IT HAS been an unprecedented year for the outgoing president at Alloa Rotary Club.

Celia Norton recently handed over the chains of office to incoming president Geoff Storer following a voluntary second term.

She had been president some five years ago but decided to answer the call of duty again following a bereavement at the club.

While she came in amid tragic circumstances it was more or less business as usual in the first half of her term until Covid-19 changed everyday life.

Members of the club have been unable to meet face to face since, with many usual activities such as the stroke awareness day at Alloa's Morrisons supermarket cancelled.

However, the strength of the fellowship at the Rotary has become more evident than ever.

Celia told the Advertiser: "We had a lot of fellowship with newsletters a WhatsApp group, checking on everybody – probably more than we even did before."

Indeed, the local Rotary had to adapt to the circumstances with many meetings and activities held on the Zoom conferencing application and people are looking out for one another more than ever.

And despite the lockdown, Alloa Rotary has managed to continue supporting local good causes.

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser:

Recently, four clubs came together from the nearby area to successfully attract international Rotary Club funding.

The club in Alloa was joined by ones in Bridge of Allan and Dunblane, Stirling and Carse of Stirling to secure a £20,000 Rotary Foundation District Grant.

The money was used to purchase much-needed personal protective equipment for staff at Strathcarron Hospice and it is understood the good cause should have supplies to last six months as a result.

Celia also recently delivered food for Clackmannanshire Women's Aid worth £300.

This will assist the charity in restocking food stores at a time when it may be facing additional demand due to the coronavirus crisis.

Celia explained the club has been careful with funds at this time.

She said: "We reckon that once this [lockdown] is over there will be a lot of hardship cases in Clackmannanshire that will come to us."

A lot of unknowns remain for the club going forward, especially when it comes to activities and fundraising.

There are hopes that come September, Alloa Rotary Club will be able to put on its sponsored walk in some shape or form.

Celia received thanks for her hard work from the club and was also presented with a prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Award for her services and for her voluntary second term, which came after the untimely loss of a key member in line for the position.

She in turn gave her best wishes to incoming president Geoff.

Celia added: "Let's hope that we can be adaptable for the new circumstances."