You will have seen or heard our name around the town and district already, but do you know who we are and what we do?
Bridgnorth Lions Club is made up of a group of like-minded men and exists to help those in the community who are disadvantaged or in need of help. Since 1976 we have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds, all from around Bridgnorth and the surrounding area, and every penny has been used to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
Bridgnorth Lions was formed by four men in 1976. It is a male-only club, although wives, girlfriends and other women provide a great deal of help. It has blossomed to a present membership of 25, raising funds and donating to lots of causes, mainly in Bridgnorth and surrounding areas and organising major events in the town such as the famous Bridgnorth Walk, Duck Race and Prostate Testing.
Because we are local, we serve the unique needs of the community in which we live. But as we are global, we can also address international challenges such as help for earthquake victims or other natural disasters wherever they occur.
The vast majority of our work is centred on the Bridgnorth community. If you ask any of our members, they'd say that having fun while helping their local community is what it's all about – from helping individuals with problems/needs to organizing the annual prostate cancer testing (PSA) event or the renowned Bridgnorth Walk. All the charitable work we undertake has to be paid for and Bridgnorth members raise money throughout the year. Bonding the club together is a very active social calendar, which is enjoyed by all members and partners.
Joining is by invitation only, but if any man out there feels that he, too, would like to make a difference in the community by joining, and have a lot of fun doing so, now is the opportunity to get in touch with us. Please click on 'Contact' above.
Since 1917, Lions have served the world's population making a difference in the lives of people everywhere. They are active in their local communities, knowing that those who live in a community are in the best position to know who needs help and why.
The organization was founded in Chicago, U.S.A in 1917 by an insurance agent, Melvin Jones as a men-only club. Women were admitted in 1987 but some all-male clubs, including Bridgnorth, still exist.The association became international when the first club in Canada was formed in 1920. The first club in the UK was opened in London in 1949. There are now more than 12,000 Lions in 900 clubs in this country.
Melvin Jones's personal code – "You can't get very far until you start doing something for somebody else" became a guiding principle for public-spirited people the world over. It was under his dynamic leadership that Lions clubs earned the prestige necessary to attract civic-minded members.
We are part of Lions Clubs International (LCI), the world's largest service organization, whose motto is 'We Serve'.
Having 1.4 million members spread across the globe, LCI has the proud boast that no money donated by the public is used for administration costs.
Lions Clubs International offers people a way of sharing their personal success by helping those less fortunate than themselves.
Through membership Lions not only help people in need, but have opportunities to develop personal friendships, and gain valuable leadership skills.
For more information on Lions International, please go to the global website by clicking here
The whole club meets once a month on the second Tuesday at The Down Inn, near Bridgnorth. The meeting starts with a meal and is followed by the business session where various topics are discussed and voted upon, usually finishing around 10pm.
Each member is assigned to one of three committees (which also meet once a month).
The committees are:
Organises events/activities to raise money for our various good causes. Every penny of the money donated by the public is used for charitable purposes.
HOW WE RAISE MONEY
The club raises money in a variety of ways, from bucket collections around the town, to Christmas and Easter raffle baskets placed in local shops, pubs and other outlets.
Bridgnorth Lions runs the annual Bridgnorth Walk. We also run an annual duck race on the River Severn, providing fun for all ages and raising funds for good causes.
At Christmas we run various activities for the children.
This year there has been a Sunflower Growing competition, just for the fun of it.
This is the committee which decides how we spend our money. Specifically, it also organises events or outings for people with special needs or older members of the community.
What the money is spent on
Members enjoy involvement in a wide variety of community events and activities benefitting local residents of all ages. The largest projects involve responsibility for running the famous Bridgnorth Lions Walk and Marathon and the annual Prostate Cancer Testing.
We also run a programme called 'Message in a bottle' to help people record their health info when visited by professionals in an emergency. Additionally, we collect and recycle used spectacles for distribution in Africa. Other international causes supported include help for those affected by major natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes and famine.
Among many local good causes we have supported financially are Oak Farm working farm for adults with learning disabilities and recognition and rewards for young people active in the community.
Finally, the club provides help to some specific causes which, necessarily, are kept confidential.
If you know of a good cause, please email us here. We'll be in touch very soon.
Having fun is important to Lions members – a wide range of events are arranged for the benefit of members, family and friends- quiz nights, trips out and an annual charter night to celebrate the birthday of Bridgnorth Lions.
All of the club’s administration expenses are met by the annual subscription paid by members.
2019's outstanding inaugural Duck Race saw the Bridgnorth Lions join forces with local retailers by sponsoring ducks for £3 each, raising more than £3,000. The weather was perfect and hundreds of people lined the banks of the River Severn from the start adjacent to Severn Park, and heading towards the finish just beyond the old bridge.
Because of the restrictions no race took place in 2020. Instead, a Virtual Duck Race was organised in early January 2021. Despite lock-down conditions in the run up to Christmas, the following hardy retailers, who supported the event this year, sold between them approximately 300 ducks, raising nearly £900.00 for Bridgnorth Lions Club Charity account.
So a huge vote of thanks go to:
BUDGENS Salop Street, Bridgnorth
The Cake Room Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth
Creative Outlet Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth
The Crown High Steet, Bridgnorth
Hopskotch Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth
Menz Room Mill Street, Bridgnorth
The Old Castle West Castle Street, Bridgnorth
Travel Wallet Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth
Duck race customer winners bought their tickets at The Menz Room, The Crown, Hopskotch and Creative Outlet. Each of these retailers received a £50.00 voucher for their winning customer to spend in the store.
The winner of the Retailers Race was The Travel Wallet who received a bottle of Champagne.
Bridgnorth Lions held its Prostate Testing event on the evening of September 30th when over 1000 men were tested.
This year the tests were by appointment only, made online or at local venues. This was a new initiative for the Lions and it worked very well- the whole process was streamlined and queuing was virtually eliminated. The subsidised price was £15 but many men contributed more.
Incidences of Prostate Cancer have increased in the over-40s, therefore Bridgnorth Lions lowered the minimum age from 50 to 40. Prostate Cancer kills 13,000 men every year but if caught in time is very curable.
Bridgnorth Lions started the programme in 2009 and since that time more than 8,000 tests have been carried out. More than 400 men have been found to have the disease which is the country's largest cancer for men over the age of 50. Blood tests can reveal levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) which may indicate the presence of prostate cancer. Men taking part are advised that tests can give both false positive and negative results and that they should always seek advice from their own GPs.
The event is supported mainly by phlebotomists from Bridgnorth, Shrewsbury, Wolverhampton and Kidderminster Hospitals while local companies contribute towards the cost by sponsoring the event.
Bridgnorth Lions run several recycling initiatives
Bridgnorth Lions collect unwanted bicycles from the Bridgnorth area and take them to Shrewsbury Cycle Hub for repair and renovation, to be returned to us for sale.
Bridgnorth Lions collect unwanted spectacles for use in the Third World.
If you have any empty cartridges of the following types, please take them to Bridgnorth Print in Listley Street. These will be reused.
Please contact us here and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.
Copyright John White 2021