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


Saltburn Homes take Message in a Bottle

In late June, just 13 days before its closure, Middlesbrough Teesside Lions Club received an email request from Dennis Watson living at the Tingdene managed Hazelgrove Residential Park in Saltburn requesting a supply of the “Message in a Bottle”(MiaB). The request was forwarded to Yarm District Lions Club for action.

Lion Giles Bolitho, who had just transferred to Yarm Lions Club from the Middlesbrough Club where he handled the MiaB requests, visited Dennis with a supply of bottles. The site consists of 50 units each occupied by residents aged between 45 and 85 – many of them living on their own. In addition to being Treasurer of the Hazelgrove Residents Association, Dennis knows most of the residents’ needs and capabilities and considers the “Message in a Bottle” to be a necessity in each property.

A supply of 60 bottles has been left with Dennis and Geoff Callaghan Chairman of Hazelgrove Residents Association for them to distribute among the residents.

Within the next 12 months construction work on the site will be completed with a total of 80 units – additional bottles will be delivered when required.

The Club secretary recently received a phone call from an 87 year old lady living in Redcar. She explained that she had found and old and crumpled MiaB form in a drawer and asked if it would be possible to have a new form so that she could update her details. A bottle and form has been delivered to her with an explanation of the process – one ‘white cross on green background’ adhesive label to be placed adjacent to the front door and the other on the fridge door. The completed form is to be put inside the bottle which is placed inside the fridge. Emergency services will have access to all the information they need for treatment.

Filey’s Reading Chair

Filey Lions President Tony Nixon attended Filey Church of England Infant School for the official handover of a reading chair for the outdoor classroom which was funded by Filey Lions.

Lion Tony read the children a story and had photographs taken with them, teacher Sam Highley and headmistress Mrs. Crosier.

Shadow meets his sponsors

Pupils making friends with Shadow

Lions Bill Foster and Gil  Dowson introduce Shadow

Lions Bill Foster and Gil Dowson introduce Shadow

On Thursday 24th September Durham Lions members Bill Foster and Gil Dowson accompanied members of the Training Section of the Guide Dogs to meet Shadow, whose training is being paid for by donations from the Spennymoor Comprehensive School and from Durham Lions Club.

The major part of the donation amount had been raised by the schools efforts with Durham Lions covering the shortfall from the proceeds of a bucket collection held earlier. The presentation of Shadow to the Guide Dogs was held in the schools concert room with Third Year pupils and their teacher.

The name Shadow was chosen by the pupils. The photos show Lions Gil and Bill at the presentation and also the pupils making friends with Shadow.

Thirsk & Northallerton’s epic bed-push

It was a beautiful September Sunday morning with the sun shining and a hint of mist in the air as two cars set off from Northallerton, destination Leyburn Market Place.

Lion John Forrest had rescued two old hospital beds from a local scrap yard a few years ago.  These had been used for bed races at the Northallerton carnival but had been gathering rust for the last few years.  Some months ago Lion Andrea had come up with the idea of doing a bed push along the roads of North Yorkshire.  We had listened to this and we thought it will never happen.  We did not know Andrea though and somehow here we were embarking on this adventure.

Like all events they just do not happen, there had been permissions to seek, insurances to check, sponsorship to obtain and a little bit of scrounging to do.  A nice mannequin was loaned from our local Barkers store and a trailer from Northallerton Caravan Breakers.  What about a few wigs and a bit of fancy dress.  Oh! and an Army Land Rover from the TA.

We were met by a local scout leader in Leyburn and a gathering of family and friends to see off the four volunteers.  Pushing (and pulling) afor the entire 20 mile distance was Lion John Forrest (taking time off from his mayoral duties in Northallerton) who dressed for the occasion and had a multi coloured wig, Lion Andrea Crowe (our organiser), Lion President Stuart Cummings and Lion Andrew Triplow.  Just after 9 am off they went,  Margaret in the front vehicle checking out the route, Lion David in the second front vehicle with trailer containing the spare bed and other equipment.  Coming up behind in the Land Rover were ‘Leggy’   and Preston .  The Land Rover looked a picture with the Lions Feathers wafting in the wind on either side.

First hurdle was the railway crossing over the Wensleydale Railway.  This bridge is controlled by lights, with the lights set back quite a way on the Leyburn side and the rise of the road on that side as well.  Fortunately the team just made the top corner before the traffic set off from the Bedale side and were able to pass on the bridge.   The next worry was Constable Burton, going down a decline before going over a bridge where the road narrowed and then into an incline.  The team had to stop for a rest after that hill.

