Many of our members were at first puzzled when a JigFest was proposed to raise money for charity. No we were not expecting kilts to be worn for a morning of Highland Dancing but instead we were going to offer bargain JigSaws at prices from as little as £2.
So during the past few months Brue Valley Rotary Club members have been collecting new, used and nearly new Jigsaws in order to resell them at bargain prices. No one was really sure how many people would want to come along to Kings School Bruton today to buy any of the 300+ puzzles we had on offer.
But we were delighted when people started to turn up in search of Christmas presents, gifts to keep elderly relatives occupied or simply challenging puzzles to exercise the brain. In total £560 was raised which will go a long way to help the many charities Brue Valley Rotary Club regularly support.
On Friday 15 October, 13 jolly members of Brue Valley Rotary travelled to Plymouth to host a Race Night for Rotary District 1200 Conference 2021. Most of us travelled in the Wincanton Community Bus, very ably driven by Rotarian – and qualified bus driver – Andrew Moore, despite the various hold-ups and detours it was a safe journey.
The Race Night was attended by some 140 delegates from District 1200 and, by the volume of noise they made, they seemed to have had a good time. Much betting was done, and although not everyone was a winner, two good causes benefitted from their generosity. Childrens’ Hospice SW and Parkinsons UK.
There was an estimated £950 raised on the Tote and £350 on the Raffle, Rotarian Adrian Foster from Chippenham, who was the lucky bidder for ownership of the winning horse in the last race, won £156 as his prize – he very generously donated £100 to the pot. So, although not finally confirmed, it looks like Brue Valley Rotary helped District 1200 to raise approx £1400 for two very worthwhile causes.
Very many thanks to all delegates, the Brue Valley Race Team and especially Andrew Moore for getting us there and back safely.
A strong team from Brue Valley Rotary assembled, at the appointed time and place, for bucket collection duties at the first Castle Cary Carnival since 2019 – it was good to be back! Two of our number had been on Rotary duty at Plymouth the previous evening until the small hours; earlier in the day others had been involved in a community coffee morning so Rotary Exhaustion (RE) might have been expected. Your correspondent is delighted to report that RE wasn’t in evidence and morale was extremely high. It wasn’t long before the firework spluttered into the sky signalling the start of the 2021 Carnival. The Brue Valley Rotary Team were swiftly in action shaking the buckets and persuading the not inconsiderable numbers to dig deep. The Carnival’s return, albeit it a walking format, was welcomed by everyone. We enjoyed it too!
The recent lock down due to the pandemic has shown a digital divide for many members of the community. Children and young people in homes without enough IT equipment are excluded from home education and catch up.
Laptops4Learners has been launched by SSDC Councillor Sarah Dyke to help people access IT across Somerset. Brue Valley Rotary Club, in conjunction with Castle Cary Town Council, is working with Castle Cary Primary School to provide Chromebooks for the pupils. It also aims to provide equipment for the members of the community who are digitally excluded and already several renovated laptops have been given to those in need.
Working with Simon Barfoot of http://www.donateit.co.uk we are collecting old and unused equipment from which Simon wipes all data, upcycles and renovates ready to be sold or returned to the community.
The word has spread and the initiative was mentioned on Carymoor Facebook page. This was seen by Rosy James, the Environmental Manager of Hinkley Point C power station who donated tablets which were sold.
The funds raised enabled the purchase of 16 Chromebooks for the Primary School. A further 4 Chromebooks were added as a result of collections of equipment from the community.
Liz Stokes, President of Brue Valley Rotary, Judi Morison, Chair of CCTC and Simon Barfoot presented 20 Chromebooks to the Primary School on 23rd September. The Headteacher, Sarah Martin and the pupils were delighted to receive so many.
Our thanks to Nigel Phillips for providing a drop off point at Phillips Tyres in Castle Cary for your old or unused IT equipment.
It would be fair comment to say that Brue Valley Rotary Club are almost, (but not quite), back to normal. Last night’s meeting was certainly evidence of a normal Rotary meeting when Ali Hart from PROMISE works spoke to us. Ali’s thoughtful presentation showed how PROMISE works deliver inspirational mentoring for Somerset’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people. The aim of “building a life that works” struck a chord. The recruitment, training and support of volunteers plus the delivery of mentoring services doesn’t come cheap. Our Club’s £1000 donation will go some way to helping PROMISE works to continue its important work.