End of an era for Warwick’s charitable ladies

Warwick's Inner Wheel charity group
Warwick's Inner Wheel charity group
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Fundraising women have held their final meeting after being forced to shut down a long-running charity group to tackle falling membership.

Warwick’s Inner Wheel Club has now been disbanded after 47 years, hundreds of meetings and more than £100,000 raised for town causes.

The last meeting was a very important but sad occasion for this well-established organisation

Janet Warren

The club was formed for the wives of Rotary Club members in 1969 and started with 20 eager volunteers.

But almost 50 years later after a drop in membership and failed calls to boost interest, the group can no longer exist in what has been described as “devastating” news.

Joint presidents, Ann Blight and Janet Warren said despite the sad news, they want to thank everyone who has made the group so special.

Speaking about the shock decision, Janet Warren, said: “The club has sadly taken the decision to close.

“This is due to falling numbers and the shortage of members to fill the posts required for affiliation to the Association of Inner Wheel Clubs.

“The last meeting was a very important but sad occasion for this well-established organisation.”

The club held its final meeting on June 22 where members looked back on their mission to share friendship and foster international understanding.

With a combined service of almost 500 years, members have raised over £100,000 and helped provide financial and practical support to the elderly, young, disadvantaged and lonely across the town.

Volunteers have presented student travel scholarships, and bought seven replacement beech trees to Warwick Castle Park following the outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease.

Members once catered for all Rotary events, prepared refreshments for Carols in the Castle and held a weekly Meals on Wheels service.

They have knitted countless goods for third world countries and for Christmas Shoebox appeals, and provided equipment to local schools and hospital units.

A nearly new shop was set up in Warwick, charity fashion shows held and one of the final projects - a promises auction helped pull in funds.

The Warwickshire Record Office will hold records of the club meetings and accounts, as a permanent record.