Making a Difference

Since Covid-19 created havoc with our programme in all respects we have only resumed more normal working since July 2021 and we then resumed face to face meetings in October 2021.  This Blog is in reverse chronological order and gives the highlights of our Club’s activities since the start of 2020. :

February 2022:  With Quiz Sheets still selling online and entries already coming in we launched our first ever Charity Golf Day to take place at Clacton Golf Club on Thursday 5th May 2022.

January 2022:     Having accounted for all the funds raised over the Christmas period along with donations received of £1,500 we were delighted to be able to agree donations of £3,225 to 12 different charitable organisations.  Our Annual Quiz Sheet was launched raising funds for the Trussell Trust.

December 2021:    A busy month with collections supporting Father Christmas at the Coop Superstore in Brightlingsea and ASDA Superstore in Clacton.  We also supported Father Christmas in his grotto at Clacton’s Shopping Village – much warmer in their store – and that eventually raised £1,180.  We donated £1,000 towards Christmas lunches being delivered to 300 people in need on Christmas Day and a number of our members helped deliver these.  A further amount had been raised from the recycling of another 324 small printer cartridges.

November 2021:     The month started off with our 42nd Charter Anniversary Dinner and Dance at Clacton Golf Club which was well attended by Lions from several other clubs as well as our own members.  The Club responded to a Christmas Appeal for Toys from Clacton Police Station by donating £200.  A further 8 boxes of large printer cartridges were handed over to the East Anglian Children’s Hospices for recycling which could raise over £800.  Smaller printer cartridges are recycled via “Inkbin” and raise funds for the Club raising £210 since that project started.  Some members took part in a “Feed the 5,000” event in Culver Square, Colchester along with Lions from other Clubs and we also held a Raffle for Christmas Hampers at ASDA which raised a total of £1,200.

October 2021:     We started the month with our Charity Auction which raised a total of £2,189.  That same weekend we also delivered 115 Harvest Parcels donated by pupils of Holland Park Primary School.  It was then another month for writing lots of cheques with a donation of £50 given in memory of an old friend of the Club who had sadly passed away; a donation of £100 to the Royal Ace Performance Academy for new training and show equipment; a donation of £500 towards the cost of Christmas lunches for Clacton Veteran’s Breakfast Club and we concluded with a donation of £400 to each of the five Food Banks in the Tendring District having received an appeal from one of them.  We also inducted a new member.

September 2021:    In a long ZOOM meeting we had another appeal from the Lions Clubs International Foundation for help towards the recent earthquake in Haiti.  We decided to donate £250. We took part in a Car Boot Sale and our stall raised £293.71 and  we then ended the month by carrying out a bucket collection at ASDA’s superstore in Clacton which raised £364.19.

August 2021:    Continuing with ZOOM meetings, we agreed to donate £450 towards a sensory room at Holland Park Primary School as well as £500 to our International Foundation to assist with their efforts to help out with the major floods in Europe whilst we also agreed a donation of £250 to a Multiple District project where all the clubs in the British Isles had been asked to donate towards sensory footballs to be used by those who are visually impaired.  We also sent 20 boxes of unwanted spectacles collected in our many recycling bins to our fellow Lions at the Chichester Lions Club where they will be processed to help those in the Third World with anything not suitable will be recycled to raise funds to help sight projects in the UK.  These boxes had approximately 1,000 pairs of unwanted spectacles in each one.

July 2021:    Two more money amounts this month with £500 set aside to purchase sets of “Wild Tribe” books for local primary schemes and £550 to be given to the Clacton and District History Society to provide some new display boards for their Museum in Clacton Library which is nearing the end of a major refurbishment.

June 2021:   Two major donations this month were £500 towards Christmas Meals to be provided by the Brightlingsea Deputy’s Christmas Gift Fund and £600 towards a charity called “Hope for Tomorrow” who provide a mobile Chemotherapy Unit currently working in the Tendring District.

May 2021:  We met yet again on ZOOM.  It was reported that our Annual Quiz Sheet had now been closed to entries and final proceeds were £439.60.  We agreed on a donation of £250 towards our International Foundation’s appeal to support Lions Clubs in India dealing with their massive Covid crisis. It was reported that we had recycled approximately 10,000 used batteries and 230 large printer cartridges worth approximately £1,500 to the East Anglian Children’s Hospices.

April 2021:  This was even quieter but in the background we have been working on the programme for our next fiscal year which starts at the beginning of July 2021.   There are still quite a few unknowns even then despite the expectation that all restrictions, including possibly social distancing, might be lifted by then. Our next batch of incoming officers are undergoing training for their new roles and some of us attended our National Convention on 1st May.

March 2021:  A quieter month but we have made a donation of £100 towards an appeal headed up by our current District Governor’s lady, Manjit Kular, for Diabetes – one of our five Global Causes.  We have also made a donation of £200 to St. Helena Hospice in memory of the brother of one of our members who has generous assisted us with our fundraising efforts.  On 13th March a number of our members attended our District’s first digital Convention to learn about Projects old and new and elect officers for the next Lionistic year.  It was a novel experience but a successful Convention nonetheless. 

