Last Friday, the Club held its 25th annual charter celebration. The event took place at the Dower House in Woodhall Spa and was attended by around 90 Rotarians and guests. New President Graeme Morrice was presented with a certificate honouring 25 years of Rotary membership by the 1070 District Governor Chris Davies accompanied by one of the Club’s founder members, Dick Parsley.
For a number of years, the Club has provided a bed in the St Luke’s Leprosarium at Peikulam, Tamil Nadu in the Thoothukudi-Nazareth Diocese of the Church of South India. (http://www.stlukesleprosyhospital.org)
It is a referral centre for leprosy patients suffering from complications that cannot be managed elsewhere and offers a cure and treatment for the disease. Dedicated and qualified staff who understand the sufferers’ needs, be they the actual suffering from the disease or the social stigmas that are still attached to leprosy, bring hope into lives that were formerly filled with despair. There are two wards for men and one for women, each having 32 beds. These in-patients receive free treatment, food, accommodation and clothing.
- Leprosy is a bacterial disease which affects the skin and nerves
- The first sign of leprosy is usually a patch of discoloured skin
- If left untreated, leprosy causes loss of sensation, paralysis, ulcers and infections, which can lead to blindness and amputation
- 600 people are diagnosed each day and 50 of these are children
- We believe over 3 million people are living with undiagnosed leprosy
- Over 4 million people are living with a disability caused by leprosy
- Leprosy carries a terrible stigma; often people are shunned by communities, or even their own family when they show symptoms
- Leprosy affects men and women in the ratio of 2:1. The general plight of the leprosy patient is desperate but for female sufferers the situation is tragic. A wife will support a sick husband but a man will often abandon his sick wife plus their children who are usually healthy.
- The club has raised money from the proceeds of our Santa’s Sleigh (in conjunction with Round Table) and our Sleaford Christmas Market Stall in December 2016.
- Two mobility devices were purchased to assist staff at the Leprosarium commute to work and go about their duties at a cost of £1920. This includes a grant of £924 from District.
- Mrs Amali required an electric wheel chair to help her general mobility around the Leprosarium and her home. It helps her carry out her job at the Leprosarium and makes it easier to look after her family.
- Mrs Rajeshwari required a three-wheeled mobility scooter to help her get to work and to carry out her duties in the community in support of the Leprosarium.
- Both ladies have suffered from leprosy and Mrs Amali from Polio too.
The last act of President Walter was to award a Paul Harris Fellowship to Peter Elkington in recognition of all the work that he has done over the last few years – particularly to do with the annual St Georges Beer Festival.
Hope for Tomorrow is a charity that provides a mobile chemotherapy service to people in a number of areas of the country. In Lincolnshire it has a purpose-built vehicle that currently visits Skegness and Grantham (and hopefully in the future Louth and Spalding) and this means that patients do not have to travel to Lincoln (or in some cases Peterborough) for their treatment.
Dawn Ośko is the regional fundraiser for the charity and she gave a presentation to Rotarians outlining how the charity works. At the end, she was presented with a cheque for £3,500 by President Walter as the charity was the local target for our main fundraising in the past year.
The vehicle is called Elaine who was a cancer patient who unfortunately lost her battle with cancer