Press Release from the Rotary Club of Fordingbridge
Fordingbridge Rotary ran the Summer Festival for nine years. Sadly and reluctantly, we cannot continue.
We started the Festival to draw the community together and to raise funds for local good causes. It was very successful, not least because of solid support from sponsors, suppliers, and partners including the Mayor and Town Council.
Many local causes including old peoples’ lunch clubs, stroke club, youth groups, schools and Christmas lights have been supported from around £100,000 we raised over these nine years. We were privileged to help local groups to advertise, recruit, and raise funds. We estimate that local groups have raised at least half as much again for their own funds.
We decided to withdraw because:
- Less local groups want to join in the Festival making it a lesser community event. Younger (and fitter) people are less involved.
- We sustain our number but fewer members are physically capable of the demanding work needed for the Festival.
- Community groups who helped us, for example with First Aid and tentage, have the same problem.
- We can no longer rely on enough local volunteers. This year we were even let down by one group partway through the day.
- Resources could be bought but at prohibitive cost. Sponsorship is declining. Unavoidably increased prices would reduce value for money.
- Key organisers working all year round found that illness, family commitments and, frankly, exhaustion mean that they cannot continue.
Fordingbridge Rotary is committed to continue working to benefit our community. We are a group of over 40 men and women committed to “Service above Self”.
We thank everyone for their support over the last nine years.