February 2021:  Following our February Meeting – virtual of course – we have made a total of £1,100 of new donations.  £250 is going to our Lions Clubs International Foundation to provide aid following the massive earthquake in Croatia; £500 is going to Tendring Eldercare to help fund food parcels to those who are in need and lastly £350 to St, John’s and St. Mark’s Churches in Clacton to assist with funding the help they are providing to families in need and struggling to feed their children especially in school holidays and during lockdown.

January 2021:  We started off the new Calendar Year by launching our latest Quiz Sheet raising funds for our Charity Account .  Currently this is only available online and via Club Members.  Sales are currently growing and entries have been received.  We have also made a donation of £200 towards FoodCycle Clacton who provide a three course lunch on a Monday at the Baptist Church in Clacton for those in need. Unfortunately because of the current Lockdown and the prospect of restrictions only being withdrawn slowly until teh summer, at the earliest, we have cancelled all public activities until 1st July.

December 2020:  During this month we became more involved in the Veteran’s Breakfast Club’s planned Christmas Lunch by helping organise the team of volunteers who would deliver the Lunches on Christmas Day.  Some of these volunteers were members of our Club and their families.  It was a successful operation and much appreciated by those who received the lunches.

November 2020:   In response to a further request, we increased our donation to the Veteran’s Breakfast Club in Clacton for their planned Christmas Lunch by a further £450.  We handed over used printer cartridges to the East Anglian Children’s Hospices sufficient for them to raise £1,250 and sent off donated used hearing aids to be recycled.  Lastly we donated £200 each to the five Foodbanks in our area (Brightlingsea, Clacton, Harwich, Manningtree and Walton on the Naze) to help with their Christmas support for those in need.

October 2020:    Having received a request for help we made a donation of £500 to the Veteran’s Breakfast Club in Clacton to help with their planned Christmas Lunch.  The latest information from our Lions Clubs International Foundation is that in response to the Covid-19 pandemic they have awarded 343 Grants totalling US$5,187,097.

September 2020:   We held our first mainstream fund-raising activity by having a stand at a Car Boot Sale which raised £210. Two of our members raised £150 for Macmillan by baking pasties which members and friends purchased.  Through a top-up from a donor and the Club a total of £250 was sent to Macmillan Cancer Support.

August 2020:  Not long after the replacement defibrillator been fitted, we received a phone call from a First Responder in Brentwood to say he had discovered he had our defibrillator which had been passed to him by Colchester Hospital having been liberated from its home by ambulance personnel although not actually used on a patient.  It was subsequently delivered back to us and is now awaiting a new home.

July 2020:  As our investigations into the disappearance of the defibrillator had drawn a blank, the Club took the decision to purchase a replacement device and this was quickly in place.  At the end of June, Lions Clubs International announced that members had surpassed the target for numbers of people served throughout the world by more than 37% with a total in excess of 275 million people served. 

June 2020:  We held our first online Business Meeting this month as it was the end of our financial year and there were various issues to be agreed of which one of the most important was the theoretical programme for the year starting on 1st July. As restrictions began to be eased, certain activities such as supplying Message in a Bottle Kits and emptying our recycling bins started up again.  Donations totalling £1,050 were made to four organisations that we support on a five year cycle.

May 2020:     Lions Clubs International Foundation have been assisting areas throughout the world ever since the Covid-19 crisis hit the world.  The central organisation for Lions Clubs in the United Kingdom made a grant application to the Foundation for funds to assist all the Air Ambulances operating in the UK.  A total of £161,468 was received which was distributed to the 20 Air Ambulance charities in the UK for the purchase of PPE.

April 2020:    We made donations of £250 to Tendring Eldercare to fund the provision of food parcels to those in need and of £250 each to the Clacton, Walton, Brightlingsea and Harwich Foodbanks.  The last four were funded by a grant from Charitable Funds held by the central organisation for Lions Clubs in the United Kingdom.

March 2020:  This month started well with two days collecting a spectacular £1,252.25 for Marie Curie.  We had a change of President for our March meeting which was followed that weekend by our District’s first Convention covering the new much larger area and where the previous year’s President’s scrapbook won the Scrapbook Competition.  Two days later came the national Lockdown due to Covid-19 and we had to suspend all our planned events including meetings and social events.  However, a week later we started a weekly session of short meetings online to provide social contact for our members, several of whom were either shielding or self-isolation.

Also, as Lockdown hit us, we became aware that the Defibrillator we had installed outside ‘Tom Peppers’ by the Pier Gap had disappeared although the cabinet was not damaged just left open.  Investigations as to what had happened to the machine started which proved fruitless.

February 2020:  The highlights of this month were a Valentine’s Barn Dance which raised £223 and then a Quiz Night for Clacton Carnival Association which raised £428.60 for their funds.

January 2020:  Our two main events in January included a Big Quiz Night to raise monies for the Charity Appeal of the Chairman of Tendring District Council which raised £690.13.  The other event was our Annual Presentation Night when we give away the bulk of the monies raised over the pre-Christmas period, a total of £7.975 with the largest donations going to the Clacton Branch of the RNLI (£3,650); Essex and Herts Air Ambulance Trust and Lions Clubs International Foundation’s disaster relief to fire ravaged parts of Australia (both £1,000).