How we Serve

Lions motto is "We Serve" - and as you can see from the items below, our club is pretty active in supporting those who are not so fortunate as ourselves.

Whilst the majority of this help tends to be financially based, we are also more than prepared to "get our hands dirty" by physically helping out, after all, service is not just about signing cheques.

Each month the club members meet in our Business Meeting (which anyone is welcome to attend) when amongst other items, we decide on how to distribute our funds. This is usually following appeals which we have received but can equally be a pro-active suggestion from a club member.

If you have something you feel that Lions could support, drop us a note via the contact us page and we will see if we can help. We cannot give a promise to support everything but we can guarantee that your request will be given consideration.



Further Global Disasters sees our Charity Foundation spring into action.

Floods, Tornadoes and Cyclones take their toll

In the past few weeks, several areas have experienced devastating tragedy with catastrophic floods overwheliming the Central United States and parts of Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe.

In all cases, hundreds of levees and riverbanks have been breached and entire towns have been destroyed with thousands either known to have died or missing.  Livestock and crops have been decimated and it will take many years for things to recover.

In the days immediately following the disasters, LCIF awarded Emergency grants totalling $170k and with the gravity of the situation becoming more apparent, the foundation has approached clubs worldwide with a request to support these particular disasters.     Our club has agreed to make a donation of £1000 to the LCIF Emergency fund to help maintain its ability to respond to similar catastrophes which appear to be happening more frequently than in the past.   To see how Lions respond to disasters, follow this link.

Donations in memory of two people one to an organisation that has helped us immensely was made this month.

Supporting the memory of others

The passing of a local businessman who supported the club for many years saw us making a donation to the Milton Keynes University Hospital Cancer Appeal which was the charity chosen by the family for any donations in his memory.

At the current locations on site, cancer services at Milton Keynes University Hospital are stretched to capacity with a cramped waiting room and at times long waits to be seen.
Over the past five years the cancer team has worked tirelessly to improve the services available in the existing facility. But even with these improvements, Milton Keynes cancer patients still have to travel to Northampton, Bedford or Oxford to access some of their treatments.   At the heart of all this is the extra
pressure placed on the patient and their family during an already anxious and stressful time, resulting in lengthy journeys and disjointed care away from their local area.

A new cancer centre means the hospital can better support each and every cancer patient and be able to provide most of the cancer services they need in an excellent environment close to their homes.The new Milton Keynes Cancer Centre will be a dedicated space offering treatment and a wide range of information and support services to anyone affected by cancer, all within a comfortable and welcoming environment.    Importantly, the new cancer centre will bring together most treatments under one roof – where currently cancer care is provided in three different locations on the hospital site.

Helping those who helped Jenson

11 year old Jenson Belkevitz, one of our Childrens Charter beneficiaries lost his long battle with Batten's disease recently and the club made a donation to the two charities which had supported him and his family during his illness.

The first of these was Redway School in Milton Keynes.   This school is ‘an extra special’ special school within Milton Keynes which focuses on meeting the needs of all pupils, both collectively and individually.

Committed to providing an enjoyable, quality education for all our pupils within a friendly atmosphere where they can fulfil their potential, grow in confidence and most importantly be happy.   The school believes in encouraging every child to feel valued in an environment where all achievements, however small are recognised and celebrated.

Working closely with parents and carers our young lads family had such pride in what the school were 
achieving with him, that they felt that supporting them would be a fitting memory for all that they had done for their boy.

We were more than delighted to make a donation to the school which we have also done in the past, so know only too well what they manage to achieve in very difficult and stressful situations.

Emily's Star

The second charity we sent a donation to was Emily's Star.

This local charity aims to grant wishes to families who have a child or children with any life limiting or life threatening illness & are supported by a Children with Complex needs nursing team within Milton Keynes.  They also aim to help families make memories which are carried out in various ways..

In addtion the charity provides neonatal boxes to local neonatal units.  These contain items for both mum and premature or underweight babies and are called "Emily's gift" which in itself is in memory of their own child Emily who suffered from a life limiting condition and is now a Star shining brightly for years to come thanks to the charities work.

A massive thanks for Dickens

Our Dickens event could not go ahead but for the help from many of our friends group as the amount of work appears to be increasing each year as the Lions Members get older.

