Sidcup Rotary Club

District 1120   RI Club No 19449

Founded 1935

The role of the Community Service Committee within the Rotary Club of Sidcup is to be the link whereby the Club can engage with local residents. This is achieved by running or taking part in events which involve or provide a service to the local community.

 Gardening boots were donned by club members to clear and replant a section of the Community Garden at Sidcup Place and a Sensory Garden was created for Marlborough School.

The Battle of Britain Concert held in October was promoted by the Club and the Community Service committee assisted in the running of this event. It is a regular feature of our calendar. The proceeds went to London’s Air Ambulance, Disaster Aid UK (a National Rotary Charity which supports disaster sufferers world-wide) and other Rotary Charities.

 Click here to read more about the concert.

Later in the month the Club sponsored tickets of a charity performance by John Lawson’s Circus at Ruxley Manor Garden Centre. This enabled the clients of various local centres dealing with disability and disadvantage to have an enjoyable afternoon out. Subsequently, in February this year, the Circus visited Ruxley Manor and again the disadvantaged in the borough were able to attend a further charity performance.

The Club also assists other charities and a good example of this is the Poppy Day collection for the Royal British Legion. The Community Service committee made the arrangements on behalf of the Club and together with our colleges from the Inner Wheel Club of Sidcup, nearly £5,000 was raised from collections held at the Morrisons and Tesco supermarkets.

At the beginning of December the annual Christmas collection got under way. This has been a feature of the Christmas season in Sidcup for many years with Father Christmas and his sleigh visiting many of the streets in the area. He was also present in the High Street assisting the Sidcup Town Team event and the money raised on those occasions and at numerous static collection points over the month amounted to nearly £13,000.

This money, donated by you the public, will be used to support local, national and international charities and the members of the Rotary Club of Sidcup are grateful to you for your continuing generosity. The Club is also indebted to our growing number of supporters and friends who give of their time to ensure the success of the event.

The year concluded with the Christmas Day lunch held at the Carlton Road Day Centre. The Rotary Club of Sidcup is a major sponsor of this event and it enables senior citizens, who would otherwise spend Christmas Day alone, to enjoy a Christmas Dinner and entertainment in the company of others. The 42 guests were joined by the Mayor of Bexley for what proved to be a very enjoyable time. Members of the Rotary Club of Sidcup assisted with the transport of the guests to and from the Carlton Centre and the Club applauds the efforts of the many other volunteers who give of their time on Christmas Day to make this lunch such a resounding success.

The Annual Community Day Lunch was held on 14th March 2018 to honour the contribution made by the voluntary sector to the local community. Attending the lunch was the Mayor of Bexley, Cllr Peter Reader  and the Mayoress Irene Reader and members of charities and organisations who operate in the Borough of Bexley.

The representatives of the various organisations were thanked for their work by the President, Peter Wilkes and the Mayor.

The Community Award this year went to the Charity Shop in Hatherley Road, Sidcup and was received on behalf of the team by the chief executive of the Canterbury Oast Trust. The photograph shows some of the volunteers at the Sidcup Charity Shop in Hatherley Road with Joanne Creighton, Chief Executive of the Canterbury Oast Trust, receiving the Community Service Award from The Mayor of Bexley, Cll. Peter Reader and Peter Wilkes, president of the Rotary Club of Sidcup.

In the mid 1980’s a group of people who lived in and around Sidcup and Bexley were working to raise funds to help set-up a new charity to support people with learning disabilities. Services for people with a learning disability were particularly lacking at the time and so this new charity aimed at providing them with a home, better access to training and learning, and real work opportunities. The fundraisers were people with a child or grandchild with a disability, their friends and families, they organised bring & buy sales, cake stalls, bric-a-brac, jumble sales, held sponsored events and had large pitches at the Blackheath and Danson Park fairs. In 1991 they had the idea of opening a charity shop as a way of continuing to raise funds for the now established Canterbury Oast Trust – and that’s when things really began to take off!The volunteers opened a small shop on Sidcup Hill and then later moved into the present premises, “The Charity Shop” located in Hatherley Road, just off of Sidcup High Street. This busy shop is open 6 days a week and is run entirely by a team of around 30 dedicated volunteers. There are no paid staff and every item for sale is donated. The volunteers are involved in all aspects of running the shop including sorting donations, taking laundry home, pricing items, manning the till and assisting customers. The most “senior” member of the team is approaching her 97th Birthday! Every penny raised goes to support the work of the Canterbury Oast Trust to enable adults with a learning disability to live confident independent lives.

Through their hard work the volunteers have funded many vital projects for the Canterbury Oast Trust such as: specialist bathroom equipment, to enable people with more profound disabilities to attend to their personal care in greater comfort and with dignity; a minibus to ensure people can access essential training programmes and, most recently, made a major contribution towards the building of a new learning academy, planned for May 2018, to teach skills for independence.

Every resident, tenant or student of the Canterbury Oast Trust has benefitted - either directly or indirectly - from the help of the volunteers at some point during their time with the Trust. The Charity Shop at Sidcup occupies a very special place within the heart of every one at the Canterbury Oast Trust.

Last year a landmark was reached when, as a result of the volunteer’s endeavours, their fundraising passed the £1 million mark. Consequently, The Rotary Club of Sidcup Community Service Award for 2018 goes to the volunteers, past and present, of ‘The Charity Shop’ Sidcup for their remarkable achievements over the past 27 years.

The Mayor later visited the shop to meet with some of the volunteers.

Pam Dennis, who has been a volunteer at the shop for 18 years said: “We are all chuffed to bits to receive this award. All of the volunteers work so hard and it’s wonderful to be recognised for our efforts”.

A few days later, on Thursday 23rd, Rotarians accompanied clients and carers from the Carlton Road Day Centre on a visit to Lullingstone Country Park. Walks along either the river or the surrounding park were planned but given the uncertainty of the weather there was some nervousness in the air as the walks commenced. However, all’s well that ends well and after a rather muddy stroll along the riverbank, the walkers returned to the Visitor Centre where lunch, followed by a cream tea was enjoyed by all. Luckily, the rain held off until everyone had departed for home.

Community Service

Photo Derek Hope

Photo Derek Hope

Photo Derek Hope