Charity Support

12 July 2017: May Fayre Donations

Profits from this year’s May Fayre event were donated to three local charities, DrugFAM, Building for the Future and Berkshire Women’s Aid.

We are once again delighted to be able to support three worthy charities, with a cheque for £3,000 to each recipient. We hope that this money will enable them to carry on their amazing work. In addition, we are pleased to welcome Wokingham Town Mayor Cllr Peter Lucey as an honorary member of the club,” said Sue Jackson, president, Wokingham Lions Club.

The club works in partnership with the Wokingham Town Council to organise the event. The May Fayre’s profits are made up from proceeds from the May Fayre (stall sales), sponsorship and public donations on the day.

Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE, Founder and Director, DrugFAM, said: “The generous donation from the Wokingham Lions Club will, without question, strengthen my resolve and determination to continue to do all I can to support families in Wokingham impacted by this disease and to bring about positive change for the stigma of addiction so that they are understood, supported and not left in isolation.” DrugFAM’s helpline is 0300 800 3853 and operates seven days a week from 9am-9pm. Family Support Group meetings are held every Monday evening at The Renewal Centre, Swallowfield, from 7.30-9pm. Website is

Jane Holmes, CEO, Building for the Future, said: “Building for the Future is the largest charity supporting disabled children in Wokingham Borough. It was set up in 2007 by a group of parents of disabled children who were desperate for somewhere for their children to play.  After years of hard work, Our House was opened in 2014 by the Earl and Countess of Wessex. This was achieved by the determination of parents, alongside caring for their disabled children. Today, the facility has over five hundred families on its database with numbers growing all the time. Offering soft play, a computer area, play areas, a teenage zone, sensory room and a fully accessible bathroom, as well as parents’ facilities, Our House is the only centre of its kind for miles around. Our House continues to be run by parents of disabled children who work as volunteers. It receives no grants from local service providers; all of its running expenses come from fundraising efforts.” Website is

Liz Terry, Chief Executive, Berkshire Women’s Aid, said: “BWA received over 6,000 calls to its helpline in the last year. This is a vital service, especially the Out of Hours service. Victims of domestic abuse and violence can speak to someone at any time, and access the wide range of services that BWA provides. This service costs £600 a month to provide, and BWA is very grateful to the Wokingham Lions Club for their generous donation.” Berkshire Women’s Aid provides confidential support, information, outreach services and refuge accommodation for women and their children, as well as men, who are affected by domestic abuse and violence. All women, children and men should be able to live free from the fear and experience of domestic abuse and violence in their homes and relationships. Website is

From left to right: Andy Slay (Mayre Fayre chairman), Jane Homes (CEO, Building for the Future), Liz Terry (Chief Executive, Berkshire Women’s Aid), Bob Westerman (Lions president 2016/17), Sue Jackson (Lions president 2017/18) and Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE (Founder and Director, DrugFAM)

22 March 2017: Donation to Crossroads Care

At our business meeting President Bob Westerman presented a cheque for £1000 to Catherina Tam, who accepted it on behalf of Crossroads Care Wokingham.

Catherina explained that Crossroads was created in the 1970’s, when the ATV series Crossroads featured a story about a carer who desperately needed respite.  The reaction from the public was so great that ATV donated £10,000 to establish a charity to support carers.

Nationally Crossroads Care now employs over 5,000 trained professionals and helps over 35,000 people.

Catherina explained that Crossroads Care Wokinghaml supports over 200 carers in the Wokingham area, and provides 250 hours of support every week.  It has received funding from Wokingham council, but this has been reducing by 50% each year so they are in desperate need of alternative funding.  The cheque we gave them is very welcome and will help provide ongoing assistance.

From left to right: Andy Slay (Mayre Fayre chairman), Jane Homes (CEO, Building for the Future), Liz Terry (Chief Executive, Berkshire Women’s Aid), Bob Westerman (Lions president 2016/17), Sue Jackson (Lions president 2017/18) and Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE (Founder and Director, DrugFAM)

13 December 2016: Fireworks Presentation Evening

This was the evening when we had the satisfaction of distributing the proceeds of the Fireworks Spectacular.  Representatives from each of the five participating clubs (Wokingham Lions, Wokingham Rotary Club, Easthampstead Rotary Club, Windsor Forest Unicorn Club and Thames West Unicorn Club) attended along with local dignitaries and representatives of the beneficiaries.  The chairman of Wokingham Fireworks Charitable Trust, David Gold, thanked all those who helped with the organisation and running of the event.  He explained that the event was a joint effort and everyone should share the appreciation of the support they were able to give to numerous charities. He then invited the president of each club to accept a cheque for their own club charity account, and to present a cheque to the beneficiary they had nominated.

