This project was conceived in 2012 with the ambition of encouraging children and young people to adopt a more active lifestyle. At the time we were concerned that children were spending more and more time on their phones, computers and tablets. Being older and not being used to that, we felt it was a bad idea and they should be out and about, running, jumping, kicking balls etc. The freedom to enjoy more casual groupings on streets and in parks etc is no longer an option and youngsters must now, more usually, join clubs.
Since 2012 it has become more evident that, not only are youngsters not taking physical exercise, but they are increasingly alone (although connected to the world!) and becoming lonely, failing to develop inter-personal skills to enable them to interact with society at large and become better citizens.
So how could we in the Lions club help? Clearly not directly, because we do not have the contacts, the qualifications or the expertise to influence our target groups.
What we are good at is raising money. That is what we do!. We will raise money to support those clubs and organisations which in turn help and encourage our youngsters to engage in activities, in teams and with each other.
Our Local newspaper, the Mercury, was enthused and backed us with publicity, administration and sponsorship.
We asked local businesses to help and they, in turn, saw the benefits of this project. Annually, since 2012 we have raised around £10000 to £12000.
We ask clubs and organisations which help young people in either sport or community endeavours or theatre groups or, indeed anything, which promotes activity and social interaction in the young, gets them away from the electronics and the isolation that that can bring, to apply to usfor a grant to further their work.
We generally attract between 40 and 60 applications. A judging panel,drawn from our sponsors, then decides on the relative merits of each application and award a grant.
Rather than just send a cheque we ask the groups to attend a presentation where the cheques are given (the amounts are not given out publicly). In this way the groups get to know one another, the Mercury gets good copy, the project gets good publicity and it’s a lovely occasion, as you can see from the photographs!
This year our sponsors are, in no particular order: Nightingales removals,the Grand Pier, the Howard group of garages, McDonalds franchisees, Trevor Smith flooring, A-Squared Technologies, Mead Realisations, property developers, The Mercury and Weston-super-Mare Lions club.
This year we had 44 applications of which 32 were successful
|Club||What for (in brief)||Amount|
|Priory Pumas||kits and equipment||£250|
|Weston Swimming Club||Equipment||£200|
|Ashcombe Scouts||Cooking equipment||£125|
|Air Training Corps Squadron||Cooking equipment||£125|
|All Stars Dance||Gym mats||£400|
|Our Way Our Say||Activities||£500|
|Locking Park Juniors (U13s?)||Goals||£500|
|1st Ashcombe Cubs||tents||£250|
|1st North Worle Scouts||Flooring for hall||£500|
|Weston Sea Cadets||Musical instrument||£180|
|Weston Rugby Club||Equipment||£200|
|Locking Brownies||residential weekends||£250|
|Super Nova||Gym mats||£400|
|Weston Aerobic||safety mats||£400|
|St Nicholas Preschool||outdoor flooring||£500|
|1st Ashcombe Beavers||day walks and equipment||£125|
|Weston Festival of Drama||event costs||£200|
|Weston Tennis club||Equipment||£250|
|1st Milton Scouts||pioneering poles||£125|
|Hutton Primary School||play equipment||£1,000|
|Play Wild!||outdoor forest skills||£220|
|Priory Juniors FC||equipment||£250|
|Flying High Performing Arts||Equipment||£600|
|Locking Park FC (U11s)||Equipment||£250|
|Boost rebound trampoline||Equipment for disabled children||£600|
|Hornets Rugby Club||Equipment||£250|
|St Paul’s School Worlebury||Equipment||£250|
We hope, very much to continue this project in 2020 with a bigger pot! If you would like to sponsor, do get in touch, it would be great to hear from you.
We will be asking for applications from mid-May with a deadline of mid –July. Watch the Mercury and this space!