The physical work not only get harder but wih many of us having bones that begin to creak, so we have delighted that younger ones have come to our rescue in the form of the Air Training Corps based in Cranfield.

These future stalwart citizens have become our helpers for Dickens and there can be no doubt that we have been so successful thanks to their lifting, laying, running around and generally giving us an added impetus with their good humour and willing way they do it..

Once again, we were delighted to give a donation to their Squadron Funds, not as payment, simply as an appreciation of our thanks at making our lives just that little bit better.   Least said about their rendering of Christmas Carols outside the Carlton House club, the better!!!!!

 The New Year saw us supporting some Lions International Projects and the local Olney Newton Link.

Helping bring light to others lives

Lions International Foundation (LCIF) is the grant making organisation from Lions which supports the international communities in time of disaster and when major funds are needed for specific projects.   All funds given by the foundation are, in the case of major disasters, managed by local Lions Clubs and are mainly used for the recovery of communities after the major Government/Charity response has left the location.
In other cases, parnerships are formed, one of which is Sightsavers International, who carry out life changing operations to restore sight, prevent sightloss and combat conditions and illnesses that will inevitably lead to the individual becoming blind.   This month we made a £500 donation to the Sightsavers project and will, in time, find out exactly what the money was spent on when we receive our statment outlining where our money was sent, the number of operations, treatments and ancilliary work which it enabled the staff to carry out.  Click here or on the graphic for more details on the charity.  *********** STOP PRESS ***********  Just before we sent our cheque off, we received info that the UK Government has entered into a match funding exercise which will see our donation doubled.  Further information can be obtained here.

Aiding others obtain the things we take for granted

Another partner organisation is Water Aid who work in under developed countries to provide the communities with clean water.   This is done via a wide range of projects and includes provision of sanitation, water wells, training and education into combating water borne disease.

Supported extensively by Lions Clubs in the UK, we have been active in our commitment by making regular donations to the organisation via our Multiple District.
This month, we made a further donation of £500 to Water Aid.  Click here or on the graphic to find out more about the charity.

Olney Newton Link

Helping the Skills Centre in Newton

We have supported the Olney Newton Link in many ways since it was created a number of years ago following the disastrous civil war which left so many dead and disabled.

The link to John Newton, slave trader turned reformist and his association with Olney and who the Sierra Leone town is named after, was the impetus for a number of locals to set up the charity.

Our donations have seen us finance a wide range of projects including 3 houses, contribution to a new power generatior, materials for the school, cost of roofing on the skill centre roof with various other small donations for a range of items which the trustees were providing.
Our latest contribution was the purchase of 5 chairs for the expanding skill centre where locals can obtain the training necessary to assist them to obtain the skills which will enable them to provide for their families helping them to become independent.

 This month saw Lions becoming involved in another Indonesian Disaster

Lions living up to our International title

With more than 2,000 natural disasters, 2018 has been Indonesia's deadliest year in more than a decade. The earthquake which hit Lombok and Bali in July, another earthquake and tsunami striking Central Sulawesi in September and an undewater volcanic eruption triggering a tsunami in the Sunda Strait in late December were just some of these. Through the selfless generosity of our communities,l Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has been able to provied $160,000 to Indonesia and more than $1.5m in total designated distaster funding worldwide over just the last 6 months. 
Our club, with your support, has made a (modest) contribution to that total and as a Lions club finances are structured in such a way as to ensure 100% of our donations reach the location intact. Nothing is syphoned off for 'administration costs' as these are met out of members own pockets in the form of membership dues. You can therefore be assured that your donations are used to their maximum in helping us support those in most need in the local, national and international communities we operate in.


 This month saw us out and about as well as making a donation to our Local Retained Fire Service and helping another charity.

Royal British Legion Poppy Day

A few weeks before Remembrance Day, we were on the Market Place selling our Calendars.  It was a wild and windy day but we were (relatively) protected from the elemets thanks to our gazebo which afforded us a fair degree of comfort - unlike the poor soul selling poppies who was looking pretty miserable.