Our president, Bob Westerman, accepted the cheque for £2000 for our club charity account then presented a cheque for £5,000 to Maureen Staley, who represented Thames Hospice.  Maureen gratefully accepted the cheque and explained that it would be invaluable to them, particularly at this time of year.

The president of the Wokingham Rotary then received a cheque for his club and presented another for £5000 to Mireille Haviland who represented JAC.  She explained that they help vulnerable and insecure children, and one of their facilities is an area with animals such as horses, donkeys, rabbits and guinea pig, which have been proved to be therapeutic with disturbed children. The money would be used to build stables and walk-in pens to allow the children to interact with the animals.

The president of Easthampstead Rotary received a cheque for his club and presented another for £5000 to Tess Eagles & Liz McDanie who represented Me2 Club.  They explained how their charity also supported vulnerable children, by helping them integrate and take part in activities that other children take for granted.  They do this by recruiting volunteers to accompany each child, and the money would help them to finance their overheads.

The president of Windsor Forest Unicorn Club received a cheque for his club and presented another for £5000 to John Bennett & Pauline Lee who represented Alexander Devine children’s hospice. John explained that they have raised most of the £6 million needed, and have now built the hospice on land donated to them near Maidenhead. They still need to finance some of the equipment needs, and their overheads include the cost of employing & training staff.

Finally, the president of Thames West Unicorn Club received a cheque for his club and presented another for £5000 to Nigel Lewis-Baker who represented the Topic of Cancer. He explained that they help finance research at the University of Surrey into more effective means of making early diagnosis of various tyes of cancer, particularly prostate cancer.

Wokingham Lions President Bob Westerman hands over a cheque for £5000 to Maureen Staley of Thames Hospice

Wokingham Fireworks Charitable Trust committee, with the Town Mayor, Gwynneth Hewetson. The committee includes Lions members Andy Slay, Sue Jackson and Alan Rouse

The magnificent setting of Wokingham Town Hall

9 November 2016: Donating Proceeds of the Real Ale Festival

We invited representatives from five charities to our meeting and donated to them a total of over £5000 from the proceeds of the Real Ale Festival held in August.

On behalf of Citizens Advice Wokingham, Parry Batth said: “A £2,000 donation from Wokingham Lions will enable Citizens Advice Wokingham, for a year, to focus on 40 people or families, and help them to solve their problems and get fair treatment. Citizens Advice Wokingham provides a free, confidential, impartial and independent service of problem solving information, advice, mediation, representation and support for all members of the community, regardless of race, gender, age, sexuality or disability. They help people with their problems in welfare benefits, debt, consumer issues, employment, housing, legal, relationship, tax, utilities, community care, education, health and immigration.”

Kathryn Tibble-Taylor, Operations Manager at First Days said: ”We are delighted to receive such a generous donation from the Wokingham Lions Club. This will enable us to help local families living in poverty. The money will be spent to help buy local families new safety equipment.” First Days is a charity dedicated to redistributing baby and toddler clothes, equipment, furniture and toys to families in need.

Elizabeth Burton-Phillips of DrugFAM said: “We are delighted to receive such a generous donation from the Wokingham Lions Club. This will enable us to help local families living in poverty. The money will be spent to help buy local families new safety equipment.”

Arti Divatia, Centre Manager for Dingley’s Promise said: “This is a brilliant donation from The Wokingham Lions Club, and will make such a difference to the life-changing work that we do at Dingley’s Promise. We intend to use this donation to enable us to appoint a Family Support Worker who can help us to cascade our work into the homes of our children’s families. Dingley’s mission is to deliver life-changing support to families with
children under age five, with additional needs and disabilities.”

Sue Jackson, who chaired the meeting, said: “It was another successful year with more than 55 barrels of beer consumed. The profits will go to support some very worthwhile causes within the Wokingham Borough. My thanks go to all the festival goers for supporting the Lions, and in
particular family, friends and club members who helped to make it all happen.”

