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2017 has for Melksham Lions been a very rewarding one, but quite frustrating at times due to our inability to host some of our usual fund-raising outings.
As you may recall, at the end of 2016 due to us not having sufficient “able” members to accompany Father Christmas and the Float around the local housing areas, we had to restrict our outings to static collections at local supermarkets.
We were hoping that this situation would have been reversed during last year – sadly it was not, consequentially we are had to follow the same line as last year – static collections at some of the local supermarkets.
All the money donated, or profit we make, is ring-fenced for charitable purposes – a small portion does go towards some of the major international disasters but essentially the lion’s share of your money goes towards helping local causes. Our administration costs are covered by members’ annual dues and by club raffles. So where does the money go?
We continue to respond at the request of social services to local crises such as helping families in need of some of the basic home furnishings and provision of white goods to make their lives less stressful.
The Christmas Lights committee, Melksham Shed and Wiltshire Mind have received donations from us last year in recognition of the good work they do in the local community.
One of our flagship projects is supporting the Melksham temporary accommodation unit for vulnerable people – where we supply them with emergency reception packs (ERPs) and a range of other essential items. The ERP contains a range of items such as toiletries, towel, toothbrushes, toothpaste, cutlery etc and the all-important tin opener.
As a spin off, following the community day held in April last year, we now also support the local food bank, run by the Baptist Church. The Food Bank is supplied with modified reception packs to suit their particular needs.
Finally we have, with the support of Dave Hickory – entertainer, magician and balloon man, hosted children’s Easter and Christmas parties at the accommodation unit.
All of this has only been possible due to the financial support from you – the people of Melksham – and for that we, the Melksham Lions, thank you all.
In summary – we are a small team of ageing unpaid volunteers, 12 of us now, maintaining a 40-year old-plus tradition of actively supporting our local community. We can only do this with your continued support.
We wish everyone a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year.
Keith Mead, President,