Bingo at the Stratford Playhouse

More & more of the Shakespeare Lions are getting a new qualification to add to their CV’s as they become experienced Bingo callers. Under the leadership of Lion Clarissa Roberts, every two months a session is held at Kettle On in the Stratford Playhouse. An opportunity for local residents to chat and enjoy an afternoon cup of tea weekly.
Other groups who benefit from an afternoon of Bingo include local care homes and the WRAP meeting held at Bishopton Community Center.


Life Support Skills Training for School Leavers


Life Support Skills Training for School Leavers in Stratford and Elsewhere - October 2019

We are delighted to advise another successful year of Life Support Skills training including CPR, use of a Defibrillator, the recovery of an unconscious breathing casualty and choking recovery.

The numbers of Year 12 students trained in 2019 were as follows

KES                             135 students                (128 in 2018) (133 in 2017) (112 in 2016)

Stratford School          92 students                  (102 in 2018) (105 in 2017) (32 in 2016)

Stratford Girls GS       39 students                  (56 in 2018) (100 in 2017) (0 in 2016)

Total (Stratford)           1034 students @ October 2019

North Leamington School (January 2019)       63 students (Year 8)

Total to-date                1097 students @October 2019

Training at KES and Stratford School took place over two days each in June and July respectively. As timetabling was difficult at Stratford Girls Grammar School, SGGS, training was limited to one period per week over 2 weeks in September. Unlike at KES and Stratford School where training was compulsory, SGGS operated a voluntary basis within competing Curriculum Enrichment activities. This year we were pleased to be invited to train Year 8 pupils at North Leamington School and look forward to returning next year. Moreover, a milestone achievement of 1000 school leavers trained since 2016 was achieved most of whom have taken Life Support Skills into the wider community.

Throughout the year training was given from a pool of 15 Lions, one teacher and one senior member of Stratford Ambulance Association. During pupil ‘hands-on’ breakout sessions there was generally one trainer to every 3 or 4 students. The introduction this year of formally including measures to deal with choking was much appreciated following the purchase of two ‘choking jackets’.

Our costs this year amounted to just less than £700 which included trainer ‘refresher’ training, new equipment and repairs. We are particularly grateful for a grant of £700 from the Municipal Charities towards these costs.

We envisage similar training opportunities and subsequent costs in 2019.  We have now been running for over 4 years and will seek in 2019 to further review our training programme and equipment in the light of feedback from both the schools and our trainers. We understand that Emergency First Aid is to be compulsorily taught in schools from next September and await details to determine our involvement thereafter. It is timely that our refresher training next Spring is a wider remit from Life Support Skills (CPR/Defibrillator usage/Recovery Position) to Emergency First Aid which includes burns, blood loss etc as well.

Finally, we were pleased to support Holy Trinity Church in the purchase of a defibrillator and subsequent training at the Parish Rooms. The funding and purchase took two years to come to fruition but was particularly well received and a very satisfying experience for Lions.

John Barlow 14/10//2019


Diabetes Testing

Shakespeare Lions completed their Diabetes testing programme at Elizabeth house, District Council Offices, on the 18th October 2018.

The programme took Lions from a Diabetes awareness exhibition in the Tesco supermarket Birmingham road to the Engage Festival at Stratford College. Visitors queued from the time of opening until closing at 4:00 pm. making sure, that they were aware of their results before leaving. Elizabeth House was the final day for testing and Christopher Kettle Chairman of the Council joined in to demonstrate how essential it is to take Diabetes seriously.

The programme was very successful and 94 people were tested in the available time allowed.

Shakespeare Lions acknowledge the support of Tesco Bags of Help who by their donation of funding made this programme happen. Thanks also to Silver Star Diabetes for their testing sessions.

To those who were willing to be tested Shakespeare Lions thank you for coming forward. If you were referred to your GP as a result of our Diabetes programme we hope it has been caught early, preventing more major health implications at a later date.



Shakespeare Lions Youth Evening 2018

The Riverbank Restaurant Stratford upon Avon was the venue on the 5th July for Shakespeare Lions Youth evening 2018.

The evening commenced with The Shakespeare Lions competition for hopefuls aiming to become the clubs Young Ambassador of the 21st Century. Stephen Marsden, Harry Nash and Cora-Laine Moynihan each gave a presentation about a project that they wanted to manage for the charity of their choice. The first round held by Shakespeare Lions club with all competitors receiving £50 for entering the competition. The winner then progresses to a Lions district competition and if successful winning a further £500 and a place in the National Lions Final. The winner from that receiving a further £1000 and an all-expenses paid trip to the Lions European convention in Tallinn Estonia.

All contestants gave powerful and convincing presentations; it was very difficult for Shakespeare Lions to select a winner with all candidates being nominated the winner by some lions.  Cora-Laine Moynihan was declared the winner and will be Shakespeare Lions Young Ambassador and represent the club in the next eliminator at District Level.

Whilst the votes were being counted two young Musicians Sam & Harry Lewis demonstrated further talents acquired by the youth of Stratford upon Avon by the playing and singing of popular acoustic music. All those attending were very impressed with their selection and professional performance.

Explorer Scouts were next to present telling lions about the world jamboree that       they were requesting support for in order to attend. Kate Inman, Cameron Collie, Thomas Taylor, Rebecca Drew and Jasmine Ashfield were given a cheque for £250. They promised to give the Lions an update on their return.

Lion Anne Turner then talked about Young Leaders in Service, a further Lions Youth Programme, and explained to all Lions and Guests the considerable contribution that young people were making in the field of volunteering in the community.

