What a year! Lions use their heads to help local good causes - The Solihull Observer

What a year! Lions use their heads to help local good causes

Solihull Editorial 30th Dec, 2020   0

LIKE many charities during lockdown, Shirley Lions had to cancel all their usual fundraising events including the Shirley Carnival and their usual Santa Sleigh tours around Shirley.

To maintain much needed income they first organised pop-up sales on members’ drives selling plants, toys, cakes, bric-a-brac, jigsaw puzzles and the like, all socially distanced of course.

Then, realising the impact on families who had lost jobs, in isolation or who had suffered from Covid they had the idea of asking for food donations which they would send to their local foodbank, managed by The Trussell Trust.

They began in August by delivering leaflets through the doors of the selected route during the preceding week asking for donations and to leave them on their front doorsteps on the Sunday morning ready for collection from 10am on.

The collections went well and 670kg of food was collected.

Encouraged by this, further monthly collections covering different routes were arranged.

The total so far after five collections is nearly four and a half tonnes, by The Trussell Trust at £5,200.

On the December collection a gentleman even went to his cash and carry and loaded up his van.

In view of the quantity he volunteered to take it directly to the food bank himself and donate it in the name of Shirley Lions.

The Lions were absolutely amazed at the generosity of people and by ensuring that everyone donating was given a thank you note and brief information about the club this helped to maintain their profile and also generated enquiries from people asking to join in and help.

President Jackie Culliford said: “Since August we have made five collections, one every month and we plan to continue next year.

“This food is making a real difference to people lives and we are so grateful to all who have donated.

“Thanks also to the Trussell Trust for their hard work in distributing this much needed food to those in need in the local community.”

In the lead up to Christmas other ideas were tried including messages from Santa via Facebook in return for a donation.

One member set up his living room as Santa’s fireside at the North Pole and started recording personalised messages.

Most were for children but also a couple for adults with learning difficulties one of whom was very worried Santa wasn’t going to come this year.

His mother told the Lions and all their Facebook followers that he is reassured and plays the message every day.

This started as a fundraising idea but turned into more of a community service activity.

If anyone is interested in becoming a Lion they can contact Shirley Lions at www.shirleylions.co.uk or by ringing 0845 833 9547.


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