Recent Events

Friday 7 June 2024: 50th Anniversary Presentation

To celebrate our 50th anniversary we offered 50 Golden Awards of £500 each to local charities providing special projects during 2024. We then held a presentation event in Wokingham Town Hall to hand over cheques and interact with the recipients and local dignitaries. You can read all about it here:

Saturday 18 May 2024: Riverboat Shuffle

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the formation of Wokingham Lions Club we had an evening out on a pleasure boat on the Thames. The boat left Windsor at 7:30pm and sailed upstream for 2 hours before turning back. During the journey they served a lovely barbecue meal, then entertained us with a old-time disco.

40 of our members and guests attended, including Sandra Manktelow, who is the Vice District Governor of Lions district 105SC, which covers the south of England. Sandra gave a short speech congratulating the club on reaching their 50th milestone and noting that we have gained 14 new members over the past 5 years, making us the second largest club in the district. She then presented our president, Lyn Baily, with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Friday 17 May 2024: #Woky Comedy Night

Four more comedians entertained a full house in Wokingham Theatre . As before it was a great night enjoyed by everyone:

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Fridays 4 October 2024, 15 November 2024, 28 February 2025, 4 April 2025 and 16 May 2025

Monday 6 May 2024: May Fayre

  • It’s a free event for the local community
  • It gives charities the opportunity to raise much-needed funds
  • It raises money for our charity account, which will be used to support local good causes and worldwide disasters

Sunday 28 April 2024: Wokingham Walk

22 April 2024: Holme Grange School

Our president, Lyn Baily, and member Andy Goffin visited Holme Grange school to talk to pupils about service in the community.

11 April 2024: Helping First Days Childrens Charity

10 April 2024: Donations to Fireworks 2023 Beneficiaries

President Lyn Baily presents Joanne Somner of Daisy’s Dream with a cheque for £3,500
Debbie Slay (centre) presents a cheque for £2,500 to Clare Springate and Alison Saunders of First Days

24 March 2024: Walk and Sunday lunch

Eleven members and guests took a pleasant 3 mile walk through the countryside followed by Sunday roast dinner at the Queens Oak pub. The weather was good to us, but the heavy persistent rain of the previous weeks left some of the ground very wet and muddy! However this didn’t dampen spirits so it proved a very convivial and friendly day out.

It was muddy!

Friday 1 March 2024: #Woky Comedy Night

Wednesday 28 February 2024: Theatre trip

Sixteen members and guests had a night out at the Mill at Sonning. After an enjoyable meal they watched The Death Trap.

It was a wonderful evening, once we made it across the bridge and actually reached Sonning Mill due to the road being closed! Food was a great buffet, of course lovely company and the play drew us all in and scared the living daylights out of some of us once or twice. .

Friday 16 February 2024: #Woky Quiz Night

Friday 16 February 2024: #Woky Quiz Night

Friday 2 February 2024: #Woky Comedy Night

Our series of comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre continued into 2024

Wednesday 20 December 2023: Christmas dinner

About 45 members and partners enjoyed a festive night at our annual Christmas dinner at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club. As well as a fabulous meal we entertained ourselves with games and Christmas carols.

2 – 9 December 2023: Can-Can

Lion John Cleary ran our annual Can Can Christmas Food Appeal again, as he has for the last 20 years. He organised our volunteers outside Tesco and Waitrose, asking customers to buy an extra item and donate it to us as they left.

The collected items were taken to First Days Children’s Charity who again offered us space so we could collate them into about 150 bags. We then delivered them to individuals in Wokingham who are finding life a little tough at the moment. We also made bulk deliveries to the Salvation Army and selected care homes.

All the item remaining were taken to Wokingham Foodbank, who used them to support individuals and families facing hardship with a little Christmas cheer.

A special thank you to Tesco and Waitrose in Wokingham for their ongoing support and of course their very generous customers. 

Sunday 26 November 2023: Wokingham Winter Carnival

This was another great free day out for the community. Thousands came to enjoy a selections of funfair rides, charity stalls, trade stalls and food and drink.

Santa was in his grotto to welcome small children. The grotto was a fairyland of twinkling lights and decorations.

The whole of the town centre was closed to traffic for the day, and the event extended into Elms Field.

The event was introduced by Lions president Lyn Baily and opened by Wokingham Town Mayor Sally Gurney and Wokingham Mini-Mayor Leah Vas. Lyn then took Sally and Leah around the carnival, which took over three hours due to the size the event has now become.

Wokingham Lions run the event to raise money for our charity account. The main beneficiaries are SHARE Wokingham and Homestart Wokingham District. SHARE is a locally founded food sharing charity that helps over 2000 people in our local community who need support foodwise by redistributing an incredible 40 tonnes of food from local supermarkets and food suppliers that would otherwise go to waste. Homestart is a small, local charity, offering a family support service to disadvantaged and vulnerable families in the Wokingham District, with at least one child under the age of five.

Friday 17 November 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Yet another great fun night.

The audience were entertained by four great comedians, David Ward, Michael Fabbri, Richard Morton and Mike Gunn

The event raised £1600 for our charity account

Saturday 4 November 2023: Wokingham Charity Firework Spectacular

This year’s Fireworks was a sell-out, with all 10,000 ticket sold online in advance of the event.

Despite poor weather forecasts earlier in the week the rain held off but the field was very muddy! Fortunately most visitors came prepared and wore suitable footwear.

Hundreds of people met in the town centre to join the torchlight procession, which was as fantastic as ever with 700 flaming torches and hundreds of flashing toys for the children. When they arrived at Cantley Field they were treated to a fantastic firework display

We run the event in conjunction with three other local service clubs to raise money for our nominated charities. This year we have chosen Daisy’s Dream and First Days Children’s Charity to receive the majority of our share of the proceeds.

Sunday 15 October2023: Wokingham Walk

Over 250 walkers took part in the Wokingham Walk, which gave them the option of walking 5, 10 or 15 miles through lovely countryside in glorious weather.

Each walker paid an entrance fee that covered the costs and left us with around £2,500 for our charity account. Walkers also had the opportunity to seek sponsorship for charities of their choice which raised further amounts.

The Spring Wokingham Walk will be on Sunday 28 April 2024

October /November 2023: More new members

At our October business meeting we welcomed another new member to the club – Alwyn Jones. He was introduced by Jonathan Blane and inducted by our membership officer, Bob DuGard, then president Lyn Baily welcomed him as a new member.

Friday 6 October 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Another great fun night that helped raise funds for our charity account.

A full house was entertained by Windsor, Ricky Balshaw, Mary Bourke and Andrew Maxwell

The event raised almost £1,600 for our charity account, and the raffle was run by Homestart who raised a further £540

31 August: Auction of Promises

This was a trial of a new event for us. We ran an online auction with a large number of lots. All lots were generously donated to us so all the proceeds went to our charity account. Participants were invited to make their offers online until the closing date of 31 August.

