Our meeting on 03 February 2021 had an unexpected last minute change of speaker owing to a diary malfunction. In the end, our speaker was Past District Governor David Palmer from the Rotary Club of Barkingside who acts as District Kids Out Ambassador, and was able to take up the subject at short notice.
After a short history lesson on the Kids Out Organisation, which was established in 1990 by the Rotary Club of Kingston in Surrey, David explained the interesting title of the talk. For many years, Rotarians throughout Great Britain and Ireland had been taking disadvantaged children out for a day in June, and in 2019 no less than 30,000 children had taken part, with of course their carers and support teams. This was the “Out”.
In the last few years, there had been an indoors event, with the Kids Out Organisation providing support funding for children to go to a Pantomime or Ice Show during the Christmas Season. There had also been support for Rotary in London’s Youth Makes Music Concert where a group of youngsters get the opportunity to play their music in front of an audience at the Royal Festival Hall. This was the “In”.
With the current pandemic and lock-down, Kids Out had had to “Shake their plans about” a bit, and re-think all their ideas. What they had been doing in the past was no longer allowed. They had come up with the idea of providing a box of toys for children in a Women’s Refuge during the Christmas period. David explained how the project had developed, how the funding had been raised, how the toys had been collected, how the boxes had been packed and how the toys had been delivered. At all stages of the project, confidentiality had been an absolute priority.
The talk was followed by many questions, and our attention was held throughout.