morpeth lions club
Once a year you see the Lions on the streets rattling a can to boost their funds or in December collecting in Morrisons.
At other times you may attend a function such as the Chinese Banquet at Mulan or the Casino Night at the Comrades Club.
Many people ask where the money raised goes and who benefits. We feel you should know.
The majority of funds are spent locally or in the region, although Morpeth Lions do make regular donations to an international fund which channels money through Lions clubs in disaster areas, including flooded places. Morpeth Lions benefited from this fund in 2008.
Another international donation is to Water Aid, which is made by Lions clubs on an annual basis.
There is a small committee within in the club that goes through the many requests for help or look at people and organisations locally who need some help with funds. All recommendations from this committee are then brought to the full club for a decision.
Charities which give services locally have been supported. These include Barnabas Safe and Sound, Dawn Advice, Drout, Contact, RNLI, Age UK, the Samaritans and the Morpeth and Wansbeck link of Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline.
Sight based charities are one of the Lions’ top priorities. On an international scale, regular funds are sent to a programme which includes building eye hospitals and blindness prevention measures and on a local scale, the club made donations last year to Morpeth Talking Newspaper, Morpeth Area Partially Sighted and Northumberland County Blind Association.
Regional health organisations and initiatives that help patients such as St Oswald’s Hospice, the Bubble Foundation, Grace House Children’s Hospice, the Sick Children’s Trust, Northumberland Hospital Radio, Great North Air Ambulance, Northumbria Blood Bikes, Daft as a Brush and North East Cystic Fibrosis have received funds from the Lions. The club also takes part in the ‘message in a bottle’ sticker scheme where a householder’s medical details can be seen quickly in an emergency situation.
Last year’s President Geoff Bushell named Debra as his charity for the year and special events were held at Mulan, which raised £1,100.
Debra provides support and research into Epidermolysis Bullosa, a condition which causes skin to blister and shear off with the slightest friction.
Donations are also made to individuals when a strong case is made. Caroline MacDonald, a world champion indoor rower who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, was given half of the money for a new specially adapted rowing seat after the previous one broke.
The family of Nathan, who has cerebral palsy, received a contribution to major adaptations to their home so they can care for him safely.
Around Christmas, funds are specifically earmarked for the Meet the Lions event for the elderly and the Tin in a Bin collection, where food parcels are made up for the needy.