We offered her a corner of our gazebo which she gratefully accepted and being friendly with Tom Jones (no 'not the singer' and pop icon who, our Tom say "it's not unusual" for the mistake to be made - sic) the organiser of the Poppy Day collection, we suggested that as we were going to be present at the Thursday Market, why not simply let us look after the can and sell poppies along with the calendars.

A win - win situation as many of our customers added a poppy to their purchase with a number of those buying a poppy decided our calendars were so good that they would have one too.
Tom advised us that the can had raised almost £40 and 'could we do the same again next year'.   Of course we will as this is what Lionism is all about.   Helping others in the Community and so another partnership has been forged.

Bucks Fire & Rescue

We were approached by one of our local retained Fire Fighters for some assistance in helping them purchase a new Treadmill for the Olney Fire Station.

Being aware that retained members of Bucks Fire & Rescue don't have the same opportunities to use such equipment throughout the day in the same way as their full time colleagues, and knowing how important it is for members to be as fit as possible in the role, it didn't take the club too long to
to agree to make a donation to the appeal

Christmas Gift Distribution

Every year the club puts aside funds to purchase a small gift for as many of the elderly in the community as we are aware of.

Who receives these gifts is very much dictated by those we are advised about as in this day and age, data protection laws prevent us from getting details from the official bodies who carry the knowledge.

This is, without doubt, the most appealing part of being a Lion in the Newport Pagnell & Olney Area and we enjoy visiting the residents who have come to know us though many years of doing the activity.

It can often be sad when we find out that one of the recipients has either moved into the care system, left the area or simply passed on.

New faces do appear during our trips round but we are always looking for new names for our list and if anyone reading this item is aware of someone who may live alone, not be so active as they used to be or a couple who may not get out as often as they would like, why not let us know via our Contact Us page.
Do not give us the details, simply let us know that you have someone who you feel we should visit at this time of year and one of our members will be in touch to find out more about the person you are referring to.  Only then will we be able to consider adding the name. 

 Service in the form of activity this month.

Olney Fireworks

The club often works with other organisations in our two towns as part of our Service Program and one such volunteering group, The Olney Group, better known as TOG, are responsible for the annual Olney Town Fireworks display.   Like ourselves, mobilising a large number of people to make the event happen is an increasing problem and a number of years ago, they approached the Lions requesting our help which we were more than happy to provide.

Over the years, the Lions club have become responsible for managing the main entrance point to the display, helping ensure a smooth access for up to 3000 people each year whilst checking tickets and collecting entrance money.
This is one of our many enjoyable activities which give us a great opportunity to meet local residents whilst helping a great group of people who put on the display in a most professional manner.

Olney Defibrilators

The appeal to raise funds for additional defibrilator equipment in Olney has been extremely successful and the first of two units has been sited in Market Place.

Although housed in a secure casing protected by a combination lock, anyone contacting the Ambulance service as a result of an emergency, will be provided with the code to enable them to gain access to the equipment at the same time as an Ambulance is directed to the emergency..

The location of the second unit has yet to be decided but this will be published in the local press and this
additional equipment, we hope, will never need to be used in anger but if such a situation arises where this 

 This month we decided to support Honeypot and arranged to recycle glasses.

Honeypot Children's Charity

To further support the Honeypot Children's Charity, we decided to organise a cake stall in Olney's Market Place.

Honeypot has been operating since 1996 and works to enhance the lives of young carers and vulnerable children aged between 5-12 years old.   The only charity in the UK which provides respite breaks and on-going outreach support throughout a child's formative years, it gives young carers a break from the demanding and stressful responsibilities at home and provides a safe, nurturing environment where children at risk can develop their true potential.
With donations from a number of the local retailers and many of our members and friends, we were not only aiming to raise funds for the charity but also the more important objective of raising awareness amongst the public in Olney.
Armed with publicity collateral supplied by Honeypot, we sold almost £200 worth of cakes and spoke to many locals giving them details of the charity, its aims, objectives and generally Had a fantastic morning down at the Market Place, with our cake stall. 

Olney Defibrilators

One of Olney's local businessmen felt that the existing Automatic External Defibrilator (AED) access in Olney was not providing the level of cover which the town needed as most were either in remote areas to serve a particular audience such as the sports area, club or Olney centre or in premises which may not be open or easily accessible to the public.   Whilst located in areas where large groups were regularly close by, opening times and the time it could take to obtain the equipment was hardly ideal.

