Grotto success boosts funds for local charities 

Torbay Weekly

Rotary round-up with Torbay Rotarian Kathy Uglow:

Children’s Hospice South West will be one of the charities which will benefit from funds raised at Rotary’s Santa’s Grotto in Torquay.

The festive attraction at Fleet Walk has become a popular and much-loved tradition for locals and visitors alike and 2021’s teddy bear-themed grotto proved a real winner with more than 3,000 people passing through the door to see Father Christmas.

Despite the challenges of Covid-19 restrictions, the Rotary Club of Torbay Sunrise, along with helpers from Torquay Ladies Circle and Tormohun Rotary Club, continued to ensure the grotto brought plenty of Christmas magic to the Bay.

Sunrise president Daniel Boatwright said: “We were delighted to host this fantastic event once again and, in the process, we were able to raise more than £5,000 which will support local charities including the Children’s Hospice South West.”

This is one of the biggest events in the club’s calendar and volunteers pulled out all of the stops to make it the best experience for everyone who visited.

Father Christmas even managed to make a personal visit to little Frazer Wilton, who suffers with Battens Disease, at his home in Torquay as he was sadly too poorly to visit the grotto himself.

Preparations are now under way for 2022’s grotto which promises to be a glittering affair.

Paignton club continues to support community

With many Rotary clubs having faced plenty of challenges over the past year, Paignton Rotary Club took the opportunity to reflect on what had been achieved in the past 18 months.

President Sue Kirkham said: “Firstly, we were able to physically help The Community Larder with our fellow Rotarians from Preston, delivering food parcels throughout the Bay.

"We also supported Paignton Academy, Curledge Street, Kings Ash and Hayes schools with laptops and tablets to enable learning for pupils from their homes.

“We also purchased pieces of equipment for Mayfield College, who have converted a disused hydro-pool into a multi-purpose room for dance and a gymnasium.

"We also arranged a day out for Mayfield School to Dartmouth via the steam train with lunch followed by a cruise on the River Dart. We do this annually and include their cares and parents.

“We were incredibly pleased to support Torbay Holiday Helpers Network with a donation of over £1,500. We continued to support our student through S.O.S Africa.

"We also donated to The Stroke Association and Rotary’s End Polio programme which now reports only four cases in the world.

“It was good to take out with our Human Fruit Machine once again at the Lions’ Fun Day at Goodrington, and then at the Totnes Raft Race.”

Sue added: “We are looking forward to the year ahead and working with our fellow Rotarians in the Bay. We are currently in talks with our European twin Rotarians in Dokkum, Netherlands, on a school project in Uganda.”