In the News

May 2016: Children’s ward of Royal Berkshire Hospital Charity receives two large Easter eggs

23rd May, 2016 – The annual Easter Egg Raffle organised by the Wokingham Lions Club and Wokingham in Need (WIN) was a tremendous success, raising £2,000 for the two charities (£1800 for the Lions and £200 for WIN).

Two of the Easter eggs were won by individuals who wished to donate them to a worthy cause.  Sue Jackson, fund raising chairman of the Wokingham Lions Club and founder of Wokingham in Need, contacted Ian Thomson, interim director of the Royal Berkshire Hospital Charity, to offer the two eggs to the children’s ward of the hospital.

“We were delighted to accept both Easter eggs for Lion and Dolphin wards at the Royal Berks. The children were amazed to receive such large eggs. Staff on both wards would like to thank Sue and all concerned for their support.  It is always a pleasure to work with the Wokingham Lions Club and WIN, and we look forward to working together on future fund-raising projects,” Mr. Thomson said.

“It is pleasing that so many people can benefit from our raffles.  We appreciate the cooperation from our local pubs and businesses, and the generosity of the local community.  In fact, the manager of the Dukes Head was one of the winners of an Easter egg that was donated to the Royal Berkshire Hospital Charity,” Mrs. Jackson said. The other was won by a local businessman.

May 2016: Wokingham Lions donate £500 to borough mayor’s charity

18th May, 2016 – Andy Slay, treasurer for the Wokingham Lions Club, presented a cheque for £500 from the club to Wokingham Borough Mayor Parry Batth at the start of the Wokingham Walk on Sunday 15th May.  He said, “On behalf of the Wokingham Lions, we are pleased to donate this money to the Borough Mayor’s Charity.”

This was the first Wokingham Walk, organised independently by Andy Slay and Stan Hetherington.  Afterwards Mr. Slay said, “The walk was a great success, with around 170 walkers participating in a five- or 15-mile walk.  This was the first of what will become an annual charity walk in Wokingham.”

This year the Borough Mayor’s chosen charity is ARC counselling, a free and confidential counselling service.  ARC counselling provides adult, youth and school counselling, as well as peer mentoring.  “I have chosen ARC as my charity this year following a recent survey which showed that a high proportion of young people in the borough experience some form of significant emotional or mental health issue at a time when services are stretched. This issue is a high priority, and ARC provides a vital, free, easily accessible service in a safe and comfortable environment,” said Cllr Parry Batth.

April 2016: The following article was published in the Lion magazine:

18 July 2015 – Casino Royale Charity Ball raises £5,500 for Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service

A good time was had by all at the first-ever Casino Royale Charity Ball on Saturday, 18th July, organized by the Wokingham Lions Club.  The event took place at the Holiday Inn Hotel, Winnersh Triangle, Reading, with 208 people in attendance.  The club raised more than £5,500 for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, with the money being used to help build a much-needed children’s hospice in Maidenhead.

Guests arrived on a red carpet and entered a room decorated with a James Bond theme, including black and white balloons and life-size James Bond cut-outs.  The evening included a three-course meal, a silent auction, and a casino.  Fun money to use in the casino was purchased with real money.  A live band, Triple O from Twyford, played a variety of music, and guests danced until midnight.

“Currently there is no children’s hospice in Berkshire, so we were very pleased to support the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service.  This is an exciting time for the charity, as building works begin in September in Maidenhead.  So far, they have raised £4 million toward the £5 million needed to build the facility,” says Lyn Baily, Charity Ball committee head, Wokingham Lions Club.

Clare Dando, chair of Wokingham fund raising group for Alexander Devine, added:  “It was a fantastic night, and everyone had a great time.  The £5,500 raised is an amazing sum, and it will make such a difference to us.  The casino and auction items were a big hit, and we are very grateful to the Wokingham Lions Club.”

