SANTA comes to Taunton

Dec 3, 2021

Taunton Rotary Club is providing children of all ages with an opportunity to meet Santa during December Saturdays in the run up to Christmas. 

Santa has kindly agreed to take a few hours off from present preparation to meet young people whose adults would like to make a donation of £5 per family to Rotary Club charities. The children will have the chance to have a photograph taken and will receive an early gift thanks to generous support offered by The Entertainer Toy Shop.

The special grotto will be open to visitors to the Taunton Rotary Club Pop-Up Shop in North Street (near Lloyds Bank), between on:

Saturdays 4th, 11th and 18th December  –  Between 11.00am and 3.00pm

Santa will be accompanied by one of his Elves who will chaperone the children although young people remain the responsibility of their parents or guardians at all times.  

The temporary shop has proved a great success, raising in excess of £7,000 for charities so far.  Local beneficiaries include the League of Friends of Musgrove Park Hospital and Conquest Riding Centre. Action for Climate Change group volunteers are partnering with the Rotarians and have been pleased to dispense advice on recycling and sustainability.

The store will remain until the end of the year selling a wide range of quality donated items every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with the prospect of some additional opportunities to buy during late night shopping on Thursday evenings.

A Rotary Pop-up Shop for Christmas

Nov 2, 2021

Taunton Rotary Club today opened a Pop-up Christmas shop in the vacated premises of the previous store, Topman in the centre of Taunton. The shop will sell a variety of bric-a-brac in the run up to the festive season, opening three days a week on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. The opening ceremony attended by the Mayor of Taunton, Sue Lees, heralded the start of trading and a celebration of the hard work and commitment from all involved.

The shop is served by Rotary volunteers and Friends of Rotary who will ensure all visitors get a warm welcome.  The Club hopes to help the public learn about the Rotary movement and encourage others to get involved in the Club’s many charitable activities and events. The shop hopes to host a Santa’s Grotto in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Don’t miss out, come along, find out more and keep up-to-date with rotary ativities.

The premises are provided free from the  leaseholder, Taunton Heritage Trust who own and run a number of Alms houses throughout Taunton.

Partnership and collaboration feature highly as other voluntary sector partners join together to make use of this town centre venue. Action for Climate Change are also based temporarily in the shop to increase public awareness about the actions that individuals and organisations, both public and private can do.

If you want to volunteer as a Friend of Rotary to help out, then contact us through this website by logging your details as a Volunteer Sign-Up. Donations of items of bric-a-brac are welcome (no clothes).

Call in, find out more and take a look around. You never know, you may find a real treasure.


Cricket Fans’ Generosity Returns

Cricket fans have certainly returned with a gusto following months of ‘cricket’ isolation. Fans flocked to the County ground to see Somerset County Cricket Club in action and many have generously returned to the Rotary charity car park opposite the Vivian Richards Gate on Priory Bridge Road.  The Rotary Club of Taunton run the car park on weekends and bank holidays with the kind support of Viridor who own the site. This year, despite a reduced season, the Club has raised £2,271 which will go towards the Club President’s charities, one of which is the Conquest Centre, a local charity supporting riding for the disabled.

None of this could be achieved without the support and generosity of cricket fans, who donate £5 or more for the opportunity to park close to the ground. If you want a parking place and know that your donation will go to a good cause, get there early when the next season starts.

Young Photographers Celebrated

Scarlett's winning entry

Winners of the Taunton Rotary Club Young Photographer 2021 competition were celebrated at a private awards ceremony due to the restrictions of the continuing Coronavirus situation. Neave Hughes and Scarlett Jones, were presented with  their certificates by Club President Peter Renshaw at an event hosted by Rotarians at the weekend. It was a very successful afternoon, enjoyed by all and much appreciated by the parents and the winners.

All competitors submitted three photographs to exhibit their talent. Both Neave’s and Scarlett’s entries were judged to be especially compelling, artistically creative and technically advanced. Neave will start her further education in the autumn at Bridgwater and Taunton College with the ambition of developing a career in professional photography.  Scarlett, who is also a keen horse rider will continue to develop her skills ad wo knows, she may also find that her talents shape her future career choices. See more of the winning entries on the Taunton Rotary website.

Get your cameras clicking as the competition will be held again this year with entries to be submitted before the end of 2021. The theme for the 2022 competition will be “Colours of Nature”.

If you are a potential entrant, parent, carer or teacher and want to get involved. Find out more about the entry requirements and criteria of Young Photographer and  contact contact Patrick Berry for more information and register your interest. You can email Patrick direct at