Our 2018 Annual Presentation Evening was held on Tuesday 2nd February at The Barn Entertainments Centre at Waldegraves Holiday Park, generously provided for us by the proprietors. It was a wonderful evening and a great celebration of all the things the Lions organisation is about: fundraising, community service and fellowship. As a result of a successful year of fundraising activities throughout 2017 we were able to distribute donations totalling £7,500 to 15 deserving local charities (more details to come). At the end of the evening we received an unexpected boost to this year’s fundraising with the presentation of a cheque for £1,500 from the Waldegraves management. (See full report here)
We have updated our photo gallery with hundreds of pictures from many of our 2017 events. Go to our ‘Photo Gallery‘ from the Main Menu to see a wonderful pictorial record of a very busy year!
ARE YOU AGED BETWEEN 21YRS AND 70YRS WITH A CLEAN GROUP B LICENCE.
HAVE YOU CONSIDERED TO HELP THE COMMUNITY BY VOLUNTEERING TO DRIVE THE LIONS COMMUNITY MINI BUS FOR A FEW HOURS EVERY OTHER WEEK.
THE HOURS ARE EVERY WEDNESDAY OR EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY TO TAKE LOCAL PEOPLE FROM MERSEA TO COLCHESTER, LET THEM DO A COUPLE OF HOURS SHOPPING AND THEN RETURN. THE HOURS ARE 8.30AM TO 1PM.
OR EVEN EVERY THURSDAY OR EVERY OTHER THURSDAY 8.30AM TO 12PM COLLECTING PEOPLE FROM THEIR ADDRESSES TO AND FROM THE SHOPS ON THE ISLAND.
IF YOU CAN HELP AT ALL CONTACT THE LIONS ON 01206 385822
From Roy Chamberlain:
This is the evening when we make donations to local charities and deserving causes as a result of our fund-raising throughout the year. It is also the occasion when we are able to publicly thank our volunteers and those who sponsor our fund-raising events. Without their help we could not raise these funds, or carry out our work in the community. We call them S.M.I.L.Es – Supporting Mersea Island Lions Efforts.
Our President, Lion Christine Chamberlain, sent her apologies as she is awaiting major spinal surgery. Past President Lion Roy Chamberlain led the proceedings and introduced our distinguished guests Lions International 105EA District Governor Lion Nigel Folkard and his wife Marion, Zone Chairman Lion Sandie Briault and her husband Lion Tony, and the West Mersea Town Council Deputy Mayor Robert Jenkins and his wife Sue.
DONATIONS given to charities and deserving causes during the past year was over £13,000.
- £10.000 was presented to the following charities during the evening:-
Essex Air Ambulance
Mersea Island Packing Shed
Mersea Island Explorer Scouts
Mersea Island First Responders
1st Mersea Island Guides
Mersea Island Blind Spot
Mersea Island Junior Rugby Football Club
Mersea Island Junior Squash Club
Mersea Island Methodist Church Toddler Group
Mersea Island Free Church Toddler Group
Mersea Island RNLI
Mersea Island Festival
Action for Family Carers
Colchester Hospital Cancer Campaign
Colchester Hospital Time Garden
Tools with a Mission
Revitalise Respite Holidays
Lions 105EA District Governor Lady’s Charity – Cystic Fibrosis
Lions 105 District Centennial Project – Hearing Dogs
- Donations were also made to clubs and individuals during the past year when the Club had been asked for financial help. Some of the ways in which we have helped this year are:
Taking a group of foster children to the Lions Children’s Fun Day at Gt Yarmouth Circus
Children in Need
RBL Poppy Appeal
Supporting the Zone Wardens in their work with the School and Elderly on Mersea Island
A Christmas Day lunch and tea for 31 people home-alone on Christmas Day
A defibrillator sited at Cudmore Grove
The monies enabling us to support these worthy causes had been raised by:-
- Manning the gate at a Waldegraves Car Boot Sale
- Selling raffle tickets on behalf of the Mersea Food Drink and Leisures Festival
- Round the Island All Terrain Race (half marathon), and 5 & 10 Mile Races
- The Annual Lions Summer Show and Transport and Classic Car Show
- Car-parking for the Colchester and District Scooter Rally
- Selling mulled wine, mince pies and sausage rolls at Mersea Lights-up
- The Christmas Street Collection for the Home-alone Christmas Dinners
- Monies raised by letting out our beach-hut which is available for use in the community.
Waldegraves presented us with a cheque for £2,105. We are delighted to be working with them, we also appreciate their generosity and hospitality through out the year.
Once again we are most grateful to David Lord of Waldegraves Holiday and Leisure Park for enabling us to hold this annual event in the Wheatsheaf. We are particularly indebted to Chris Parsons and all his staff who do so much to make the evening such a huge success.