Sponsors for the event include Prospect Estate Agency, Johnson Controls Limited, SGI and Patrizia – Winnersh Triangle Management Office.  For more information on the Wokingham Lions Club, please visit the website, or call 0845 833 7384.

30th June, 2015 – Sue Balchin Memorial Bench unveiled

Sue Balchin bench photoA bench in memory of Sue Balchin MBE was unveiled today in Howard Palmer Park by Wokingham Town Mayor, Councillor Philip Mirfin. Inscribed in the bench are the words “Donated in memory of Susan Balchin MBE 1940-2015 who worked tirelessly for the local community.” The idea for the bench came from members of the Wokingham Lions Club, who attended the unveiling, along with members of Sue’s family.

The mayor spoke of Sue’s devotion to those less fortunate in the Wokingham community, and the many organisations and individuals she was able to help. Her step-son Roger Balchin said those who sit on the practical and beautifully crafted bench can think of Sue in a quiet and very pleasant location. He remembered Sue for her generosity, kindness and compassion.

In 2013, Sue was awarded an MBE for her service to the Berkshire community. In 1997, she became one of the first female members of the Wokingham Lions Club, and was the first female President of the Club in 2004, and again in 2009. Sue also served as Club Secretary, Social chairperson, Welfare chairperson for several years, May Fayre chairperson, stalls organiser for both the May Fayre and Winter Carnival and Public Relations officer. Every year, she organised the Christmas carol singing round the restaurants and pubs in Wokingham. Sue recently became heavily involved with the Food Bank and the homeless in Wokingham. She was a great supporter of working with young people and encouraged the most recent youth project within the Club, the Creative Youth Collective.

“Sue touched many lives in Wokingham, and we miss her very much,” said Tim Hanton, president, Wokingham Lions Club.

June 2015 – Art Themen Jazz Night was a Rocking Success!

One of Britain’s top jazz musicians, Art Themen, performed to a sold-out audience at the Wokingham Theatre on Saturday, 20th June 2015. The jazz night was organized by the Wokingham Lions Club, with all proceeds going to Combat Stress.

Known for his originality and smooth style, Art Themen is a British jazz saxophonist and former orthopaedic surgeon. He was joined by three other jazz musicians.  For more than 40 years, Themen has toured around the world, and played with US and British luminaries, including Mick Jagger, Chuck Berry and Georgie Fame.

“It was a fabulous night of jazz, with a variety of music including songs of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, West End & Broadway hits, as well as the blues, a tango and ballads.  The evening was a great success, with fabulous music and entertainment, and above all, a wonderful audience helping us to raise funds for a worthy cause,” said Sue Jackson, fundraising chairman, Wokingham Lions Club.

All proceeds are going to Combat Stress, the UK’s leading veterans’ mental health charity. Mental ill-health affects ex-service men and women of all ages. Combat Stress supports more than 5,900 veterans, age 19 to 97, and provides a vital lifeline for these men and women, and their families. Treatment and support services are always free of charge, and are proven to work.

For more information on the Wokingham Lions Club, please visit the website, or call 0845 833 7384.

Press articles featuring Wokingham Lions

In pictures: Wokingham May Fayre 2015 (5 May 2015)

The 20th anniversary of Wokingham May Fayre lived up to expectations drawing in huge crowds with its wide range of activities and attractions……

Wokingham Lions Club celebrates record-breaking year (12th September 2013)

The club has raised more than £36,000 for local charities this year…….

Lions club award winner says group should receive award for work rather than him (30th July 2013)

Mark Ashwell said it was “ridiculous” he was being honoured by a club which did so much good work and donated his £1,000 prize to the Building for the Future charity…….

Tireless charity volunteer receives MBE from the Queen (26th July 2013)

Sue Balchin said the day was “incredible and surreal” …….

More than 20,000 people bask in the sun at Wokingham May Fayre (8th May 2013)

Glorious sunshine beamed across the town as 20,000 revellers savoured the Wokingham May Fayre…….