Rotarians to support causes

TWO good causes are in line for help from a major social event being planned by Stonehaven Rotarians, but more support is needed to allow the special evening to reach its full potential.

The club are holding a charity dinner on April 12 at the Thistle Aberdeen Altens Hotel aimed at helping to fund dialysis equipment for the Kincardine Community Hospital in Stonehaven and to aid those hit by the recent floods to hit the town.

And while bookings for the event have been coming in, more support is needed from both the public and from companies to ensure the night’s success, according to a club spokesman.

The black- tie function is being described by the Rotary Club as an evening of “fun and fellowship” and will have a media personality speaker -sports journalist Alison Walker- plus a “raconteur” in the shape of Sheriff Lindsay Wood who was appointed to the bench in Glasgow in 2003.

Alison Walker was born in Glasgow into a “football mad” family. She graduated with a degree in media and communication studies from the University of Sunderland and worked on the production side of videos and TV programmes before moving front of camera on BBC sport presentation and reporting.

She covers all sports from international football to shinty and is now a freelance sports reporter and journalist.

Sheriff Wood was a solicitor in Arbroath for 20 years, latterly as managing partner of Thorntons in Tayside.

He was appointed to the bench in Glasgow in 2003, and sits on the Council for Sheriffs’ Association. He is also involved with various tribunals and charitable organisations and is an ambassador for a Glasgow Hospice.

He is a keenly sought speaker on the after dinner circuit.

The Rotary Club have received donations of “fabulous” prizes for the evening, some to be available through raffles, but mainly for auction.

The dialysis equipment for Stonehaven will complement the facilities in the renal department at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary.

The Stonehaven provision will not only relieve congestion in the Aberdeen unit, but remove patients in the Stonehaven area from the gruelling ordeal of having to go to Aberdeen three times a week. Treatment close to home will not only also save time, but more importantly conserve energy which will improve their quality of life, the rotary fund-raisers underline.

When established, the Stonehaven provision will be staffed by NHS Grampian who will also maintain and replace equipment as necessary.

Stonehaven was seriously hit by a combination of storms and floods in the two week period before Christmas..

First, a storm wreaked havoc along the seafront area with houses and properties flooded and damaged. Sheltered housing complexes were badly affected with residents evacuated in the middle of the night.

The following week, a flood devastated the Old Town and homes adjacent to the River Carron which overflowed, filling the High Street with over a metre of water, hitting properties already badly hit in 2009.

The rotarians underline that 75 properties have been severely affected by flooding and most will be uninhabitable for some time to come. Many residents have been temporarily rehoused until their homes are fit for habitation, which could take some months.

Initially there is an urgent need to dry out properties to prevent further damage to homes and adjacent properties before repair work for re-habitation can commence.

Many of the people involved are faced with a shortage of flood insurance cover and high excesses on their insurances as a result of the 2009 floods and money is “desperately needed” to assist their recovery, according to the rotary club.

One of the dinner’s organisers, rotary club international and foundation convener Bill Allan, said that the club were determined to make the evening a success, given the importance of the dialysis project and the need to help the town’s flood victims.

“These are two very worthwhile causes that deserve all the support we can give them from what promises to be a great night, but to ensure our event reaches its full potential, we need more support from both the general public and from companies in the Aberdeen and North-east area.”

*Anyone interested in attending the function can phone rotary club past president Denis Daun on 07811 960605 (07811 960605)