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.

 

2019


 July
Motorama income doesn't stay long in our account.


Willen Hospice receives £500

There can be few local people who haven't had some association with Willen Hospice whether it be personal, friend, neighbour or relative - or simply that they use the Shops in Olney or Newport Pagnell

Being a charity, like all hospices, their running costs of around £5.9 million have only 22% of their requirements provided by the NHS. The remaining amount needs to be raised from the local community and organisations such as Lions, are frequently either making donations or using their events to encourage others to support the Hospice.
Each year, the profit from Motorama is donated to one or more charities or causes and this year, Willen Hospice is one of our beneficiaries.  Find out more about the Hospice by clicking here.
 

Alzheimer's Society

Another charity which is providing an important service to our aging population is the Alzheimer's Society.

It is the only UK charity that campaigns for change, funds research to find a cure and supports people living with dementia today and this increasing aging population and our general lifestyle is seeing an increasing number of people suffering from the condition which affects not only the patient but the family.

The Charity provides a range of support services to help people affected by dementia find the right support, advice and information, at the right time.

The charities group services improve confidence and motivation, provide reassurance and allow people 
affected by dementia to get advice and information from their experienced staff.  The aim is to work towards ensuring people continue to benefit from group services like Dementia Cafés and Singing for the Brain. A further £500 was donated from our Motorama event to them.   Find out more about the charity and its services by  clicking here.


Lions help out at Olney Riverfest 

Being in a Lions club isn't just about raising money.   The motto "We Serve" is interpreted in many ways by clubs across the globe and whilst our club does raises significant sums each year which are donated to a wide range of charities, organisations and individuals, we are also to be seen at other events, helping them serve the community.

One of these is the Olney Riverfest, an annual event which sees anything up to 25 home made rafts head down the River Great Ouse from Olney Bridge to the bathing steps in the Rec.   At the end, a large number of stalls, food outlets and activities take place which stretches their membership significantly.

Organised by The Olney Group (TOG), volunteers who put on a number of events in town, they frequently call on the Lions Club to augment their own members in much the same way as we use our Friends group.  
Our objective is to help ensure the Landing area is clear of enthusiastic young and not so young children who want to welcome parents, friends, neighbours back to dry land.  Oh, and occasionally try to go into the water to meet the arriving craft.     Fortunately our Lions Members have eyes in the back of their heads which tends to help us manage to keep the area clear - most of the time, anyway.   

Just one of the many ways in which a Lions Club serves its Community.

 June
A range of activities this month


Our first ever venture into the Lions Peace Poster Contest

Each year, our International body promotes a Peace Poster competition which sees young people ages 11-13 producing their interpretation of a theme relating to peace.

The objective is to encourage them to consider what Peace means to them and to compete for an award of $5000 and 23 other awards of $500.  The winner and two of his/her family will also win a trip to the Lions International  Award ceremony to collect their prize

As a club, we have never participated in this competition however, this year we have partnered with Ousedale School, Olney Campus and this month, we launched our first ever local competition.  At the time of writing this item, 6 students had 'signed up' and we would like to wish them all the best for their entries and hope that one will successfully win through to the international stages of the competition.  Click here for further information.
 

Lions Family Room at Milton Keynes University Hospital

Lions in Milton Keynes have undertaken a commitment to create a Family Room at the new Cancer Unit being built at the Hospital.

The room will be a place where visitors can retire to for a break when they are accompanying relatives or friends who may be undertaking lengthy periods of treatment and will also be a quiet area when 'bad news' is being given to the family.

The project will cover the creation of the room, provision of the furnishings and longer term maintenance of the consumables.   Find out more about it by clicking here.


TLC for our Avenue of Oaks

As part of our Centennial celebrations, our club planted an avenue of 10 English Oak trees in the area between the Allotments and the River Great Ouse in Olney.

These Oaks, managed to weather their first winter OK but unfortunately the very dry 2018/9 winter along with some 'physical damage' - not deliberate though, has seen two of them reaching a condition which required a replanting.
This was done by two of our members and our Avenue of Oaks are back to their original strength.

 May
Considerable activity this month covering donations and service work.


Flowers galore in Olney

And one of them is ours.

Each year, the Olney Lamposts are adorned with beautiful flowers which bring a real taste of summer to the streets.

