North East England and Scotland | At the heart of your Community


Durham Lions Support RNLI’s Hartlepool Lifeboat

At the final meeting of Durham Lions in the Lion year 2015-2016, held on 27th June, a cheque for £500.00 was presented to Steve Pounder from the Hartlepool Lifeboat Station and Durham Lions were invited to make a visit to the Station. Subsequently, Lion Secretary George organised a visit on 24th August, for a group of Lions and friends.

Everyone enjoyed the trip around the facilities and Lion George sent the following message of appreciation to Gary Waugh at the Station:-
‘On behalf of my party of visitors and myself, I thank you for the time you spent with us today.

We greatly enjoyed the video and can readily appreciate the reasons why you received the award and commendation from Prince Charles and The Prince’s Trust.

We also learned a great deal from your in depth talk and explanations of the operations of the Station. The youngsters were enthralled by all they saw and heard and, in particular, the time spent in the Locker Room, Boathouse and especially the opportunity to explore the Life Boat under your expert supervision. It was an experience that they will not forget.

Once again, Gary,we very much appreciate your welcome and hospitality today.’

Youth Centre 2016

Friday 29 and Saturday 30 July saw 39 young people from 28 different nationalities descend on the Cairndale Hotel, Dumfries.

They were there to attend the Lions international Youth Centre hosted by Dumfries Lions Club. A comprehensive programme, involving visits to Glasgow, Edinburgh and various local sites in Dumfries and Galloway, had been organised by Lion Jim and Ann McCormack and Lion Jim and Linda Nelson.

Saturday began with a familiarisation walk round Dumfries led by Lions Club members. In the afternoon the group visited nearby Mabie Forest and after a “getting to know you” walk round the forest and a number of team building and fun games organised, by the local YMCA, they were treated to an excellent barbecue provided by local Lions.

Sunday saw them having a go at curling and skating at the Icebowl. In the evening they attended a Burns Supper Taster where they were entertained by a local young piper and the “Address to the Haggis”which was translated by Norwegian guest Eivind.

Monday was taken up by a trip to Glasgow where we visited the Transport Museum and the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Tuesday was an all action day and involved the students taking part in 6 different disciplines at the Galloway Adventure Centre at Loch Ken.This involved archery, laser quest among the trees, windsurfing, dinghy sailing, standing paddle boards and, the piece de resistance, the long waterslide. All who took part had a great day behaving like big kids.

The adventure day was completed with a barbecue laid on by Dalbeattie Lions Club who are due very big vote of thanks from all concerned. The highlight of the evening was the attendance of the Galloway Pipes and Drums who did a superb job entertaining the group. The students were allowed to try their hand at piping and drumming and the sight of a strapping 6’5” Norwegian trying to blow up a set of pipes usually played by a 5’3” wee lassie was indeed a sight to behold.

Wednesday saw the group taking part in local community projects. One group helped tidy up and prepare flower beds in an old play area in a primary school in the town. The others helped create a new footpath for visitors to Ellisland Farm a former home of Robert Burns. The efforts of both groups were greatly appreciated at both venues.

Thursday was a full day visit to Edinburgh arranged by the City of Edinburgh Lions. The National Museum of Scotland and the Castle were high on the list of places to see. The highlight was of course, the world renowned Edinburgh Military Tattoo with its massed bands and massed pipes and drums. A long very satisfying day saw us returning to Dumfries at 3.00 A.M.

On Friday a Civic Reception was arranged by the Town Council. The group were welcomed by the Provost of the town who allowed them to try on his ceremonial robes and chain of office.

Saturday was a quiet day to give time for rehearsals for the concert being planned by the students.
A Ceilidh and Dinner held in the evening was a great success. All the guests danced the night away and the sight of the 39 and other visitors attempting an Orcadian Strip the Willow (Google it) will linger long in the memory.

Sunday was the day for packing, rehearsing and finishing off country presentations. The concert was an amazing, entirely put together and performed by the students. The talent on display from pianists, guitarists, singers, dancers, poetry readers, drummers and jugglers would grace any TV talent show.

Monday, the last day, saw them all up and ready to go at 7.00 A.M. for the journey to Manchester Airport where we were met by Pauline Hodgkinson of BS and her airport team.

Three years of intensive planning and ten very busy days were suddenly over.

We were all sad to see these wonderful friendly young people leave.

We wish to thank our own Club, Dumfries, and the other Clubs from NE who supported us so well.

