. It has expanded in several different countries, supporting various projects through partnerships with local individuals and organisations.

Over the next 3 – 5 years the charity’s aim is to develop long-term integrated programmes for their partners; building their capacity and capability to improve the lives of the vulnerable children with whom they work.

Teams4U website – https://teams4u.com/our-story/

Posted in: Belper & Duffield

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Belper and Duffield Sleigh Preparations

Santa dropped into Belper this morning to bring the Sleigh in for maintenance ahead of his heavy Christmas Schedule.

Santa’s elf Alan Widdowson had recommended Santa use Belpers’ Martin Tolley Auto Electrician as the Sleigh has a problem with the lights.

Have a listen to the video of Santa talking to Martin assured Santa that all will be repaired well in time for Christmas and with a loud ‘Ho Ho Ho’ he climbed aboard Rudolf and headed back to Lapland. Santa’s Elf stayed on in Belper to help organise Rotary Santa and his sleigh touring many Belper streets in December and visit Morrison’s on a few occasions.

Santa Elf Alan said, “Santa has to be even more careful this year. He and his sleigh can’t stop on the street but he will drive by slowly so children can at least see him in Belper.”

Posted in: Belper & Duffield

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Sitwell Rotary supports Sheffield Healthcare Workers

Members of the ‘Help for Healthcare Workers – Sheffield’ sewing group put their sewing machines to good use earlier this year to make face masks, mask adaptors and scrubs to support the NHS.

Since making their initial donation, the ‘Help for Healthcare Workers – Sheffield’ sewing group had donated an additional 600 masks to the charity. The donation was possible thanks to funding for material and other resources from the Sitwell Rotary Club.

Read the full article on the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust website: http://www.therotherhamft.nhs.uk/News/Current/Craft_group_has_got_it_covered/

A selection of the 600 facemasks produced by the sewing group

Posted in: Rotherham Sitwell

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Flowers provide final Jigsaw piece for struggling families in Matlock area

When the pandemic first hit, Jigsaw Foodbank was flooded with offers of help from volunteers and support from supermarkets and local Rotary Clubs.  But now, with six new referrals in one single day recently, the Jigsaw team has real concerns about what this winter holds for struggling families in the region.

Requests for help doubled in the first couple of weeks of lockdown back in March.  At the same time many of Jigsaw’s elderly volunteers were reluctantly having to step down and self-isolate.

“Pre-Covid we were supporting around 40 families or households each week.  Within three weeks that had increased to 75 households,” says former teacher Ruth Longfellow, one of the coordinators of Jigsaw foodbank which operates through Church in the Peak, Matlock.

Ruth Longfellow and husband Richard of Jigsaw Foodbank in Matlock, preparing to deliver flowers and vital food items to families in need, with the help of Rotary4foodbanks.

Ruth put out a call for help via the Wirksworth Rotary Club & Town Council and within 24 hours over 80 new volunteers had come forward.  With impressive efficiency Ruth and husband Richard quickly organised new packing and delivery teams to provide crisis parcels of food and supplies to homes in their patch – the A6 corridor between Wirksworth and Bakewell and all the neighbouring villages.

“Demand levelled off for a while over the summer but now, with a new wave of job losses, we are seeing the numbers rise again.  We’ve increased capacity to be able to support up to 100 households each week in the coming months but are mindful that this may not be sufficient over the winter,” she says.

Supplies from supermarket donation bins fell off at the start of the pandemic but Ruth praises people’s generosity.  “When they couldn’t give food they have given money.  Again the local Rotary Clubs stepped in, teaming up with a local wholesale supplier to provide fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the summer.”

Rotary has also provided another much-needed lifeline through its Rotary4foodbanks scheme, a major regional initiative which buys food in bulk and distributes it free to around 50 foodbanks across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

“The Rotary4foodbanks scheme has delivered pallet-loads of staple items we sometimes find it hard to come by – coffee, tinned fruit, tuna & tinned meat – in volume to stock our shelves for the coming months.  That, coupled with the excellent support we receive from local supermarkets and organisations like FareShare provides the supplies we need to ensure no-one goes hungry in our area as the recession bites.”

Ruth says the rural nature of the community they serve brings its own particular problems of isolation, on top of all the problems of furlough, reduced working hours and redundancies that are increasing due to the current pandemic.

“Families, especially single-parent families, can feel a real sense of isolation. Hungry and hard up, that can lead to real despair,” she explains. “The very fact that someone comes to their door with vital supplies and unconditional support is really helping struggling families get by.”

She cites the example of a low income local family with four children where one parent had been laid off and the other had had their working hours reduced. “Our volunteers arrive on the doorstep with much-needed food supplies – tins, fresh fruit and veg and ready meals.  And, thanks to the surplus stock donated by M&S, the package was also topped off with a beautiful bouquet of fresh flowers.  It provided a real boost for a family struggling to survive and with no resources to treat themselves to the kind of luxuries we all need to keep our spirits up.”

