Four local charities have benefited from a £4,000 share-out, the proceeds of the recent Eckington VIRTUAL Classic Car & Bike Show 2020 organised by the Rotary Club of Chesterfield.
The money raised by kind sponsors, generous donors, along with a top up by Chesterfield Rotary Club, means each charity has received £1,000 each. The four charities are:- Ashgate Hospicecare, Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, The Elm Foundation (supporting domestic abuse victims), and Weston Park Cancer Charity.
This innovative online event was organised by the Satellite Group of younger members of the Rotary Club of Chesterfield to replace the usual annual event, which takes place each June at Renishaw Hall, but had to be cancelled this year due to COVID-19.
Chairman of the organising committee, Andrew Thompson, said, ‘We switched to an online event so we could at least raise something this year for our nominated charities as they have been so severely restricted in fund-raising due to the coronavirus pandemic.’
He added: ‘The date has already been fixed for next year’s charity fund-raising live event when the 2021 Eckington Classic Car & Bike Show will be held at Renishaw Hall on Wednesday 9 June 2021, and we are also delighted to announce that there will also be the exciting addition of the virtual online show running parallel to the main event – basically the best of both worlds.’
For many years the Wirksworth Rotary Club has run a plant sale in May to raise money for local good causes. A few years ago we teamed up with the Transition Wirksworth Community Growers in order to expand our offering to include vegetables and herbs as well as traditional bedding plants and perennials.
This collaboration has proved to be a great success and we were looking forward to holding this year’s plant sale, when we were to be also to be joined by the Wirksworth U3A Gardening Group. Everything changed of course as the Covid-19 virus started to spread across the world and the country went into lockdown.
As seasoned plants people, we had all our seeds and seedlings overwintering in greenhouses and on windowsills and the idea of throwing all these young plants onto the compost heap was unthinkable. We all agreed that the sale MUST GO ON – the big question was how to make it happen without breaching lockdown and social distancing guidelines.
Out of this the ‘virtual’ plant sale was born. Lists and the descriptions of all the plants for sale were collected from our wonderful team of growers and using social media platforms and public noticeboards we started to spread the word. Timed collections of orders were scheduled at a number of locations and for customers in self-isolation we arranged personal deliveries.
In view of these unprecedented times and the difficulties which so many people in our community are facing as a result of the shutdown of many businesses, it was agreed that all the money from the proceeds of the Plant Sale would be donated to the Jigsaw Foodbank in Matlock.
As a result of the fantastic support of so many people over £2,900 was raised. Out of this total, £750 has already been paid into the Rotary4Foodbanks fund. The Jigsaw Foodbank, nominated by the Bakewell, Matlock and Wirksworth Rotary Clubs in Rotary4Foodbanks, has already received several consignments of extremely valuable staple items for their food bags through this scheme.
Ruth Longfellow from the Jigsaw Foodbank commented, “This is such a generous donation and very much appreciated! It will help us to keep supporting the vulnerable in our community for some time to come.” “We are very grateful for all the generous donations of tinned and packet food we receive from individuals and organisations in the local community, as well as financial donations which enable us to purchase any items we are short of and also the ability to provide fresh fruit and vegetables for our clients. The donations we receive enable us to continue to support these vulnerable, needy families who find themselves in the most desperate of circumstances.”
Two local Rotarians have been recognised for their vital role in successfully setting up a new vibrant group for busy younger professionals interested in supporting the local community with charitable events, projects, and fun social activities.
The new, Chesterfield Rotary Satellite Group, is part of the well-established Rotary Club of Chesterfield, and now has twenty-two members, both male and female. The group (normally) meets monthly at Chesterfield Panthers Rugby Club. It most recently raised £4,000 for four key local charities with a virtual online classic car & bike show and has made donations to the local food banks.
Financial planner Peter Blant, the founding chairman of the satellite group, and business adviser Paul Davies, the satellite group secretary, have both been awarded Rotary International’s highest honour, a Paul Harris Fellowship for providing this exciting new approach to Rotary in the town.
