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


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

No strings attached!

Lion VP Margaret Trewick presents a cheque to Deborah Snowdon

Lion VP Margaret Trewick presents a cheque to Deborah Snowdon

Morpeth Lions have been going all musical of late. Young Morpeth musician, Deborah Snowdon is looking to purchasing a pedal harp in order to develop her music career.

By applying to grants, bursaries, busking, playing at events, putting on concerts and donations Deborah had managed to raise £4,000 towards the purchase of a Pedal Harp, in order to allow her to progress with her studies to be a professional musician. Deborah lives and went to school in Morpeth and is now in her first year, reading Music at The University of Edinburgh.

Her main instruments for performance are harp and piano. She has been playing on a 34 string lever harp, but to develop further as a musician and performer, she needs to progress onto a pedal harp with 47 strings, which will allow her to perform more virtuosic classical music. Classical music requires a lot of lever changes throughout the music, which makes it impossible to keep the music fluent on a lever harp and the string range is not suitable for a lot of demanding music. Pedal harps have 7 pedals and this mechanism allows accidentals to be played without the harpist being required to stop playing. Instead they can press one of the 7 pedals while continuously playing with both hands and they also allow a performance of a much wider variety of music.

The price of a pedal harp is around £10,000. Several Lions attended a fund raising concert and, whilst there, Morpeth Lion Vice President Margaret Trewick presented Deborah with a cheque for £250. In total the concert raised a total of £1,100 towards the pedal harp. Deborah has promised to play for a Morpeth Lions event in the future.

Kim Bibby-Wilson receiving a cheque from Lion President Ian Brown (right) with Lion Simon Pringle looking on.

Kim Bibby-Wilson receiving a cheque from Lion President Ian Brown (right) with Lion Simon Pringle looking on.

Continuing the musical theme, Morpeth Lions help to raise money each year for the Morpeth Gathering, which is a weekend of music, dance, the arts and local culture. On the Saturday the Lions Street Collection raised £673 for the Gathering. 2017 will be the 50th year of the event and much needs to be done in advance to ensure this is a success. In view of this Morpeth Lions topped the collection up to £1,000 and Kim Bibby-Wilson of the Gathering Committee was delighted to receive a cheque for this amount at a recent Club meeting. Kim stressed that finance is always difficult but the generosity of the Lions will help them to plan ahead with more confidence.

Northallerton Lionesses honour Christine

Lioness Christine Carr with her well deserved award.

Northallerton Lionesses held their Charter Dinner at the Allerton Court Hotel in Northallerton on Saturday 23rd April. Northallerton & District Lioness Club was formed in 1989, an all ladies group serving the community and enjoying friendship along with fund-raising. The Lionesses raise funds in many ways from serving refreshments, holding fashion shows, ladies evenings, coffee mornings, stewarding at a bike race and street and shop collections.

Top table – District Governor David Wells and his wife Margaret, President Beryl Newnham and her Husband Trevor,Baroness Angela Harris of Richmond,and Angela Howard MDLC

They supply their local Friarage Hospital with soft toys for the children who go to the A&E department to help calm them down, and emergency toilet bags and requisites to the Northallerton Women’s Refuge. They supply the emergency Message in a Bottle to Northallerton district residents and in local doctor and dental surgeries. All this in addition to a whole host of other community activity.

The Lioness welcomed the visitors who had joined them from District NE 105. The evening was enjoyed by all who attended, and the presentation of the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award by Past District Governor Lion Roy Chambers – the highest award named after the founder of Lions – to Lioness Christine Carr for 27 years of Community Service and Fund raising made it a very special evening.

Dunfermline Lions raise awareness at Fife College

Lion Cathy Scott with Lion Colin Bell, the Secretary of Kirkcaldy and District Lions Club,

Lion Cathy Scott with Lion Colin Bell, the Secretary of Kirkcaldy and District Lions Club,

Dunfermline and District Lions Club meet on the last Tuesday of the month in the King Malcolm Hotel in Dunfermline. They are constantly on the look-out for members of their local community who would like to assist the Lions Club to serve across the large geographical area of Fife.

Club Secretary Lion Cathy Scott arranged for the Club to have a stand at the Fife College Student’s Association Green Week where they had a table to raise awareness of Lions in the area. Colin Bell, the Secretary of Kirkcaldy and District Lions Club, is a tutor in IT at the College and he invited them to take part.