His idea was to finance additional equipment in the centre of town and he started a fundraising appeal to purchase the equipment. 

When we heard of this, we felt that it would be appropriate for us to support his efforts especially as we had helped finance some of the other AED's consequently we arranged to make a donation of £200 to the appeal.
Not only did we make donations to the other equipment but we also paid for a training course for some of the staff in areas where the equipment had been used in earnest.

 This month we decided to support Honeypot and arranged to recycle glasses.

Honeypot Children's Charity

Following our fact finding exercise carried out last month, the club decided to make an immediate donation of £250 towards the Charities current appeal which sees us being the first of the Milton Keynes Lions Clubs donations. 

We were aware that the The Charity were also wanting to raise awareness of their activities which are generally unknown and after some discussion it was agreed that we would organise an event within the next few months with that objective in mind.

With the thinking caps on, a variety of ideas were thrown around and we finally decided on organising a cake stall for the Market Place in Olney and our Service chair, Kim, undertook to get this under way.


One of the leading Lions service activities worldwide is working towards the eradication of avoidable blindness and as part of our sight activities this sees us collecting used  and unwanted spectacles.

These are sent to one of our UK clubs where they are checked, where necessary refurbished and eventually packed and distributed to Lions Clubs and partner organisations in countries which do not have the benefits of a first class optical facility which we enjoy in the UK.

Thanks to many local people in our area, we were delighted to be able to send over 500 pairs of 
spectacles to the club who are responsible for distribution and are pleased to know that they will be bringing good vision to many once they reach their destination.

 Children at home and abroad were the focus for our support in August

Maluba Project

Links which our club has with another Lions Club in Maluba, Zambia, led us to make a donation tothe Maluba Project.     One of our members, had communication from an 81 year old friend, Moses, who is a practicing church goer in Zambia. Whilst reminiscing, with Moses, he discovered that he too was a member of his Local Lions club and was deeply involved in a project being run by the Maluba charity which aims to give hope to children and young people who have been orphaned.
Maluba is a volunteer driven organisation, working in often desperate conditions to help feed and educate children in the area. Not having a social services organisation in the country means that, in many cases, the only opportunity for children to have any chance of a decent life is to be supported by philanthropic donations and the fundraising of volunteers from organisations such as Lions & Rotary.

The charity has had considerable successes with the children it has worked with to date but, with additional funds, even more can be done. Having already made a donation last year, we decided to give a further £500 towards the project and look forward to hearing what benefits it has brought to the children at this particular project.

Helen & Douglas House Children's Hospice

We have a number of children living locally who require the services of the Helen & Douglas House hospice.

As children who are combatting life limiting illnesses reach certain stages in their condition, so the Hospice can provide specialist care and support, not only to the child but to the family who are having to cope with providing care on a 24/7 basis.
Two local children that we have supported in the past, are often visiting the hospice to enable their parents to have some respite time and as the hospice is facing some monumental financial hurdles as it fights to continue to keep providing the services it does, the club donated the profits from our recent Gin 'n' Swing evening to Helen & Douglas House.    £750 was sent to them to assist in their fantastic support work.

Honeypot Appeal

We heard about this charity via one of our other local clubs and following a presentation by the Charity Rep, given to the Lions clubs within the Milton Keynes zone, those members present were convinced that our services would be well received by the charity.

Since 1996 Honeypot has been working to enhance the lives of young carers and vulnerable children aged 5 – 12 years old and are the only charity in the UK to provide respite breaks and on-going outreach support throughout a child’s formative years.

We were amazed to find out that so many youngsters are looking after disabled parents or siblings and are carrying responsibilities far beyond their young years should be experiencing,   They are missing out on so many aspects of life as they devote their time to the person they are looking after.

Honeypot gives these young carers a break from the demanding and stressful responsibilities at home and provides a safe, nurturing environment where children at risk can develop their full potential.    The Milton Keynes Lions clubs were keen to help and each club decided on organising their own support.

