Each year Sidcup Rotary Club hosts a Community Day Lunch to honour the contribution made by the voluntary sector to the local community. An annual Community Award is made to a long serving volunteer selected from local community groups, charities or the service sector.
In March 2023, The Worshipful Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Nick O’Hare attended and presented the award to Pauline Bennett a very worthy recipient who has spent six decades raising over £360,000 locally for Cancer Research UK.
Pauline is pictured with the Mayor (on the left) and Sidcup Rotary’s 2022/23 Joint President, Peter Wilkes.
The Club has also supported the Sidcup Community Garden Project since its launch in the Summer of 2015. The walled garden at Sidcup Place, for many years a formal rose garden, had become run down, litter strewn and neglected.
Sidcup Rotary assisted by providing finance, physical effort and plants and some of its members and partners continue to volunteer regularly to maintain the gardens.
The garden has been repeatedly graded “Outstanding” by London in Bloom and judged Community Garden of the Year by Kent Life Magazine in 2019.
The one acre site is a haven of peace and tranquillity and a riot of colour. It is much appreciated by local residents and visitors alike. Even Prime Minister Rishi Sunak found time to visit briefly on 29 July 2023 with local MP Louis French.
Residents look forward to seeing Sidcup Rotary’s sleigh with Santa and his helpers touring the streets around Sidcup to raise funds for worthy charitable causes. Regrettably last year collections were hampered by bad weather and the shortage of collectors on some evenings. We still collected nearly £6,000. We are hopeful that, with the assistance of some extra local volunteers, that local children and residents will again get pleasure from the visits in 2023.
Sidcup Rotary Club is delighted to sponsor and assist with the transport of the Sidcup Christmas Day lunch (held at the Carlton Road Day Centre) for elderly and disabled residents who might otherwise spend the day alone. Guests are usually joined by the Worshipful Mayor of Bexley.
We applaud the efforts of the many volunteers who willingly give of their time on Christmas Day to make this lunch such a resounding success.
Sidcup Rotary Club’s Satellite Group members successfully organised the 13th biennial Bexley Young Musician of the Year Awards Concert in March 2023 on behalf of three Rotary Clubs of Bexley.
The music was of a very high standard from excellent recitals by the eight finalists. It was no easy task for the three adjudicators to choose a winner but the silver cup eventually went to 16-year-old saxophonist Izzy Laing. (Shown in the centre below with her fellow musicians).
Thanks to Ruxley Manor Garden Centre, we were again able to distribute tickets for its Circus on two occasions to various organisations so that disabled children with their parents or carers could attend. Following each event a donation was made to a charity nominated by Ruxley’s director James Evans in recognition of the tickets donated by the Centre to the Club.
One of Rotary International’s initiatives is to encourage activities which sustain the environment. Our Club has embraced this through its support in maintaining the Sidcup Community walled garden at Sidcup Place. It has also planted thousands of purple crocus bulbs around the Bexley Borough to promote Rotary International’s End Polio Campaign; funded the planting of tree saplings through the Woodland Trust; and supported litter picks at various locations in Sidcup - all in cooperation with Bexley Council.
Sidcup Rotarians are still heavily involved as Trustees of ‘Friends of Queen Mary’s’, not surprisingly as it was set up over 60 years ago by the Rotary Club of Sidcup, Queen Mary’s Hospital and the local community. A new Friends Café was opened in 2017 situated just inside the main entrance to QMH.
The Friends, supported by volunteers, work to generate profits which are distributed in the form of discretionary awards for the benefit and well-being of patients, visitors and staff at the Hospital. More than £3m has been awarded. Without the considerable voluntary effort these grants could not be made. The Friends need more volunteers. Can you help? Find out more by clicking on the link below