The Wokingham Paper

IN THE COMMUNITY: Easthampstead Rotary making a difference in a different world

easthampstead rotary
Terry and Chris Edney – president and wives for the Easthampstead Rotary Club

One difference is the Rotary Year which runs July to June.

So the right time to reflect on the past 12 months for Easthampstead Rotary Club members and their families and friends, and to look forward to the future — and our plans through Covid-19 and beyond.

At the ‘virtual’ handover to the club’s new president Les Howard, his predecessor Terry Edney reflected.

“It has been such an unusual period. For years to come, I think children will ask their parents or grandparents: ‘How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect you?’

“Well, as with all recent social gatherings, we have had to cancel or postpone all our planned get-togethers and public fundraising events.

“Nevertheless, I am very proud that we still succeeded in raising over £30,000 for local and international charities.

“Around £7,000 of this money came from the generosity of Bracknell and Wokingham residents at our local supermarket collections pre-Covid-19.

“Thank you for your support, it has been tremendous.”

He added: “Last July saw the inaugural Bracknell Together Walk in the lovely grounds of South Hill Park. The walkers, who were sponsored, raised over £4,000 for the charities of their choice.

“And our Christmas Community Draw raised more than £12,000 for the 45 local voluntary groups and schools who sold the tickets.

“Then, since lockdown, we have supported the Bracknell and Wokingham foodbanks with donations totalling more than £2,000 to each, and gifts both financial and clothing to The Cowshed, a new charity helping those in need across Berkshire.”

He continued: “I would like to publicly thank our members who worked so hard to raise this money, to the residents of Wokingham and Bracknell for their generosity, and the charities that worked with us. A huge thank you to all of you.”

Easthampstead Rotary
Barbara and Les Howard president and wives for the Easthampstead Rotary Club

Incoming President, Les Howard, pinpointed some of his goals.

“Number one on my priority list is to help Easthampstead Rotary Club stay happy and vibrant despite Covid-19. Using Zoom, we can continue to ‘meet’, and plan our support for our chosen local and international charities … until we can socialise again face-to-face.

“In fact with Zoom, inviting guest speakers and members who live abroad to join us is a real plus.

“Future ‘visits’ from Australia and the US are already planned.”

He also pledged to build links with the large number of community volunteers who have come forward during the COVID-19 crisis.

He said: “I would love to see if we can harness some of that power to assist us with our community projects locally and internationally.

“Among our priorities are:

  • assisting with the Thames Valley Hospice garden project
  • continuing help for those in need in our communities in the Bracknell and Wokingham area
  • supporting the Global Vaccination initiative against Polio and in due course Covid-19
  • developing our young people through local schools and Rotary Youth programmes.”

New members always welcome. Post-Covid, we meet most Monday evenings at The Coppid Beech.

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