Community services are committed to various projects locally.
Humanitarian and Environmental plans
Rotary has recently amalgamated what we used to call community, vocational, youth and international projects under one umbrella which encapsulates the challenges we face in the modern world. As a club we had already decided to go down that route in the reorganisation we implemented earlier this year. It always good to be at the forefront of change.
Our plans in supporting the community in the coming year are very much influenced by the current Covid 19 pandemic which has cut across the events that were well in hand. We had already identified two individuals with learning disabilities who were keen to go to The Calvert Trust and before their closure, local schools were identifying children who would benefit from the annual Kids Out day at Wicksteed Park. The cancellation of both was inevitable and we will look to complete these projects in 2021 if possible.
For many years we have provided blood pressure testing in partnership with the Stroke Awareness charity. Again this could not go ahead this year and they have decided to review how they can be more effective. As such we will await their thoughts before making any decision about our involvement.
We will also examine a dementia support project using a model developed in Rutland which uses the natural environment as a way of making a difference for sufferers and their relatives. We have Rushden Lakes on our doorstep which could provide the setting but we need to understand how to replicate the offering. This is another example of a great idea from a rotary club being spread around our district; and who knows it may develop nationally.
In helping the younger members locally we already know that the national rotary competitions will no proceed in the new rotary year. We will still run our own versions of the Young musician, Young Writer and Young Artist competition although there will not be the progression previously enjoyed by the winners.
We will again run the Schools Quiz aimed at the primary schools which is always eagerly anticipated and fiercely competed. Denfield Park will no doubt be looking forward to defending the trophy they won this year.
Our delivery of Usbourne dictionaries to all primary school children will continue. Each school identifies the year group they think will most benefit from these excellent reference guides and we will work with them to make sure they get one.
The international picture is really unclear at the moment. Whilst Covid 19 is being managed in Europe and America it’s impact in Africa and South America is yet to fully materialise. Outbreaks are currently escalating rapidly in Brazil and it is likely to spread further. We therefore think it makes sense to hold fire on making plans in this space until the need can be assessed. We have just contributed to a new Mercy Ship to be deployed and have other ideas such as ‘Literacy in a Box’ that we can develop if the virus diminishes as an issue. As in the past we already have the funds set aside to provide a shelter box should there be a natural disaster in the year ahead.
It is clear that challenging times will continue for some time and how we address them with the new club structure will evolve. The club commitment remains undiminished and as strong as ever.