THE Rotary Club of Oswestry has thanked those who helped to raise almost £5,000 at last year’s Christmas Tree of Light appeal.

A total of £4,700 has been raised, which is set to be distributed among local charities.

The annual appeal offers people the chance to make a donation and commemorate a significant event in their lives.

This year the club was supporting The Severn Hospice, The Oswestry Stroke Club, The Movement Centre, Oswestry Young Carers (now Crossroads Together) and the Midlands Air Ambulance.

Each charity will receive £800 from the appeal, with the remaining amount of more than £700 going to local charities throughout the year.

The Rotary has also chosen to add funds raised from street collections and the club's other activities, acting swiftly to donate £500 to West Mercia Search and Rescue, £200 to kinokulture and £100 to Oswestry Stoma Support Group.

Members of the club usually present cheques to the Tree of Light charities in person allowing the opportunity for members to find out more about their operation, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, all such presentations have been put on hold.

Donations have instead been posted by cheque.

Determined to complete the distribution of the appeal funds despite lockdown, club member and Trefonen resident John Davies, recently made a special trip to Trefonen Post Office to post the final cheques.

He said: "We are delighted to have again had the support of members of the public in raising this terrific total during difficult times and we thank them all for their support.

“This year, we are particularly grateful for the support of local businesses who respond to our appeal for help each year and without whose help we could not run this event.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to thank both the members of the public and local sponsors – we couldn't do this without you.

"We can see that in this lockdown with businesses closed, staff on furlough and general uncertainty, it is now our turn to support our local businesses.

“Some of our members have been supporting local cafes and restaurants as they switch to takeaway food or delivery and shopping through home deliveries.

“As our club is not meeting until at least the end of the lockdown, some members have chosen to donate to the Oswestry and Borders Foodbank in lieu and we are pleased to have raised £500 for them already.”