Together both Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline Lions will be collecting used spectacles for recycling, one club using a bin placed in the Kirkcaldy Campus and Dunfermline Lions with a bin in the Dunfermline Campus. There is a lot more about the work Lions do globally with sight projects on the International website.

Tynedale Beer Festival on Crest of a Wave

The 2016 Tynedale Beer Festival will be up and running once again this year between Thursday 16th – Saturday 18th June at Tynedale Rugby Football Club in Corbridge set within the delightful countryside of the Tyne Valley. Last year the Beer Festival was a resounding success with all three days attracting large crowds of beer and cider lovers, families and friends from the local community and beyond. Many visitors return year after year to enjoy the festivities such is the pulling power of this now well-established regional event.

0Last summer the friendly Beer Festival attracted some 6,500 visitors who sampled a staggering 20,000 pints from the 140 draught beers and ciders on offer, all in tip top condition. Some 230 bottles of Prosecco wine and 75 bottles of Pimms were also consumed. Also available were a selection of table wines, soft drinks and a wide range of good food from the onsite caterers. Throughout the Festival, as always, there was a great variety of live music to generate a party atmosphere from rousing local bands to the more gentle swing of jazz. For families on the Saturday afternoon there was an emphasis on children’s entertainment, magicians and face painting to please not just the smaller ones but adults too. Those wishing to remain reflective could also enjoy watching a sedate game of cricket on the adjoining site on Saturday afternoon or a rather more energetic rugby sevens competition on the first team pitch. The aim of the Festival is simple – to ensure that everyone who comes has a really great time.

The event is a joint venture between Tynedale Lions Club based in Hexham and Tynedale Rugby Football Club and has grown steadily since it first began in 2002. The Festivals have now raised over £450,000 along the way and 2015 was, as anticipated, a record-breaking year after the biggest attendance ever. Tynedale Lions Club is a community service organization made up of men and women from the Tynedale area and is part of the world-wide Lions Clubs International. The Festival is however just one of its fund raising activities. Every penny of profit from the Festival goes to benefit charities and projects in the local area and further afield. The Club members really do enjoy the Festival as much as the visitors do as they join force to raise funds for charitable purposes and good causes in general. Much more information about Tynedale Lions Club can be found on their website

Many will know that later in 2015 Tynedale Rugby Club was seriously flooded. Almost six inches of rain fell over the River South Tyne catchment on December 5th as Storm Desmond struck following a very wet November. This was the most devastating flood event in living memory and statistics released subsequently by the Environment Agency indicated that this was indeed the most catastrophic flooding incident since The Great Flood of 1771 which affected the whole of the North-East. At Corbridge river levels reached 5.76m (19 feet), the highest recorded by the EA at Corbridge since meters were installed there in 1996. It is no surprise therefore that with the whole of the Rugby Club area submerged for 48 hours that much of the Beer Festival equipment which was stored there has had to be scrapped. The Beer Festival Committee is, however, undertaking an ambitious programme to build new bars and to purchase new beer pumps, coolers and ancillary equipment as required. Although the Rugby Clubhouse will remain out of bounds for this year’s event a bigger than ever marquee will ensure that there will be plenty of room for everyone.

The 2016 Beer Festival will be ready in June and will be bigger and better than ever. The Beer festival achieves so much with the support of its sponsors and many visitors alike. The named charities which will benefit this year are Northumberland County Blind Association, St Oswald’s Hospice and Northumbria Blood Bikes. You can learn much more about the 2016 Festival by going to which includes directions on how to get there, many images plus a video. Please support the Beer Festival. Come along and join in the fun. Once again visitors can take the opportunity to use the Festival as a camping, caravan or motor home base from which to explore the attractions of Northumberland. Tickets for the Festival can be purchased in advance online or at Corbridge or Hexham Tourist Information Offices.

Bridging a 320 mile gap to ensure WE SERVE!

The plight of Syrian children in the Bekaa Valley

The plight of Syrian children in the Bekaa Valley – just one cause supported by Lions

Delegates gather at the start of the day

Lions from as far south as Malton in North Yorkshire and 320 miles away, as far north as Stonehaven in Scotland attended a Lions Information Day at The Capital Hotel in Edinburgh on Sunday 20th March. The event which was organised by Past District Governor Lion Andrew Kerr Sutherland was an opportunity for Lions to share ideas on a number of issues that included growing our membership, communication through social media and websites and raising awareness of the Syrian refugee crisis. During breakout sessions in the afternoon there was also a chance for those taking part to share their experiences volunteering in the various roles within their Lions Clubs.

