With Covid-19 taking over life in early 2020, the Whitwell Hall Country Centre, like many other local organisations, has certainly experienced a very different year.
The charity is now preparing to reopen when restrictions are lifted and has enrolled for the new Broadland at Heart Community Lottery to raise much-needed funds.
2020 started with trips on the Reepham Rover and the Wednesday Lunch Club in full swing. In the third week of March, the centre welcomed its first school for their residential trip – which turned out to be the only one for 2020.
The evening they left, the centre went into lockdown and three of the four permanent staff were put on furlough, with residentials, day trips, private groups and Rover trips cancelled.
The hall ticked over with one staff member covering the office and day-to-day operations until lockdown was eased, and all staff returned, albeit on reduced hours, from 1 July; a few private groups were able to camp there over the summer months.
However, with many schools needing to catch up in September/October, followed by a second lockdown and then restrictions over Christmas, the centre had no one else to stay in 2020.
Throughout the year the centre had little income but did manage to secure a couple of grants to enable it to continue.
As the annual Christmas meal for Rover users could not be held, the staff organised a Christmas card and cake delivery (Covid rules adhered to).
Meanwhile, many local shops and businesses donated prizes, including vouchers, wine, whiskey, games, food bags and flowers, with tickets sold while delivering the cards and also at the Kings Arms and The Crown. A total of £570 was raised for the charity.
While the beginning of 2021 started with a third lockdown, the centre remains positive that people will be able to get back in the hall soon, along with the return of camping, the Reepham Rover and the Wednesday Lunch Club.
Preparations are now being made to restart as soon as permitted, with the estate, hall and office keeping up to date with Covid compliance.
Whitwell Hall Country Centre is now enrolled for the new Broadland at Heart Community Lottery. Tickets cost just £1 per week, with 50% of the money going to the nominated good cause.
There is a top prize of £25,000, as well as prizes of £2,000, £250 and £25. To enter and start supporting Whitwell Hall, click HERE
Meanwhile, the centre has issued the Reepham Rover trip list for the coming year and is ready to take users out as soon as it is safe to do so.
Whitwell Hall also has a wide range of mobility aids available, including walking sticks, frames, wheelchairs and mobility scooters.
For residents living in the Reepham surgery catchment area, these items can be loaned free of charge, although donations are always appreciated.
- Reepham Rover enquiries/booking: 07765 321458 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- All other enquires: 01603 870875 or email email@example.com