Elizabeth Burton-Phillips (DrugFAM), Tim Hanton (Wokingham Lions Club Treasurer), Parry Batth (Citizens Advice Wokingham), Zora Morgan and Arti Divatia (Dingley Promise), Sue Jackson​ ( Wokingham Lions Club VP) and Kathryn Tibble-Taylor​ (First Days​)

12 October 2016: Presentation by Soulscape

Jane Turner of ‘Soulscape’ told us about Soulscape, which is the town mayor’s chosen charity for this year. Soulscape engage with local young people aged 10-19,sSupporting them by giving them space and time out in an increasingly busy and technological world, to explore the issues that affect them. They start with ‘changing schools’ at 11 and cover any number of young people led issues, from stress to online grooming, family break up to drugs, pornography to peer pressure. This is done mainly by working in local schools for periods up to 2 weeks at a time, giving every young person an opportunity to join in various sessions, as well as one-to-ones if required. They also work with other organisations where specific ongoing help is required.

The town mayor, Gwynneth Hewetson, spoke up in support of ‘Soulscape’ which she said was ‘Wokingham’s hidden secret’. She had lost her stepson to suicide after a long history of personal problems. Her reason for supporting ‘Soulscape’ was to help stop this happening to other young people.


Gwynneth Hewetson, President Bob Westerman and Jane Turner

July 2016: Presentation of donations from the May Fayre

During our meeting of 13 July at the Wokingham Cricket Club we presented cheques to a number of charities and good causes.  We donated a total of £10,500 from the proceeds of the 2016 May Fayre, plus a donation to Wokingham in Need.

We nominated three charities as the main beneficiaries from the May Fayre, Dementia Care, a charity that provides specialist care and independent supported living for people with dementia, MacMillan Cancer Support, which provides teams of nurses and therapists who help with cancer treatment and Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, a charity that trains dogs to alert deaf people to sounds they can’t hear.  Each of these received £3500, although the dementia contribution was divided between two charities.

Wokingham Lions have an emotional connection with Wokingham in Need, since it was instigated by Lion Sue Balchin, who sadly passed away before it came to fruition.  Lions Sue Jackson and Candy Kirkland continued the good work, which is aimed at helping homeless people in the area.

We also took the opportunity to induct the Wokingham Town Mayor, Gwynneth Hewetson, as an honorary member.

Peter Watson of the charity Younger People with Cancer is awarded a cheque for £1750.  Also in the picture are Sue Jackson, Bob Westerman (Lions president 12016/17) and Paul Baily (Chairman of the 2016 May Fayre)
Reverend Catherine Bowstead receives a cheque for £1750 on behalf of Bradbury Centre Dementia Care.  Also present were Sue Jackson, xxx from the Bradbury Centre and May Fayre Chairman Paul Baily
Natalie Hill receives a cheque for £3500 on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Care
Nicholas Orpin recieves a cheque for £3500 for Hearing Dogs
Alan Rouse (president 2015/16) presents a cheque for £4680 to Sue Jackson who, as well as being a Lion, is a founder of Wokingham in Need.  The cheque will be used to buy a portacabin which will be used as a day centre for homeless people.
President Bob Westerman welcomes Wokingham Town Mayor  Gwynneth Hewetson as an honorary member of Wokingham Lions Club.  Also in the picture is Membership Chairman John Cleary.

February 2016: Headway

At our February meeting we donated £1000 to the local branch of Headway. Headway support people whose lives have changed following a head injury. Zoe Lane from Headway received the cheque together with Stan and Faye Hetherington.  As well as being a town councillor Stan orgainises numerous events in Wokingham and has close links with Wokingham Lions Club.  His daughter Faye was seriously injured in a fall and has used Headway’s services to help her recuperate


From the left: Zoe Lane, Stan Hetherington, Faye Hetherington and Vice-President Bob Westerman

January 2016: Gerry Aggett Award

Pam Jenkins, Wokingham Mental Health Association (also known as Crisis House), and Jackie Wilson, WADE, have been presented with the Gerry Aggett Award from the Wokingham Lions Club.  This award is in honor of the late Gerry Aggett, who started the May Fayre, and was a member of the Wokingham Lions Club.  Its purpose is to recognise local charity leaders for their outstanding contribution to the community.

“We are delighted to present cheques for £1,000 to Crisis House and WADE, and appreciate the efforts of Pam Jenkins and Jackie Wilson to help run these two very worthy charities,” said Alan Rouse, president, Wokingham Lions Club.

From left:  Pam Jenkins, Mervyn Clark, Alan Rouse, Ursula Aggett, Jackie Wilson and Sue Jackson.

Christmas 2015

To help celebrate Christmas and provide transportation to Christmas parties, the Lions donated funds to Seaford Court, Link Visiting Scheme and Wokingham Hospital.