The roads were now starting to get busy and what a lot of caravans on the move.  Fortunately the motorists were patient and even donated money as they slowed down to pass.  Now is the time to thank all the drivers on the entire route whose journey was inconvenienced during the day, it was all for a good cause.

Andrea’s mum, who will forever be known as Mrs Crowe, met us just outside Patrick Brompton.  Mrs Crowe has been a member of the WI for many years and showed off her skills with four cakes and loads of sandwiches.  Yes, it would have been rude to refuse.

Back on the road before stiffness became a problem and onto Bedale Scout Hut where members of the Barnes Explorer Scouts had prepared lunch of soup and a roll. That went down very well.  There was also time also for Lion Andrea to examine those blisters, not a pretty sight.

The team were then into the last leg onto Northallerton.  Lion Malcolm Singleton suddenly appeared and made up the fifth member of the crew with the bed.  By now the roads were a lot busier and as they came out of the Leeming Bar they were into the faster traffic.  They resisted the urge to turn onto the A1(M) (good decision) and pushed on towards Morton-on-Swale.  There were now some visibly tired bodies but the thought of making Northallerton Town Hall by 4 o clock was driving them on.  Why so time critical, because this weekend was the Northallerton beer Festival and their licence expired at 4 pm.

A last rest just outside Ainderby Steeple and on ward they went.  As they got to the bottom of Lees Lane there was an unexpected left turn into Romanby which caught the lead car off guard.  However, a quick recovery saw the car in position just in time to witness the crew go under the railway bridge.  Remember those feathers on the Land Rover.  They got through in the centre of the road with a centimetre to spare. Phew!

Left into Northallerton High Street and the sight of a crowd of supporters outside the Town Hall was a welcome sight to behold.  Did they make last orders; yes they did by the skin of their teeth.  Even better £1 a pint – well it would have been rude not too.

Well done to the crew.  Still not sure how much has been raised, looks like it will be somewhere near the £800 mark.  Many thanks are expressed to ‘Vasstech of Northallerton’ for the corporate sponsorship and to’ Bluebird Studios of Northallerton’ for printing us some fantastic banners.

After a few days they have all recovered and are looking forward to the next challenge.  Anyone want to hire a bed?

Dumfries keeps on curling

Dumfries Lions recently held their 22nd Charity Curling Tournament at Dumfries Ice Bowl. Twenty two teams of four players from Scotland and Wales took part in a friendly but very competitive tournament involving 6 games over 2 days.

It was heartening to see a good number of junior curlers aged between 8 and 15 taking part and doing so well. They certainly gave  some very experienced players a big fright. The competition split into High Road and Low Road after the first day and juniors played in the winning teams in both sections. A good weekend for Dumfries Young Curlers.

The proceeds of  the Tournament were in excess of £2000 and this will go the International Youth Centre being hosted by Dumfries Lions next year.


Over £100,000 raised for Lions Sight Savers/LEHP

Click on the photo to download an information sheet

Lions across Great Britain and Ireland raised an amazing £102,507.34p between July 2014 and June 2015 to benefit their Sight Savers and Eye Health Programmes.

Lions Clubs International provides unrivalled support for sight programmes and services within local communities across the world. These include vision screenings, eye banks and eyeglass recycling. We provide eye care services to those at risk of losing their sight, and we undertake fundraising where every penny raised helps fund vital sight related projects.

Projects designed to prevent blindness, restore eyesight, improve eye health and benefit eye care have been an essential part of the work of Lions Clubs across the world for nearly 100 years. It was in 1925 when Helen Keller, the inspirational deaf-blind campaigner, challenged Lions to be “knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness.”

Click on the photo to see a PowerPoint presentation about the work of Lions Sight Savers

Click on the photo to see a PowerPoint presentation about the work of Lions Sight Savers

Since the inception of Sight Savers Trust, Lions Clubs International has donated £4m. The aim now is to pay for one million cataract operations world-wide by 2020. In addition spectacle recycling continues with a million pairs of glasses now having been recycled.

Lions World Sight Day is the second Thursday in October and this year falls on 8th October, whilst Sight Awareness Week is 5th to 11th October so a handy two in one. In 1925 we pledged ourselves with Helen Kellar to be Knights of the Blind – let’s try and make this Lions Centennial year one to remember and for those we help – one they will never forget.

