Kingston Rotary researched local needs (often inviting representatives to Zoom Club meetings to find out more), identified emergency needs and devised COVID-safe fundraising opportunities in order to support an impressive number of smaller local organisations during the year.
The Club showed great initiative in raising funds, for example, by holding competitions, selling handmade items at local street markets, growing and selling large quantities of plants and, within social distancing rules, visiting streets at Christmas with a COVID-safe Santa sleigh. More funds have been raised from generous donations by individual Club members and grants have been successfully applied for from wider Rotary funds.
The Club provided support in the community, especially smaller organisations, making donations and grants (ranging from £250 to £2,000 each), providing support in kind, eg by providing toys, socks for the homeless, Christmas cards and gifts, and offering volunteer assistance, eg by making items for sale, sewing scrubs and masks and volunteering at foodbanks. A calculation of volunteer hours spent on various projects is difficult to quantify but as one example, the sewing project between April and June 2020 produced 252 laundry bags taking 38 hours; 24 knitted hearts for the Royal Marsden Hospital 8 hours; 44 cloth face masks 15 hours and 6 sets of scrubs 30 hours. This is just the tip of the iceberg!
Some responses received from organisations
Wow, this is incredible. Thank you so much to all the members of the club…thank you again –it’s amazing (Homestart)
We are collecting over 1 ton of food feeding 1000 mouths a month. Thanks to you we can afford vehicle costs and keep this essential service going until this crisis is over. Your £800 donation (from Fireworks money) will make a real difference. We reach people off the radar. One volunteer found a 90 year old woman with no food in her fridge or freezer. She burst into tears in her doorstep when she saw the food. Now we can reach more like her (Save the World Club)
We are most grateful to you …for helping us to continue bringing hope and practical care in this time of widespread challenge and uncertainty.( Voices of Hope)
Many thanks for sending over the certificates for the students. As always it’s great working with you. Many thanks! ( Adult Achievers Awards: Kingston College tutor)
Thank you soooo much, that is the best news I have had since starting this ball rolling. Funding has been holding us up,.. I have about 30 ready to start sewing once we get the material that I hope to source tomorrow (Kingston Scrubbers)
Thank you so much for your support and the generous donation collected by the Kingston Rotary Club. (Kingston Foodbank)
Christmas is always tough for families in refuge, with this year set to be harder than usual. Most children arrive at refuge with only the clothes on their back, restricted to a single room with their mother and siblings. Mothers struggle to provide basic essentials, let alone toys for their children at Christmas. With 78% of families in refuge with no access to a TV, you can only imagine the difference these toys will make (Kids Out Charity).
The women in the Refuge are feeding back that they were so grateful for the gifts. One woman said ‘I honestly had the best Christmas eve,. Another, the kids were beyond happy and humbled by their gifts (Refuge Support Worker)
The bags [Santa Sacks for refugees] look so lovely , thank you so much to all the Rotarians who donated them we really appreciate your support and I know the clients will be so happy to receive them (Refugee Action Kingston)
more We take our sleigh around the streets of Kingston and we fundraise outside Sainsbury's in Richmond Road
more We aim to raise the profile of environmental issues with our members and within the local community
more Working with local adult education organisations we hold an annual award ceremony to honour adults who have achieved in further education despite overcoming personal difficulties.
more An annual event in which disabled and disadvantaged children are given a fun day out.
back We build relationships and support our local community with projects and events