President’s Half Year Review
(edited version of full message to Club Members)
As we pass the half way point in the rotary year I reflect on the last 6 months and look forward to a COVID19 problem free future.
It was not what I expected.
I became President with the expectation it would be a routine year, but it has turned out to be anything but routine with the need to push forward on the changes necessary to make the Club sustainable and responding to the restrictions arising from COVID19.
The priorities for the year.
In June 2020 I set out the priorities which reflected the circumstances in which we found ourselves then, but with some optimism that COVID19 problems would ease. These priorities were:
- Making best use of our now limited charitable giving capacity.
- Exploring new fundraising ideas.
- Implementing the changes in Club structure and operating practices necessary to make the Club sustainable.
- Supporting the establishment of the arrangements for our Centenary in 2021/22.
- Ensuring new members are made welcome and given an opportunity to contribute their skills and experience.
- Maintaining and developing member contacts and fellowship for all members.
The Impact of COVID19
The response to these priorities has been affected by the continuing impact of COVID19, but significant progress has been made and actions taken to try and keep the Club functioning for all members.
Keeping in touch.
Great efforts have been made to keep the Club members in touch and involved throughout this difficult period of Government lead restrictions to limit the adverse impact of COVID19. Regrettably none of the limited activity allowed can provide the fellowship that comes from face to face meetings which is such an important part of rotary. However, the use of zoom has enabled us to meet regularly and keep the Club functioning albeit with limitations. The production of The Bulletin and Hub has been a valuable means of keeping members informed of what is happening and maintaining some element of fellowship and member interaction.
Fund raising and giving.
Two of our three major fund raising activities have been lost for at least one year and possibly more which severely affects our capacity to offer help to those in need. The Tree of Remembrance is the only one proceeding rebadged “The Memories live on”.
However, despite the difficulties, members have worked hard at fund-raising initiatives to support our charity giving activities. This has produced very positive outcomes with a range of organisations and people benefitting from our efforts. Examples are:
*Help the Helpers: £2000 to the Good Shepherd Ministry, £2000 to the Haven and the provision of PPE Visors for volunteers and NHS workers.
*Recycle a coat for the homeless.
*James Beattie Charitable Trust: funding for the 5 local Clubs to use to support local organisations mitigating the impact of COVID19, £10,000 in July and a further £10,000 in November 2020.
*JBCT support for the Club’s new Small Grants Scheme with a £5000 grant matching the Club’s £5,000.
*Donations by Rotarians: £100 to the Kanyama Free Baptist Community School in Lusaka Zambia and £300 to Feeding Dreams Cambodia.
*Crocus planting at Bantock Park supporting Rotary International’s campaign to eliminate polio.
*Christmas Appeal for donations to be used to support local organisations helping the homeless and people in refuges.
*£250 to the Rotary Scheme to provide all children in a refuge at Christmas with a box of toys
*Children in need – Pudsey raffle
Providing Shoeboxes to vulnerable families.
The use of crowd funding to raise funds for the Samaritansusing a signed Wolves shirt.
Positioning the Club for a sustainable future
As we all know the Club is changing and modernizing. Much has been achieved. The formality has been reduced, the structure of the Club streamlined, procedures and operating practices made more efficient. This will become more obvious when we have the COVID19 restrictions lifted.
The second half.
COVID19 has prevented practically all our established activities and fellowship events from taking place. I hope that the second half of the year sees us released from the COVID19 restrictions and back to fund raising, helping the neediest and enjoying a variety of fellowship activities.