 International focus for our support this month

Sight Savers

The famous American author, political activist and nd lecturer Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree.   In 1925, she attended the Lions Clubs International Convention and challenged Lions to become "knights of the blind in the crusade against darkness."
The Lions accepted her challenge and our work ever since has included sight programs aimed at preventable blindness.  This month we decided to make a donation of £500 to our partners, Sightsavers who work in third world countries helping to cure blindness, prevent illnesses and conditions which will result in blindness and supporting those who are already blind and cannot benefit from the various programs available.
To date our club alone has seen many hundreds of people receive treatment from Sightsavers and similar Lions Programs which has seen them have sight restored or simple procedures which we have in the UK i.e. cataract ops being carried out.  Visit the Sightsavers website to find out the extent of their work.


Water Aid

Lions International also partner with the Water Aid charity who work with some of the world’s poorest and most marginalised people.   Many areas of the world don’t have clean water to drink, decent toilets or hygiene and without these basics, overcoming poverty is just a dream.
By digging a well, or installing a tap stand in a community, the lives of adults and children change dramatically
WaterAid has teams in 34 countries across the world, working with partners to transform millions of lives every year by improving access to clean water, toilets and hygiene. Since 1981 the charity, with the help of Lions clubs, have reached 24.9 million people with clean water.

Olney Newton Link

Newton is a Rural Community, with a population of about 24,000, approximately 24 miles east of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. The country is ranked 181 out of 188 countries in the World by the United Nations Human Development Indices 2015– a measurement of life expectancy, education and standards of  living.

The Olney Newton Link was set up some years ago by local Olney churches following the tragic civil war and our club has built a number of houses, supported the development of a skills centre, provided school furniture and contributed to a wind generator.   We are again making a donation of £250 to help the O-N Link carry out further projects with the community of Newton.


Advantage Africa

This charity, based in Olney, supports people affected by poverty, disability and HIV in East Africa and helps to improve their education, health and incomes. Helping some of East Africa’s most vulnerable people to overcome stigma and build a better future for their families and communities.

We have helped them with a number of projects in the past and we are again providing them with a donation of £250 for ongoing work.

 We were involved in our community in different ways this month

Peter Evans

Peter Evens had been the caretaker at the Olney Centre for many years and during this time, we had a tremendous amount of help from him.   Dickens of a Christmas, always a difficult time for the club due to our reducing manpower, was one of these times when Peter's support and encouragement made life that little bit easier for us.   

He would set up and break down the stalls for us, cleaned the room at the end of the event and was around if we needed any advice or support which for the Lions on Duty, was a great help.

We were extremely dismayed to hear of his death and in accordance with the families wishes, have made a donation to Willen Hospice in his memory.   We will certainly miss his assistance at this site as we are sure many in Olney will too.    

 No Support or Appeals were discussed this month

 Support to a range of projects this month


FoLiO (Friends Of the Library In Olney) was started by Olney community volunteers to assist adding value to Olney Library & keep it at the heart of the community. 

They are trying to raise money for the Olney Library which is based in the Olney Centre with specific emphasis on the groups of children they support.

They have a number of initiatives being planned and Lions were approached to see if we could assist them in their fundraising efforts.

Recognising both the benefits they bring to the Library and childrens lives not to mention encouraging their own voluntary efforts, we decided to give them a donation of £300 towards their projects.

Special Education Needs at Ousedale Campus Olney

The SEN dept at Ousedale's Olney Campus brought the issue of a desperate need of portable word processing keyboards to help students in classes.     Their previous ones have been worn out through constant use leaving them with onl 2 useable items.

With no budget left to buy new ones, we were asked if it was something we would consider supporting, even if second hand ones were the only alternative.

The club agreed to support the purchase of these to a total value of £200.

(photo courtesy of Carol O'Brien, Olney)
Olney Defibrillator - Market Place

An Olney man, wants to put a defibrillation machine on Market place following a recent event which he experienced and which highlighted that anyone collapsing in that area, does not have access to this type of Lifesaving equipment.

Having commenced a fundraising campaign in an effort to raise the £1700 necessary to purchase the defibrillator and associated accessories, he approached our club for support.

The club has decided to support the initiative and we are awaiting confirmation that it will be going ahead before we commit our funds.

Whilst we have agreed to support the initiative, a number of issues require to be addressed before we actually commit our funds and are now awaiting confirmation that the project is actually going ahead and all issues and concerns have been resolved.