District Governor David Wells sets the scene

The delegates represented a wide age range of men and women who regularly give up their time to serve their local communities in a wide variety of ways. With such a diverse range of fund raising activities that include sponsored mid-winter dips in the North Sea, Santa’s Sleighs and arranging major Beer Festivals there is plenty of experience worth sharing at these annual meetings. And fund raising is so important in hard economic times with all Lions Clubs encountering an increasing number of local, national and international causes that urgently need funding. There was ample evidence during the day of Lions Clubs across Scotland and NE England living up to their mantra – WE SERVE!

Hearing about Syrian children who’ve lost limbs

If you know anyone who has a strong community focus who you believe may want to find out more about Lions please use the contact page to send us a few details and we’ll make contact with them. Becoming a Lions club member gives you the opportunity to volunteer locally, or internationally. But it’s also an opportunity to make new friends and professional connections. And you can be part of a team that leads projects that make your community a better place to live in. Most importantly though, you can have fun doing it!

Lions share out boosts local good causes

A donation of £1500 is music to the ears of Kirkbymoorside Brass Band but Lion’s  fund-raiser Bob Peirson may need another lesson or two.

A donation of £1500 is music to the ears of Kirkbymoorside Brass Band but Lion’s
fund-raiser Bob Peirson may need another lesson or two.

A local health charity, a carers support team, a brass band and scout group,  and help centre for those isolated by disability or mental illness are among those to benefit from the Ryedale Lions 2016 share-out of thousands of pounds of club funds.

The donations are the first tranche of more than £8,000 raised on board the Lions Santa Sleigh around Pickering, Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley to help local good causes.

“Local people have been more than generous in donating their money to us and we have promised to use the money to support local charities,” said Lions Club president, Jim Ingham.  “There are many deserving causes but we have targeted our cash at organisations that will help young and old, those in need of a helping hand through no fault of their own and families affected by a rare but serious illness.”

Next Steps drop-in cafe in Pickering welcomes a donation of £1,000 from the Ryedale Lions Club.  Staff members Gill and Kevin (back left) with Jim Ingham, President, Ryedale Lions (back right) and club users, Cheryl, Callum and Kenny (seated) and Fred (centre back).

Next Steps drop-in cafe in Pickering welcomes a donation of £1,000 from the Ryedale Lions Club. Staff members Gill and Kevin (back left) with Jim Ingham, President, Ryedale Lions (back right) and club users, Cheryl, Callum and Kenny (seated) and Fred (centre back).

The Next Steps group offering support within Ryedale to people with disabilities and mental health issues, including those that suffer with isolation and loneliness, has been given £1.000.  Its volunteers and staff provide support to more than 120 people in Ryedale to help them develop self- confidence, improve work prospects and access to statutory services.

The Lions donation will support cafe-style drop-in centres in Norton, Pickering and Kirkbymoorside, offering help, activities, advice and computer skills, as well as provide opportunities to meet and mix socially.

“This is an amazing gift and we feel overwhelmed by the generosity of the Lions. This money will help our charity tremendously in this difficult financial climate and help people who
otherwise would suffer in silence,” said Leisa Burniston, Next Steps Service Manager.

Encephalitis Society staff Julie Welburn (left) and Cassie Meegan-Vickers prepare for World Encephalitis Day with a £1,000 donation from Ryedale Lions Club fund-raiser Brian Johnson.

Encephalitis Society staff Julie Welburn (left) and Cassie Meegan-Vickers prepare for World Encephalitis Day with a £1,000 donation from Ryedale Lions Club fund-raiser Brian Johnson.

Another £1,000 donation from the Lions will help the Encephalitis Society, based in Malton, to continue its global work supporting people affected by the condition, an inflammation of the brain.

The money will be used in many different ways, from funding its support line, through to training volunteers to help others with encephalitis, or even covering the cost of a member’s place at one of its specialist residential retreats.

“We would like to thank Ryedale Lions Club – and the people of Ryedale – for their generosity. This very kind donation means we will be able to do a lot of good work supporting people who have been affected by encephalitis – a condition which can affect any one of any age around the world,” said  chief executive Dr Ava Easton.

£1,000 is on the Farmers Breakfast menu as Lions President Jim Ingham (left) shares the good news with club member Roy Rimmington and Annette Major, Deputy Manager at Ryedale Carers Support.

£1,000 is on the Farmers Breakfast menu as Lions President Jim Ingham (left) shares the good news with club member Roy Rimmington and Annette Major, Deputy Manager at Ryedale Carers Support.

