Rotary Keeping Safe & Carrying On

Rotary's People of Action during the current Covid-19 pandemic

Faversham Rotarians at Work
Faversham Rotarians at Work

Let Us Know What's Going On In Your Club

We would like to hear from all Rotary South East clubs about what you are doing during this period of social distancing because of coronavirus. 

  • Please send us your stories and #PeopleOfAction photos for us to post and share with other clubs. 
  • What ideas do you have for keeping in touch with club members  to offer support and tackle possible loneliness?
  • How are you communicating with the public to maintain Rotary's public image?

Please send your stories, ideas and photos to the Rotary South East's Project Corona Team.

What's Going On Across Our District

Rotary Clubs in Rotary South East are actively involved in:

Rotarians on the Front Line

Nolene Harris, Stuart Talbot and Rod Leeming on the Covid front line at Bromley College

Rotarians from Langley Park (Nolene Harris, Andrew Mearon, Rod Leeming and Stuart Talbot), Beckenham (Chris Bird) and Orpington Satellite, (Brenda Parsons) have all been all trained to do Covid-19 Lateral Flow tests. 

They have been  at London South East Colleges - Bromley, testing the students this week. The testing will continue for 3 weeks until all students have been tested and they can continue their studies and ultimately their exams. 

A social media comment read, "Thank-you, we really appreciate the incredible support you have given our staff and students this week at our Bromley campus."

(Report and photo from Nolene Harris, Rotary Club of Langley Park)

Covid-19 Testing

Mark and Linda Garnett of the Rotary Club of Heathfield and Waldron Members of the Rotary Club of Heathfield and Waldron volunteered at Newhave Port before Christmas and helped with Covid-19 testing. This ensured more than 100 drivers were able to return home in time for Christmas. Pictured right is Mark and Linda Garnett wearing their personal protective equipment.

Covid-19 Vaccinations

On 18th and 19th December 2020, Beckenham Beacon Hospital started the rollout of Covid-19 vaccinations for the 80+ age group. The day before, a doctor asked for volunteers to help with the rollout of vaccinations and luckily Rotary Club of Langley Park member Nolene Harris was at the meeting and immediately responded.

Nolene Harris of Rotary Club of Langley Park at the Beckenham Vaccinations CentreOver two days, Rotarians took on marshalling duties guiding patients to the correct place and ensuring they were aware of the one-way system. The Rotary volunteers also assisted in bringing chairs to those that had to wait in the queue, and subsequently moved chairs along as the queue moved. 

The Rotary volunteers were also able to help those in wheelchairs, by moving them along till their turn came when the patients were passed on to the medical staff for vaccinations and exiting the hospital. 

Despite the cold and sometimes rain, most patients were very relieved to be receiving the inoculations.

Kings Hill and Malling Rotary Clubs at the Leybourne Vaccination Centre

Members of the Rotary Clubs of Kings Hill, Maidstone Dawn Patrol and Malling volunteered at the Leybourne Vaccination Centre during December 2020 to February 2021.  

The Rotary Club of Malling reports, "Since 16th December, when the centre opened its doors, we have organised and executed the rotas for 624 shift hours involving over 100 hours of admin.  We currently have 62 volunteers from Malling Rotary, neighbouring clubs and the wider community so we are able to cover every session."

Kings Hill report that they have been marshalling at the Leybourne Vaccination Clinic now for just over 6 months. In that time we have provided over 650 man hours doing this task and the clinic has now administered 50,000 jabs - and counting!!

Twenty Rotarians and 7 of their partners from Maidstone Riverside, Dawn Patrol and Weald of Kent clubs plus another 23 wonderful non-Rotarians, have worked shifts providing marshalling at Blackthorn surgery. Several have also helped out at Bower Mount and Leybourne. 

Sittingbourne Invicta club members have volunteered at the Sittingbourne Vaccination Centre.

