Woodbridge and District Lions Club Activities
The club principally provides support for those in need within the Woodbridge and District Lions Club’s area of responsibility (Woodbridge, Orford, Bawdsey, Wickham Market, Framlingham, Grundisburgh, Rushmere St Andrew, Kesgrave, Martlesham and all communities in between). Examples of the support the club provides includes:
An afternoon meeting held once a month for those in the community seeking companionship.
Typically those attending are collected and returned home by Lions using their own vehicles and the two hour meeting is filled with natter, laughter, a topical presentation or demonstration, a quiz or other entertainment all washed down with copious tea and coffee accompanied by sandwiches, biscuits and cake. This is delivered in partnership with the Woodbridge Quay Church and members of both organisations attend meetings to help host.
Message in a Bottle
The club regularly purchases and distributes the MIAB, free of charge, as part of its service in the community supplying bottles to doctors’ surgeries, libraries, pharmacies and other suitable public venues.
On request, the club replenishes bottle stocks in addition to giving them away at high profile community events such as the Woodbridge Regatta and Royal British Legion celebrations.
Should an emergency require a home visit by medical professionals, they know to look in the ‘fridge for a Message in a Bottle (MIAB). The bottle is a repository for up to date medical information including details of the medicines taken by the householder and next of kin details. The role played by MIAB is particularly beneficial for those living on their own.
Christmas Food Hampers and Children’s Presents
For many years the club has bought and distributed food hampers at Christmas time.
The hampers were distributed widely across our area to those needing a helping hand at this time of year. Typically the hampers included basic and luxury food items and targeted items which were unlikely to be bought by the recipients.
Since 2017, in an attempt to better target the hampers so they were distributed to those with greatest need, the club has distributed our hampers and children’s presents through the Salvation Army which provides a weekly food bank.
One of the highlights of the club’s year is accompanying Santa, on his sleigh, around the town bringing fun to families and children and collecting funds toward the club’s charitable purposes.
Year on year, Santa’s popularity seems to grow exponentially with children not only eager to meet him to ensure Santa understands what they would most like as a present but also to enjoy one of his festive sweets.
Community Groups and Families
Each year, the club makes a number of grants to groups, families and individuals needing support in our area which cannot be provided through Government or other non-Government agencies.
The club’s grants aim to make a difference. With regard to families, it might be providing an item such as a refrigerator or a carpet or possibly paying for a holiday when a family has fallen on very hard times. When giving to groups, where possible, the club looks to encourage multiple gifting streams so its grant is matched by that from other sources. Requests for support are as varied as they are diverse and each application is considered on its merit. Children’s play equipment for a local park and the Jetty Lane Youth Community Project based in Woodbridge are typical of how the club helps community groups.
Each year, the club makes a number of grants to individuals living within the area requesting support for specific activities with which they are personally involved.
Typically requests are made by young adults planning to embark on projects with defined individual or community benefit. Usually projects are based abroad and range from international scout and guide jamborees to work on animal conservation projects or initiatives to help remote and impoverished communities building schools and the like. Often projects bring together young people of other nationalities and offer both personal and public benefit.
Annually the club picks litter on an area of the coast within its area of responsibility.
Usually this activity contributes to the local District Council’s initiative to clean-up public spaces. Also supported are litter picking initiatives alongside Transition Woodbridge.
Public Celebrations and Special Events
Voluntary organisations such as The Woodbridge Horse Show, The Woodbridge Shufflers (who organise the Town’s 10 km Road Race) and The Woodbridge Regatta Committee, call on our support to help deliver their public activities efficiently and safely.
Typically the club is involved in car parking, litter picking, railway level crossing safety duty, co-ordinating third party stall holders, advertising and marshalling; all with the intention of providing a service so event visitors will enjoy their day out.
Martlesham Heath 10 km Road Race
For some twenty five years the club has organised and delivered the Martlesham Heath race as part of the County’s 10 km athletics programme.
Runners from all over the eastern Counties participate in the event and locally many runners join in the 5 km and fun run. In recent years the club has partnered the Felixstowe Road Running Club to deliver the race with organisation becoming ever more involved and technically complicated. This as a whole club event provides not only an opportunity for runners of all ages and abilities to join together in competition but also an occasion for families and friends to watch the spectacle and to enjoy refreshment in the popular Pavilion Cafe. This event raises several thousands of pounds which are redirected back into the community through the club’s grants.
Transition Woodbridge and Woodbridge on Show
The club keenly supports both local organisations.
Transition Woodbridge helps to raise public awareness of topical matters such as the environmental damage done by such substances as plastic and heighten the profile of the community. Woodbridge on Show show cases the work of local voluntary organisations in its community and encourages volunteering in all its guises.
For many years the club has given organisational support to the Woodbridge Regatta Committee.
Club members have managed and delivered major aspects of the event which sets out to celebrate not only Woodbridge’s maritime heritage but the support of its thriving voluntary sector.
Zone Swimming Gala
Each year, local Lions’ Clubs join together to organise a swimming gala in Ipswich for those in Suffolk who are Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.
There are no age limits and adults and children eagerly compete in a number of events designed to give every participant a sense of achievement and reward. The occasion is well supported by friends and family.
The Art Exhibition
The art exhibition is a bi-annual event, hosted at a central Woodbridge location and supported by Kesgrave Art Club amongst others.
It takes place on a Saturday and artwork donated by the district’s artists are put up for sale at reasonable prices. Proceeds go to local charities via the Woodbridge and District Lion’s charity fund.