The Rotary Club of Forres, which exists to supports good causes in and around the area, is managing to keep up its good work and have social gatherings at the same time, albeit remotely.
President Tony Galloway explains: “At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, it seemed that the Rotary Club of Forres would have to stop having its weekly meetings at the Ramnee Hotel and also cease its activities in the Community. Fortunately, as this shut down coincided with a quieter period towards the end of our Rotary year, we had already accomplished much and had only some youth support work to do.
“Despite the initial shock of Covid19, Rotary Forres responded in two ways. Firstly, we identified how we could communicate as a club, and this was accomplished using the ubiquitous Zoom app; we now have almost two-thirds of the club meeting online each week. Besides the usual email system, this facility thus allowed us to talk about what we could do in the local community during this crisis.
“Hence, in the community, we initially noted that the Moray Food Bank was under severe pressure and we made a quick financial donation from the Club, together with members’ personal donations. Since then, we have made a further contribution and we continue to monitor the situation.
Additionally, we have contributed to Moray Women’s Aid as there has been a significant increase in domestic abuse during ‘lockdown’. Also, we have supported the T-Exchange, a group of technology enthusiasts, who have been producing parts for some 1500 reusable and disposable face visors for use in local health establishments and care homes. Finally, the Lord Lieutenants of Morayshire and Banffshire have launched the all-embracing fund of last resort, the Moray Emergency Relief Fund (MERF). This fund has also been supported.
“The Club would like to do more in the community, but whilst we still receive some personal donations from our individual members, we do not have a bottomless purse, but where we can, we will continue to financially support local Covid19 related charities. Looking to the immediate future, we are supporting the MERF further by joining with other Moray Rotary Clubs to donate to a future online Whisky Auction; so, we are now looking to source quality bottles of malt whisky.”
So the Rotary Club of Forres is alive and well, still meeting and, very importantly, still contributing to the local community during this time of crisis.