There were numerous lots on offer including:

  • Photos with the TARDIS – and a Dalek
  • Aerial photos of your house
  • Tickets to our next Comedy Night
  • A golf lesson
John and Margaret recently moved to Wokingham and successfully bid for a tour of Wokingham Town Hall and tea with the mayor

Wednesday 12 July 2023: Donations to the May Fayre 2023 beneficiaries, Camp Mohawk and Thames Hospice

Representatives from the two main beneficiaries were invited to our business meeting to accept cheques for £4000 each.

Samantha Rosier, Fundraising Chairman for Camp Mohawk receved a cheque from president Lyn Baily and said “We will use the money to refurbish our Sensory Room, to provide options of both calming and stimulating environments. Sensory rooms play a pivotal part in assisting with the development of children with sensory issues. They are also hugely enjoyed by children with other learning difficulties and disabilities and as such are a fundamental part of Camp Mohawk’s range of facilities”.

Layla Pipe, Senior Community Fundraiser for Thames Hospice said “On behalf of us all at Thames Hospice, I would like to thank the Wokingham Lions for the £4,000, which could fund six weeks of vital end-of-life care for two patients at home. We rely heavily on support from groups such as the Lions to help fund our care, and their continued support and amazing donation are so very much appreciated”

Samantha Rosier receives a cheque for Camp Mohawk
Layla Piper receives a cheque for Thames Hospice

Saturday 15 July 2023: Sausage Sizzle

Members Paul and Lyn Baily invited everyone to a sausage sizzle in their lovely garden. The weather was dry but a little cold, but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment

Friday 30 June 2023: Charter Night

Charter is our annual celebration of the anniversary of the formation of our club in 1974. We meet, with our partners and friends, to remember our achievements over the previous year and set our goals for the next year. We also inaugurate the president for the next year and thank all those who made significant contributions to the previous year.

This year we held the event at the Walter Arms, with 37 members, partners and guests enjoying a great 3-course meal.

The outgoing president, Claire Mangers-Page, thanked all the members for their great work then summarised the achievements of the previous year, saying “We raised a record £53,000 from 12 fundraising events including the May Fayre, Winter Carnival, Classic Car Show, Comedy Nights, Wokingham Walks, Quiz Evenings, and our contribution towards the Firework Spectacular at Cantley Field. This is due to our strong team of dedicated members, including six new active and enthusiastic members this year, and the generous residents in our community. We donate all the funds raised to mainly local charities and individuals in need. We are so fortunate to live in a town with a great spirit of giving and kindness towards others.”

Claire then gave prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship awards to Ian Grange and Debbie Slay in recognition of the outstanding contributions they had made to the club. She then inducted the new Wokingham Town Mayor, Sally Gurney, as an honorary member of the club before passing the chain of office to her successor, Lyn Baily.

Wokingham Town Mayor Sally Gurney was inducted as a honorary member
Ian Grange receives his MJF award from president Claire Mangers-Page
Debbie Slay with her MJF award

Friday/Saturday 23/24 June 2023: Support for Ukraine

Tesco Wokingham repeated their annual fund raising event to cycle to Ukraine. Volunteers from their staff took turns to ride exercise bikes with the objective to cover the equivalent distance from Wokingham to Kyev, to raise money for the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Wokingham Lions helped them by managing the collection, which raised over £1000

Wednesday 24 May 2023: Meal at the Jolly Farmer

Twenty-nine members, partners and friends spent a very enjoyable evening at the Jolly Farmer. The pub offered us a great selection of Thai food on their large outdoor patio. The service was excellent, albeit a little confused as several people forgot what they had ordered so the meals got a bit mixed up! However everyone was very satified with the quality and quantity of food.

Friday 19 May 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Due to public demand we are now holding regular comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre. This followed the trend of being a sell-out and successfully raising fund for both our charity account and Wokingham Theatre (which is a registered charity).

We also invited Share Wokingham to run a raffle, at which they raised £460.

The comedians were David Ward – MC, Terry Alderton – Act 1, Gordon Southern – Middle Act and Paul McCaffrey – Headline

Wednesday 17 May 2023: Visit to Camp Mohawk

Camp Mohawk is one of the beneficiaries of the May Fayre so a number of our members visited to see first hand what they do.

It’s a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families, set in 5 acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wargrave, Berkshire. Throughout the year the centre provides a range of activities, facilities and natural space to encourage children with a variety of special needs to play, socialise and learn in a secure and caring environment.

It was a very informative session for members – thank you for showing us around!

You can read more about their work here https://www.campmohawk.org.uk

.

Bank Holiday Monday 1 May 2023: Wokingham May Fayre

Thousands attended the May Fayre, undeterred by the slightly inclement weather.

Stallholders were encouraged to decorate their stalls in a ‘Coronation’ theme and wear hats or items of clothing to reflect the celebration too. Wokingham Town Mayor, Cllr. Maria Gee opened the Fayre along with her consort Philip Gee and Mini-Mayor Jayden Hawie. They then judged the stalls, giving the first prize of £150 to CLASP, a local self-advocacy group for people with learning difficulties, Girlguiding Wokingham took the Highly Commended prize of £100.

The event was run to raise much needed funds for local charities. Many stalls were run by charities who raised funds for their own good causes. Our main beneficiaries this year were Camp Mohawk and Thames Hospice.

Camp Mohawk is a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families, set in 5 acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wargrave, Berkshire. Throughout the year the centre provides a range of activities, facilities and natural space to encourage children with a variety of special needs to play, socialise and learn in a secure and caring environment.

Thames Hospice is a leading UK Hospice providing inpatient and community palliative and end-of-life care services to people aged 16 and over across East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

Thanks to Wokinghamaerialphotography for some of the pictures.

Thanks to all our supporters and sponsors:

Sunday 23 April 2023: Wokingham Walk

We had over 350 walkers take part and the event has raised over £4000 which will be used by Wokingham Lions Club to support local charities – thank you!

Many walkers were also being sponsored to raise funds for causes that were close to their hearts – congratulations to everyone who got sponsored for a good cause!

Thanks also to Tesco Superstore , Morrisons and Waitrose & Partners for their donations of foodstuffs – and to TradeMark Windows Doors & Conservatories for sponsoring the canvas bags we were distributing.

Our autumn event will be on Sunday 15th Oct – add it to your Facebook calendar here: https://fb.me/e/zsorrzzq

April 2023: Donation to Thames Valley Air Ambulance

In April, Wokingham Lions Club members Paul Baily and Andy Goffin were delighted to accept an invitation to attend the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Supporter Day. It was a good chance to find out more about this excellent charity and to see their helicopter up close. The opportunity was also taken to present them with the donation of £5,000 from The Wokingham Fireworks event.