The award was presented by Chesterfield Rotary president Nigel Metham at a special socially distanced ceremony (viewed online by members) on Friday 3 July 2020.
Interested in joining the new group? Contact Satellite group secretary Paul Davies 07753 605 272 or check out social media.
During an online ceremony, the 2020-21 joint leadership team of Chris Riggott and Peter Arnott were welcomed and received their chains of office from outgoing leaders Howard Doran and Glyn Allsop. Local man David Hickton also received recognition for many years of community service.
Chris, who was in the animal health industry as a business manager, lives at Tansley whilst Peter lives at Kilburn after many years as a manager in the automotive supply chain. They have as their theme for the year, ‘ Fun, Fellowship and Future Planning to Support Communities.’ Two charities will receive particular support: ‘Kids Out’ which provides disadvantaged children with exciting memories to cherish and ‘End Polio Now’ Rotary International’s campaign to eradicate polio worldwide by helping to provide vaccines.
Chris said, “We know we are in difficult times and must implement some changes to enable Rotary to continue to support communities. However, we are currently supporting local food banks and planning to hold our Charity Horse Ride in October and Rotary Santa and his sleigh will be around the borough at Christmas, albeit safely. Please continue to support Rotary to help others.”
To emphasise safety and future planning, Chris & Peter had pre-event ‘social distancing’ badge handover including with Marie Adams of Ripley who will take over in 2021-22.
During the online event Presidents Peter and Chris presented a ‘Paul Harris Fellow’ award to Rotarian David Hickton of Ripley. The international Rotary award recognises the substantial contribution made by Alan particularly in terms of his work with young people. President Peter said, “Chris and I pay tribute to David for his work over many years encouraging young people in the borough both in schools, sports and personal achievements. It is a great pleasure to make the award.”
Rotary Amber Valley meets each week, currently by video conference. If you wish to join us please contact secretary Paul on 07778 048648 to discuss and receive an electronic invite.
Arnold Foodbank is receiving 100 requests every week for food parcels and that number is set to increase still further as the economic downturn bites, warns foodbank manager Helen Lloyd.
But a new £100,000 scheme by local Rotary Clubs is providing a vital lifeline for Arnold Foodbank and others across the region, as Sherwood Sunrisers Rotary Club’s Val Leivers explains: “Organisations like Arnold Foodbank do brilliant work at local level in the community. They rely for supplies on the support of supermarkets, businesses and the general public making donations. As local Rotarians we wanted to help in a big way too. Delivering 150 cases of food supplies seemed a good way to do that.
“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 July 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.”
According to Helen Lloyd, who heads a team of volunteers running the Arnold operation from Daybrook Baptist Church on Mansfield Rd, the foodbank is seeing more new users needing food than ever before: “As the furlough system ends and more people face redundancy, we are expecting to see demand increase still further. We are bracing ourselves for the second wave. We enjoy marvellous support from local supermarkets and the general public but the additional help we are now getting from Rotary is proving a real lifeline, providing us with bulk supplies of key staples like tea, coffee, cereal and tinned fruit at a time of real need for so many vulnerable people locally.”
The Arnold team has been operating a delivery service during lockdown, with volunteer drivers ensuring that people as far afield as Carlton and Basford who are unable to collect food parcels don’t go hungry. Since its formation in 1994, Sherwood Sunrisers Rotary Club has helped many thousands of people and raised over £500,000 for good causes, most of which has been used to support community projects in Sherwood and Nottingham.
Part of the Trussell Trust, Arnold Foodbank operates out of Daybrook Baptist Church, Mansfield Road, Nottingham, NG5 6AA
It distributes food – primarily three day parcels of balanced nutritious food for individuals and families – between 1.30 and 3.00pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
It is run primarily by volunteers and depends on donations and support from supermarkets, businesses, individuals and other charities to complete its vital community work.