Rotary Club of Folkestone Channel supporting local vaccination centresRotary Clubs are making a significant contribution to the army of volunteers helping at vaccination centres.  At some the provision of volunteer marshals is entirely organised by Rotarians, such as Robin Dodridge of the Rotary Club of South Foreland for Dover and Aylesham centres, and Joe Sullivan of Channel Rotary Club for the Folkestone centres.  The Saga Centre in Ramsgate is supported by volunteers from the Thanet Rotary clubs. 

There has been amazing support with 550 people giving their time for the 52 marshals needed each day at the vaccination centres run by the Rotary Club of Folkestone Channel in the Civic Centre and at Debenhams.

Rotary ChatSpot

Rotary ChatspotOnline Zoom meetings are beeing held for Rotarians from all over the district to meet online and discuss a range of topics.

The first Rotary ChatSpot was held on 24th June 2020 when Ruth Portway (Rochaester) and Janet Sergison (Tonbridge) gave short presentations on taking their clubs forward beyond the Covid-19 period.

The second topic will cover Rotary's 7th Area of Focus; Supporting the Environment. Chris Compton and Steve Hanks are making short presentations on this topic before Rotarians will have a chance to open up the discussion.

Rotary Radio UK

Brian Portway has recorded a series of two minute Rotary News Bulletins, which are going out at around twenty minutes to the hour every hour.

Steve Wood says, "Clubs may get ideas when they hear what other clubs are up to and their members might even like the music. There is very little about Covid-19 and we are delighted to learn the editors and writers of The Archers have adopted a similar policy!

Listen now to Rotary Radio UK  

Using District Grants

  • The Rotary Club of Gravesend has used a district grant to support poor families in Kenya. 
  • The Margate club are using their grant money for Oasis Domestic Abuse to provide a laptop for their remote working and to set up a live chat service.

Participating in a Global Grant

The Rotarry Club of Northfleet with Ebbsfleet Garden City, joined by Rotary District 1120, the Rotary Club of Visnagar ( and 7 other Rotary Clubs and a Rotaract Club all in District 3054 in Gujarat, India) received approval for a Global Grant within 10 days by The Rotary Foundation.

The Global Grant had a total budget of $69,000 for the provision of ventilators and related equipment for updating 7 hospitals providing COVID care ( target population 10.3 million ) . 

The club plans to maintain contact with the Project Team by ZOOM and email for medical advice and support. 

Holding An Online Auction

The Rotary Club of Uckfield has made donations to three local hospices. They are also looking at holding an online auction to rasie more funds to support the hospices.

Providing Covid Grants

The Rotary Club of Faversham set aside a sum of money to help local not-for-profit organisations which had been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The funds were boosted by two Zoom quizzes which raised over £1400. Grants totally £3250 were distributed in September 2020 and a further £1500 has now been awarded.

Providing Christmas Presents

The Rotary Club of Sittingbourne Invicta set out to provide 200 shoebox Christmas presents in 2020 for children supported by the Swale Foodbank, but went on to fill an impressive 333 boxes. They followed this up in 2021 with 340 Chritmas stockings for children supported by Swale Foodbank.

Face Masks

A member of the Rotary Club of Rye and Winchelsea is using his business to sell face masks to the public with a share of the profits on sales going back to the club.

