Kettering Inner Wheel volunteers' hard year of 'outside the box' fundraising pays dividends

Group members managed to raise funds despite the pandemic

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 4:45 pm

A Kettering organisation that promotes friendship and serving the community - at home and abroad - has handed over funds raised during the last year to three local charities.

The Inner Wheel club of Kettering Huxloe is part of one of the largest women's voluntary organisations in the world and carried on their charitable work despite the lockdown.

Unable to meet in person as a group the 40 members carried on their meetings online and in sixes, coordinating their response to the pandemic.

L to r: Helen Williams, President of Kettering Huxloe Inner Wheel and Linda Pibworth, Chair of Kettering and District Riding for the Disabled

Helen Williams, past president of Kettering Huxloe Inner Wheel, said: "Our club is based on friendship and helping others wherever we can. We undertake charity fundraising for both home and overseas causes.

"Our club of 40 friendly and very resourceful ladies quickly realised that we were going to have to think 'outside the box' during the year if we were to keep our group afloat. None of our usual ways were going to be viable.

"Friendships carried on in groups of six outside or virtually on Zoom, as did our club meetings, where we have enjoyed many interesting speakers.

"We were able to help with the Poppy Appeal, our sewers helped keep the NHS in masks and scrubs, and we continued to cook and bake for the local soup kitchen."

L to r: Jo Hawkins, Founder of EquATA, Jenny Potter, Helena Walters and President Helen Williams from Kettering Huxloe Inner Wheel

With usual methods of fundraising off limits the group sold unwanted items, joined Amazon Smile and Easyfundraising, held virtual tours and competitions, joined a virtual Easter balloon race over Turkey, sold jams and crafts and even provided horse manure to gardeners.

Each of their chosen charities received a cheque for £1,000.

Ms Williams said: "All these ventures meant we were able to support our own KGH ICU and the local charities of our choice this year - Kettering Riding for the Disabled, EquATA, and Age UK Northamptonshire.

"We are proud to have been able to support Age UK Northamptonshire as they provide many services to the elderly, and new services are being developed all the time.

L to r: Chris Duff, CEO and Julia Faulkner, Chair of Trustees, Age UK Northamptonshire, Thi-Thu Nguyen, Vice President and Helen Williams, President, Kettering Huxloe Inner Wheel

"Our club has always supported Kettering Riding for the Disabled, many of our members have volunteered over the years and EquATA is a local organisation helping youngsters with autism, mental health or social issues, using horses to help with communication and self esteem."

Anyone wanting more information about the Inner Wheel club of Kettering Huxloe or anyone in need of volunteers for an event can contact the group by emailing [email protected]