Lionesses fuel Great Yorkshire Bike Ride

Lion Chris Atkinson,Lioness President Chris Wall,and Lion John Boulton from Wetherby Lions presenting a cheque to Northallerton and District Lioness Group for £600.00

Lion Chris Atkinson, Lioness President Chris Wall,and Lion John Boulton from Wetherby Lions presenting a cheque to Northallerton and District Lioness Group for £600.00

The cheque was a donation to the Lionesses  Charity Fund, for their help in serving Tea and Refreshments at the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride in Filey, to the cyclists who take part at the end of the race. Lioness and partners have taken part for several years and it has been enjoyed by both them and the cyclists. Lion Chris and John enjoyed the meeting and gave an outline on 25 years history of the GYBR and how they had been enticed into riding it on a tandem. There are over 2000 Cyclists taking part in the ride.

The Great Yorkshire Bike Ride is one of those lucky events, which is all things to all people. It’s a great cycling event, one of the biggest around. It’s a fantastic, beautiful route across the best of Yorkshire. It’s a great day out, and it continues to raise large amounts of money for charity projects.
It is also one of very few one-way events rather than the normal circular route. Perhaps that is one of the big attractions, to actually go somewhere. This does make the logistics of the event somewhat harder though!
Event History 
The event evolved out of a ride that was organised by Alan Kay to raise money for Tockwith Youth Club in 1983. Forty cyclists, mainly members of the youth club and their parents, rode from Tockwith to Scarborough. Alan rode with them and I followed in a van with food, water and spares. This was somehow very prophetic, as it happened, and set the scene for the future in more ways than one.
The following year we decided to make it an open event, and the Great Yorkshire Bike Ride, as we know it, was born. 284 riders took part, we raised £8,900 for charity and everyone loved it. The event carried on like this for another five years, getting bigger and bigger. Alan always rode the event while I worked out how many plastic cups we needed, where to get vans from, how to get the printing done, and how to get whatever from wherever to where it was needed.
The ride out-grew the seafront site in Scarborough, and following Alan’s departure to South Wales, I moved the finish to it’s new home in Filey and let it grow to it’s present notional limit of 1,500, later 2,000, riders. It’s success is now legendary. We attract riders of all ages and abilities. To some it is an easy fun thrash to the coast, to others, who have never ridden so far and so long, it is the equivalent of climbing Everest. The atmosphere on the day is electric. The entrants have taken this event to their hearts and every year we are vastly oversubscribed. The riders and their supporters continue to do fantastic work with the sponsorship money and it keeps rolling in. From that £8,900 in 1984 we advanced to the current record total, set in 2011, of £151,635. Our average for the last five years is over £136k and we have raised nearly £1.28m of the overall total in the last 10 years.
We have been fortunate to have the continued backing of some great sponsor companies including, Premier Farnell, Brownridge Transport, Wilby Ltd, Eurest,, Cyclesense, Chevin Cycles, All Terrain Cycles Goosemoor Organics, plus many smaller companies.
The event is a joint co-operation exercise between the organisers and the recipient charities. Wetherby Lions assist me with the logistics of the event by co-ordinating the charity helpers for marshalling etc., leaving me free to handle the paperwork and hardware side of the ride. Excellent support is provided by all concerned.
Event Landmark
2002 saw us break the £1m barrier of total funds raised. The 2011 event saw us pass £2m,  we have now raised £2,607,734 at latest update. This fantastic achievement is a credit to all those that have helped and supported us for so many years. Many thanks to you all.
I continue to have the personal support of many friends, colleagues, family and other helpers for the key elements of this very large and very complex event.
Believe me, this event could not function without them. They know who they are, and my personal, eternal thanks go out to them all.

Lions assist Whitby InterActive

Photo: left to right – Lion Chris Roe, Sally Sansom (InterActive), Lion Sally Christmas. Lion Bob Stevens, Helen Panconi (InterActive), Lion Neville Marsey.

Photo: left to right – Lion Chris Roe, Sally Sansom (InterActive), Lion Sally Christmas. Lion Bob Stevens, Helen Panconi (InterActive), Lion Neville Marsey.

Whitby District Lions were able to assist InterActive in sending twelve local young people with disabilities on an adventure weekend.

InterActive has been running this special weekend away for several years now but the original funding for this activity had ended. Whitby District Lions stepped in and donated £1,200 to ensure that it would continue for at least one more year. This is in line with the Club’s main purpose, to spend the monies raised throughout the year, within the local community. The aim is to raise and distribute £12 to £15,000 a year and upwards of twenty local clubs, associations and individuals have benefited from our efforts in 2016.

Whitby Lions have several fund raising events throughout the year, the main events are the boxing day dip and the beer festival but there are other smaller events running throughout the year. This year we are organizing a new event; a fun Charity Rainbow Paint Run on the beach in which all the participants end up covered in powder paint whilst having a 4k run up and down the beach!

As well as all this we supply, insure and maintain a fleet of ten mobility scooters and loan these out to local people to assist in their everyday life.