Lions Young people’s programme are ongoing and enquires are welcomed from those wishing for more details as participants or anybody wishing to help with youth programme delivery. Contact Lion Peter Humberstone email: 




Shakespeare Lions would like to thank Tesco for inviting them to publicise their proposed programme entitled. Free Diabetes testing for all on the 23rd May 2018. The programme is currently being balloted on in Tesco Superstore Birmingham road and express store Banbury Road.


Since 1996, the number of people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million.
With someone Diagnosed every two minutes. The number of people living with type 2 Diabetes in the UK is estimated at over 4 million (including those who are undiagnosed) and is projected to rise to 5 million by 2025.
The cost of diabetes to the NHS is over £1.5m an hour or 10% of the NHS budget for England and Wales. This equates to over £25,000 being spent on diabetes every minute.

We applied to Tesco Bags of Help funding to provide a free testing service via a mobile unite. This will give members of the public the opportunity to be made aware if they have or likely to develop the disease. Everyone tested will be given printed information with the conclusions of their test .If the Diabetes test proves positive they will be instructed to visit their GP. By helping to identify people who may need help early; we hope to minimise the effect of the disease on their lives.


If you are shopping in the Tesco stores mentioned please give consideration to this project. Your vote is cast via the blue disc available at all tills. The more funding we receive the more tests can be done.



Life Support Skills Training


(Shakespeare Lions with Stratford Ambulance Association demonstrating on a baby manikin)

Shakespeare Lions in association with Stratford Ambulance Association have been demonstrating Life Support Skills to school leavers in Stratford since 2016. Club members and partners have been suitably trained themselves and receive refresher training annually. With the generous help of the Municipal Charities Trust, the Club has acquired sufficient manikins and trainer defibrillators to enable 2 trainer teams to train 24-30 students in a 90 minute period. Trainees receive a certificate and on leaving school take confidence in life support skills into the community.

By the end of 2017, the Club has trained almost 500 school leavers at KES, Stratford School and Stratford Girls Grammar School. Pleasingly, we have been invited to return to train new school leavers in 2018.


Shakespeare 50th and Lions International Centennial Project (2017 - 2018) (PROJECT NOW LIVE)

(A selection of items we will be demonstrating visually impaired visitors to the Ophthalmic Clinic at the Stratford Hospital)

As part of the Shakespeare Lions 50th and Lions International Centennial, in conjunction with Warwickshire Vision Support, will help to set up and run a resource library for the visually impaired residents of Stratford and District within the new Stratford Hospital. The project, is also being introduced to adjacent Lions groups within the Warwickshire footprint, with a view to making it a county wide initiative. 

Shakespeare Lions will be advised by Warwickshire Vision Support on the resources required for the library (see example list below) which will be located in the Ophthalmic department of the new hospital within a purpose built, Lions branded, display, point of sale with an iPad to demonstrate apps.

The Lions Club will provide a service to run the library and assist people by providing information about the libraries' products and more importantly, to introduce individuals to Warwickshire Vision Support who will provide longer term support, expertise and advice to them.

The project to be funded over a 5 year period to allow for replacement equipment and purchase latest technology.

The Shakespeare Lions Club has raised/allocated £4,500 towards the project to date, but will need to raise a further £3,000 over the coming years. 

The Town Trust has granted a further £2,500 to match fund the initial equipment purchases. 

The project went live on Monday 8th January and we will be stationed in the cafe on the ground floor.

We continue to raise money for good causes in the region.

 Over £11,000 raised for Mencap from the last ever Shakespeare & Wellsbourne Lions Raft Race.

Pictured Lion President Kelvin McIntosh handing over cheque for £11,200.


Money raised for Safeline, a specialist charity for sexual abuse, based in Warwick.

Pictured last year’s Lion President Anne Turner handing over a cheque for £800 after we held a cookery demonstration at In-toto kitchen’s in Stratford.


A small band of the Lions collect used spectacles from Opticians in Stratford and Leamington.

Pictured Lions Dave Bees, Tony Jones, George Young and Anne Turner boxing up some of the collected glasses, between 700 – 900 per month where they are sent Lions Eye Health Programme where they are tested, serviced and sent to third world countries.


Every Second Counts’  Community First Responders

In 2011, Shakespeare Lions, in association with VASA, Voluntary Action Stratford upon Avon, were tasked by Stratford Town Trust to manage the setting-up of a support scheme for Community First Responders (CFRs) in the Stratford area. At the time there were no local CFRs and the support scheme was to facilitate recruitment and retention. Ultimately a fully constituted scheme, Avon Valley Community First Responders, AVCFRS, with Executive Committee Secretary Lion Barbara Lomas, became operational in June 2012.

Shakespeare Lions have continued to support Avon Valley Community First Responders. Concurrent with West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) CFR Training Scheme initiatives, Shakespeare Lions facilitated the successful application for grant funding to the Stratford Town Trust. An award for £6,500 was gratefully received in October 2012 to enable the AVCFR Scheme to purchase essential ‘on scene’ CFR medical kit. Also in October Shakespeare Lions Past Presidents John Barlow and Mike Strophair were on hand to witness the donation by WMAS of a defibrillator to the Scheme CFRs. (See photo).

By the end of October there will be seven CFRs supported by the Scheme, with a further two in training. This highlights the progress to-date with due reward to the efforts of all involved. Hopefully in the future there will be more CFRs to enable the target of the Scheme, 24/7 coverage, to be achieved.

Community First Responders-what do they do? When a 999 call is made within a set radius from the Community First Responder’s address, the ambulance service will generally pass the details to the WMAS trained Community First Responder and request him/her to attend the emergency.  The ambulance service will always dispatch the nearest ambulance resource to the call first.  Once on scene the First Responder will provide emergency treatment to the patient until the ambulance arrives and takes over the advanced care of the patient.


Lions Clubs International News
Connect with Us Online