Rotary Round Up
Our Rotary President usually takes on their role of leading the club in June each year, but in these altered times it was decided last June, when we all thought life would be different by Christmas, to roll this forward to January. So now after being our President for 18 months Alf McCarthy has handed over the role to our new President Gareth Lewis. The club wishes him well for his Presidency .
And so we review our year. All our social activities have been cancelled. Our formal events such as Charter Night, Presidents Night and Charity evening didn’t happen. Most of our fundraising has come to an abrupt end but prudently we did have some funds tucked away that we could put to good use.
So did we achieve anything worth mentioning? We helped Mencap sell some of their produce - which raised much needed money for them. More importantly we helped Mencap fund the replacement of their dying van without which they would not be able to function.
We also helped Besom replace their van. Besom in Basingstoke helps people make a difference. It provides a bridge between those who want to give time, money, things or skills and those who are in need. It ensures what is given is used effectively. The service it provides is free. For example someone may be refurbishing a room and have good quality furniture to donate to Besom who then give it to someone who has been homeless and is moving to an empty new home. Effective recycling!
We purchased equipment for Helping Hands for the Blind allowing them to continue running the community radio station from volunteers homes. An essential lifeline in normal times but this year many more people have learned about, and benefitted from, the work of this great local charity. We supported the Spotlight food bank both financially and with drivers in the longer term to help deliver food parcels. Rotarians also helped Inspero deliver their food parcels. We have again supported Age Concern with their social therapy groups.
We continue to support Lend with Care, a microfinance charity which enables people in the UK to make small loans to entrepreneurs from poor communities around the world. This charity changes lives by lifting people out of poverty by financing loans for them to start their own businesses Against all the odds we managed to set up a pop-up restaurant to provide Christmas lunch for the clients and volunteers of the Camrose Centre who do wonderful work caring for the homeless in the borough.
As Rotarians, the icing on the cake at the end of 2020 was that, at very short notice, we, along with the other Rotary Clubs in North Hampshire were asked to help the local GP practices with setting up the site and marshalling patients for the vaccination programme. It’s our hope for the future.
Rotary Foundation is one of the largest charities in the world. During the year we received three grants totalling £5,000 from Foundation towards our projects, including “A Healthier Hampshire in a Heartbeat”. We are raising funds to finance the provision of equipment for Basingstoke Hospital to treat a debilitating heart condition called Atrial Fibrillation, which whilst a little known condition, affects a large number of the population. The equipment will cost approx. £60,000 in total, towards which we have to date raised £18,000. Our Rotary target is £30,000 with the balance being funded by a matched grant.
You’ll find more information on our website: www.rcbd.org.uk. Still a chance to donate, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/a-healthier-hampshire-in-a-heartbeat.
So how did we do in 2020? Think we made the best of a difficult year! We were delighted to welcome Laura and David as two new members of our club this year. If you like the sound of what we do and would like to share in the fun tune in to www.rcbd.org.uk to see what we have coming up, or contact Helen or Paul (Helen Ricketts: firstname.lastname@example.org, Paul Temple: email@example.com) to find out more. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Facebook: @RotaryBasingstokeDeane, Twitter: @RBstokeDeane.