A ROTARY club has welcomed only its second ever woman president as the group looks to tackle new challenges set by the pandemic.

Alison Farrugia has been named the new leader of Halstead Rotary.

Alison, who lives in Halstead and served as the club’s secretary for four years, has taken over from club stalwart Mike Prince.

Mike has served as president three times over the past two decades and has made way for Alison to become the club’s second female president since its formation in 1948.

The first was Pat Saward in 2009-2010.

Alison hopes to lead the club forward through the pandemic.

She said: “I feel very excited about being appointed as the club president and very much look forward to the year ahead.

“Having previously served nearly four years as club secretary, it’s an honour not only to become the president, but also to be only the second woman president since the club was formed in 1948.

“Of course, the coronavirus pandemic will offer its own challenges and will greatly affect the way I and the club operate, with a much greater reliance on technology, including online meetings and social interactions.

“The coronavirus pandemic has also given an opportunity for everyone to affect change within our community and enhance community spirit through volunteering and helping the isolated and vulnerable.

“Tackling these issues and pulling together is at the heart of what Rotary stands for.

“During lockdown, the club has maintained its weekly meetings via online chats and our fundraising for local charities has continued, with Halstead Foodbank and Halstead Day Centre given priority during these difficult times.”

Alison and the club are also appealing for new members to come forward.

She added: “Halstead Rotary Club is very keen to invite new members and we welcome anyone to apply or to find out more information.

“If you are one of those volunteering during this current pandemic giving support and hope to the community then you are just the type of people we are looking for - ‘People of Action’.

“Come and join us, we are very sociable and like to have fun raising funds or offering direct support within our local community and to those in need around the world.”