More than £9,000 was raised for local good causes from Dorchester Casterbridge Rotary Club’s 2020 Christmas draw.
The annual event has been running since 2004 and this year has been particularly hard on groups as fundraising has been incredibly difficult.
The draw involves various charities or groups selling raffle tickets, with every penny raised by an organisation going back to it, together with any bonus from the Rotary club.
Sponsors – Dorchester Timber, Meyers estate agents, Brewery Square and Edwards and Keeping accountants – donated around £1,400 in prize money and a total of £7,880 worth of raffle tickets were sold.
Vanessa Lucas, president of the Rotary club, has thanked all the groups taking part for the work they have done in making the Christmas draw a success.
She said: “When we set off, we couldn’t believe it could happen and it’s been a fantastic year again.
“Our club strives to make a real contribution to the lives of others, nationally and internationally, and the Christmas draw is just one of our projects.
“I think it’s a way we can help different groups in our community raise some funds without any cost to themselves, which is what were about as Rotary, helping others do well.”
Seventeen organisations, charities and groups came together over Zoom to thank the Rotary club for their donations from the proceeds, to say a bit about the group and what the money would go towards.
Dorchester Trust for Counselling and Psychotherapy
“We’ve been running since 2005 and our purpose is to support local people who might be struggling and need counselling or psychotherapy but can’t afford to pay for it privately.
“We have found that, like everybody I’m sure, we have struggled financially with the pandemic, one of the reasons being that because we’ve had to move our work to online counselling rather than face to face, we felt it fair to ask for clients for half of what they would normally donate.
“The way that we work is that clients would donate what they can reasonably afford, which ranges from £5 to £15 per session, and then we top up the rest for the counsellor so they get a minimum of £30, which is a lot less than they would get anyway.
“So, our raffle money, which were very grateful for, will help with that shortfall.
“As an emergency response to the pandemic as well, we’ve set up a key worker counselling scheme which offer six free sessions to local key workers. That’s been amazingly successful, it’s been going since February last year and we’ve seen over 50 people so far.
“We’re very, very grateful to have had the support from the raffle and were very grateful for the funds, particularly this year when things have been very challenging.”