Charity starts…

Acr20649336244160-451822Bagatelle at the Disability Games

While the Rotary Club of Leytonstone and Woodford supports global causes, it is particularly focused on the local community and other deserving causes closer to home, says John Bracken

Like most, we are immensely proud of the wave of volunteers coming together in the battle against Covid-19, many of whom may not have done this type of work before. Should you have these qualities, you may be the type of person who may wish to join us, and you would be most welcome.

Coronavirus forced us to cancel three major fundraising events in March and May, including a giant quiz at Trinity School and a golf day at Chigwell. We have successfully managed to replace the anticipated shortfall, enabling us to continue our commitments in the community. We have donated to foodbanks and provided a defibrillator to a Leytonstone church, and we are looking to supply a computer to a homeless unit.

When it is safe to do so, we intend to kick-start our monthly Memory Cafe, our weekly transport for the blind and regular community fellowship work. Our work is supported by our fundraising along with public donations and there are plans to support local young people in several areas.

Our last Rotary year included a Christmas party, lots of toys for many who would never have received a gift and food parcels for those most in need. We financed a bike for a RaceRunning project in its early stages, which allowed less-abled people to enjoy the freedom movement can bring. We helped in the inaugural Disability Games organised by the club’s District last year but sadly postponed in the current climate. Like all events which have had to be postponed, we look forward to rearranging them soon.

We are proud to encourage schoolchildren to build public speaking skills and support those with musical talent. We sponsored a young man at the biannual Rotary Youth Makes Music performance at London’s Royal Festival Hall and have plans to reschedule our own local youth musical festival at West Hatch High School when life returns to normal.

We have always enjoyed the variety of Rotary and there is much of it. Supplying financial help in supporting international disaster appeals and work in impoverished areas is all part of our lives. We also welcome overseas students to London and encourage them to visit us and share their experiences. We host at least one international student annually and shortly will be overseeing a young lady from South Korea, circumstances permitting.

There is also a strong social side to the club, with regular outings and dinner with our partners. The club meets weekly on a Thursday evening and is currently doing so courtesy of Zoom. We look forward to the day when we can all meet again in the comfort of the Chigwell Convent where regular guest speakers add to our enjoyment.

For more information on the Rotary Club of Leytonstone and Woodford, visit swvg.co.uk/rotary or call 020 3597 2921