Supporting Other Groups

  • Medway Sunlight Rotary Club members are working with St. Mary's Island Community Group and Salvation Army
  • Chestfield Rotary Club members are co-ordinating offers of volunteering help with the Parish Council
  • Orpington Crofton members are donating their "dinner money" to keep local charities afloat. A new transition project working has also been established together with the community to creat bags of interesting activities and goodies for 114 cancer patients in their homes being cared for by St. Christopher's Hospice
  • Chislehurst members have made a donation to a local hospital and have a Feeding the Nation project underway
  • Chislehurst Satellite are providing primary schools with support packages for children at home.
  • Hastings members are working with Hastings Volunteering Action to form a central hub
  • Tenterden members are volunteering with the Tenterden Hub and are delivering food and medicines to vulnerable residents
  • Hailsham club members are supporting Hailsham Crisis Support and have given them a donation.
  • Romney Marsh & Malling clubs have sent donations to Kent Bloodrunners
  • Faversham has given a cash sum to Kent MS Therapy Unit
  • Gillingham, Strood & Malling clubs have donated sums to local branches of the Salvation Army.
  • Langley Park have donated a sums to Bromley & Croydon Women's Aid, Cardiac Risk in the Young, White Chaple Mission & Demelza Children's HospiceRotary Clubs in Maidstone raising funds for local charities by manning a car park at Mote Park
  • Members of Rotary clubs in Maidstone are manning a charity car park in Mote Road over the 3 weekends in the run up to Christmas to raise funds for local charities
  • Gravesend & Meopham's Kathy Melling has undergone a drastic haircut to raise funds for the Ellenor Foundation
  • Dover club members are volunteering for "Together4Dover Covid 19 Support Group", which is providing support for people who are in isolation and have no family or neighbours to help them.
  • Tonbridge Rotary Club has donated £4,900 to local charities since the lockdown started with a focus on helping organisations affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, with donations ranging from £200 to £1,700
  • One Gravesend & Meopham member has had her head shaved as a fundraiser for the Ellenor Foundation.
  • Sandwich has supported Kent Bloodrunners, Kent MS Therapy Centre, Age Concern Sandwich and Martha Trust with sums totalling £2400
  • Thanet Sunrise have donated £500 th the Salvation Army for local Winter Shelter and food bank. They have also given 12 Christmas gift hampers to Oasis Womens Refuge.
  • Hythe is partnering with a local Coronavirus Hub alongside other charities in Hythe. So fat they have contibuted £2000 in addition to physical help. Hythe is also working with the Salvation Army to supply toys for local children
  • Ashford donated gifts to the Salvation Army Appeal, a local community centre and a school for children with special needs. The club also made financial donations to various groups that support vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the Ashford area.  The recipients include The Samaritans, The Salvation Army, Ashford Food Bank, Ashford Vineyard Church, Holding Little Hands, Women’s Refuge and Beaver Community Trust.  In total the Ashford club gave over £5,900 to these organisations which had experienced difficulties in raising funds themselves.

Sending Funds To PolioPlus

With coronavirus at the front of our minds at the moment it may be easy to forget Rotary's 30-year fight to end polio around the world. 

Did you know the same polio workers on the ground in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and a host of other countries are also now being used to support the work of combatting the spead of coronavirus. Using the vast infrastructure developed to identify the poliovirus and deliver vaccination campaigns, the polio eradication program is pitching in to protect the vulnerable from COVID-19, especially in polio-endemic countries. From Pakistan to Nigeria, the program is drawing on years of experience fighting outbreaks to support governments as they respond to the new virus.

So a big thank you to all clubs who are continuing to send funds to Polioplus this year.

Community Chests

The Rotary Clubs of Kings Hill and Sittingbourne Invicta are carrying on with what Rotarians do best; supporting our communities. Both clubs are currently opening up their Community Chests for applications for funds from local small clubs and groups.

Faversham Carrying On 

Delivering Easter eggs to Faversham Cottage Hospital     
 Delivering Easter eggs

Faversham Rotary Club has just agreed  to a donation of £500 to Serve Kent Bloodunnners.  In addition, one of our (younger) members will be supporting the West Faversham Community Support hub in the delivery of essential food supplies to the vulnerable.  

We are currently  looking at support to the local food-bank and are providing small Easter gifts to the Cottage Hospital, Alms House and Care homes.

Rotary Whilst Exercising

Getting some exercise on a cycle had a different dimension for one Sittingbourne Invicta cyclist today (26 Mar). Whilst cycling 12 miles, taking in two local villages, the cyclist stopped outside the homes of 9 fellow club members and called them up on his mobile to check they were all OK.

