Helping others is at heart of life with the Lions

By Barrie Hudson - 17 November 2023


Swindon Lions Club wants to hear from people interested in helping others.

  • One of the organisations helped by Swindon Lions is Swindon Humanitarian Aid Partnership, which helps Ukrainian people suffering in the wake of the Russian invasion

    One of the organisations helped by Swindon Lions is Swindon Humanitarian Aid Partnership, which helps Ukrainian people suffering in the wake of the Russian invasion

It welcomes anybody with a few hours to spare per week, and who has the desire to put something back into Swindon and their community.

Swindon Lions club is part of Lions Club International which is the largest service organisation in the world, with 1.4m members in over 200 countries. At the heart of all Lions clubs is the concept of service, and the organisation says giving time and energy to others is a fantastic and rewarding way to help the community.

Lions are ordinary people from ordinary backgrounds who do extraordinary things to help others. 

Swindon Vice-President Peter Kennewell, a Lion for nearly 40 years, said: "In the early 1980s I had a busy career and only knew of the Lions through the fireworks display when my daughter came home with a new friend. 

"This girl was the adopted daughter of a near neighbour, a Liverpudlian called Ken who soon became a firm friend and who invited me to come along to a Lions meeting. This I did and I have been a Lion ever since.

"Much has changed since the 1980s but what hasn’t changed is the Lions' desire to help the disadvantaged in our society and, to a lesser extent, those suffering natural calamities throughout the world."

Many people know of the club through its annual firework spectacular staged at the Polo Ground, or from the Christmas collections held outside supermarkets in Swindon on December weekends. However, Lions do much more in the community.

For example, they have provided white goods, carpets and bedding to families in need and essential equipment to people with disabilities. Additionally, they have given donations to other local charities including Prospect and Julia’s House hospices and to local food banks. 

Further afield, Lions have donated to their parent International Foundation, which gives donations to Lions clubs in regions suffering the effects of natural disasters. The Lions club in Swindon has been in existence for nearly 60 years and in that time has raised over £350,000.

Former Lions President Helen Marson said: "When I moved to Swindon I realised that I needed to find a way to meet like-minded people. 

"In London I had been a member of a club which raised money in order to be able to make charitable donations as well as taking part in charitable activities. I was delighted to discover Swindon Lions had the same charitable ethos along with monthly social events. 

"I was invited to join the club and, nearly 30 years later I’m still finding being a Lion really rewarding.

"If you would like to know more about The Lions, come along to one of our meetings which are held - except on Bank Holiday weeks - on the first and third Mondays of each month at 8pm at The Village Hotel, Shaw Ridge, West Swindon. 

"Alternatively, if you would like an informal chat about life as a Lion please email me at [email protected] with your telephone number and I will be in touch.” 


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