Paul and Andy present a cheque to Nicola Bishop,
Fundraising Manager at Thames Valley Air Ambulance

4/5 March 2023: Marie Curie Daffodil Collection

As in previous years we assisting with the Marie Curie Daffodil collection at Morrisons supermarket. As usual we will made fools of ourselves by dressing up!

We collected over £700 for them

Friday 3 March 2023: The #Woky Quiz

The quiz was held in the magnificent surroundings of Wokingham Town Hall. Quizmaster Ian Grange challenged eveyone’s brain cells with some demanding questions

Congratulations to team “Where’s Wally” who were the winners.

Thanks to Tesco Superstore and Morrisons for donating raffle prizes, and to the 100 people who attended to support the event. It raised over £1000 for our charity account.

We’re planning another quiz on Fri 29th September – add the event to your Facebook diary by clicking here where details will be updated when they are announced

Wednesday 22 February 2023: Life Saving Skills Presentation

About 40 members and friends attended a presentation by Tony Colby of South Central Ambulance Charity, who outlined the role of the SCA Charity, and what their wide range of volunteers get up to. This includes Community First Responders, who are volunteers contacted by 999 operators at the same time as ambulances are called.  If a responder reaches a patient before the ambulance he/she will give emergency first aid.

He also outlined the basics of how the lay person can respond in the case of a medical emergency, particularly cardiac arrest. He instructed us how to apply CPR, and demonstrated how easy it is to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). He explained that by using these simple techniques the patient’s chance of survival is dramatically increased.

Wednesday 11 January 2023: Another new member, Nandini Banerjee

Our club continues to grow with the induction of another new member, Nandini Banerjee.

Nandini (in orange), was accompanied by her sponsor Sarah Newstead, as she was inducted by president Claire Mangers-Page and Membership chairman Bob DuGard.

Monday 9 January 2023: Charity Presentation Evening

Lion Nigel Page introduced 4 presenters to outline the work done by their resprectivre charities. 14 of our members attended to hear the following presentations:

Kaleidoscopic UK presented by Vickie Robertson and Nicole Taffani:

This charity’s main aim is to support and help victims of domestic abuse, in all it’s forms from coercive control to actual physical abuse . Victims may be female , male or  children.
They hold regular coffee mornings for victims to attend, and listen to their stories. Their motto is Educate to Eradicate.
They go to schools and give teachers three hour seminars on how to identify abuse victims.
They have made Awareness videos and these are used by Thames Valley Police. They also train Social Service staff. 
They have made Awareness videos and these are used by Thames Valley Police. They also train Social Service staff.
They provide Christmas hampers ( this year to 74 families), and fund family freedom holidays with camping and other equipment.

Camp Mohawk presentation by Samantha Rosier

Established in 1980 this charity is based in Wargrave and they have five acres of ground. They provide soft play, art, games, picnic adventures, and a heated swimming pool.
They cater for children with cognitive and physical issues including Autism, Downs Syndrom and brain injuries.
Some 1,000 children visit the facilty each year.
Their needs:
Financial help to construct a changing room near the pool
A retractable cover for the pool to allow more use in cooler weather conditions
A hoist
Refurbishment of a sensory room.
Estimated cost of all these projects is £350,000

Berkshire Vision presentation by Sara Gibbons and Carol Barnfather

They support over 1,000 people with sight loss. Four children every day are diagnosed with sight loss.
Their role is to develop confidence and self esteem using five Sight Loss Support Officers.
They have a telephone support befriending service which helps over 300 people.
They run family programmes with day excursions, boat trips, go karting, swimming, adventure parks and football with Reading Football Academy.

Sebastians Action Trust presentation by Megan Lowden

Founded in 2004 with office in Crowthorne and facilities in Basingstoke.
They support families with children near end of life and those whose children have passed away.
The Bluebells facility in Basingstoke cost £8.7 million and took eight years to complete. They have two apartments for families together with a hydrotherapy pool. They primarily cover Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey but families from all over the country come to their facilities.
Their bereavement support is funded by the National Lottery.
They also give theraputic support.
Their needs:-
Volunteers to help them with repair and building of facilities
Publicising their work
Their Christmas in July at Ascot Racecourse event including toys and bottles of water.

Monday 2 January 2023: £3,500 donations to Kaleidoscopic UK and Building for the Future

Kaleidoscopic UK and Building for the Future were nominated an the main beneficiaries of the Winter Carnival.

Claire Mangers-Page (Wokingham Lions president) and Tim Hanton (Chairman of the Winter Carnival committee) met with representatives of the charities to hand over cheques:

Vickie Robertson of Kaleidoscopic UK was the grateful recipient of a cheque for £3,500. They are a charitable organisation of survivors for survivors of domestic abuse in ALL its forms, based in the Thames Valley and providing support services throughout England and Wales. It was founded by Vickie in January 2019 after her experience of childhood and adult domestic abuse.

Jane Holmes received a £3,500 cheque for Building for the Future. They are a Wokingham based, parent led charity providing activities, support and therapy for children with disabilities and/or additional needs and their families.

Wednesday 21 December 2022: Festive Dinner

President Claire Mangers-Page welcomed 42 members and guests to our annual Festive Dinner at Bearwood Golf Club. Guests included the town mayor, Maria Gee and her husband and two of our ex-members, Heiki and Leila Viika, who now live in Finland.

During the evening Claire awarded chevrons (which mark significant anniversaries since joining) to Patrick Allen (35 years), Andy Slay (20 years) and Debbie Slay (15 years).

Paul Baily drew the lucky number for the £500 prize for the 100 Club, the winner being Neil Hodgson

Paul and Lyn Baily, who orgainsed the event, entertained us with a festive quiz and a round of bingo, then the evening ended with our traditional singing of Christmas songs and carols.

December 2022: Can-Can

The Can Can Christmas Food Appeal had another successful year with nearly 2700 food and personal hygiene products being donated by Tesco and Waitrose customers.

First Days Children’s Charity kindly gave up some of their warehouse space for a couple of weeks which enabled us to make up over 230 bags of shopping. These were then distributed to families and individuals in Wokingham who are finding life a little tough at the moment.

We were also able to deliver a bulk order of assorted food items to SHARE Wokingham to help towards their effort in supporting local people through the festive period.

Can Can started 30 years ago, long before Foodbank’s were a thing, however our collaboration with Wokingham Foodbank, First Days and SHARE Wokingham in recent years has proved extremely successful ensuring that donations continue to reach all the right people.

A special thank you to Tesco and Waitrose in Wokingham for their ongoing support and of course their very generous customers. 