“For the whole team at Jigsaw, our mission is to help people who find themselves in difficulty through no fault of their own. With the continued support of others in the local community as well as the supermarkets and Rotary4foodbanks, we won’t stop striving to make life better for families in need as the winter bites.”

Rotary4foodbanks has set up a justgiving page to make it easy for people to donate.  Because the scheme is run entirely by volunteers it has no overheads.  That means every penny given goes directly to buying food at discounted prices for delivery to local foodbanks.

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks through our JustGiving page

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks, Wirksworth

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Salvation Army Ripley Sings Rotary Club praises

Salvation Army sings Rotary Club’s praises as Ripley food bank reports surge in first-time users

Ripley Salvation Army is currently providing vital food supplies to vulnerable people every month and is expecting a surge in demand in the run up to Christmas.  Due to Covid-19 Ripley Salvation Army Food Bank, which serves all of Amber Valley, has seen a 100% increase in demand compared to before the pandemic.

The latest delivery of over 80 cases of food by Rotary4foodbanks has helped Ian Brown and the foodbank team at its headquarters in Heath Road cope with the growing demand, with many people accessing foodbank services for the first time.

“It is only with the support of schemes like Rotary4foodbanks and help from local supermarkets that we can hope to meet the growing need as Autumn approaches and more individuals and families find themselves short of money for food,” says Ian who manages the Salvation Army’s admin and finances in the town.  “Our commitment to never turning anyone away will be stretched to the limit this year,” he warns.

Rotary Club members from Amber Valley and across Derbyshire were on hand recently to deliver over 80 boxes of staple foods – coffee, tea, tinned fruit, cereals and more – to keep up stock levels.  They are working as part of a region-wide scheme – Rotary4foodbanks – which raises funds to buy food in bulk. This is then distributed free to around 50 foodbanks in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Before the pandemic struck, Amber Valley Rotarians had already helped to build and fit out a new food store which has proved invaluable as the Salvation Army team strives to build stocks in anticipation of the increased demand as Christmas approaches.

Covid-19 has increased the challenge for the Salvation Army in Ripley and elsewhere.  “Many of our supporters are older – most members are over 70 and have been shielding. So maintaining a food supply service has been especially difficult since March,” Ian explains.

“Many of the people we support face real personal challenges – homelessness, drug and alcohol addiction.  Others are ordinary families experiencing hardship as a result of the economic downturn.  Many are seeking support from foodbanks for the first time.  They all deserve our help.”

Local Rotarian John Stamp who works with the Rotary4foodbanks team says the story from Ripley is echoed across the East Midlands.  “There is real concern about the winter ahead and the demands that foodbanks like the Salvation Army Ripley service will face. 

“At Rotary4foodbanks we have linked up with supermarket giant Morrisons and are committed to providing a regular supply of key food items to meet the need.  We all give our time free, as willing volunteers, but we need the public to support our efforts.”

Rotary4foodbanks has set up a justgiving page to make it easy for people to donate.  Because the scheme is run entirely by volunteers it has no overheads.  That means every penny given goes directly to buying food at discounted prices for delivery to local foodbanks.

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks through our JustGiving page

Posted in: Amber Valley, Rotary4Foodbanks

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Halloween Virtual Balloon Race

Wirksworth Rotary is determined to continue to support a range of good causes and charities in our local community, across the UK and around the world. Like all Rotary Clubs though, our usual fundraising activities have been very much restricted during the current pandemic, so we are looking to raise much-needed money through a Virtual Balloon Race. 

The race has a Halloween theme and starts from Dracula’s Castle on 31st October 2020. It’s 100% eco-friendly – no animals or birds are killed and there’s no litter. 

We are delighted to partner with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust (DWT) in this race to help them continue their invaluable work promoting the natural world and educating and enhancing the lives of Derbyshire residents and visitors of all ages. DWT has been leading nature’s recovery across the county for over 55 years, inspiring people and communities to care and mobilising people to act, protecting and enhancing wildlife and wild places. From surveying bumblebee numbers out in the field to taking toddlers on their first ever mini-beast hunt – their work spans from conservation at its most scientific right through to a child’s first experience.

You can visit our page on the Ecoracing website at the link below to buy balloons. Each balloon costs just £3 and you can buy as many as you like. You can also buy them as gift codes to give to family and friends. It’s lots of fun and you can track the progress of your balloons throughout the race. 

https://ecoracing.co/user/page/623

All of the proceeds from the balloons sold will be split equally between Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and Wirksworth Rotary.

Posted in: Wirksworth

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Rotherham pulls together to combat growing hunger crisis

A foodbank project manager has praised supermarkets, Rotary Clubs and others for how they have pulled together to combat hunger in the town.  But, warns Stephen Prosser of Rotherham Foodbank, the real crisis is only just beginning.

Since April, first-time users represent over 50% of the clients presenting vouchers for food at Rotherham Foodbank’s Hope Centre on Grove Road.  That, says Steve, should sound a warning about how tough times will get as the post-covid recession bites.

