Roy Barlow is President of Sidcup Rotary Club

PUBLISHED: 15:06 03 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:46 25 August 2010

This December the members of Sidcup Rotary Club, are about to embark on our main fundraising campaign. . .

This December the members of Sidcup Rotary Club, are about to embark on our main fundraising campaign, collecting round many streets of Sidcup accompanied by our Santa and sleigh. We are aware of the effects of the credit crunch, but are hoping that nevertheless the good people of Sidcup will as usual dig deep to help us raise as much money as possible for our local and international charitable work.

Examples of our work include supporting many local charities and helping groups such as British Red Cross, Mencap, St John Ambulance, Sidcup Social Club for the Blind and many more. In particular, although the annual Sidcup Christmas lunch is prepared by volunteers, it is funded by Sidcup Rotarians, who provide transport to and from the event.

This year we also had a project to raise several thousand pounds for Starfish, a charity aiming to improve the ward environment in the children's paediatric liver unit at King's College Hospital. The medical staff give the best of treatment, but this appeal aims to speed recovery of its young patients. Rotarians and others walked 15 miles for sponsorship, accompanied by a local boy who has benefited from treatment there.

Internationally, since 1988 Rotary International has been working with the World Health Organisation to eradicate polio worldwide, and has nearly succeeded.

However, polio is still endemic in Afghanistan, Nigeria, India and Pakistan. In Afghanistan it has been possible to negotiate with the Taliban for a recent short-lived ceasefire to allow immunisation of the children in one region.

Rotary clubs throughout this country contribute to this effort, and have been spurred on this year by an injection of $100,000,000 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, given on condition that Rotary matches this sum through its own fundraising efforts.

Look out for us on the streets of your area, and at Sidcup High Street Christmas festivities on Thursday, December 11.

By your generosity at this Christmas season, please help us to help others. Last year we collected more than £12,000 in three weeks.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas holiday in due course.

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