A CLUB which has fostered friendships and fundraising opportunities for more than half a century has met for the final time.

Rotary Spennymoor has closed after 54 years in existence – but in doing so kept up its tradition of backing good causes by donating more than £6,300 to charities and organisations in the town.

After its last ever meeting, held by Zoom, the Spennymoor club gave away the proceeds of its recent fundraising efforts to organisations ranging from Spennymoor Gala Committee – the volunteers who arrange the town’s annual summer event - to the town’s foodbanks to support residents in need of support to get basic supplies and food.

Numbers at the club had dwindled in recent years and the remaining Spennymoor members have now joined Newton Aycliffe Rotary.

Tony Jack, who last year became the club’s youngest ever president at 26, said: “We felt that we would be stronger together, so decided to join with Newton Aycliffe to ensure Spennymoor still has a voice in the community.

“Fundraising and projects in Spennymoor will continue under the new arrangements and we are delighted to be able to give away this amount of money to help mainly local causes.

“We’re very grateful for the support the town has given us over the years.”

Other organisations which benefited from the donations included Spennymoor Town Band, which received £750, the Spennymoor Youth Centre, which got £1,500.

Smaller amounts went to other causes such as St Paul’s Church, Tudhoe Methodist Church and Spennymoor Stage and Song.

The Spennymoor Mayoral Charity campaign also received a donation. This year Mayor Liz Wood chose to support the Learning Library, which provides a free service loaning out toys and specialist equipment to adults and children with learning disabilities, and the Solan Connor Fawcett Family Cancer Trust.

Money was presented to the Green Tree pub in Tudhoe– where the club has met for a number of years – for staff to give to their own chosen charity.

The club has also committed £1,000 towards installing a memorial bench in the town centre.

Spennymoor Rotary was part of Rotary North East, which comprises 54 clubs in the region.

For more than 50 years, it supported good causes at home and overseas with one of its biggest annual events being a Christmas Message prize raffle. Members are already used to working with neighbouring Rotarians on events such as a swimathon.