Monday, June 24, 2024

Local charities and organisations even cash boost by Rotary Club of Mar Dyke Valley

THE Ho-Ho-Hopes and aspirations of several local charities and community organisations were boosted when the Rotary Club of Mar Dyke Valley held its latest presentation evening.

At Langdon Hills Golf and Country Club Rotarians and their guests gathered as almost £7,000 raised during last Christmas’s Santa Sleigh runs was presented to recipients. In addition the sleigh runs generated a further £1,400 which will be distributed to other good causes.

The evening was a celebration of community as much as a handover of cash – a mood celebrated by Rotarian Graham Dockrill who is organiser for the sleigh run programme which ran for 14 nights across Thurrock, targeting Aveley, Purfleet, South Ockendon and culminating in memorable walks supported by villagers in Bulphan and Orsett. Rotarians also spent a day outside Costco at Lakeside when they were assisted by supporters of St Luke’s Hospice.

Rtn Graham told the audience of more than 60 people: “It’s great to generate cash but it’s also great to generate community spirit, something which is possibly as important as the money. We decided a few years ago to invite local groups to come and help us on the nights and it’s great to see many of those people who helped us collect here tonight. I am sure they, like us, enjoyed seeing the joy generated by the Santa Sleigh and the wonder and excitement in the eyes of the many children – and older folk – who came out to see him.”

Among those who received awards of cash were Thurrock Pumas Youth FC, many of the club’s youngsters having helped on the collection. Rtn Tony Adam presented Pumas’ Tony Clissold with a cheque for £530.

Also receiving £530 was Thurrock Community Leisure which promotes community sports participation leisure and recreation at Blackshots Leisure Centre. Rtn Lionel Haywood presented the cheque to Jon Sleeman.

As usual at Mar Dyke Rotary events the work of local scouts groups was again recognised and Rtn Paul Havis presented Bill Osborne of Grays First Scouts with £530 and a similar amount was presented to by Rtn Brian Jerman to South Ockendon Scouts’ Nigel Adcock.

Members of the Move It Dance School, which provides children with opportunities to experience tap, ballet, modern, musical theatre, singing and drama will once again benefit from the sleigh run, with Rtn Russell Keegan handing over another cheque for £530.

Another organisation regularly supported by the club is the fundraising group organised by organised by Stanford-le-Hope mum Charlotte Yoxall which has provided, and maintains, a number of lifesaving defibrillators across Thurrock.

Charlotte was inspired to start the group by the courage of her daughter Katie, who suffers from a heart condition and over recent years both have been honoured with charity awards for their work, Katie most recently being recognised in the ‘Pride of Essex’ awards.

Charlotte, who received £530 from club President Steve Walker, told the meeting that the group’s work was no focussed on supporting installed machines as well as providing new ones. “This money will be used to replace things like battery packs and CPR pads at the installations,” she said, adding: “I would like to thank you for your continued support in making Thurrock a very heartsafe community.”

Neil Speight of St Luke’s Hospice, another regular recipient of the club’s fundraising, paid tribute to its members, describing them as a “community family who help make Thurrock the great place it is” after receiving a cheque for £1,052.

This year the club also supported a local campaign to provide a specialised wheelchair for local resident Sarah Fisher, who was moved to tears when she was presented with £2,090 for the electrically assisted chair which she described as “life-changing.”

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