Project leader John Cleary with some of the food parcels
The Lion helped at Waitrose
We were also at Tesco

Wednesday 13 December 2022: Another new member, Jonathan Blane

Jonathan was accompanied by his sponsor Sean Clarkson as he was inducted by president Claire Mangers-Page and Membership chairman Bob DuGard.

Sunday 27 November 2022: Wokingham Winter Carnival

Wokingham Winter Carnival was a fun day out for the whole family. The town was closed to traffic for the day so children could join in the fun in a totally safe environment.

There were a whole host of street entertainers, music, singing, dancing and all the fun of the fair with loads of different rides.

There was a fantastic grotto for the children, with Santa greeting them and giving them presents

The day ended with a laser light show.

Saturday 19 November 2022: Collection for the Foodbank

Wokingham Foodbank asked us if we could run a special collection for them to help with the expected increase in demand leading up to Christmas. We were given permission to set up a stall outside Waitrose supermarket, asking customers to buy an extra item and leave it with us.

Their customers were very generous, so we were able to collect over 400Kg of donations.

Friday 18 November 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Our comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre have proved to be so fantastically popular that we decided to hold them regularly.

There we four fantastic comedians:

Sally-Anne Haywood has the rare ability to be cynical but likeable, sarcastic but playful as she gives a tongue-in-cheek look at how we live our lives. She has performed all over the world and has provided tour support for Sarah Millican, Russell Howard,  Russell Kane, Hal Cruttenden and Suzi Ruffell.

Kevin McCarthy not only performs on but also writes for television, having been involved recently in writing “The Sketch Show”, the BAFTA award winning ITV comedy. His involvement with T.V. includes warm-up duties on such shows as “The Lottery”, and “Later, with Jools Holland”.

Stefano Paolini was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent and will be performing a brand new Stand-up Comedy Show, called First Impressions at the Camden Fringe.

Mad Ron, the Third Hardest Man in Uxbridge, is a comedy creation of Steve Lee, first appearing on the comedy circuit back in December 2015. Mad Ron has taken the circuit by storm. Now a multi award winning act, Mad Ron also finished 3rd in the prestigious 2019 NATY’s.

Saturday 5 November 2022: Wokingham Charity Firework Spectacular

We are one of the five local service clubs that work together as a consortium to organise and run the annual Firework Spectacular. Over the years the event has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local charities.

This year’s event was as spectacular as ever. Despite the forecast of rain the weather held so a large crowd assembled in the town centre ready for the torchlight procession, which began at 6:15pm. The sight of 500 flaming torches is truely awe-inspiring.

The capacity this year was set at 10,000 spectators, with tickets sold only online. All tickets were sold out several days before the event.

Each club nominates a charity so this year the proceeds will be divided between Alexander Divine Children’s Hospice, Wokingham Foodbank, Farnborough Air Science, Topic of Cancer, Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Education Wessex & Thames Valley. Wokingham Lions nominated the Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Photos courtesy of Emma Merchant, Wokingham Today

The torchlight procession leaves Broad Street
Two of the 500 torches
Wokingham Town mini mayor Jayden Hawie enjoyed the event
The crowd eagerly anticipates the fireworks
The display was amazing
The funfair provided extra entertainment
...and the band played on

Sunday 16 October 2022: The Wokingham Walk

The Wokingham Walk has proved to be so popular that we organise two walks every year, in Spring and in Autumn.

There are four routes available: five, 10 and 15 miles, and an accessible route of five miles, all starting and finishing in Elms Field.

This Autumn walk was very popular, with about 200 walkers enjoying the good weather. As well as providing a nice day out and plenty of exercise the event also raised about £2,500 for our charity account in addition to any sums raised by participants who took sponsorship for their chosen charities.

Friday 7 October 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Another fantastic night of comedy at Wokingham Theatre. We had another full house enjoying our great comedians!

The event raised over £2,000 for good causes. We also invited the Ollie Young Foundation to run a raffle, which helped them to support paediatric brain tumour research & support.

The next comedy night will be on 18th November – we’ll announce it here as soon as tickets go on sale!

Wednesday 5 October 2022: Visit to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice

Seven members of the Wokingham Lions Club visited the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service in Maidenhead. They wanted to see first-hand how this £6 million facility helps children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, play and relax during their last days of life.

Jasmine Parker conducted the informative tour of the inside and outside of the children’s hospice. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and include areas for music therapy, arts and crafts, cooking and reading. A beautiful hydrotherapy pool was designed and donated by Nirvana Health Spa in 2019.

The Enchanted Forest outdoor sensory garden was donated by Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity, in association with LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. There are many LEGO creations in the garden, which includes an herb garden. An outdoor play area features a swing and trampoline that can accommodate a wheelchair.

Alexander Devine was a bright and funny child, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just four years of age. He endured four and a half years of operations, treatments and therapy, and sadly died at the age of eight in 2007. His parents, Fiona and John Devine, founded Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, and the facility opened its doors for day care in 2018. They currently provide a safe place for 150 families in Berkshire and the surrounding counties. It costs around £2.33 million to run the children’s hospice service each year.

Childhood cancer is one of the five global causes of Lions International.

Friday 23 September 2022: The #Woky Quiz

Another successful night at Wokingham Cricket club, with over 100 attendees. Quizmaster Ian Grange challenged eveyone’s brain cells with some demanding questions

Congratulations to team “No Eye Deer” who were the winners – by just 1 point!

Thanks to Wokingham Cricket Club for hosting us, Tesco Superstore & Wokingham Theatre for raffle prizes, and Bears Burgers & Chicken for the great food! And of course, great thanks to Ian Grange for organising the event.

Quizmaster Ian looking relaxed!

Sunday 14 August 2022: Ollie Young Foundation

On Sunday 14th August the Ollie Young Foundation held its annual fun day at the new venue Reddam House, formerly Bearwood College. The Wokingham Lions ran a children’s and adult Tombola, using the brand new Tombola drum kindly made by Mens Shed. Despite it being a blazing hot day meaning a lower turnout of people than usual, we had plenty of fun with those who did come along and raised £409.50! All proceeds went straight to the Foundation whose aim it is to find a cure or prevention of brain tumours in children through research. 

Thank you to those Lions who gave up their time to help at the event and everyone who supported it. 

August 2022: Donations from the Classic Car Show to Wokingham Men’s Shed and Leukaemia UK

Leukaemia UK and Wokingham Men’s Shed both received £1,500, which will be put to good use very soon.

When presented with the funds Paul Abbott from Leukaemia UK was delighted and said: “We are so grateful to Wokingham Lions Club for choosing Leukaemia UK as one of the charities to receive this money. Donations like this help us continue to fund life-changing research to accelerate progress in diagnosis, find kinder treatments and better care for leukaemia patients. Leukaemia devastates lives and it’s due to fundraisers like Wokingham Lions Club that we hope one day this will no longer be the case.