Our Greatest achievement of the year?
Our new Lions Community Mini Bus which was parked outside during the evening
Our thanks to all who have made donations and helped make this possible.
The pictures above show Mersea Island Lions club President Mrs Christine Chamberlain receiving the keys to the bus from Chris Jeakins of H.W.Pickrell on Thursday 5th January 2017, Roy Chamberlain messing about as usual and members of the Mersea Islands Lions who collected the bus
In 1982 Ralph Lukham saw the need for a community bus for the island. He approached Harry Kell ( Pam Baldwins father ), to see if he would organise the running of this project. He also approached our Lions club to see if we could purchase a bus with Harry overseeing the bus operation. So this is how our little white bus was born.
It was sponsored by local businesses advertising their companies to help cover the running costs. Tony Balwin advertised on the rear of the bus, but because it got so dirty nobody could see it, so he moved his advertising to the side of the bus where it was promptly hit by another vehicle making Tony feel perhaps the bus advertising was not a good idea!!!!!!
Harry Kell continued to operate the Lions bus service until in 1995 he became unwell and passed away at the end of that year. During this time the Lions changed the bus twice. Harry never joined the Lions but was made an honorary Lion because of his commitment to the Bus project.
A fourth replacement bus was purchased and ran until 2011. At this time a fifth bus was purchased and ran until we replaced it with our new bus January 2017
As winter approached our present bus started to show more signs of its age – 12 years old and 110,000 miles. Following a recent article about the need to replace the bus, our own funds were very generously topped up by donations totaling £3,900 from Mersea Life readers, Mersea Town Council and East Mersea Village Hall. So the decision was taken to invest the money we had into a newer bus ( a brand new bus was still too expensive ).
The new bus is 5 years old with only 28,000 miles on the clock and has a one year guarantee. The bus can be driven on a car licence and has 17 seats, 3 more then our previous bus. Whilst we wanted to provide wheelchair access using a lift system we have as yet not provided this facility. We can provide access using ramps which are carried on the bus. Unfortunately advance notice of this requirement is needed as 4 seats have to be removed to allow one wheel chair and a second person on the bus to assist the driver in positioning the wheelchair on and off .
Our bus is not only used to transport Mersea residents to and from shopping and social club outings but can be loaned to any individual or organization for a donation to help with the running.
Drivers:- The Bus operates 5 days a week using volunteer drivers, each driver spending 3-4 hrs on their rostered day, usually mornings. Drivers are always needed, so if you have one or two days spare once a fortnight and would like to offer your services to
drive the bus, please contact The Mersea Island Lions on 01206 385822. This number can also be used to arrange a loan of the bus.
Mersea Island Lions club would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our past and present drivers for for their time and dedication whilst driving our “ Little White Bus”.
– Article and pictures by Lion Keith Bird (January 2017)
Lions President Christine Chamberlain says ‘Thankyou’ to everyone who has supported the Club over the last year.
On behalf of Mersea Island Lions Club, I would very much like to thank everyone who has given and supported us over this last year. Every penny raised has been from people on our wonderful island, including very significant contributions from our many visitors here over the summer months.
We thank you, all.
We are here first ‘To Serve’. That is our Lions motto. All of us Lions have had tremendous fun in all our projects.
Visit our Presentation Evening report published in all the Life Magazines. What a superb evening this was!! To see all the recipients receiving their cheques of £500 was incredible. This was only made possible from all the hard work from Club members and of course YOU. Every penny raised is given away to deserving causes. We are, of course, not forgetting that we are an international organisation, so we also give to other Lions in the countries that have, tragically, had major disaster. All this is so humbling.
We are always needing help and without our S.M.I.L.E. programme it would be hard to carry out any of our bigger projects. If you would like to help, give us a call.
M.I.L.C. is also very aware of our young people who need to be supported and encouraged to fulfil their dreams. If you feel you have ideas to help in this area, please call us.
The whole of the community is very much in our hearts. It was so rewarding to see Kim, our cook for Christmas Day, receiving the local Gazette Community Heroes Award for her hard work on cooking for our ‘home-alones’ on Christmas Day.
Well done, Kim, and thank you Mersea Island for donating money for this to happen.
Waldegraves gave us a huge cheque, which was quite a lovely surprise. We helped at their firework night back in November. This has enabled us to start our year of fundraising. So we are now thinking about those who are less fortunate, and other charities which we could help from this beautiful island. How we fund people is by listening! If you would like to know more – “Just ask!”
To everyone – a huge thankyou, too, for making it all possible.
Lion President Chrissie Chamberlain