A donation was also made to the Giving Tree, to help disadvantaged children receive a Christmas presents.

August 2015: Combat Stress

A cheque for £2,000 was presented to Combat Stress, from funds raised at the Art Themen Jazz Concert in June 2015.  Combat Stress provides services to UK’s veterans suffering from service-related mental health conditions.  Tom Wilman accepted the cheque on behalf of Combat Stress. The June jazz concert was sponsored by Prospect Estate Agents, and attended by members of the public.

For more information, please visit the Combat Stress website.

Combat Stress donation 7 Aug 2015

July 2015: Robbie the Robot, Reading

One of the recipients of the funds from the May Fayre was the Robbie the Robot Appeal at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH) in Reading.  A cheque for £5,000 was presented to the Royal Berks Charity at the hospital.  Accepting the donation were Mark Goff, charity director, and Ian Thomson, charity manager.  “The money will be used to purchase additional equipment to enhance Robbie the Robot.  This includes an insuflator, which is a type of pressure monitor used to maintain equilibrium in the abdomen during operations on internal organs,” said Mr. Goff.

A state-of the art robot, Robbie has transformed keyhole surgeries at RBH, and helped speed up recovery times.  Recently Robbie has transformed prostate cancer operations at the hospital.  The robot enables surgeons to perform radical prostate operations, using all the clinical and technical capabilities of traditional open surgery.  Because surgeons can operate through tiny incisions (keyhole surgery), recovery times are dramatically reduced.  Robbie patients can be back home within two days, rather than 10 days, for example.

In the UK, prostate cancer is the No. 1 type of male cancer, and one in 12 men will be diagnosed with it during their lifetime.

For more information please visit Robbie the Robot

Robbie the Robot

May 2015: Camp Mohawk, Wargrave

A cheque for £5,000 was presented to Chris Wilcox, Centre Manager at Camp Mohawk. The money will be used to launch new youth groups in September. Some members of the Wokingham Lions Club were present to learn more about Camp Mohawk, which is set in the beautiful countryside near Wargrave.

Camp Mohawk is a multi-functional day centre for children and young people with special needs, and their families.  It provides a secure, caring and non-judgmental environment for children and young people (age 8 to 19) with high functioning autism and Asperger’s syndrome to play, socialise and learn. Those from age 8 to 13 participate in swimming, circus skills, pottery, archery and bush craft. The older groups enjoy activities at the camp, as well as in the surrounding area, including trips to the cinema, go-karting and restaurant dinners.

“From September 2015, Camp Mohawk is launching a number of new youth groups for children and young people with high-functioning ASD (autism spectrum disorder). The demand has been overwhelming, and we are already fully booked,” says Mr. Wilcox.

He adds: “These activity-based groups will run throughout both the term and the school holidays, and will give children the support and understanding that they need to develop, grow and make long-lasting friends. This generous donation from the Wokingham Lions Club will go a long way towards funding the various activities, trips out, and other costs associated with the running of these valuable groups.”

For more information visit the campmohawk website

A Selection of Previous Donations:

Tim Hanton (president 2012-13) hands over part of the money raised at the 2014 Art Themen Jazz event  to Help for Heroes, which supports British servicemen and women who have been wounded or injured in the line of duty. The charity provides ongoing support to approximately 75,000 in need of help.
Andy Slay (president 2013-14) presents a cheque to Susie Knowles (community fundraiser for Alexander Devine)
Candy Kirkland (president 2011-12), presents a cheque to Pam Jenkins, representative from Crisis House, Wokingham
Matthew James, a Reading Boys School pupil had approached former Reading Boy's School pupil Ross Brawn of Formula 1 fame with an idea that he could perhaps sponsor a new 'bionic' hand costing £30,000 for Matthew, who had been born without a left hand. What Ross did was contact the manufacturer Touch Bionics and arrange for the hand to be available at a much reduced price of £10,000. Wokingham Lions were delighted to help Matthew achieve his target
Wokingham Lions has made a donation to Crowthorne Based Charity The Chidamoyo Trust. The Trust supports Chidamoyo hospital in Zimbabwe, which serves a rural area. Many of the patients are children and those suffering from AIDS related illnesses. The money was mainly used towards the purchase of a Tractor. Not an item that a hospital in the UK would need, but in Zimbabwe it is vital, to help cultivation in the hospital’s fields, to make transport possible in areas where the roads are very poor, to bring in supplies and building materials for the new buildings at the hospital. Without this new tractor, the hospital's ongoing work would have been extremely difficult. See the charity’s website for further details.