£25 000 raised and 5 000 hours of service

Those were just two of the amazing achievements recognised by Balsall Common Lions Club last week at their second annual celebration evening. President Dave Blakeman told the audience of the fantastic things the club has achieved recently.

Over the last five years the club has raised a total of £105 000 in our community, including £24 321.95 last year, of which 75% was spent locally.

The Lions don’t just raise money, they also donate many hours of their time – organising Bingo evenings in the Village Hall, serving meals for homeless people at the SIFA Fireside project, bulb planting, and of course ensuring Santa visits Balsall Common and surrounding areas.

Past President Andy Pemberton explained that the 41 members of Balsall Common Lions Club are part of the world’s largest service organisation. There are 1.4 million Lions in 209 countries who all work with their local communities and combine with other charities to work on global projects such as eradicating measles and preventable blindess. It is estimated that every Lion touches the lives of another 70 people annually and Balsall Common Lions Club feel they surpass that estimate, thanks to the help and support they receive locally.

Andy thanked everyone who has donated to disaster relief collections outside the Co-op, attended the Bonfire, said hello to Santa or volunteered their time.

President Dave Blakeman awarded a series of Certificates of Appreciation to local groups and organisations who help the Lions achieve as much as they do. They went to:

  • Berkswell and District Royal British Legion
  • Berkswell and Balsall Common Community Sports Association (and a donation of £1800)
  • Hugh Boulton, Rutrailertrained (and a donation of £100 which he gave to the local Rugby Club)
  • Carl Hemming
  • The Bugle
  • Balsall Common Village Hall (and a cheque for £1 145)
  • Jamieson Christie
  • Angela Jaynes Florist
  • Oakes Farm Shop
  • Tesco Express Balsall Common
  • Heart of England Coop
  • Unity Automotive

Donations totalling £8 000 were given out on the night.

Castel Froma Specialist Care Centre offer long-term and respite care plus rehabilitation for neurological conditions received £1 000 from a monthly ‘100 Club’ draw. This years beneficiary will be the Little Ray of Sunshine Cafe for dementia suffers and their Carers held at the Kenilworth Centre.
£400, the proceeds from the raffle at the recent Briefcase Blues Brothers event, was donated to the Cameron Grant Memorial Fund who work to raise awareness of young suicide and mental health issues, and urge all who are suffering in silence to speak up.

In recognition of their help organising and ensuring the safety of the Bonfire, Berkswell Scouts, the ATC, and Fast Aid were awarded £100 each. An additional donation of £1 000 went to Fast Aid, alongside £1 000 donated by the Bugle to enable them to purchase a trailer for their equipment.

Santa’s Elves from Berkswell Cricket Club, Balsall Hornets, Balsall Common Scouts, Berkswell and Balsall Common Rugby Club, and Coventry Phoenix Lions each received £300. Santa’s sleigh ride around Burton Green raised £876.72 for Myton Hospice, kindly rounded up to £1 000 by Hickory’s Smokehouse.

Dave Blakeman said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported us over the last year, we really do appreciate all donations of time and money. We’ve achieved all of this with 41 members and a lot of extra helpers, imagine what we could do with even more people involved. We’re always looking for extra help for the Bonfire in November, and Santa’s sleigh in December, as well as some of our other events. You can also continue to support us by donating to our collections, and attending our social events. All the details go on our Facebook page. Thanks again to you all.”

We are lucky to have such an amazing group of people in our community who give their time and energy to support other good causes. Why not find out more about what they do and how you can join them. Visit their website or contact Ross Collins.