Well, how lucky were we? We usually have two major fundraising events each year, roughly in March and October and we managed to hold our March event, a film night showing “What We Did On Our Holidays” just before the lockdown came into effect! Our audience was not as numerous as usual. I think people were already feeling anxious about social gatherings, but we managed to turn a profit and have a fun evening at the same time.
I’m proud to say that since lockdown we have been holding our twice monthly meetings online via Zoom. It took a little organisation, but thanks to our eldest member (80 something!) we cracked it and have been managing to keep our activities ticking over. Not all our members have embraced the virtual world, but enough of us have to be able to hold a virtual AGM looking back over our last year of activities and an Assembly, which looks forward to the coming year’s plans.
We have used some of this time to discuss the dispersal of some of our fundraised money. In this strange and difficult time of pandemic the calls on our funds have been many and varied. We decided to try and spread the love by keeping donations relatively small, but helping as many groups as possible. We have tried to keep a balance between local and international causes, so have given funds within the village to our local primary school, The Good Neighbour Network and the Eynsham food bank. Further afield we made donations tothe Air Ambulance and the Children’s Air Ambulance and internationally we made donations to charities fighting Coronavirus in Uganda and Zimbabwe.
Our other major activity has been in helping to fund the installation of another defibrillator for the village, now set up at the village hall. We took part in a charity donation scheme “Bags of Help” at Tesco and are using this money to help fund training within the community on the use of this equipment. Obviously, this is on hold at present, but will be taking place as soon as virus restrictions allow.
Next on our agenda is to help Eynsham primary school with the development of their Early Learning area, providing plants and some manpower to paint their outdoor storage shed, again! This seems to be becoming a regular summer event for us. Social distancing should be relatively easy with just a couple of helpers and plenty of space to spread ourselves around.
So, despite lockdown and the virus we are keeping busy and continuing to offer support within the community.