Thirteen million people live below the poverty line in the UK. Arnold Foodbank provides a minimum of 3 days emergency food to help people in a crisis. The Foodbank is supported and run by local churches in Arnold. To volunteer, donate, or find out more about its services, visit https://arnold.foodbank.org.uk/
Sherwood Sunrisers Rotary Club
The club currently has 18 members. Since its formation in 1994, Sherwood Sunrisers has helped many thousands of people and raised over £500,000 for good causes, most of which has been used to support community projects in Sherwood and Nottingham.
Two local Rotary clubs have joined forces as part of a £100,000 charity support campaign to supply foodbanks across the region. And, says Sandra Edwards, Project Manager at Doncaster Foodbank based at Christ Church on Thorne Road, the support couldn’t have come at a better time as she and her team of volunteers strive to meet the soaring demand for its emergency food parcel service.
A recent Rotary delivery to the Doncaster Foodbank’s warehouse at Kirk Sandall included vital bulk supplies of tea, coffee, porridge and tinned fruit to restock shelves depleted as a result of a 40% increase in demand for food from individuals and families in Doncaster in the past month alone.
“In the past twelve months prior to the lockdown we have provided food for over 5500 people. Almost 2000 of those were children who, without our input, would have gone hungry,” says Sandra Edwards. “We expect those numbers to increase significantly as the impact of Covid-19 and the downturn in the economy bite still further, impacting hardest on people already struggling to cope.
“We get fantastic support from local supermarkets and the general public but having a major charity organisation like Rotary stepping in to help too, provides us with another precious lifeline.”
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 July it will have distributed food with a wholesale value of around £100000 and has plans to extend the scheme as demands on foodbanks continue to rise.
Doncaster St Leger Rotary Club has partnered with its sister club, Doncaster Rotary, to support the scheme. Says Lis Rodgers, of St Leger: “We could see that the Covid-19 pandemic was having a devastating effect on some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We knew of the excellent work that Doncaster Foodbank was doing and so pledged to help. As part of the bigger Rotary4foodbanks initiative to bulk buy, the money we donate works harder, goes further, to help ensure no-one in the borough goes hungry.”
The club is well known in the borough for its charity work. Amongst many other initiatives the St Leger Rotary Club also supports the local Firefly Cancer Awareness and Support charity. The club recently made a £700 donation to help keep Firefly’s services running during lockdown.
Rotary4foodbanks is a Rotary response to the growing demands on foodbanks in the UK. Initially operating in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, it is attracting interest from Rotary across the UK. Whilst it was launched in response to the Covid-19 crisis, it is actually a long-term initiative to deliver a sustainable, cost-effective food sourcing programme for foodbanks.
Doctor Jill Bethell MBE takes over as District 1220 Governor in July. The retired doctor will lead the team ensuring Rotary has fresh vigour to be ‘alert’ to the needs of communities throughout the East Midland and South Yorkshire.
During and beyond the covid-19 pandemic, 67 local Rotary groups have continued to support by uniting and take action in our communities and beyond. A regional foodbank supply scheme is now in operation and a number of grants have been made to schools, individuals and organisations making PPE for hospitals and care centres. Rotary International have given $20million to support foodbanks worldwide.
Retired Dronfield GP Jill said, “Many lessons have and are being learned during this pandemic. As COVID-19 changes the way we live so it changes how Rotary operates and what we do. Let’s all turn our challenges into stepping stones to success in different ways than we’ve previously enjoyed.”
Jill, a Londoner by birth, trained in Sheffield and has spent many years in Dronfield and is privileged to be very much part of the Community. Jill, with others, started the Welcome Club on Tuesdays in memory of her father who had multiple sclerosis; the Cardio Club for those with heart problems – often Jills’ Friday evening surgeries were busy with men from 50-70 years, who had had heart attacks, needing to “touchbase” and check out their concerns. Dronfield’s keen, vibrant St John Ambulance Unit invited Jill to be President; Dronfield Guides to be their Ambassador and a Church Warden for 5 years. Jill and husband Tony were both very honoured to receive MBEs at the same time in 2011, for Services to the Community of Dronfield.
