Balsall Common Lions Club fourth Annual Presentation Awards evening took place on 25th February. This is an opportunity for the Lions to reward a number of organisations and individuals that have helped and supported them throughout the year. Many local clubs, societies, venues and organisations benefit from the Lions’ hard work. The annual bonfire in partnership with the Sports Association and sponsored by local businesses is a huge success. Elves from 8 local organisations helped Santa’s sleigh visit Balsall Common, Berkswell, Fen End and Burton Green this year, raising £6500. Cheques totalling £13000 were given out at the presentation evening.

The beneficiaries were Balsall and Berkswell Hornets Football Club, Canley Community Centre, 2nd Balsall Common Scouts, 53rd Berkswell Scouts, Berkswell and Balsall Common Rugby Club, Berkswell Cricket Club, Fast+Aid, Galileo Scouts, Jubilee Cafe, the Lily Mae Foundation, Meriden School and Solihull Hospital Charity.

The Rawbone of Friendship Project For Children received £1200 raised through our 100 Club Draw. This will pay for 120 outings for disadvantaged children. This year’s 100 Club beneficiary will be The Marie Curie Men’s Shed Project. The idea came from Balsall Common Lion Brian Hornsby who died in October last year. Brian and Suzanne from the Marie Curie Hospice in Solihull visited a similar project at a hospice in Liverpool and saw the phenomenal impact that it had. The idea of the shed is that it is a safe space for men to talk about their own illness, their role supporting someone with a serious illness, or people they have lost. A thriving group currently meets once a week at the hospice in Solihull, but the funds currently being raised will pay for a new purpose built shed that will eventually be open seven days a week to support any man affected by a life limiting illness.

A series of Certificates of Appreciation were awarded to local groups and organisations who help the Lions achieve as much as they do. They went to: Unity Automotive, the Heart of England Co-op, C P Barbers, The Village Hall, Alan Heath & Sons, Jamieson Christie, Michael’s Drinks World, Oakes Farm Shop and the A1 Motorshop. Carl Hemming of Ginger Property also received a certificate for his support of the annual bonfire and Santa’s sleigh. In addition this year we also awarded Lions Centennial Certificates of Appreciation to four local individuals for their Service to the Community of Balsall Common & Berkswell. These were Norman Thompson, Jackie Tomnie, Charlotte Shadbolt & Christine Hornsby. Mikey Ackers of Mikey’s Wish, (Verbal Dyspraxia Awareness) was awarded a Special Centennial Award for his work with his Charity.

Lion President Marie-Louise Marsden said: “Once again our annual presentation night is a fantastic chance to reflect on the club’s hard work through the year, to thank all of those people who have supported us and made it possible for us to raise so much money for other local clubs and societies. Our 42 members, and many more friends, work very hard to achieve what we do. “We’re always looking for more people to join, either as a full member or for specific events. If you’d like to find out more about joining us please get in touch.” Call Mark Whitfield on 07795 184745, email whitfieldfamily@btinernet.com or send us a message on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/BalsallCommonLionsClub

Key dates for your diary include a Quiz Night at the White Horse on April 7th in aid of Solihull Hospital Charity and their Oncology Unit, Prostate Cancer screening at St Peters Church Hall on Saturday 18 May and the 3rd Balsall Beerfest organised in partnership with the Balsall Hornets on Saturday 29th June.