Community Services

Community Tidings! Report by convenor Neil Beattie

Hello all!  As we can’t yet get together as we would want, I’ve decided that I’d try and keep you all up to date with what your Community Service Committee is up to on your behalf.

* An exciting new project has just been given the go ahead by Council. Dalmilling Primary School in Ayr has a wonderful scheme where kids in Primary 5 get taught to ride bikes safely and get road skills taught by experts. Some pupils don’t have bikes so the school lends them one, but they don’t have enough of them for all that need a loan of a bike. The Community Service Committee of Ayr Rotary has resolved to try and get them some more bikes.

We’d ask you to look in your sheds, speak to your children and grandchildren, ask your neighbours and friends and see if we can find some bikes suitable for a 10 year old to use, that are in good working order. The bikes will be given to the school and stored safely there.  They don’t leave the school and are checked over by the Bikeability expert and the school janitor.  (Where would we be without great school jannies?)

We have some contacts in the world of bike shops and are exploring them but it would be our hope not to have to actually buy any bikes.  Depending on the initial response we’ll expand our search on to Facebook etc but we’re waiting to see what result we have initially.

* Our first round of the raffle has only one more week to run but, thanks to one person’s generosity, there will be another free round of the raffle after that. Thanks to nearly two thirds of the club participating, we have raised over £600.  That all went (with a bit more as well) to the Inconvenience Store (See our website for pictures and the wonderful project details) but our coffers are quite depleted at the moment and the need in the community is huge so Council has decided that we should run a second round of the raffle.  Same rules as the last time – £20 to Ronnie for 10 entries and my glamorous assistant will draw the balls as before. Many thanks to the generous 11 members who gave the prizes this time round and I’ve already been promised the first 4 bottles for the second round.  Further donations welcome.

* I’ve just heard from Fiona McAvoy at Newton Primary who, thanks to Alex, is getting some useful kit for her parents. She tells me that “Things are great here. The shopping list days are very busy with community and school families.  We are doing loads from our community room and have even had a covid vaccine afternoon for people who missed appointments and we have a rapid access methadone project going on. Lots going on and planning to make our local area a safer and healthier place.”  She thanks us for our brilliant support. (her words!)

* Thanks to Secretary Colin shopping in IKEA for them and President Hazel delivering them, Angie at Ayrshire Women’s Hub has just received 40 LED light bulbs from us.  It’s hard to imagine getting a house but finding no light bulbs.  It happens though, so now Angie can solve the problem.  We also gave her £900 for her Direct Aid Fund which provides emergency funding for problems where there is no other access to funds.

* Crossroads have been given £300 to help them with their help they give adult carers.  Their normal sources of funding, coffee mornings etc, have all been stopped due to Covid so they were very appreciative.

* Ayrshire Cancer Support have been given £500 to help with direct patient services.  Some of you will have seen their new centre in Prestwick Road.  This will need some help in its development but will be a vital part of our cancer services.  Laura Brown will shortly be speaking to us and I’m sure will tell us of the many key services they give.  I confess to being surprised when I learned about all the many activities of which they are the key providers.

* The Salvation Army Food Bank gets a donation every month from us.  This month they will get £250.  Donations to this fund have been tailing off a bit lately but the need is unchanged and will probably rise with the rise in unemployment as furlough stops.   Literally food for thought for us all.

It has been a privilege to be the Community Service Convenor in this half year but it is time to stand back a bit and I’m delighted that Julie Bain is going to take over from 1st July.  She will do a fine job and I’m sure we will all support her in whatever way we can.  The combination of deprivation and Covid is extremely powerful and the need for the support that a club like ours can give to those less fortunate than ourselves is greater than ever.  I know that Julie and her committee will target our help accurately and effectively for the benefit of our community.

Lastly I want to thank John, Jimmy, Paul and Harry who have been the committee members who have made the job so enjoyable.  We have had fruitful discussions and have never had to have a vote.  Our conclusions, positive or negative have all been unanimous and their input most valuable.

I hope that we will be meeting somewhere before too long and meantime, stay safe all.

Yours Neil