Ron Baillie of Wokingham Mens Shed was similarly pleased and said “It is wonderful that the Wokingham Men’s Shed has been widely recognised in the community. We are all about helping to combat loneliness and isolation, by giving men an opportunity and good reason to get out of the armchair and go and do something collaborative with others in the Shed. This donation from the Wokingham Lions will go towards new tools, and we are deeply grateful for their support.”

Bob DuGard (organiser of the Classic Car Show) hands over a cheque for £1500 to Janet Simmonds from Leukaemia UK

Saturday 16 July 2022: Wokingham Borough Welcomes New Arrivals

Wokingham Borough Council ran a special event on Elms Field to welcome new arrivals to the borough, including more than 400 refugees from Ukraine (as part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme) as well as families from Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Syria and other places who have moved to the area.

Those who attended were able to get food from stalls or bring their own picnics with them to enjoy in the town centre green space.

We were asked to provide a tea tent, so we offered tea, coffee and cold drinks free of charge to all newcomers and to families hosting refugees. 

Cllr Clive Jones, leader of the council, said: “We’d like to welcome anyone who wishes to join us on the day to provide a warm welcome to those who have moved to our borough. This is a perfect chance to build relationships and make new connections, as well as being a fun day out for all the family”

As well as food vendors there were stalls representing charities offering support to refugees, including Reading Ukrainian Community Centre, Citizens Advice, First Days, SHARE Wokingham, the Cowshed, Home-Start and Churches Together.

Saturday 2 July 2022: Wokingham Classic Car Show

The first-ever Wokingham Classic Car Show took place on Saturday, 2nd July in Elms Field. There were more than 100 classic, unusual and interesting cars and motorcycles on display.

The day began with a procession from Reddam House UK school to the display area in Elms Field, where refreshments were provided by local scouts and younger visitors were entertained with a Teddy Bear hunt organised by Lions Lyn Baily and Monnie Lin.

Town Mayor Councillor Maria Gee officially opened the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony, and later in the day presented four trophies, sponsored by generous local businesses, to two car and two motorcycle owners. One was presented to the owner of the world championship winning speedway bike, once ridden by Ivan Mauger.

The event was open to the public and attracted thousands of local residents plus enthusiasts from far and wide. There was no charge but local businesses were encouraged to sponsor the event to cover the costs and allow us to raise funds for charity. The main beneficiaries were Leukaemia UK and Wokingham Men’s Shed.

Bob DuGard, co-organiser of the event said “After expenses, we hope to have a profit in excess of £3,000. This includes a very generous donation of £1,000 from the Barkham and District Classic Car Club, who have supported all the shows I have been involved in

We would like to thank our sponsors: A1 Group, Academy Insurance Services, Bearwood Fencing, Beech Hill Garage, Bulldog Triumph Motorcycles, Citroemech Ltd, Munich Motors, Steadfast Autos, Trimmania, Wingfield Engineering and Wokingham MOT & Service Centre Ltd,

We have a few limited edition lapel badges/ brooches left for purchase, be quick they’re going fast,  if you’d like one for a minimum £5 donation, please contact us via mail@wokinghamlions.org.uk  All money raised contribute to our charity donations

Sunday 3 July 2022: Charter Lunch

Charter is our annual celebration of the anniversary of the formation of our club in 1974. We meet, with our partners and friends, to remember our achievements over the previous year and set our goals for the next year. We also inaugurate the president for the next year and thank all those who made significant contributions to the previous year.

This year we held a Charter Lunch at the Rose Inn in the centre of Wokingham. Claire Mangers-Page was inaugurated as our new president, taking over from Andy Goffin.

The Lions Club was founded in 1917 by a businessman in Chicago called Melvin Jones. As an ongoing memorial to him Lions Club International offer a prestigious Melvin Jones Foundation award to members who have made a significant contribution. At the Charter we were please to give an MJF award to Tim Hanton for his long service to Wokingham Lions and to the Lions zone

Andy Goffin hands over to Claire Mangers-Page
Tim Hanton receives his MJF award from president Andy Goffin
We also inducted a new member, Jane Bentley

Friday 24 June 2022: £3,000 donation to Just Around the Corner

Just Around the Corner, JAC, was the second charity chosen as a beneficiary of the May Fayre so we had pleasure giving a cheque for £3,000 to the founder, Sam Milligan.

Sam gave us a tour of their premises and explained how JAC started from humble beginnings about 24 years ago and has grown into an amazing facility that helps young people overcome difficulties that prevent them from engaging in society. It does this primarily by encouraging them to interact with animals, and also by developing interests in topics like gardening, bee-keeping and horticulture. They also run a shop manned by youngsters to encourage them to interact with the public.

Sam showed us the buildings and facilities they have created, and the livestock, including horses, donkeys, goats, chickens and rabbits. He explained that horses have an affinity to people and there is a two-way interaction that is particularly beneficial to youngsters who may have problems interacting with people.

We were totally overwhelmed by Sam’s dedication and commitment, and astounded at his breadth of knowledge. We all agreed that JAC richly deserved the donation we gave him

Sam Milligan (left) receives a cheque for £3,000 from Lions president Andy Goffin

Wednesday 8 June 2022: £3,000 donation to Link Visiting

Link Visiting was one of the charities we chose as beneficiaries of the May Fayre. We therefore invited their John Mallaghan to our business meeting, at which we presented him with a cheque for £3,000.

John thanked us for the donation and gave a summary of the history of Link Visiting and the work they do addressing loneliness and and social isolation. They currently support around 400 people living on their own by matching them to volunteers who befriend them and give whatever support they can. Their motto is Confronting Loneliness, Celebrating Friendship. The pinnacle of their success was receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

John Mallaghan receives a cheque from president Andy Goffin

Wednesday 8 June 2022: Claire Revie receives Gerry Aggett award

Gerry Aggett was a very active member of our club, but he sadly died several years ago. One of his greatest achievement was to instigate the Wokingham May Fayre in 1994, which we have continued running ever since.

As a momento we created the Gerry Aggett award which we grant annually to an individual who we consider has made a major contribution to the local community. As well as receiving a certificate the recipient also receives a donation of £1,000 to be given to a charity of their choice.

This year we gave the award to Claire Revie, who founded SHARE Wokingham at the start of the Covid Pandemic. SHARE collect surplus food and give it to those in need. Claire naturally chose SHARE as her nominated charity for the donation

Claire Revie, President Andy Goffin and Gerry’s widow Ursula

Wednesday 8 June 2022: Induction of Town Mayor

It is a tradition of the club that the town mayor is inducted into the club as an honorary member. Maria Gee was recently elected as Wokingham Town Mayor so we duly inducted her into the club.