InterActive specialises in giving inclusion opportunities to youngsters with disabilities and special needs. In addition to the activity weekend and a youth club, they run regular weekend and holiday activities and outings for disabled children and young people aged 5 to 25, providing the opportunity to learn new skills, enjoy new experiences and to take part in activities that other young people of their age take for granted.

InterActive also supports family members, providing the opportunity for parents, carers and families to come together and share the joys and frustrations of caring for a disabled child.

Dunfermline and New Zealand Lions meet

l to r Kane, Cathy, Richard, Janet and Mick

Lion Janet Groat (left) and Lion Cathy Scott

Lion Janet Groat (left) and Lion Cathy Scott

Here are a couple of photos taken last night when we met Lions Janet and Kane Groat from Blockhouse Bay-Lynfield Lions Club, New Zealand informally, as we were not having a business meeting this month due to the fact that we are attending a Community Council 4 day event for children in one of the Dunfermline catchment areas. They agreed to meet us at the hotel where we hold our meetings and myself and Lions Mick and Richard were also there. We had a lovely conversation with them about our different clubs and the reasons why we are Lions. Janet presented me with a banner from their Club but, because I do not have any Dunfermline banners, I presented her and Kane with Lion pins that the Club must have had made some years ago. They were delighted with them and this became a topic of conversation about the size of Clubs in their area and us being such a small club but willing to work wherever we are needed to help raise awareness of who and what Lions are.

We must have talked non stop for a couple of hours before we had to go our separate ways but we all thoroughly enjoyed hearing what they get up to on the other side of the world.


Lion Peter takes over as Durham President

On 20th July some 20 people gathered together at the Daleside Arms for a supper of broth and bun followed by apple pie and cream. The occasion was the formal handover of the President’s chain of office from Lion Alvan Bailey to the incoming President for 2016-2017 Peter Oakley. Alvan wished Peter good luck for the coming year and looked forward to further development of the club’s projects and events. Alvan was thanked by the members for his efforts during the past two years as President, in particular involvement with schools and youth. Peter presented Alvan with theatre vouchers which were much appreciated.

City of Durham Lions Club was chartered in 1970 joining the world wide Lions International organisation. Our activities are not confined to the City of Durham, we cover many of the surrounding areas with our support and activities. We were “Club of the Year” 2013/14 in our District which stretches from North Yorkshire through the North East of England and includes the whole of Scotland.


Sunderland Leos Queen’s 90th party for homeless

Members of Year 12s Leos Amy Davison, Hannah Munslow, Simrin Kaur and Sarah Hewitt-Chapple went to the Bethany Centre to help out at the summer barbeque for the vulnerable homeless who regularly attend the centre every Friday for a meal provided by the centre.

At the final meeting of Sunderland Lions Club before the summer recess, a handover of Leo President took place. President Mary Lopez handed over the chain of office to incoming President Amy Davison. This was a special evening and the first time a Leo handover had taken place within a Lions meeting.

At the final meeting of Sunderland Lions Club before the summer recess, a handover of Leo President took place. President Mary Lopez handed over the chain of office to incoming President Amy Davison. This was a special evening and the first time a Leo handover had taken place within a Lions meeting.

This time however, Sunderland High Leos had raised the money to provide the barbeque to celebrate the Queen’s 90th Birthday. In addition they were also able to give each of the guests a small present. The Leos were given a warm welcome by Geoff Foster who organises the lunches and the team of helpers which this year has included Sarah who has gone across every Friday to help serve since the Leos first became involved with the centre on Boxing Day when we provided a meal and a Christmas gift for the guests. This was done after helping out at the Lions Boxing Day Dip.

A good time was had by all those involved and we received many thanks for our contribution to the lunch. Well done Year 12 Leos, you are amazing!

Sunderland Lions are also very pleased to announce that Head of Sixth Form at Sunderland High and former Leo Jackie Robson is now a LION. Welcome Lion Jackie – we hope your stay with Lions will be a long and rewarding one.



Durham Lions Select Olympic Winners

After completing the judging of the Olympic Posters produced by pupils at the other school in Durham Lions Olympic Poster  competition Esh Winning Primary School we were invited to attend the School’s Friday Assembly to meet the staff and pupils.We joined them on 8th July and after being introduced by the Head Teacher Caroline Hodgson we described the aims and work of Lions and in particular Durham Lions in the community. After that presentations were made to the competition winners. Each one received a cash prize plus a Lions Certificate celebrating their win. Lion President Alvan also presented Head Teacher Caroline with a thank you certificate for the staff and their support. . A composite picture of the winning posters is attached hereto.It should be borne in mind that some groups at this school, such as nursery and reception, are very young children .
It has been a pleasure for Durham Lions to be involved with the Blue Coat School and Esh Wiining School in this poster project, which we hope to repeat next year with a different subject and hopefully an additional school.

