How together we can help.
It was nice, having sent my final email to volunteers, to receive so many lovely comments and thanks. Together we gave about 23,000 hours in the year and helped with perhaps 250,000 vaccinations. The messages confirmed the sense of friendship which has grown over the year.
We humans are resilient, we forget pain and move on but sadly life brings the next challenge. As we emerge from the pandemic and our focus changes from illness, death and self-preservation, we can see the fall-out and try to help. Channel Rotary has been able to help 20 different causes financially in a small way in recent months but we appreciate that there are serious new areas of need.
One only has to consider how life has been for a family in a small flat during lockdown. But when that confinement contains disharmony, financial problems or abuse, it is a horrific thought.
The virus has been a leveller. It has destroyed businesses, it has destroyed lives. Some who had been financially secure before the pandemic risk losing their homes just like their former employees who have lost their income.
So what can we do now?………………………………..
The next project for Channel Rotary as our work in the vaccination programme eases off, is with Porchlight, the homeless charity based in Canterbury. They have a working party for Folkestone which is identified as an area of need.
High housing costs and the numbers at risk of eviction following the crisis are just two of the causes of concern.
Together with porchlight we are planning a rather unusual fundraising event to which we are inviting business owners and community leaders. They will take part in a sponsored Sleep-out to experience in a small way the what it is like to sleep rough.
But sleeping rough is the end point in the despair. Porchlight and many other local charities which Channel Rotary support are skilled at intervening in the descent to homelessness. The Winter Shelter, which we support each year, successfully brings people off the streets to find a permanent place to live and means of supporting themselves. Sadly, as we have seen with the pandemic, there is always a new cohort of people who drift to fill their place on the streets.
The aim of Porchlight, Mind, the Rainbow Centre and many others is to break the cycle leading to rough sleeping and homelessness.
The sleep-out is a way to highlight the problems by bringing together business and community leaders in a networking and informative evening followed by a sleep-out to experience a little of the hardship but of equal importance, so that they can understand and spread that awareness to their suppliers, customers and colleagues and in doing so raise funds to fill the gaps where social care falls short. We aim to raise at least £25,000 on the night.
We are delighted with how the campaign has taken off in its first weeks. DS Smith have offered bespoke cardboard tents for the event; made from recycled material which they will recycle afterwards. We hope it may have a further art use in between.
And, we are very grateful for the offer from Streetz2Streetz the mobile caterer for the offer of some food those taking part. Our thanks also to Academy Radio for helping to raise awareness and Shane Record the highly regarded local artist.
I will take part in the evening. You can help by sponsoring me through my
Just Giving Page