Other Rotarians are using long walks for exercise as an opportunity of passing the homes of other members and checking they're OK from a distance. Keeping in touch with Rotarians, friends and neighbours is particulary important at this time to combat loneliness.

Covid Symptom Tracker App

Covid19 Syptoms AppKings College London launched a new App on 24 March which tracks symptoms related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19), allowing anyone to self-report daily.

Rotarians are now downloading the Covid Symptom Tracker App and providing daily updates on their health. This will help researchers track both healthy and Covid-19 positive people. The information will help the researchers identify high risk areas, those people most at risk and how fast the virus is spreading in your area.

This research is led by Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of TwinsUK a scientific study of 15,000 identical and non-identical twins, which has been running for nearly three decades.

To  join in this study and links to the App please go to the Covid Symptom Tracker webpage.

Young Covid Heroes

The Rotary Club of Senlac has recognised a number of young people with a Young Covid Hero Award.

The award was open to all young carers under 18 in the Hastings and Rother districts who had done that much more during the Covid pandemic for their families and neighbours. 

The award arose when Senlac Rotarian, Eddie McCall, realised that all the clapping for front line workers was for adults not youngsters. Eddie knew there were many young people out there who devoted time to their families but were not being recognised for what they do and he wanted to change that. The club agreed and the award went ahead.

Setting-up the Romney Marsh Support Hub

The Rotary Club of Romney Marsh has been involved in the setting up of the Romney Marsh Support Hub.  The group includes a number of charities (C.A.R.M, Shepway Foodbanks, etc.) as well as local church leaders, Kent Police, FHDC, New Romney and Lydd council members, Rainbow Centre, doctors surgeries, community wardens, scout groups and others.

The aim of the Hub is to ensure that there is a consistent and factually correct message going out to the public and to avoid duplication of effort.  Club members are of course very happy to be involved.

The club has also issued Coronavirus Update No. 1 dated 20th March 2020; a newsletter to keep all club members updated.

Joining E-Club Meetings

Joining an club meeting     
 Why not visit an Eclub meeting?

It was supposed to be a scatter week for the Rotary Club of Canterbury i.e. attending another club's meeting. Sadly, this was not possible because of the coronavirus crisis, so one member decided to "visit" an e-club instead. 

Keeping Rotarians connected and carrying on.

Reaching Out To Other Clubs & Rotarians

The Rotary Club of Sittingbourne Invicta has known a Rotarian in India since 2005 when a joint project was undertaken. News and information about what is going on in the respective countries during the current covi19 pandemic is being shared. 

Other clubs like Dover are reaching out to their Contact Clubs. Rotary The World Over.

Litter Picking

Maidstone Dawn Patrol out litter picking     
 Maidstone Dawn Patrol - Litter Picking

Members of the Rotary Club of Maidstone Dawn Patrol have been taking regular exercise whilst maintaining social distancing during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Whilst out for a walk they have also been litter picking and carrying on caring for the local environment.

Using Social Media

Many clubs are continuing to reach out to other clubs, Rotarians and friends to maintain their networks. 

Social media needs to be updated regularly to maintain your club's public image. Make sure your community know what volunteering activities your club is doing during the Covid-19 period. 

Rotarians can reduce the possibility of loneliness by using their own social media platforms to reach out daily to their friends.

Neighbourhood Card

Some Rotarians are issuing the neighbourhood card to homes in their community.

Neighbourhood card

Rotary Keeping Safe & Carrying On pages:

Loneliness - Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash

Tackling Loneliness & Supporting People In Isolation

more Rotarians taking action to combat loneliness and provide support during the Covid-19 pandemic

Rotary South East Supporting Our NHS & Care Workers

Helping Our NHS & Care Workers

more Supporting our health care professionals during the Covid-19 pandemic

Rotary South East Feeding Those In Need

Feeding Those In Need

more Rotary clubs providing funds and support to feed those in need during the Covid-19 pandemic