“Had it not been for the generosity of supermarkets like Morrisons and Tesco, and the superb efforts of our local Rotherham Sitwell Rotary Club and Rotary4foodbanks, we would be facing a real dilemma.  Because of their donations of vital supplies our shelves are reasonably stocked to see us through the summer.  But it will be in the autumn, as furloughs end and redundancies kick in, as the homeless are no longer housed in hotels, that the real scale of the hunger issue will hit home.”

During 2012 when the foodbank first opened its doors, it fed just 124 people.  In 2015 the number had increased to 2338.  By 2019 it had more than doubled again to 4869 with over 42 tonnes of food distributed to support some of the most vulnerable in the Rotherham community.

Since April this year, when Rotherham Sitwell Rotary stepped in to help, the club has provided over five tonnes of the 19 tonnes of food in stock or distributed by the foodbank.  Club members are donating between £500 and £1000 every week to buy supplies, and supermarket giant Morrisons is more than matching that contribution.

To help meet the growing demand the South Yorkshire and East Midlands Rotary Clubs have added a new tier of support – Rotary4foodbanks.  Pooling resources, Rotary4foodbanks bulk buys staple food supplies – tea, coffee, tinned fruit, cereals – at wholesale prices which it distributes by the pallet-load to around 50 foodbanks across the region.  By the end of August it will have distributed food with a wholesale value of around £100,000 and has plans to extend the scheme as demands on foodbanks continue to rise.

“For us it is the perfect combination,” says Steve.  “While Rotary4foodbanks supplies good shelf-life stocks of those in-demand items, we can write a shopping list of our specific needs to the local Rotary Club and, working with Morrisons, we know they will provide it.

“It is heart-warming to see local charities like Rotary, together with businesses and individuals, pull together to support those who might otherwise fall through the net. It says so much about the true spirit of Rotherham in times of crisis.”

That spirit stretches even further, explains Rotherham Sitwell Rotary’s Roger Green:

“Club members have been fantastically generous. But to transport the stocks, we needed a vehicle big enough to do it.  Rotherham business Universal Vehicle Suppliers stepped in straight away.  They have lent us a 17-seater minibus for as long as we need it.  Now we can both transport goods and socially distance the team travelling to load and unload at each end!”

Local MP Sarah Champion has praised the work of Rotary4foodbanks.  She says:

“I am aware of the R4FB scheme and am really impressed by the speed at which this was put together and the generosity of not only Rotary Club members but retailers and distributors. The scale that R4FB has been able to reach is quite incredible. Behind each of those parcels was a family or individual who, without their help may have gone hungry. 

“The generous spirit of Rotherham people has really come to the fore in the last few months, with people pulling together to help friends, family and strangers. It is one of the reasons that I am so proud to represent Rotherham in Parliament.”

Steve Prosser and his team of up to 12 volunteers are always looking for cash and food donations to support their work in the town. 

Rotary4foodbanks is planning to double its work in the next three months and has set up a just giving page for those wanting to donate.

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks through our JustGiving page

Posted in: Rotary4Foodbanks, Rotherham Sitwell

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Dronfield food charity gets Rotary lifeline as demand for services doubles

A Dronfield food charity has seen demand for its services double since the start of the Covid crisis.  With the help of the local supermarkets and a vital supply lifeline from Rotary4foodbanks they are now providing food parcels to over 100 local families in need every week.

“Before March we had 100 individuals on our books and in need of support. Now that has risen to 250, including families where children would otherwise go hungry without our support,” says Janet Morton who manages the Re:Store Community Food service on behalf of Oaks Community Church.

Originally set up to reduce food waste, Re:Store has increasingly become a lifeline for vulnerable families in and around Dronfield.  “We work with supermarkets to ensure that ‘near-its-sell-by-date’ food doesn’t get wasted.  But with the increase in demand, there have been days when we had nothing on the shelves and have had to turn people away.  Our link with Dronfield Rotary Club and Rotary4foodbanks has been a real boost, ensuring that we always have something to include in the food parcels.”

The Rotary4Foodbanks scheme, run entirely by volunteers, is an East Midlands and South Yorkshire initiative which pools funds and bulk buys staple food supplies at wholesale prices which it distributes to foodbanks across the region.  By the end of August it will have distributed food with a wholesale value of around £100,000 and has plans to extend the scheme as demands on foodbanks continue to rise.

Janet picks up Rotary4foodbank stocks – coffee, tea, tinned fruit and cereals – by the pallet-load from a Sheffield warehouse.  Her team of volunteers split it into individual parcels.  “Previously people have come into our community food service, based at Lea Rd in Dronfield and picked up what they need.  Now, as part of social distancing and to safeguard our own team, they wait at the door while we pack parcels for them.”

Janet normally counts on 20 volunteers but with many of them elderly and shielding, the team is under more pressure than ever.  She expects that as the furlough system ends and redundancies increase, the demand for Re:Store’s service will increase still further.  “We are committed to meeting the need, come what may, and are grateful to initiatives like Rotary4foodbanks, for the vital support they provide.”

You can support Rotary4Foodbanks through our JustGiving page

Posted in: Dronfield, Rotary4Foodbanks

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