News from the Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury, May 2020

May 01 2020

IT is with great sadness that we report the recent death of one of our longest standing and most valued members, Hugh Barraclough.

Hugh was the club President in 1994-95. His contribution to the club was incalculable, from Rotary legal issues, fundraising events, social activities (Hugh was a mean boules player) and of course his many years as editor of the club’s in-house magazine, ChipChat. Hugh will be sorely missed by his many friends in the Rotary family and our thoughts are very much with his immediate family at this time.

My article in the last Voice edition was written before we knew how the Coronavirus Pandemic lockdown would impact our day to day lives. Unsurprisingly, this article is wholly dominated by the effect that the lockdown has had on our club’s proposed spring and summer activities.

We have had to cancel the annual concert for the elderly held every year in Chipping Sodbury town hall, a summer holiday for a local disadvantaged family to a Rotary chalet on the south coast, the annual outing for fifty or so local elderly residents to a nearby garden centre for a cream tea and four youth-related events.

Moreover, we have had to cancel preparations for hosting a major twinning event involving the Rotary clubs of Toulon (France), Mannheim (Germany) and La Spezia (Italy). We hope to be able to rearrange it for 2021.

Sadly, we have also had to cancel what would have been the 25thanniversary of the Chipping Sodbury Classic Car Run, our most significant fundraising event of the year.

We had hoped to host a golf day in May at Chipping Sodbury Golf Club to raise funds for the Freewheeler Bloodbikes charity. We are hoping that this might be rearranged for September. Also, we have had to postpone until October the inaugural Health and Wellbeing day we had hoped to stage in Chipping Sodbury town hall in June. And our President’s annual lunch has had to be deferred until September.

Nevertheless, the club is continuing to function, holding its council meetings via the Zoom video conferencing facility. During this difficult time for all, we are very pleased to confirm the following local organisations, to which the club has agreed to make financial donations. They are the Yate and Chipping Sodbury Foodbank, the Southmead Hospital Charity Covid-19 Appeal, the Vintage Birdcage Cakery and Café, the Chipping Sodbury and Yate division of the St John Ambulance and to the Kids Out charity. Separately, we have also made a financial donation to the Himalayan Trust to add to the funds recently raised by our Inner Wheel colleagues.

So whilst we all try to stay positive and behave responsibly, notwithstanding the significant disruption to our forthcoming programme of events mentioned above, the Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury continues to make a modest contribution to a number of hard-pressed local organisations.

Stuart Fraser