Banstead Rotary Club has raised over £3883 and has given this away in cash or kind to care providers and charities during lockdown.
A Club spokesman said the focus is now looking to support those dealing with the longer term consequences of the pandemic – like the danger to mental health.
The Club recently responded to a request for help from Surrey based charity Transform Housing which provides support and counselling for those people who are homeless and socially excluded, and who are, very often, with mental health issues.
When the lockdown was imposed another local charity ,Dyscover, approached us. This is a charity providing long-term support and opportunities to people with aphasia and their families. Daily sessions are led by professional speech and language therapists and are designed to help people to adjust to living with aphasia. Dyscover reacted immediately and implemented a range of remote services which enabled it to continue delivering counselling and therapy to clients, and their carers, who have survived a stroke.
Another charity Maggie’s At The Marsden provides support to those suffering cancer. Cancer’s hard enough, but having to deal with it during coronavirus can be overwhelming. Maggie’s are still here giving support over the phone, online and in the centre too!
Over March and April 2020, KidsOut launched its “KidsIn” initiative in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. With the generous backing of Rotary South District 1145, the charity provided £50 worth of food vouchers to 3,200 families self-isolating in women’s refuges and over £100 worth of brand-new toys to 5,362 children in refuge. The majority of these families and children will have suffered from domestic violence before entering a refuge.
The President’s charity Children With Cancer Fund is a small local charity based in Polegate which supports children who have, or have had, cancer and their families by granting wishes and organising events to bring families together across East Sussex, Brighton and Hove.
Lastly, Banstead Rotary has provided a donation to End Polio Now whose pioneering work to eradicate Polio will be utilised to combat Covid19. End Polio Now has received £1700, because this work, also vital to global health, must continue to complete eradication.
John Draper, President of Banstead Rotary, said: “Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on people experiencing mental health, or living with life limiting illnesses.”
“The implications of becoming ill, the multitude of issues associated with living in isolation, the additional financial difficulties, and problems of drink and drug abuse and domestic violence, have hugely increased the psychological distress and mental health problems of many.
“We have already had positive feedback from charities who have continued with their work and sessions over video-link or telephone, and our ambition is to build our capacity to offer further support,
but, this needs funds and, unfortunately, these are fast reducing. The income we generate through community fundraising and events has been lost under the current situation, forcing us to use our reserves.”
Past President, Jane Illingworth, added: “We’re delighted to be able to help charity organisations doing such wonderful work in these difficult circumstances.”
The Club would like to do more to help other organisations looking after our health and well-being but, it is currently unable to raise funds as it usually does. Offers of help to www.bansteadrotary.com