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October 2017

Volunteering is fun and rewarding!

The team of cooksA busy month for the Lions, as we have been heavily involved in a number of community and fund-raising activities. Our BBQ kit was given a thorough work-out again at the annual Taste of Wickham event, which is now celebrating its fourth year. As in previous years, we teamed up with Tull’s the local Wickham butcher, setting up our BBQ stall right outside the butcher’s shop. A wind-blown day, with rain putting in an unwelcome appearance mid-afternoon, meant that numbers were down slightly on previous years. Nevertheless, the Lions BBQ served over 500 portions (about 100 an hour!) and raised over £1,000 for our charity account. 

We also donated the services of the Meon Valley Lions’ minibus, providing a shuttle bus between the offsite car park and Wickham square. Our thanks go to all the Lions and numerous other volunteers for giving up their time and working some long and intense shifts, both at the stall and driving the minibus, throughout the day.

Photo: (above)The cooks in action! (below) Lions marshals at the Memory Walk and the memory tree

The band of marshals!A band of Lions also turned out for marshalling duties at the Alzheimer’s Society’s Memory Walk in Southampton. This is a different aspect of what Lions do – rather than raising money, we volunteer our services freely to others enabling them to raise the cash. Thousands of walkers turned up on a cool Sunday morning, for the annual sponsored walk event held on Southampton Common. There were two walk lengths, of 6.5km and a 2km and the flood of walkers, all dressed in the blue T-shirts provided by the Alzheimer’s Charity, cut an amazing sight as they poured along the footpaths. As we go to press, the Charity has announced that they have raised almost £100,000 fromthe Southampton Memory Walk, which together with the cash from other Memory Walks across the UK, has brought this summer’s total to around £3.5 million! A remarkable total, for a deserving cause.

Many of the walk participants had personal experience of Alzheimer’s and wore cards bearing names of friends and relatives who were suffering, or had suffered, from the effects of dementia. One highlight of the day was seeing the Memory Tree erected near the start of the walk, adorned with all those personal messages and dedications which the walkers had left in memory of those who know longer have a memory.

memory treeAnother highlight was the embarrassed look on the face of the delightful Claire from the Alzheimer’s Society, who referred to us accidentally as Rotary! We’ve forgiven her!

Finally, the Lions put up a team for a charity quiz in Swanmore Village Hall, to raise money for a duet-bike for a special local girl called Ella. The hall was crammed with 19 tables of teams of up to 8 members and the Lions struggled through various disastrous rounds about cuts of meat, art and literature, modern music, faces of TV celebs etc, before redeeming themselves by playing the joker on the general knowledge round and scoring almost maximum points. They upheld the honour of Lions, finishing a creditable 8th out of 19 teams and raising a fair amount towards the cost of the bike.

Think you could be a volunteer? Check out the membership section on the home page of our website, to see if it’s for you.