John Cleary, Maria Gee and President Andy Goffin

Saturday 28 May 2022: Foodbank collection at Tesco

Wokingham Foodbank told us their stocks were running low as a result of increased demand. We responded by co-ordinating with Tesco to arrange a day’s collection similar to that in our Christmas Can-Can appeal. We were again amazed at the generousity of their customers and collected 511Kg of food donations plus £504.

Friday 27 May 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Another fantastic night of comedy at Wokingham Theatre. We had another full house enjoying our great comedians!

The event raised over £2,400 for our charity account. We also invited the Kimelcafe charity to run a raffle, which helped them to support the neurodivergent community.

The next comedy night will be on 7th October – we’ll announce it here as soon as tickets go on sale!

Saturday 14 May 2022: Support for Ukraine

We were at Tesco Wokingham to help support their energetic staff for their two-day virtual cycling marathon to Ukraine (1,500 miles!). They managed to raise £1622.34 in aid of the British Red Cross

Sunday 8 May 2022: The Wokingham Walk

MORE THAN 300 people put on their boots and went for a walk … and they were given a medal for doing so.

There were four routes available: five, 10 and 15 miles, and an accessible route of five miles, all starting and finishing in Elms Field. Youngsters were encouraged to fill in a nature trail as they went along one of three routes

There were teams from Dingley’s Promise, and Soulscape, among others.

Lion Andy Slay, who was one of the organisers, said “We should have comfortably made in excess of £4,000 for local charities, so it’s been a great day, I’m really pleased.”

Bank Holiday Monday 2 May 2022: Wokingham May Fayre

Thousands of people visited the town centre for the first major event organised on the refurbished Elms Field, although it also encompassed Denmark Street and Market Place.

Alan Rouse, May Fayre chairman, said “It was an outstanding success with possibly the most people we have ever seen. This is the first year we have been able to run it after a 4 year break due to the town centre regeneration then Covid. I visited all the stalls, food vendors and attractions and without exception everyone was bowled over. We estimate that there were around 25,000 visitors”.

Andy Goffin, the president of Wokingham Lions CLub, said “This year the two main beneficiaries will be The Link Visiting Scheme and Just Around the Corner (JAC). Link is a charity dedicated to reducing loneliness in the Borough and JAC help young people with special needs to find acceptance and employment”.

Alan added “Organising the event took a considerable amount of planning. I would like to thank my fellow committee members and all the volunteers who helped to make this a wholly successful day. We look forward to doing the same next year. Between now and then we will be organising numerous other events to entertain the public and raise money for our charity account so we can continue to support good causes”.

The event raised about £12,500 for our charity account, and the various charity stallholders raised a total of over £15,000 for their charities.

Photos courtesy of Paul King

As well as 100 stalls in the town centre there was a wide range of entertainment including:

  • A full programme of performances on the stage outside the town hall
  • A funfair and numerous childrens activities on Elms Field
  • A petting zoo outside Nuffield Health
  • Ferret Racing
  • Birds of Prey
  • Numerous food vendors selling a wide variety of meals, snacks, ice cream and drinks
  • Street circus performers
  • Punch and Judy

13 April 2022: Donation to Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Wokingham Lions Club is one of the five service clubs that together form the Wokingham Fireworks Charitable Trust which organises the annual fireworks display every November. The 2021 event raised over £30,000 so our share was £6,000. We nominated the Thames Valley Air Ambulance as our chosen charity. Covid restrictions prevented us from holding meetings earlier, but we were able to invite Nicola Bishop to come to our April business meeting to accept our donation.

Nicola gave an illustrated presentation of the great work carried out by the TVAA before being presented with a cheque for £6,000 by our president, Andy Goffin.

3 April 2022: Spectrek spectacle recycling

We participate in an international project to recycle spectacles and hearing aids for use in third world countries. We collect them from opticians and individuals and take them to the UK centre run by Chichester Lions. They collate them and send them on to a centre in France which then forwards them on to people in need. for more details click here.

Nick Halford and president Andy Goffin took our latest consignment of over 3,000 pairs to Chichester

March/April 2022: New members

Our membership continues to thrive and we inducted two new members, Monnie Lin and David Dunham. We are still open to new members so if you would like to find out more about what we do why not contact us at mail@wokinghamlions.org.uk? We will invite you to our meetings and social events then, if you like what you see, you can join us.

29 March 2022: Civic Award

One of our members, Alan Rouse, was honoured to receive a civic award from Wokingham Town Council for the voluntary work he has done with Lions, Citizens Advice, the Foodbank, Wokingham Fireworks and the Unicorn Club. He is pictured second from left, with the five other recipients

11/12 March 2022: Marie Curie Daffodil Collection

After a break of two years due to Covid we were again able to assist the Marie Curie Daffodil collection. As usual we made fools of ourselves by dressing up!

Wednesday 9 March 2022: Ukraine

At our business meeting there was universal support and sympathy for the residents of Ukraine. It was agreed that we would donate £500 to the Disaster Emergency Committee Ukraine Relief Fund. This attracted Gift Aid, and the government had pledged to match all donations, so the effective total was £1,200.

We also agreed to give £1,000 to the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. This is directly administered by Lions Clubs in the area, thus ensuring that no money is lost in administration costs.

Friday 4 March 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Wokingham Lions ran a very successful Comedy Night at Wokingham Theatre! There were three brilliant acts plus a fantastic compere – along with a full bar.

The event proved to be a good fund-raiser, earning us £1600 for our charity account. The theatre were very pleased too, because they had the takings from the bar.

We invited First Days Children’s Charity to run a raffle which raised £400 for their funds

We also held a collection for Ukraine

Friday 1 March 2024: #Woky Comedy Night

Another great fun night. Four comedians made us all laugh and helped us raise £1,615 for good causes. Thames Hospice ran the raffle and raised £566.

Ronnie Golden was a founder member of the equally legendary Comic Strip alongside Rik Mayall, Ben Elton, French and Saunders and Alexei Sayle and appeared as Buddy Holly in the first series of The Young Ones. A regular member of the Spitting Image team, He betrayed his musical roots to finally get his first number one single on The Chicken Song/We’re Scared Of Bob.

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Friday 17th May 2024

Friday 16 February 2024: #Woky Quiz Night

Friday 2 February 2024: #Woky Comedy Night

Our series of comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre continued into 2024

20 December 2023: Christmas dinner

About 45 members and partners enjoyed a festive night at our annual Christmas dinner at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club. As well as a fabulous meal we entertained ourselves with games and Christmas carols.

2 – 9 December 2023: Can-Can

Lion John Cleary ran our annual Can Can Christmas Food Appeal again, as he has for the last 20 years. He organised our volunteers outside Tesco and Waitrose, asking customers to buy an extra item and donate it to us as they left.

