In addition to its ongoing preparations for the annual Rotary Regatta on The Mere on the first Sunday in July, Ellesmere Rotary has been busy with a variety of charitable and social activities in the early weeks of 2023. Firstly, members reacted quickly to the earthquake disaster in Turkey and Syria by sending a donation of £600 from their own funds to ShelterBox.

Rotary has an excellent relationship with ShelterBox, which maintains a store of ‘boxes’ that contain the essentials for life in such emergencies. Donations are used to replenish stocks that are sent out, and sad to say these events are all too frequent. The current cost of a ‘box’ is approximately £600. On the weekend of 10th to 12th February members held an Earthquake Appeal collection in the Town, with the intention of raising more funds to send to ShelterBox.

The sum raised was £2205, and Ellesmere Rotary has already sent this money straight to ShelterBox. President Derek Clifford said, “The generosity of the people of Ellesmere has again been shown by their wonderful response to this awful tragedy. Ellesmere Rotary is very grateful to them and to Phil Martin and his staff at Tescos, plus Rosie Perez and Irfan Mukadam of the Newsagents in the High Street, for allowing their premises to be used, and for assisting with the collection.

The following Wednesday there was a Presentation Evening for the distribution of the proceeds from the Tree of Light, which raised £1400 this year. Half was donated to The Ellesmere Food and Warm Clothes Sharing Project and half to Ellesmere Scouts to assist with the completion of the Scout Hut. Those receiving donations included Mayor Anne Wignall and Penny Harrison of the Food and Clothes project and Bob McBride for Ellesmere Scouts. Anne and Penny gave members an update on the Project’s progress since it went ‘live’ in early December 2022. Donations of warm clothes had been plentiful, enabling a Rummage Sale to take place at the Comrades Club on Saturday February 11th, which raised £430.

This money will add to the Rotary donation in helping to finance supplementary items to augment the end of day supplies donated by local food retailers. Approximately forty local volunteers help with the project. Bob McBride enlightened members about the journey that Ellesmere Scouts have been on to build a new hut since the old one had to be demolished long ago. This has involved the acquisition of a site, clearing it, gaining planning permission, and progress through a number of building phases as money from self-fund raising and labour from volunteers became available. The end is now in sight and the Rotary donation will assist in bringing this about soon. Peter Broadbent, Community Committee Chair, thanked the local business community and the very many volunteers who helped make this year’s Tree of Light appeal such a success during these times of economic stress.

President Derek expressed his regret that the 2022 Ellesmere Rotary Community Champion, Ismay Evans was unable to attend the evening, but told members that he would be handing her the award in the near future. Ismay is a member of Ellesmere Chamber of Commerce and she is always prominent in helping to ensure that charity events in the Town are successful.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the activities of Ellesmere Rotary, or who might like to join, should contact the Secretary on 07763 945161.

Penny Harrison Derek Shield Anne Wignall.

New Scout Hut Ellesmere.

Rosie Perez and Derek Clifford.