A big-hearted club which raises money for worthy causes in the Edwinstowe area is appealing for more volunteers.
The Edwinstowe and the Dukeries Lions Club has been serving the local community for over 35 years and in that time has helped hundreds of individuals and organisations realise their dreams and potential.
President Jon Yarwood said: “We have a strong little band of dedicated volunteers but we are constantly on the look-out for new members.
“We are happy for groups or individuals to approach us with requests for help. We try and find out a little bit of background frist and make sure that their request is valid. And then we will try and help with a donation.
“We raise around £9,000 to £10,000 a year and every penny we raise is given away.
“We’re desperate for more members to help raise money but it’s also about having a bit of fun at the same time.”
Last year the Lions supported Bilsthorpe teenager Toby Nadal, who cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust - a charity which aims to allow youngsters with the disease to feel at home while in hospital.
Toby (16) was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour at the base of his brain and during his hospital stay decided to raise money to improve facilities for teenagers. He and his father contacted the Lions in Edwinstowe.
Club secretary Stephen Green said: “How could we not try to help? The club agreed to make a financial donation and also two members would meet with Toby and Tim to see what else the Lions family could do to support.
“We met up, looked at the route made some suggestions for publicity, and then decided to contact all the clubs on the planned route asking for any help
they could give. The response to this was truly amazing, and it just goes to show we live up to our motto - ‘Ordinary People Doing Amazing Things.’”
The Lions are currently working with the Edwinstowe Pre-School Playgroup to buy the St John’s hut at Forest Corner in Edwinstowe.
St Johns is moving to Bilsthorpe and the playgroup has until the end of the year to raise the £4,500 asking price.
Over £2,000 has been raised to date, including a pledge from the Lions for £500 and £300 from six local companies.
The hut is used by two Edwinstowe Rainbow groups and two Brownie groups, and the playgroup use it for their Forest Sessions, which encourage children to explore the local environment and foster a caring and preserving attitude towards the world around them.
Jon added: “The venue could also be hired for other organisations, children’s parties, a training facility and any other purposes that are required. The revenue from these would help with the upkeep of the property.”
The Lions are appealing to everyone in Edwinstowe and the surrounding area for donations to secure the rest of the money.
The club was founded by Malcolm Lee 35 years ago, as an off-shoot from the Mansfield branch. Now it numbers around 15 core members and meets twice a month at the Ollerton House Hotel. There is a small subscription fee for membership.
Every year in October, the club holds its annual charter with a dinner and dance. In December the Lions organise an annual Santa sleigh collection around the village.
Jon said: “We also have race nights and dances. It’s a fantastic organisation.
“We like a game of golf, we like to eat and drink - and we like to raise money any way we can - as long as it’s legitimate!””
Jon (64), of Bilsthorpe, joined the Lions about seven years ago with his wife Diane. Unlike some Lions clubs, their branch is open to men and women, and it boasts a member with a particularly appropriate name, in the form of Leo Milner!
For more information regarding this appeal, or anything else Lions related, please contact Lions Jon on 07581 265531 or Lion Steve on 07779 338887.
Lions president Jon Yarwood gives a cheque to Linda Broom and Kevin Randall, members of the pre-school playgroup committee.
NMAC LIONS 2
From left, Lions Steve Scall and Leo Milner, president Jon Yarwood and Lion Malcolm Lee, the original charter member.
NMAC LIONS 3
The Lions Club’s Santa has a short stop outside the Ollerton House hotel during his collections.
NMAC LIONS 4
Edwinstowe Lion Jon Yarwood (left) with Toby’s dad, Tim Nadal and cyclist Toby Nadal.
NMAC LIONS 5