The collected items were taken to First Days Children’s Charity who again offered us space so we could collate them into about 150 bags. We then delivered them to individuals in Wokingham who are finding life a little tough at the moment. We also made bulk deliveries to the Salvation Army and selected care homes.

All the item remaining were taken to Wokingham Foodbank, who used them to support individuals and families facing hardship with a little Christmas cheer.

A special thank you to Tesco and Waitrose in Wokingham for their ongoing support and of course their very generous customers. 

Sunday 26 November 2023: Wokingham Winter Carnival

This was another great free day out for the community. Thousands came to enjoy a selections of funfair rides, charity stalls, trade stalls and food and drink.

Santa was in his grotto to welcome small children. The grotto was a fairyland of twinkling lights and decorations.

The whole of the town centre was closed to traffic for the day, and the event extended into Elms Field.

The event was introduced by Lions president Lyn Baily and opened by Wokingham Town Mayor Sally Gurney and Wokingham Mini-Mayor Leah Vas. Lyn then took Sally and Leah around the carnival, which took over three hours due to the size the event has now become.

Wokingham Lions run the event to raise money for our charity account. The main beneficiaries are SHARE Wokingham and Homestart Wokingham District. SHARE is a locally founded food sharing charity that helps over 2000 people in our local community who need support foodwise by redistributing an incredible 40 tonnes of food from local supermarkets and food suppliers that would otherwise go to waste. Homestart is a small, local charity, offering a family support service to disadvantaged and vulnerable families in the Wokingham District, with at least one child under the age of five.

Friday 17 November 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Yet another great fun night.

The audience were entertained by four great comedians, will be David Ward, Michael Fabbri, Richard Morton and Mike Gunn

The event raised £1600 for our charity account

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Friday 2nd February 2024, Friday 1st March 2024 and Friday 17th May 2024

Saturday 4 November 2023: Wokingham Charity Firework Spectacular

This year’s Fireworks was a sell-out, with all 10,000 ticket sold online in advance of the event.

Despite poor weather forecasts earlier in the week the rain held off but the field was very muddy! Fortunately most visitors came prepared and wore suitable footwear.

Hundreds of people met in the town centre to join the torchlight procession, which was as fantastic as ever with 700 flaming torches and hundreds of flashing toys for the children. When they arrived at Cantley Field they were treated to a fantastic firework display

We run the event in conjunction with three other local service clubs to raise money for our nominated charities. This year we have chosen Daisy’s Dream and First Days Children’s Charity to receive the majority of our share of the proceeds.

Sunday 15 October2023: Wokingham Walk

Over 250 walkers took part in the Wokingham Walk, which gave them the option of walking 5, 10 or 15 miles through lovely countryside in glorious weather.

Each walker paid an entrance fee that covered the costs and left us with around £2,500 for our charity account. Walkers also had the opportunity to seek sponsorship for charities of their choice which raised further amounts.

The Spring Wokingham Walk will be on Sunday 28 April 2024

October /November 2023: More new members

At our October business meeting we welcomed another new member to the club – Alwyn Jones. He was introduced by Jonathan Blane and inducted by our membership officer, Bob DuGard, then president Lyn Baily welcomed him as a new member.

Friday 6 October 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Another great fun night that helped raise funds for our charity account.

A full house was entertained by Windsor, Ricky Balshaw, Mary Bourke and Andrew Maxwell

The event raised almost £1,600 for our charity account, and the raffle was run by Homestart who raised a further £540

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Friday 17th November 2023, Friday 2nd February 2024, Friday 1st March 2024 and Friday 17th May 2024

31 August: Auction of Promises

This was a trial of a new event for us. We ran an online auction with a large number of lots. All lots were generously donated to us so all the proceeds went to our charity account. Participants were invited to make their offers online until the closing date of 31 August.

There were numerous lots on offer including:

  • Photos with the TARDIS – and a Dalek
  • A Tour of Wokingham Town Hall – and tea with the Mayor!
  • Aerial photos of your house
  • Tickets to our next Comedy Night
  • A golf lesson

Wednesday 12 July 2023: Donations to the May Fayre 2023 beneficiaries, Camp Mohawk and Thames Hospice

Representatives from the two main beneficiaries were invited to our business meeting to accept cheques for £4000 each.

Samantha Rosier, Fundraising Chairman for Camp Mohawk receved a cheque from president Lyn Baily and said “We will use the money to refurbish our Sensory Room, to provide options of both calming and stimulating environments. Sensory rooms play a pivotal part in assisting with the development of children with sensory issues. They are also hugely enjoyed by children with other learning difficulties and disabilities and as such are a fundamental part of Camp Mohawk’s range of facilities”.

Layla Pipe, Senior Community Fundraiser for Thames Hospice said “On behalf of us all at Thames Hospice, I would like to thank the Wokingham Lions for the £4,000, which could fund six weeks of vital end-of-life care for two patients at home. We rely heavily on support from groups such as the Lions to help fund our care, and their continued support and amazing donation are so very much appreciated”

Samantha Rosier receives a cheque for Camp Mohawk
Layla Piper receives a cheque for Thames Hospice

Saturday 15 July 2023: Sausage Sizzle

Members Paul and Lyn Baily invited everyone to a sausage sizzle in their lovely garden. The weather was dry but a little cold, but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment

Friday 30 June 2023: Charter Night

Charter is our annual celebration of the anniversary of the formation of our club in 1974. We meet, with our partners and friends, to remember our achievements over the previous year and set our goals for the next year. We also inaugurate the president for the next year and thank all those who made significant contributions to the previous year.

This year we held the event at the Walter Arms, with 37 members, partners and guests enjoying a great 3-course meal.

The outgoing president, Claire Mangers-Page, thanked all the members for their great work then summarised the achievements of the previous year, saying “We raised a record £53,000 from 12 fundraising events including the May Fayre, Winter Carnival, Classic Car Show, Comedy Nights, Wokingham Walks, Quiz Evenings, and our contribution towards the Firework Spectacular at Cantley Field. This is due to our strong team of dedicated members, including six new active and enthusiastic members this year, and the generous residents in our community. We donate all the funds raised to mainly local charities and individuals in need. We are so fortunate to live in a town with a great spirit of giving and kindness towards others.”

Claire then gave prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship awards to Ian Grange and Debbie Slay in recognition of the outstanding contributions they had made to the club. She then inducted the new Wokingham Town Mayor, Sally Gurney, as an honorary member of the club before passing the chain of office to her successor, Lyn Baily.

