Small change turns into big fish
The generosity of Workington townsfolk has provided fishermen in the Philippines with a lifeline.
Within days of a typhoon hitting the islands in 2013, Workington and Workington Derwent Rotary clubs organised a collection on the town's streets and Haigh's Butchers on Pow Street and people gave Â£5,049 to help.
That cash, with a little boost from Rotary, has now been transformed into 80 motorised fishing boats, worth Â£43,000, for the islands' fishermen who lost their livelihoods after the natural disaster.
Ken Kirkwood, president of Workington Rotary, said: "This would never have happened without the generosity of our town.
"Just by donating their spare change, the people here kickstarted a process that allowed us to give the fishermen of the Philippines a real chance of getting their business back."
Extra fund-raising by the clubs raised Â£3,650 and members of the town's Inner Wheel Clubs raised Â£1,000 to add to the street collection total.
The Rotary clubs worked with a Filipino club to see how the cash could be used.
Alan and Patricia Hogarth met with the Manila Rotary club and discovered that 200,000 fishing boats had been destroyed in the typhoon.
It was decided that the aim would be to build 80 boats to help fishermen return to a normal life.
Mr Kirkwood added: "Although 80 boats are a small amount when you compare what these people have lost, we knew it would make a big difference to those 80 fishermen and their families, who are still struggling to survive today.
"We contacted the international arm of Rotary and the Rotary Foundation, which put the final piece of the jigsaw in place.
"This is the story of how a Â£5,049 street collection in Workington transformed into Â£43,000 to help a district of the Philippines survive.
"We couldn't have done it without people here putting their hands in their pockets and we are truly grateful."
All boats will carry the Rotary logo and will have a name associated with Workington.
Rotary members from the town hope to visit the area soon.
Coming soon Tiger Boat Challenge, in partnership with Bassenthwaite Rotary Club, on Saturday 19th September, at Derwentwater Marina, click for details Boat Challenge 2015
We welcomed Ray Inkpen, President of Pine Rivers Rotary , Australia on Monday 10th August.
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