In the past, these have been organised by individuals and local groups with The Olney Events team arranging the actual installation.   Everything has been underwritten by local charities, individuals or businesses.

This year is slightly different with the Town Council arranging the basket displays and local business CT Wilson providing the flowers & baskets under a main sponsorship arrangement.

Funds are still needed and people to install the boxes from Olney Events turned up one Sunday morning to put the displays in place.   We have sponsored one box, adding our own penny'orth to the proceedings and helping improve the community which we live in.


Floods, Tornadoes and Cyclones take their toll

You will have read in the previous months item, how our International Charity Foundation make an immediate donation to the local Lions clubs who live in areas where a major disaster occurs..

The second phase of Lions support comes from clubs worldwide who respond by giving sums of money to the appeal on what we call a designated donation.

Designated donations are taken in by our International Charity Foundation and deposited for use only in the area which the donating club wishes its money to be used.   This month, we made a designated donation of £1000 to go to help those affected by this particular disaster.   To see how Lions respond to disasters, follow this link.


Batten Disease Family Association

Our club has, over the past few years, made donations to the fund set up by the family of Jenson Belkevitz, a youngster who at 5 years old, was diagnosed with the horrendous Batten Disease.

A relatively rare incurable condition in which the patient deteriorates over time and we were sad to hear of his passing at 11 years of age.

Our initial support was the provision of a special carrier which enabled him to enjoy days out with his family on cycle trips until his conditions worsened and he was no longer able to use it.  We also made a number of donations to his charity fund and the Hospices which provided much
needed respite care to enable the family to  have a break from the intensive care which his condition demanded.  It was fitting that the club made a donation in his memory to the Batten Disease Family Association which provided significant support  to the family throughout the period of his illness.


Network PC for local School

Some time ago the club was approached by one of the Special Needs department from our local Secondary School to see if we could help finance some computer equipment specifically to assist the children in that department.

We were happy to do so but a number of hold ups meant we were unable to supply the equipment in a single purchase but finally all the hurdles were over come and we have finall fulfilled our commitment to the local School and have supplied the final Tablet ..

The final Notebook was provided and we hope that our contribution to the department will result in the children achieving their maximum potential in this digital age. 

We often forget the problems which our education staff are facing as the teach students with a massively
mwide range of abilities and we hope that this little support, will help the teaching staff as much as the students using the equipment.


Easter Egg Donations

Every year we organise an Easter Egg raffle which sees our club siting up to 15 or so giant Easter eggs in pubs, coffee shops, restaurants etc.

The principle is that the proprietor manages the raffle and after deduction the cost of the egg, the profit is split between Lions and the proprietors own favourite charity.

We have raised many thousands of £££s with this venture over the years and the charities we often support are less well known to the public but as the publican/owner of the premises is normally associated with the aims of the charity, so we tend to find these generating the higher incomes.

Animal charities, rescue organisations, medical causes and small very local good causes all benefit from this very simple form of support.

We also say thanks to the proprietors by giving them one of our Window/Door Decals to show that they are actively supporting their community via the link with Lions

This year, we raised over £1400 which was donated to Lions and a number of other popular and less known charities.   To see what pubs etc. pariticipated and the outcome of their efforts to sell tickets, follow this link.



MK Half Marathon

In true Lionistic style, the Lions of Milton Keynes came together to run one of the watering holes for the Milton Keynes Half Marathon.

When the call came out from the Lions Club of Bletchley, Milton Keynes, that they needed help for this vital task, members from a number of local clubs including our own volunteered to help out and formed the team that ensured the runners had adequate hydration as they carreered/ran/walked or stumbled aound the route.

When the race finished, the duties of the Lions certainly didn't finish as the 'contract' continued for some 
time  as the area had to be cleared up and returned to parkland fit for anyone to wander along without tripping over empty bottles etc. 
As you will no doubt be aware, runners out to beat their personal best time are hardly the most tidy of people with bottles being cast aside some distance from the collecting point.   Lions being Lions, of course, left the place pristine with not a piece of rubbish in sight.





 April
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.






 March
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!!!!!





 FEBRUARY
 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.





 JANUARY
 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.
Be assured - 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, something which makes Lions different from most charitable organisations.





Want to see what we did in previous years?   Click on the appropriate year :  
2018  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.