A third donation of £1.000 goes to Ryedale Carers Support which provides practical and emotional help for carers, the people they care for and older people living on their own.

“Many people aged over 85 spend virtually all of their time in the home and long periods with no contact with the outside world or their family. Such lack of social contact can bring about loneliness and depression. This can be even worse in rural communities where older people have very limited access to public transport,” said manager Claire Hall.

The Lions cash will help the Carers Support team continue thriving monthly events such as its Farmer’s Breakfast at Middleton village hall where retired people from north Ryedale’s rural community living alone and often reliant on carers are brought together to meet and chat over a bite to eat.

Kirkbymoorside Town Brass Band’s ambitious extension plan for a new band and scout hall in Manor Vale has been boosted by a £1.500 donation from the Lions towards the building work.

“We have sufficient pledges of generous financial support to begin the build but there remains more to be done to bridge a significant funding gap before the build can be finalised and so we are extremely grateful for the Lions support,” said John Barrett, the band’s treasurer.

The new 200-seater hall and scout room will provide a massive boost to two local groups who provide support, personal development and enjoyment to many youngsters in the town. The scouts are in need of fresh new facilities, while the band’s teaching efforts are bursting at the seams in its existing band room with some 120 musicians learning to play brass.

Another £500 Lions donation is going to the Kirk Theatre in Pickering to help upgrade its communications system and further beneficiaries for remaining funds are currently being identified by the Ryedale Lions Club.

District 105NE Peace Poster Winner

Lion Ian with Lauren and Mrs Walker-Thomas

Lion President Ian Cave of Tynedale Lions Club was delighted to visit Corbridge Middle School recently to present this year’s winner of the District 105NE Peace Poster Competition Lauren Robson, a Year 8 pupil, with a prize of artists materials. Lauren was one of 26 pupils at the school who took part.

Winning District 105NE Peace Poster entry

This year’s theme was “Share Peace” and Lion Ian said that all the children taking part had done extremely well. It is the second time that the school has produced the winning District entry. Tynedale Lions wish Lauren good luck in the next stages of this worldwide competition.

School art teacher Mrs Gaynor Walker-Thomas was also presented with a crystal shield which the school will retain for one year.


Morpeth Lions give some international help

Most of Morpeth Lions activities are centred locally but the start of 2016 has seen them go international.

Staff at the school

Lion Peter Wallum lives part of the year in the Philippines and at the start of January he headed north from Manila to the Morpeth Kinaragan Aeta School to present them with a cheque for £200 from the Lions.  Morpeth Lions has helped this school since 2002 after the village, near Mt Pinatubo, was destroyed by volcanic activity.  Peter generously added a further £100 and the school has now purchased a television set, a DVD player and a series of educational CDs.  These are greatly appreciated by the staff and scholars.

Secondly the Lions joined in Sanctuary Morpeth Network Day in aid of refugees and asylum seekers.  The Lions are specifically helping medical centres in camps in Lebanon for those fleeing the Syrian war.   Together with Norwegian, British and Lebanese Lions, Morpeth Club is funding a scheme to provide prosthetic limbs for Syrian children who have lost limbs in the conflict.  On the day, some £730 was raised which will be channelled through Lions International.

Lion President Ian Brown (right) presents a cheque to Jim Alder, President Morpeth Harriers and Athletic Club (centre) with former Harrier, Lion Chris Offord looking on.

Thirdly and closer to home, the Lions were able to help the Morpeth Harriers senior men’s team who will be representing Great Britain in the annual Champion Clubs Cup Cross-Country championships in Kastamonu, Turkey.  To help them on their way to the £2000 cost of the trip, Lion President Ian Brown presented the Harriers with a cheque for £200.

Sadly, it was not all good news for Morpeth Lions.  The longest serving Lion, David Hicks has passed on to higher service.  David joined the Lions in 1974 and was President in 1986/87.  David was also well known locally through his business, Town and Country Cabinet makers and many local homes are graced with his restored furniture.  In Morpeth, David has a very visible local memorial as he rebuilt the hands of the St Georges URC Church, which are made of mahogany.  Until recently he was active in all Lions activities and his wood and metal working skills were often called upon by the Lions, particularly in props for various street collections.  The Lions will miss these skills but most of all his wonderful smile and sense of humour. David’s influence continues as a collection at his funeral raised  £200 for the Morpeth Lions charity account.

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

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