THE ROTARY Club of Horsham is celebrating a busy and rewarding year in which it launched a ‘rapidly expanding’ Young Rotary group.
The club was selected as one of 200 in the world to spearhead a modernisation programme aimed at attracting more members, particularly from the younger generations.
Young Rotary will initially be focusing on helping Horsham’s youth with various issues surrounding their employment.
Many activities have been organised by the club in conjunction with Horsham District Council aimed at raising funds whilst also supporting local businesses and helping mums entertain their children during holiday times.
These included Horsham’s third Great Pancake Race; various Hallowe’en activities; Christmas and Easter Charity Markets with Steam Bus Rides and other entertainment; an inter- Business Boules Competition; and two Shop Competitions including the ‘Great Bunny Hunt’ at Easter and ‘ Trick or Treat ‘ at the end of October.
An exciting addition this year was The ‘Pudsey and Pals’ show in the Carfax which, together with support from various schools and businesses raised £3,200 for the BBC’s Children in Need Charity and even got Horsham on the live Children in Need show and on BBC South News.
These events, plus the annual Christmas Collection which alone raised over £4,500 this year, enabled the club to donate nearly £30,000 in 2011, mainly to local charities and individuals.
Nearly £4,000 was used to help the people in Japan and East Africa recover from their devastating disasters.
The Rotary Club of Horsham would like to thank the many local people and businesses that gave support throughout the year.
‘Making a Difference to Horsham’ was launched in March aimed at helping individuals and organisations where a little help would make a big difference.
So far 72 requests for help have been received and nearly 60 of them have been fulfilled, with others still in progress.
Many are helping single parent families and other disadvantaged people meet such needs as providing school uniforms and other basic items such as fridges and beds.
Others are helping local organisations, such as the ‘You Can Do It!’ charity, finance courses for sports and art activities for families with children who have special needs, and helping finance the Costa Coffee evenings and Snack Wagon projects for Horsham’s youth.
At Christmas the club donated £50 vouchers to many of the most needy people in Horsham.
“Altogether we have donated about £20,000 to our community work this year, which is largely done in co-operation with many other magnificent organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Debt Advisory Service, Housing Associations, the Y Centre, Horsham Matters, Age UK, and the Salvation Army,” said John Le Rossignol.
“We would like to thank all of our partners for the assistance and advice they have given.”
“We have also played a leading role in the foundation and operation of the Set4Success Project to help Horsham district’s young talented sports people.
“We donated over £5,000 to the project which is a joint venture with Horsham District Council, local schools, sports groups, and DC Leisure, and backed by such local businesses as Spofforths, Ringway, Sony, Wakefields Jewellers, Treetop Design and Print, ATOM and Southern water..
“We now look forward to 2012 with a rapidly growing membership which means we can hopefully do even more to help and entertain Horsham, starting once again with the Great Pancake Race on Thursday February 16.