Jill will lead Rotary as it develops through Covid-19 with greater use of technology such as video conference meetings and Rotary E clubs where members do much work online.
Jill said, “Rotary needs to keep alert to present very difficult and different circumstances. We need to modernise and move on in the 21st century with younger members enabling Rotary to help address community needs both during and after this pandemic.”
A new initiative to supply hard-pressed food banks is up and running in Sheffield where Rotary has teamed up with the Trussell Trust team at Sheffield S6 to combat hunger in the city.
With roughly a quadrupling of demand for foodbank supplies, Sam Evans at Sheffield S6 Foodbank Hub says that, more than ever, the whole community is pulling together to help. But, he fears, the issues of hunger and deprivation are not going to go away any time soon.
Sheffield S6, part of the Trussell Trust, now provides a distribution hub for seven foodbanks in the city. “We are currently distributing £10000 of food and essentials each week to some of the neediest in the community. Last week alone we delivered to 314 households, providing for almost 800 people. That’s around four times the volume for the same week last year. And that number is rising,” says Sam.
The combination of Covid lockdown and the economic fallout has seen more families than ever struggling to make ends meet. Nationally the Trussell Trust has reported unprecedented demand for its services.
But a new initiative by Rotary is helping to ensure that the limited funds of many of the region’s foodbanks go further still. Local club Abbeydale Rotary is part of the region-wide programme, Rotary4foodbanks, launched last month across the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.
With money donated by clubs, supporters and from the foodbanks themselves, Rotary4foodbanks uses its buying expertise to source food for foodbanks at prices they could not achieve and also elicits donations from food processing companies. The scheme is supported by regional transport and logistics companies who provide staff and transport free of charge. Goods are then sent from a central depot in Nottinghamshire to the Sheffield S6 hub and elsewhere. Local volunteers then distribute the supplies onwards to the individual foodbanks across Sheffield and Rotherham.
Says Graham Stevens of the Abbeydale Club: “It is a real team effort. Smaller foodbanks can order supplies through Rotary4foodbanks and see their limited funds work harder. In a real spirit of co-operation, Sheffield S6 warehouses the bulk supplies until they can be collected by or delivered to individual foodbanks. Just this week Rotary4foodbanks delivered 3300 units of product – around 350 cases of porridge, tea, coffee and other essentials, on pallets to the Sheffield S6 hub.”
While the Rotary4foodbanks scheme is currently operating only in the East Midlands and South Yorkshire, the plan is to roll it out more broadly. “Our members tell us there is a crying need for a similar service to support foodbanks elsewhere in the country. In the North East especially, Rotarians are looking to utilise the scheme to help meet that demand,” says the scheme’s co-ordinator, John Cavey.
Eventually, Rotary hopes that the government will also give financial backing to grow the scheme nationally. “Until then,” says John, “we are relying on the generosity of the public and businesses to see us through.”
Sam Evans says: “Not just in the Sheffield region, but across the country generally, it looks likely that the problem is only going to get worse. Supermarkets and Rotary have been brilliant in stepping up to the mark and we know they will continue to do so. Here at Sheffield S6, we are looking to work even more closely with other local charities, businesses and individual volunteers to ensure that no-one goes hungry in South Yorkshire.”
Anyone wanting to help in the Rotary4foodbanks programme – or foodbanks requiring support – can contact John Cavey at email@example.com or Tel: 07855 299443
Anyone needing food in Sheffield can contact S6 foodbank on Tel: 0114 321 0733.
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Two examples this week of Rotary business continuing despite the lockdown, two clubs Sherwood Forest and Epworth & the Isle of Axholme inducted new members.
At Epworth, new member Denise Janney was introduced by Rotarian and PE John Lambert.
At Sherwood Forest on the same evening, the new member inducted by President Malcolm Bevan was Lynda Coppin. The club then went on to conduct its Annual Club Assembly with over 85% of members in attendance.