Covid cancels Rotary’s Christmas postal service

Pat Healey, president of the Rotary Club of Campbeltown.

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Covid-19 restrictions have forced the Rotary Club of Campbeltown to cancel its iconic Christmas postal service this year – but not forever.

Pat Healey, club president, explained: ‘We’re all incredibly sad that we’re unable to offer the local Christmas Post this year. Even after reviewing our processes and timescales for receiving, sorting and delivering some 10,000 Christmas cards across the South Kintyre communities, it’s now clear from government and Rotary UK guidelines, plus input from our insurers, that it would be impossible to guarantee being able to meet current – and potentially future – Covid protocols during this second wave.

‘Unlike the Royal Mail, we have neither the infrastructure nor the access to testing to ensure the safety of our members and customers.

‘It’s very disappointing, not just in being unable to provide this popular service to our fellow citizens, but also for the funds it raises for the future support of local causes. However, this year, protecting our members and the community has to take priority.’

Like many other organisations and associations, this year has been difficult for the club, with restrictions preventing its regular fundraising activities including the annual primary schools quiz, support for Kintyre Music Festival, and attendance at a host of outdoor events with its burger van, alongside other community awards such as Young Stockperson and Young Musician of the Year.

The club has played a significant role in South Kintyre for nearly 50 years, raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the benefit of the community in the form of grants awarded to support groups, organisations and individuals.

Pat added: ‘This year, throughout lockdown and beyond, this support continues with the focus being the many wonderful groups which have assisted and supported our community during these unprecedented times.’

Despite recent challenges, the club remains positive about the future. Pat said: ‘Thankfully, club meetings have been able to continue through regular Zoom sessions. These have not only been an opportunity for members to enjoy various guest speakers joining us online from across the UK to Washington DC, but have enabled us to make plans for future events when life returns to normal, including one major initiative which we hope to be able to share with you soon.

‘We also launched a new Rotary International competition earlier in the year – Young Photographer – and will shortly be showcasing all the entries and announcing which have been selected to go forward to the regional stages.

‘And, largely as a result of last year’s fundraising activities, we are still in a position where we can continue to consider requests for support from local organisations.’

The Rotary Club of Campbeltown can be contacted by emailing the secretary at grogport99@yahoo.co.uk or in writing, care of The Argyll Hotel, Campbeltown.