PDG Lion Larry Collins MJF

Lion Adrian gets on his bike for charity

Adrian in his Lions colours cycling for charity

Adrian in his Lions colours cycling for charity

Morpeth Lion Adrian Barnes must be getting a bit saddle sore lately.

Firstly Adrian entered the London-Surrey 100 mile cycle event. This is the largest charity fundraising cycling event in the world. Starting in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park the route goes through the City of London, west through Richmond Park and follows the 2012 Olympic Games route into Surrey and back. The “highlight” of the course is negotiating the infamous uphill zig zags of Box Hill. On return to the capital, the route takes in the Embankment, Parliament Square and finishes in the Mall. Adrian completed the course in 6 hours 23 minutes and raised £420 for Lions charities.

Not content with that, a few weeks later Adrian was to be seen in the Sanderson Arcade as part of a team doing a mere 2 hour cycling stint raising funds for Barnabas Safe and Sound, a Morpeth based charity for youths and the homeless. Fortunately it was a static bike and there were no hills. The team raised £600 on the day.

Morpeth Lions are waiting to hear of Adrian’s next challenge but hopefully not for a few months as it is costing them a small fortune in sponsorship monies.

Local charities are Lions golf match winners

Kirkbymoorside Golf Club members at the Ryedale Lions Golf Day (left to right) Mike Anderson, David Tomlinson, Geoff Sherwin and Roland Sterry.

Kirkbymoorside Golf Club members at the Ryedale Lions Golf Day (left to right) Mike Anderson, David Tomlinson, Geoff Sherwin and Roland Sterry.

Local charities are the big winners in the Ryedale Lions Club annual golf tournament.

Some 37 teams from all over Yorkshire took part in the golf day at Kirkbymoorside Golf Club and together with more than 50 sponsors raised a record £3900.

“This was a very enjoyable day for all the golfers and with the invaluable support from the local business community around Ryedale it makes it a very good day indeed for local charities,” said Lions’ tournament organiser Peter O’Malley. “We have no shortage of good causes in financial need and we shall do our very best to ensure we help those most deserving,” promised Peter.

The Kirkbymoorside FC Old Boys, captained by Phil Butler, took the men’s team top prize while the Essentials, led by Sheila Riby, also from Kirkbymoorside, won the ladies’ event.  Prize for tee shot nearest the hole went to Sara Hayman and John Harrison took the straightest drive prize.

Message In A Bottle Could Save Your Life

This is the message that clubs need to get out in to the community. I know that many clubs are doing a lot of work with message in a bottle and some clubs not so much.

I would ask you all to consider new ways of promoting this service to your community. I have listed below some possible avenues that you may pursue in getting the word out I know that some clubs have tried many of these but if one of these leads works, this post on the website will not be wasted!

  • Contact local pharmacy
  • District Nurses
  • Flu clinics
  • Diabetes UK
  • Alzheimers Trust
  • Marie Curie
  • Epilepsy Society
  • Women’s Institute
  • Sheltered Housing Wardens
  • Local Radio Stations
  • Community Centres
  • Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator

Do not forget the Emergency Services, you may have visited them some time ago but staff do change.Has the information filtered down to the front line staff, a quick visit will re establish contact. I would like you to help in improving the MIAB service can you send me an email to let me know the number of boxes of bottles your club has and the number of boxes that you think you will use in one year.

There are 32 Boxes on a pallet each with 90 Bottles making a total 2,880. Currently the cost is £650 plus £60 Transport. i.e. £710. If clubs can not cover the cost of a Pallet or have room to store them why not team up with other clubs in your area to buy one between you.

Gareth Jones MIAB Officer

Gareth Jones <>

Edinburgh Twins

The picture shows the exchange of documents between Lion President, Harald Behofsits Hotz and Lion President, Andrew Kerr Sutherland

The City of Edinburgh Lions Club has twinned with Lions Club Wien Ambassador in Austria – on 30th August. Wien Ambassador began life as a Leo Club and the members turned themselves into a Lions Club in 1989.

Clearly a very active Lions Club as their Facebook page illustrates, Wien-Ambassador had a successful start for the new club year! Their Annual Stelznessen was again this year, a great evening. Lions from many other Club’s in Austria attended the event which was superbly organised by Lion Patricia Eder. This annual event marks the summer break coming to an end and the new club year beginning. 

To find out more about the Annual Stelznessen click here where you’ll find many more photos.

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.
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