During this period of lockdown we have been scratching our heads on ways to fundraise without putting people at risk and have decided to run virtual events starting with our Virtual Dog Show, as shown on the flyer. The event is open to everyone and is a way of showing off your dog and help to raise money for the Childrens Hospice South West, Cystic Fibrosis Trust and other charitable causes that our Rotary Club support. All entries must be submitted by Saturday 15th August. do visit www.virtualrotary.org and upload your photographs of your dog in as many of the classes as you wish.
The Rotary Club of Mendip has again sponsored Rotarian Anwar Hussain to produce a fourth batch of curries for key workers in the Cheddar Valley. Anwar who used to own a restaurant in Cheddar cooked 73 meals in his own kitchen with the help of his family. On this occasion the offer was extended to all key workers who could request the free curry. Club members helped distribute the food from a social distance.
Weston’s new President, Norma Johnston was installed at todays meeting using Zoom. Norma is the Clubs third Lady President and the 99th in the Club’s history.
During the pandemic lockdown Frome College has remained open for vulnerable children and those of keyworkers but the College has had problems providing lunch for these children. A local business – Ebbie’s Kitchen – that normally does film location catering offered to provide hot lunches two days a week for upto 30 children at cost price but they needed assistance with the delivery of the meals.
Frome Selwood Rotary and the other two clubs in Frome were approached to see if they could help with the finances and logistics. A rota of Rotarians was arranged to collect the meals from Ebbie’s and deliver them to Frome College and John Wainwright & Co, Quarry operators, have very generously donated the funds to cover the costs of the meals.
The first meals were delivered on Monday 8th June and will continue twice weekly for 7 weeks.
SCC has no operational issues at present and staff absence remains low.
High streets are anticipated to be able to start to re-open by the 15th June.
There have been some logistical hiccups with re-opening but these are not felt to be significant. Attendance figures should be available next week.
More children are due to return to school in the next two weeks.
Home to school transport is being assessed for any safety implications.
Alison Bell gave an update at this briefing but did not provide specific figures; there has been some time delay in the reporting of incidents.
There will continue to be some fluctuation with the number of cases reported, especially as more people are being tested.
Those with positive results are being followed up to ensure isolation.
Those being shielded, and the elderly, remain vulnerable especially as the general population are now moving about more freely.
It is important that people continue to socially distance and hand wash regularly.
Numbers admitted and deaths from Covid-19 have increased slightly this week, but this has been expected and is not unduly worrying.
The number of Covid-19 fatalities in care homes remains stable. Currently there are two outbreaks, one of which is in Chard, but this is considered manageable.
The ‘R’ value (reproduction number from one infectious case) has increased to 1 this week in the SW. This is largely explained by the fact that there have had very low infection rates compared with other parts of the country, so the impact of any increase in new cases will show as disproportionately high.
Those involved are on alert to respond rapidly where necessary. If the ‘R’ number rises above 1, plans are in place for local authorities to take action in conjunction with Public Health – one of the key factors to be considered is the reason and pattern of any outbreak.
Businesses have expressed concern over the likely impact of their ability to re-open but enabling the wider economy to re-open is a priority.
Track and Trace – SCC are using the regional team to carry this out, and updates are provided twice daily. Protocols are in place to determine what action is appropriate according to the setting e.g. schools.
There is concern over the possibility of scams being used and the public are urged to be vigilant – any calls received will always be from an 0300 number.
Some work, in partnership with the Police and district councils, has been carried out. In Somerset, the first tranche of £120k allocated to SCC is for both capital and revenue expenditure with a very short timescale for bids to be submitted, by today.
Money allocated directly to South Somerset is £150k.
Funding success will be announced at the end of the month and schemes need to be in place within 8 weeks.
Initially the focus will be on quick wins, instant temporary intervention measures (e.g. plastic barriers) where there is a high level of footfall, enabling high streets to re-open whilst adhering to social distancing; which is expected to cost SCC £211k.
As the cost of implementing such measures will exceed any funding provided, giving a significant shortfall, a priority list will need to be drawn up.
A further £480k is expected to be allocated to Somerset by central government in the second round of funding, and plans are already in place to put forward suggested schemes within a short time frame.
One area of concern is those vulnerable people who only have access to public transport. At present public transport use in Somerset remains low, as expected.
Rotary Club of Wellington Somerset 2019/20
The year started well with a number of new initiatives plus a change of leadership at Courtfields School provided the opportunity to develop a mutually beneficial relationship.
Club members took the lead in a wide variety of activities which created opportunities for local young people and also helped spread a positive image of Rotary amongst their peers, teachers and parents.