New President for Ryedale Lions 50th anniversary

New President of the Ryedale Lions, David Warin, wearing the chain of office, with retiring President, Jim Ingham.

New President of the Ryedale Lions, David Warin, wearing the chain of office, with retiring President, Jim Ingham.

Ryedale Lions Club has a new President as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

David Warin, of Pool Court, Pickering, takes over the post with the aim of promoting the Lions traditional role in fund-raising and providing support to those in need in the local community.

“The world has certainly changed a lot since our local Lions club was founded 50 years ago but we still have many disadvantaged individuals and deserving community groups in our area who look to organisations like ours to give them help and financial support,” said David.

David is a well-known figure in the area for his community efforts and was awarded the MBE in 2013 for his work with his wife, Janet, in promoting road safety in local schools for many years, following the death of their 17-year-old son Daniel in a car accident in 1995.

He retired 20 years ago as deputy head at Norton School. Since then he has been heavily involved in voluntary work across the wider community of Pickering including bereavement supporter at St Catherine’s Hospice, volunteer at the hospice’s shop in Pickering, and the organisation and provision of Christmas Day meals for the elderly at St Peter and St Paul Church, where he was also a member of the parochial church council and deputy church warden.

Not only is it the Ryedale Lions Club’s 50th anniversary this coming year, but it also marks the centenary of the international Lions organisation. “We can certainly celebrate our success over the years and we look forward to even more in the future,” said David.

With around 50 members in the Ryedale Lions sharing a common interest in wanting to help others, the club is now regularly raising over £20,000 a year and lending a hand at a wide range of local events.

The club also operates a fleet of more than 50 mobility scooters to help those who would otherwise be housebound to retain their independence.

In September this year HRH The Countess of Wessex who is our Patron has set herself a challenge.

In September this year I shall be cycling 445 miles from the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh to Buckingham Palace in support of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Diamond Anniversary Appeal.

Some months ago I was asked by the Award (DofE) to take up a challenge in celebration of this incredible milestone. The funds being raised by me as well as many others all over the country will give thousands more young people in the UK the opportunity to experience the life changing opportunities the Award offers. I have personally witnessed the incredible impact the Award has on every young life it touches, so I had no hesitation in agreeing to play my part.

I believe every young person should be given the chance to take up the DofE. It offers each participant the chance to become motivated, self confident, community aware individuals regardless of their background, ability or culture, helping them realise their potential and in many cases turning lives around for the better. At the gold level it equips young people with the self- belief and work-ready skills they need to succeed.

So what could I do? It had to be something outside my comfort zone that was challenging enough to require a high level of personal commitment. Cycling is something I only tend to do with my children and never for more than the odd hour. It is something I’ve always found to be one of the more testing forms of exercise physically and mentally, so cycling it had to be!

I am now training hard and trying to get to grips with the kit, the fitness level, the seat(!), the aching shoulders, wrists and backside, the terrifying roads, the hills and worst of all the cleats! Yes I have fallen off several times, but the bruises are fading and each time out gets a little better. The training is hard work but I am determined to be fit enough to complete my journey. Your support in sponsoring me will make me all the more determined.

There are a number of people who have been incredibly supportive of me in putting this event together. I would like to thank the team who will be accompanying me on my ride, in particular Jamie from Boardman Bikes and Rachel from RMAS. David, Pippa, Martin and Roy, thank you all for your incredible support in sorting the logistics, route etc. and in ensuring that we don’t have to sleep under the stars!

The DofE sometimes struggles to gain the attention it deserves. I hope by doing this bike ride I will not only help them achieve their Diamond Challenge Fund goals, but may also interest others in doing their own challenges no matter how big or small. If you think you could do something for the DofE this year, you will be helping thousands of young people all over the country.

For more information on doing your own Diamond Challenge visit, or for general details about the DofE Award visit

District Convention 2018

16th to 18th November 2018
Join us for some good old fashioned Yorkshire hospitality at our 36th Annual District Convention at The Golden Lion Hotel, Northallerton.
Nestled in the centre of the Vale of York, Northallerton is the heart and county town of North Yorkshire. The town has good communication links, it is on the East Coast main line, and is situated in the centre of the A1(M) and A19 corridors.
Download your invitation and booking form on the button below

If you need the password to the "Member's Area" please e-mail here including the name of your Lions Club.
DG Team 2017/18

District Governor (centre)
Lion Malcolm Hogg
Aberdeen Bon Accord

1st Vice District Governor (right)
Lion David Wilson
2nd Vice District Governor (left)
Lion Richard Lukey

Click here
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November edition of Spotlight,
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