 A range of varied support was provided this month

Down by the Riverside

The club doesn't only deal with financial appeals and fundraising, so true to our motto of "We Serve", we often get involved with supporting other activities in our towns.

We will once again be present at Riverfest providing support to The Olney Group helping timing and removing the rafts at the end of the race.  (it should be noted WE won't be removing the rafts but rather managing the participants
as THEY remove their own rafts).  There was a time that we had a Lions Raft participating, however that is only a distant, dismal and faint memory for most of the Lions who were involved.

Lions message taken to the "Bottom of the World"

Local girl, Maddie Brasier took part in an all female scientific expedition to the Antarctic which had the purpose of carrying out major environmental research and to provide role models which would hopefully encourage females to consider careers in science.

Our club provided a donation to help her achieve the £17,000 which she had to raise and negotiated with Ousedale school to enable her to speak to their students in an effort to inspire them into considering this career when the time comes for them to make decisions on their future

As part of 'the deal', she undertook to take a banner to this remote part of the world which could be used by us to highlight Lions efforts in protecting the environment - one of the major initiatives of the recent Lions Clubs Centennial Celebration. 

Making a spectacle of ourselves

In our quest to eradicate avoidable blindness, particularly in the underdeveloped world, our club along with most of the UK based Lions clubs are collecting old spectacles which will be transported to countries who do not have the benefit of a National Health Service.

This month a consignment of spectacles were despatched to our fellow Lions Club in Chichester who have been 

managing the project which has seen over half a million pairs of spectacles transported via Medico France and Vision Aid Overseas to eye camps in India, Africa and Eastern Europe.    Visit the website of our colleagues in Chichester to find out more about the project and its success over many years in getting spectacles to the people who need them.             Click here to view their site.

Recognition to the Lions club of Central Milton Keynes

The Lions Club of Central Milton Keynes has been working on a project at MK University Hospital to support the families of those who are patients attending the Cancer ward.   Considerable fundraising has been taking place including a group from the club who took part in a trek across China at the end of last year.
Their activities have bees supported by the other clubs within the Milton Keynes area who have given contributions and theire efforts for this very worthwhile cause were recognised when they were nominated for an award by the 

MK Hospital Charity. Although not winning, they came an extremely creditable second, a tremendous result with Bharat Mianger of the Lions Club of Central Milton Keynes seen here receiving a certificate on behalf of the entire club.

 Local and International support over the festive season

Charity Begins at Home

Each Christmas, the local cause "Charity Begins at Home" organises a meal for local people in and around Olney who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas day or would certainly not be celebrating with the sort of fare that most of us have become used to receiving on that day.   The event is run in the Church hall and all food, time and organisation is done on a voluntary basis including some "meals on sledge runners" (OK it is delivered by car, but in keeping with the season, webmasters licence prevails)
Our club has supported this in the past when we made a donation to help offset some of the costs and we decided to do so again in 2017, authorising a donation of £250 towards the price of the meal etc..  A great example of the caring community which exists in Olney.

One Shot - One Life Measles Project

Lions Clubs worldwide are working to eradicate measles and are doing so in a quite inovative way which is helping us maximise the impact at a fraction of the cost to our Charitable Foundation..   

Find out more about how Lions are working in partnership with a number of organisations including the Gavi Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Charitable Trust and our own UK Government in a partnership in which everyone wins.
A simple, inexpensive vaccination programme is being rolled out in this initiative.   Read about it by clicking on the image.

Want to see what we did in previous years?   Click on the appropriate year :  
2017  2016  2015  2014  2013  2012  2011

Why not become involved? 

The Lions club can only be as active as numbers allow and we will always welcome help - you don't need to become a member to help us make a difference in the community.    We are always on the scrounge for people who may be willing to give an hour or so at the events we are involved with as the old proverb "Many hands make light work" is never truer than when we are fully stretched in our service activities

Register with us as one of our "Friends" and we will keep you in touch with the plans we have and the social events we organise, there really is no better way to become part of the community we live in.  Registering is simple.   Just click on the link to our Contact Page , type "Can I help?" and someone will be in touch with details of how you can become involved - remember, your only commitment will be to come and help when you have both the time and inclination....not everything we do is suits for everyone.