Jan/Feb 2020 saw both local heats and district stages take place in some of these categories:
• Youth Speaks: one local school got through to the 3rd stage
• Young Photographer: 23 entries in 3 sections, electronic submission in March
• Young Musician: local heat in Feb and district final in March
• Youth Exchange: decision taken to recommend Camps+Tours Prog
• Youth Leadership: our sponsored candidate successfully completed RYLA
• Young Technologist: 2 teams from local school but March event was cancelled
• Youth Gardening: bad weather hindered work on allotment, then ‘school closed’
• Youth Club: shut due to COVID 19
District Grant Application 2019/20
The Youth Service and Foundation leads worked together with District successfully ‘raising’ £950 to support Courtfields School Key Stage 3 Literacy Programme via teaching and learning materials from Exeter Uni. A teacher and pupil gave a presentation to the club to explain how the young people would benefit.
Following communication from ‘Rotary HQ’ (20/5/20)…..The decision has been taken to withdraw National Competition Finals in Rotary Year 2020/21 for Young Musician, Chef, Youth Speaks due to the unpredictability of multi-person gatherings being permitted during and post COVID-19.
Rotary has confirmed that face to face meetings and events will not resume until Jan 2021 and then only if compatible with Govt guidelines.
There are 6 areas which do not need a physical event for young people to compete at……Young Environmentalist, Artist, Writer, Filmmaker, Photographer, Citizen.
I propose to concentrate on the last 2…Young Photographer and Young Citizen Award for 2020/21 and wait to see what the situation is regarding the national picture and ‘club realities’ (financial resources and available help) before committing to further activities in 2021/22.
Youth Chair 27 May 2020
Mendip Rotary Club has been active supporting the local community during the Corona virus lockdown and remains ready to support needy communities worldwide.
When Rotarians from Kerala, (southern India) contacted the Mendip club in January seeking help, Mendip responded quickly and positively. The Indian club, in partnership with other local clubs, had identified a chronic shortage of dialysis machines and beds to treat the many suffering from renal failure, an all too common medical issue in India. Government dialysis facilities are heavily oversubscribed and those in private hospitals unaffordable by the poor in Indian society. Taking action, Rotary clubs in India subscribed $64,000 USD towards the cost 15 dialysis machines with associated equipment and training. The total project cost required however was $130000USD. Mendip agreed to be the “International partner” for the project and added $1250 to the funds. Significantly however, Mendip Rotary’s support, enabled an application to Rotary’s own charity, the “Foundation”, seeking the balance. Mendip has received notification that the application had been successful in full and the whole project is now proceeding.
The project will enable 2,500 of the poorest in Indian society to access free dialysis treatment as needed. Renal failure is prevalent in India, often affecting the adult breadwinners in a family. Having access to free dialysis not only saves lives but enables and supports the whole family; children may afford education and families can be supported by a working parent who would otherwise find employment difficult.
Rotary in this area has a history of engagement with Rotarians from Kerala. Reciprocal visits have taken place and support has been given to India for eye care, flood relief, clean water and now dialysis.
Indian Rotarians have reciprocated by financially supporting the provision of cancer care facilities at the Dorchester hospital and have joined with Mendip Rotary to finance a comprehensive medical, educational, and economic development project in Uganda. That project, now in its second successful year, is bringing education, clean water, and medical care to a village in rural Uganda.
Rotarians unite to act regardless of borders, geography or politics. Doing good in the world is the Rotary way.
The Rotary Club of Mendip have donated £250 to the Somerset Integrated Domestic Abuse Refuge. Thanks to a matching District Grant from District 1200 the total donation given is £500. The Refuge provides somewhere safe for the abused to stay and also provides basic household items and food when they leave to set up families who have fled a very difficult situation. This covers their needs while waiting for state benefit.
Yeo Vale Rotary Club support the Yeovil Free Wheelers (YFW) Blood Bikes who provide a FREE bike service to the NHS across South Somerset and all of Dorset. The service is run by volunteers who normally do all their own fundraising to cover costs. They have been running hundreds of samples to London and now Bristol for Covid-19 testing and expect this volume to increase.
While their workload has multiplied drastically because of Covid-19, at the same time all public fundraising has had to stop. This means that YFW Blood bikes are predicting a shortfall in their funds of some £17,500 this year.
Yeo Vale RC have supported YFW for many years and have just made an initial donation of £500 with a further £250 from our trust fund to help in the last 4 weeks.
Any further funds to help will be gratefully received to pay for this continued service. It will help pay for the maintenance and running costs of the bikes.
Yeovil Free Wheelers – Volunteering to save lives
Rotarian Anwar Hussain cooked a third batch of his free Curries for local NHS Staff & Carers in the Cheddar Valley, on this occasion, the Rotary Club of Mendip were very pleased to both sponsor & help distribute the curries. The meals were prepared by Anwar and brought to the distribution location, where they were given out at a safe distance. Rotarians were on hand to ensure correct social distancing, with the recipients being directed to a holding area while their food was placed on a table. They then collected it after the Rotarian had moved back. Rotary in Action.