Covid Support Group

The Covid years presented many fundraising challenges for Harrogate Brigantes Rotary, including no Christmas Grotto in Asda. So, instead of raising money during the festive season, we decided to give some away. We launched a Christmas fund totalling £8,600. Of this £2,200 was gifted to international causes and £6,400 to local charities and people in need.

Overseas we supported Shelterbox with their continuing disaster relief efforts and sent funds to the Rotary Club of Himalayan Gurkhas in Kathmandu to help alleviate starvation in some of Nepal’s remote valleys caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Locally many organisations were faced with the difficult challenge of doing more with less than ever before to respond to unprecedented levels of need. The following received a Brigantes’ “present” to help them a little through the difficult Covid years.

Wellspring Therapy, whose counselling service was in greater demand than ever before as stress levels increased.

Carer’s Resource which provides support to carers of all ages and was so much in demand that it set up a special COVID-19 Emergency Fund to assist carers who according to Claire Macini “ were exhausted and worn out and hadn’t been able to take any breaks whatsoever in six months.”

The Harrogate Easier Living Project  (HELP) ‘Help at Home’ initiative which supports people who are unable to undertake work themselves, and  cannot afford to pay a tradesperson or do not have a network of family or friends to support them. According to Frances Elliot, Chief Executive of HELP, Brigantes’ funding “helped keep their trusty and indispensable work vans on the road for another year”

Supporting Older People (SOP) a charity aiming to alleviate the loneliness and isolation often experienced by older people living on their own;

Horticap, to assist in the fitting out of their new kitchen which enabled them to enhance their income-generating potential in support of their workers team, all of whom have some sort of disability.

Additional donations were also given to the Harrogate branch of Parkinsons UK, Dementia Forward, and Yorkshire Air Ambulance to support their essential work in the area.

But it’s not just about money. Brigantes also worked with Asda, and raided our own commercial stocks, to put together some Christmas packages for some of the clients, both young and old, of the charities we supported.

All this was possible through the generosity of those who supported our lockdown fund-raising efforts and helped us to give away £18,000 for Covid relief since the start of the pandemic. We would like to say a very big thank you to them all: members of the public who supported our new ventures such as the Lockdown Poetry Competition and our virtual trek up Everest; visitors to the Valley Gardens who gave money at the Wishing Well; Club members who made donations, including those in lieu of what they would have spent on club meetings and meals; and the families and friends of members.

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