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Busy but tough year for Melksham Lions Club

WHATwere Melksham Lions up to in 2016? Club president Keith Mead reports on a busy year.

It is sometimes said that you never know what you had ‘til it’s gone. That seems to have been our theme this year.

Our main fund raisers for many years have been the Maesteg Choir event around April, and our Christmas Float event where we take Father Christmas on our float around many of the local housing areas to see the children.

This year has sadly seen the demise of one and the contraction of the other.

Despite early planning and advertising of the Maesteg Choir event, albeit for June rather than April, this event had to be cancelled due to lack of public support.

We would have dearly loved to continue taking Father Christmas on our float around the local areas, but our Club now has insufficient “able” members to do this. Hence, we have had to compromise with static collections at some local supermarkets, public houses and shops at weekends. We are desperately hoping that this situation can be reversed next year if we can get more members/volunteers to join us.

On a more upbeat note – for over forty years now Melksham Lions Club has been quietly helping the local community in one way or another. You probably don’t hear about some of our local charitable work as much of what we do has to be done discretely.

Some of the things we have done this year and can talk about are: we have continued to provide what we call ‘reception packs’ to a temporary accommodation unit for vulnerable homeless; we donated towards the ‘Help John Howell’ appeal and the ‘Helping Harry’ fund;  we helped out with the ‘Room for Liam’ fun day at the Bear; we held an Easter party for the children of some of the vulnerable homeless;  we donated to the Lark Rise ‘Riding for the Disabled’ project, the Broughton Gifford pre-school play area project and of course the Wiltshire Air Ambulance Appeal.

Internationally we have donated to the Haiti Hurricane appeal and the Italian earthquake disaster fund.

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.

All the money you donate to us, or profit we make on any public event we run, is ring fenced for feeding back into our local community – yes, a small portion goes towards some of the major disasters that occur in the world but essentially your money goes towards helping local causes. All our administration costs are covered by members’ annual membership dues and by monthly club raffles.

In summary – we are a small team of unpaid volunteers, only eleven of us now, maintaining a forty-year-old tradition of actively supporting our local community. We can only do this with your continued support.

What we do need now is a few more members, or maybe just volunteers to join our proposed ‘Friends of Lions’ group, to help us continue with this. We meet the first Tuesday of each month at 8.00 pm at the Pilot, Bowerhill – why not come along and meet us or phone me – Keith Mead – President – on 01225 437951 for more information.

We wish everyone a prosperous New Year.

Keith Mead

Melksham Lions Club