As soon as a Rotary club became aware they would have to disappoint more than 100 elderly people and cancel their Christmas carol service and afternoon tea due to coronavirus, members started putting their thinking caps on as to how they could respond in extremely difficult circumstances.
The Christmas event, organised by Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club for the last five years, had become a ‘definite must’ in their calendar of the year’s social highlights.
Principal organiser Rotarian John Yeomans came up the perfect solution: Project Christmas Hamper – a hamper for each of those who in normal times would have been attending the carol service and tea. The 105 hampers have been filled with a variety of ‘Christmas goodies’ financed through Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club’s charity fund and were then attractively parcelled in festive paper by a group of Rotarians led by John and who included the club’s newest member Maria Jones.
Twenty-nine of the Christmas hampers were presented to Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin at the Shrewsbury home of one of their day centre leaders Lindsey Kelly whose sister Susan Tonkin is also a leader. These are for distribution by 10 Age UK day centre leaders who will undertake the final stage of delivery to individuals.
Rachel Rich, Service Development officer at Age UK Shropshire Telford & Wrekin said: “It is a big thank you to the Rotary club for their kind donation. “I know the day centre members will be thrilled. 2020 has been a difficult year and this is a lovely gesture.”
Rotarian John Yeomans on behalf of Shrewsbury Severn Rotary Club whose members agreed to make the gesture said: “I am grateful to all those who have assisted in the project and particularly Maria who has been a star in her assistance in helping source the food items and in the wrapping of the boxes.”
When the boxes are opened, the recipients will find a Christmas pudding and custard, dates, a box of chocolates, savoury biscuits, fruit cocktail, soup and more.
Maria said: “I have been delighted to give a hand in what is my first major Rotary club project. It is lovely to give something back to the community.”