Belper club members spend 750 hours helping others during lockdown

Members of a Belper club have clocked up more than 750 hours helping good causes in the community during the pandemic.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:37 am
People can become a member of the Rotary Memory Café - even during lockdown.

Throughout lockdown, members of the Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield have been supporting local charities and made donations amounting to £4,207.

The donations included the installation of a defibrillator, which has since been used 13 times with seven successes.

Rotary secretary John Stamp said that the Covid-19 lockdown is keeping members even busier than usual.

He said: “People of Belper and Duffield will easily recognise the Rotary Santa’s sleigh or yellow-coated Rotarians cleaning up around the townships.

"Far less obvious are the fundraising walks, donations to support local charities, support for local foodbank, and the work of Hearing Ambassadors helping those suffering hearing loss.

“Probably the most unseen yet significant Rotary lockdown work is that of the ‘Memory Cafe’ for people living with dementia.

"Fortnightly telephone calls from one of three Rotary volunteers, Hilary Surga, Dot Pipe and Eileen Murphy, have been supporting café members in this difficult time.”

Under normal times, the monthly café is run by volunteers at Belper Baptist Church.

For a couple of hours including craft work, music and other activities, Belper helps people living with dementia engage and meet with others.

Chairman of the Memory Café, Hilary Surga, said: “Everyone misses the regular get together.

"We’re like a big family so it was natural to keep in touch with members who often find it more difficult to get out in lockdown.

“It’s become like one big family and we care for one another. It's usually the carer we speak to who is often feeling isolated.

"The isolation is having a significant effect on many of us and significantly, on our friends living with dementia, who have previously benefited so much from social interaction, music and shared activities.

"Hopefully we can resume this more stimulating environment when we can all meet up again.”

People can become a member of the Rotary Memory Café, even during lockdown.

Anyone interested in joining the cafe group or making a donation can call Hilary on 07969 909695.

The Rotary Club of Belper and Duffield is a small group of local people who work together, including men and women of all ages from early 20s to late 80s.

It is a completely voluntary organisation and raises money for good causes through its charitable trust.

Members run projects, raise money and volunteer time to help a number of local, national and international causes.

The club has had to make significant changes in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unable to hold face to face meetings and few fundraising events, members have continued to get together socially via online meetings and held online coffee mornings and quiz nights.

Visit for more information about the club.