Pedal power helping to beat prostate cancer

Balsall Common resident Richard Murray is riding from London to Amsterdam in support of the charity Prostate Cancer UK.

He’s part of a team from business coaching company Elephants Child. Their Managing Director Martin Brown, lost his father-in-law to the disease.

In total the team has raised £7000 with four weeks to go. The 145-mile trip is backed by the English Football League and the League Managers Association with high-profile former players and managers such as Les Ferdinand, Terry Butcher and Simon Grayson taking part.

Balsall Common Lions Club are just one of many local organisations, residents and businesses to support the team. They have a long history of supporting prostate cancer awareness events. They are organising a prostate cancer screening session in Balsall Common this weekend, their 3rd such event. The screening takes place at St Peters Church Hall from 10am to 1pm.

Balsall Common Lions Club Committee Service Chairman, Lion Steve Meakin with Richard Murray

Richard Murray explained: “This is a cause dear to my heart as my grandfather and uncle both lost their own battles with cancer. Prostate Cancer UK has a simple ambition – to stop men dying from this condition. I’m looking forward to getting into the saddle and raising money in support of this tremendous charity. Thanks to everyone who has supported us so far.

“I’m also desperate to raise awareness and encourage men to get themselves checked. We’re notoriously bad at visiting doctors and looking after our health. Anyone that has concerns and can’t make Saturday’s screening should book an appointment with their GP,” he added.

The trip begins on 9 June and will see around 500 riders making the two-day journey aiming to raise a total of £500,000 for the charity.

To donate please visit Richard’s Just Giving page.

For more information on the event visit Prostate Cancer UK’s website.

Racing to the national final

Year 4 pupils at Balsall Common Primary School had a successful day at the schools F1 challenge this week.  Three teams of four took part at Princethorpe School, competing against other local primary schools.

As part of the challenge pupils have to design and build a replica F1 car which is powered by a gas cyclinder along a 100-foot track. The teams also had to source sponsorship for the car, including a very successful Dragons Den pitch at a recent SolihullHour and Best of Solihull event.  They also worked incredibly hard on a presentation for the judges.  The teams are once again supported by Ian Dunning from JLR who gives up his time to share industy insight.

Pupils have been very successful in reaching out to local business for support. Acclaimed Mortgage Consultancy, Solihull College and University Centre, Borroclub, PM Group and Standley & Co Solicitors all attended to support the teams. Other businesses – Wow Signal Communications, TSC Cars, Midshire Business Systems, Sainsburys, Lavender Hall Autos, Ginger Property, Signarama, Sutherpark Groundwork, FLR Flooring, Hogarths Hotel and Solihull Council – have all supported the teams and their participation in the competition.

The teams had a great day, winning best verbal presentation and achieving 2nd place overall were Sonic Speed. This means they will take part in the national final at the Ricoh Arena. Lightning Sparks were also successful and winning the fastest car prize.

 

Local business gets a boost from Theo Paphitis

A local luxury pet bed maker has received a business boost from Retail Entrepreneur Theo Paphitis. Courtney Savannah, owner of Cosy Chic Pet Boutique, tweeted Theo about her business during ‘Small Business Sunday’ and was one of six weekly winners to gain a retweet by Theo to his 500,000 Twitter followers. The weekly initiative, set up by Theo in 2010, now has 1700 #SBS winners and supports small businesses in the UK.

Thanks to Theo’s support, Cosy Chic Pet Boutique has received a sales boost for their luxury, handmade and bespoke dog and cat beds.

Courtney said, “Being hand picked by Theo as a winner after only being in business for 9 months gave me an incredible sense of achievement and recognition for all my hard work and ideas. SBS has been a huge boost to not only my business growth and development but also my personal confidence as a designer and business owner.”

Theo Paphitis, said: “We are thrilled to welcome new #SBS members every week and highlight just how important it is to support our small businesses here in the UK. The website and Shop #SBS will also give a valuable profile to the winners chosen and I wish Cosy Chic Pet Boutique every success.”

Cosy Chic Pet Boutique is one of two businesses Courtney runs in our area. Her other business, Love Cosy Chic, has a concession in Antiques in a Barn, Old Lodge Farm, Balsall Common.

£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.

Continue reading “£25 000 raised and 5 000 hours of service”

Balsall Common Lions Club – At the Heart of the Community

This year’s fireworks display, organised by Balsall Common Lions Club, was fantastic, even by their own high standards. Set to music, with 15 minutes of continuous oohs, ahs, and bangs, the event was enjoyed by around 3000 people.

The event is not just a good night out, but also raises lots of money for charity as part of the Lions Club’s year round fundraising and service work both in the village and further afield.

Lions Bonfire 2015

Lions at Christmas

The next event for your calendar is
Friday 27 November
, when the village Christmas lights will be switched on, join in from 3.30pm outside Barclays Bank. On 12 December the
ever popular Santa’s sleigh
begins his tour of Balsall Common, Berkswell, and parts of Burton Green.

Lions Santa

An awful lot of hard work goes into organising and managing these activities. There are 35 dedicated members of the Balsall Common Lions Club who give up their time to help out. If you’d like to volunteer to help with Santa’s sleigh or any of their other activities please contact Lion Ross Collins on 07813 937921.

Lions Activities

As well as fireworks and Christmas events, the Lions run twice monthly bingo sessions in the Village Hall, offering older people a chance to get out and socialise. Local Lions regularly help out at the SIFA Fireside project serving lunch to homeless people. They also organise and host a range of social evenings, again to raise funds for local causes and bigger campaigns. Last year Balsall Common Lions Club members completed over 4000 hours of service between them, helping many people in the process.

Where the money goes

The Lions welcome applications for help with projects, events, and issues locally. They regularly give money to local organisations and groups for equipment, trips, and also fund First Aid Training for pupils at local schools. Donations have been made to Berkswell Scouts, Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s Scanner Appeal, Fisher House (a home away from home for military patients and their families at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham) and many more.

Join in

If you’re interested in finding out more or joining the Lions Club talk to Membership Secretary Ross Collins. Meetings are held on the second and fourth Monday of each month at the British Legion, Station Road, Balsall Common. Or attend their special presentation meeting on 26 January where they will be thanking others that have supported them in their work in 2015. Why not make a New Year’s Resolution to join the Lions and serve your local community. Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organisation. Becoming a Lions club member gives you the opportunity to volunteer locally, or internationally, make new friends and professional connections, lead projects that make your community a better place to live AND have fun doing it!