Rotary Foundation grants supporting our local communities during the Covid-19 pandemic

Clubs and the Rotary Foundation have responded to use grants to support their local communities


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Rotary clubs across our district in the Thames Valley have been awarded over £20,000 of grants from the Rotary Foundation for local projects related to the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Grants have supported purchases for food banks, purchase of fabric for volunteers to make scrubs and hats for local hospitals and care homes, as well as ipads for care home residents and a 3D printer for a college to help the staff and students make face visors.

Each year our Rotary District’s grants team reviews applications from clubs for matched funding for local and international projects. Decisions are normally made in July at the start of each Rotary year. As the pandemic spread across the world, the Rotary Foundation grants officers at Rotary International’s head office in Evanston, Chicago, announced that we could use our grants funds earlier than normal to allow clubs to respond quickly to the pandemic. 

Clubs across our district did indeed respond quickly. Our call was announced on 5th April with deadlines on 17th April and 1st May and applications were reviewed by the grants team just a few days after each deadline. 

Rotarians, families and friends in Abingdon, Uxbridge and Reading have been busy making scrubs for their local health care workers. Read more on the Reading Abbey Rotary website and the Abingdon Vesper Rotary website

Many Rotarians are older and so considered at risk and are currently isolating. However so many of our clubs have supported food banks over the last few years it was easy to contact them again to offer financial assistance. Langley & Iver members have in the past volunteered with Slough Foodbank; Reading Maiden Erlegh Rotarians are supporting the Woodley Food Bank, Witney Rotary is supporting the Witney Besom foodbank and Faringdon Rotary is supporting groups in Faringdon and Shrivenham.

The ONeCan Trust operates in places such as Marlow, High Wycombe and Beaconsfield and has been supported by many Rotary clubs in the area. Many of the local foodbanks have amended their operation to safeguard volunteers and beneficiaries, with many delivering direct to homes. At the same time the demand for food bank services is also increasing.

In Maidenhead, Rotarians have taken a hands on approach, with a newly formed Community Response Team. They have invited local residents to register directly with Rotary to request help with shopping, collecting prescriptions, walking dogs and more. The Rotary clubs are also providing food packs to families that would normally have free school meals. Read more about the project on the Maidenhead Bridge Rotary website. 

In total 17 clubs have been awarded Rotary Foundation grants for their projects and supprot initiatives. Other clubs across our Rotary district have also offered huge support to their local communities. The stories above are just some of those supported by grants from the Rotary Foundation. Other clubs have taken action without using these grants. 

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Note for District 1090 Rotarians: the next deadline for district grant applications is 15th June 2020. Visit the grants page on the district website to download the application form.

updated 13th May 2020