Vale Royal Lions have been serving the local community for 42 years and, during that time, have raised around £500,000, 100% of which has been used in their “service” work. This local club is part of Lions Clubs International, the largest service organisation in the world with over 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs in over 200 countries. Founded by Melvin Jones in Chicago, U.S.A. in 1917, Lions are celebrating their Centenary, 100 years, in 2017.

Challenges have been set for this centennial period, one of which is to serve over 100,000,000 people around the world. The current count is well over 166,000,000 and the period does not end until June 2018! Nearer to home, Lions in the British Isles also set many targets such as collecting 1,000,000 pairs of used spectacles which are checked and recycled for use in other parts of the world, planting 100,000 bulbs and raising funds for the training 14 Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. Vale Royal Lions have played their part by collecting and dispatching over 6,000 pairs of spectacles for recycling, planting 8,000 bulbs locally including at the NeuroMuscular Centre in Winsford and the Joshua Tree site, and, with other clubs in their district, raising over £11,000 for the training of a Hearing Dog.

Being part of an international organisation has its benefits. Because we are local, we serve the unique needs of the community in which we live. As we are global, we can address community challenges wherever they occur.

Although our service and support work can be widely categorised as being involved with Health and Youth issues, looking at the specifics illustrates the wide range of assistance that we provide.  During the last year we have assisted a local man, who was in need of a life-changing operation, with a donation of £1,000 towards his costs and a similar amount was given to a local family who needed to build downstairs living accommodation for their child with disabilities. We arranged a day out at Petty Pool College with fun on their facilities for a group of local young carers whilst at the other end of the age scale, a Christmas party with lunch was organised for around 20 senior citizens and Christmas hampers were delivered to other elderly within our locality.

Lions are committed to their Service work but they also enjoy many social events throughout the year.  A visit to the Wedgwood Factory in Stoke on Trent was recently enjoyed by several members, as was an evening at Belle Vue Racing arena.  Often their fund raising occasions have a strong social flavour, such as a recent Neil Diamond Tribute event at which they savoured good food and danced the night away, whilst raising around £1450 for the Joshua Tree charity.  Meeting twice each month and engaging in their Service work, Lions become good friends and look forward to spending leisure time together.

Members of Lions are volunteers who primarily provide a Service to the local community.  Membership is a commitment to give some of your time to help others but this generates a sense of achievement and offers an immediate group of like-minded people who become friends with an active social calendar.  With the challenge facing Lions this year, they would welcome enquiries from anyone who thinks that they may be interested in joining them.  To have a chat with a Lion, simply phone 0845 833 8496.



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