Wokingham Town Mayor Sally Gurney was inducted as a honorary member
Ian Grange receives his MJF award from president Claire Mangers-Page
Debbie Slay with her MJF award

Friday/Saturday 23/24 June 2023: Support for Ukraine

Tesco Wokingham repeated their annual fund raising event to cycle to Ukraine. Volunteers from their staff took turns to ride exercise bikes with the objective to cover the equivalent distance from Wokingham to Kyev, to raise money for the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Wokingham Lions helped them by managing the collection, which raised over £1000

Wednesday 24 May 2023: Meal at the Jolly Farmer

Twenty-nine members, partners and friends spent a very enjoyable evening at the Jolly Farmer. The pub offered us a great selection of Thai food on their large outdoor patio. The service was excellent, albeit a little confused as several people forgot what they had ordered so the meals got a bit mixed up! However everyone was very satified with the quality and quantity of food.

Friday 19 May 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Due to public demand we are now holding regular comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre. This followed the trend of being a sell-out and successfully raising fund for both our charity account and Wokingham Theatre (which is a registered charity).

We also invited Share Wokingham to run a raffle, at which they raised £460.

The comedians were David Ward – MC, Terry Alderton – Act 1, Gordon Southern – Middle Act and Paul McCaffrey – Headline

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Friday 6th October 2023, Friday 17th November 2023, Friday 2nd February 2024 and Friday 17th May 2024

Wednesday 17 May 2023: Visit to Camp Mohawk

Camp Mohawk is one of the beneficiaries of the May Fayre so a number of our members visited to see first hand what they do.

It’s a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families, set in 5 acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wargrave, Berkshire. Throughout the year the centre provides a range of activities, facilities and natural space to encourage children with a variety of special needs to play, socialise and learn in a secure and caring environment.

It was a very informative session for members – thank you for showing us around!

You can read more about their work here https://www.campmohawk.org.uk

.

Bank Holiday Monday 1 May 2023: Wokingham May Fayre

Thousands attended the May Fayre, undeterred by the slightly inclement weather.

Stallholders were encouraged to decorate their stalls in a ‘Coronation’ theme and wear hats or items of clothing to reflect the celebration too. Wokingham Town Mayor, Cllr. Maria Gee opened the Fayre along with her consort Philip Gee and Mini-Mayor Jayden Hawie. They then judged the stalls, giving the first prize of £150 to CLASP, a local self-advocacy group for people with learning difficulties, Girlguiding Wokingham took the Highly Commended prize of £100.

The event was run to raise much needed funds for local charities. Many stalls were run by charities who raised funds for their own good causes. Our main beneficiaries this year were Camp Mohawk and Thames Hospice.

Camp Mohawk is a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families, set in 5 acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wargrave, Berkshire. Throughout the year the centre provides a range of activities, facilities and natural space to encourage children with a variety of special needs to play, socialise and learn in a secure and caring environment.

Thames Hospice is a leading UK Hospice providing inpatient and community palliative and end-of-life care services to people aged 16 and over across East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

Thanks to Wokinghamaerialphotography for some of the pictures.

Thanks to all our supporters and sponsors:

Sunday 23 April 2023: Wokingham Walk

We had over 350 walkers take part and the event has raised over £4000 which will be used by Wokingham Lions Club to support local charities – thank you!

Many walkers were also being sponsored to raise funds for causes that were close to their hearts – congratulations to everyone who got sponsored for a good cause!

Thanks also to Tesco Superstore , Morrisons and Waitrose & Partners for their donations of foodstuffs – and to TradeMark Windows Doors & Conservatories for sponsoring the canvas bags we were distributing.

Our autumn event will be on Sunday 15th Oct – add it to your Facebook calendar here: https://fb.me/e/zsorrzzq

April 2023: Donation to Thames Valley Air Ambulance

In April, Wokingham Lions Club members Paul Baily and Andy Goffin were delighted to accept an invitation to attend the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Supporter Day. It was a good chance to find out more about this excellent charity and to see their helicopter up close. The opportunity was also taken to present them with the donation of £5,000 from The Wokingham Fireworks event.

Paul and Andy present a cheque to Nicola Bishop,
Fundraising Manager at Thames Valley Air Ambulance

4/5 March 2023: Marie Curie Daffodil Collection

As in previous years we assisting with the Marie Curie Daffodil collection at Morrisons supermarket. As usual we will made fools of ourselves by dressing up!

We collected over £700 for them

Friday 3 March 2023: The #Woky Quiz

The quiz was held in the magnificent surroundings of Wokingham Town Hall. Quizmaster Ian Grange challenged eveyone’s brain cells with some demanding questions

Congratulations to team “Where’s Wally” who were the winners.

Thanks to Tesco Superstore and Morrisons for donating raffle prizes, and to the 100 people who attended to support the event. It raised over £1000 for our charity account.

We’re planning another quiz on Fri 29th September – add the event to your Facebook diary by clicking here where details will be updated when they are announced

Wednesday 22 February 2023: Life Saving Skills Presentation

About 40 members and friends attended a presentation by Tony Colby of South Central Ambulance Charity, who outlined the role of the SCA Charity, and what their wide range of volunteers get up to. This includes Community First Responders, who are volunteers contacted by 999 operators at the same time as ambulances are called.  If a responder reaches a patient before the ambulance he/she will give emergency first aid.

He also outlined the basics of how the lay person can respond in the case of a medical emergency, particularly cardiac arrest. He instructed us how to apply CPR, and demonstrated how easy it is to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). He explained that by using these simple techniques the patient’s chance of survival is dramatically increased.

Wednesday 11 January 2023: Another new member, Nandini Banerjee

Our club continues to grow with the induction of another new member, Nandini Banerjee.

Nandini (in orange), was accompanied by her sponsor Sarah Newstead, as she was inducted by president Claire Mangers-Page and Membership chairman Bob DuGard.

Monday 9 January 2023: Charity Presentation Evening

Lion Nigel Page introduced 4 presenters to outline the work done by their resprectivre charities. 14 of our members attended to hear the following presentations:

Kaleidoscopic UK presented by Vickie Robertson and Nicole Taffani:

This charity’s main aim is to support and help victims of domestic abuse, in all it’s forms from coercive control to actual physical abuse . Victims may be female , male or  children.
They hold regular coffee mornings for victims to attend, and listen to their stories. Their motto is Educate to Eradicate.
They go to schools and give teachers three hour seminars on how to identify abuse victims.
They have made Awareness videos and these are used by Thames Valley Police. They also train Social Service staff. 
They have made Awareness videos and these are used by Thames Valley Police. They also train Social Service staff.
They provide Christmas hampers ( this year to 74 families), and fund family freedom holidays with camping and other equipment.

Camp Mohawk presentation by Samantha Rosier

Established in 1980 this charity is based in Wargrave and they have five acres of ground. They provide soft play, art, games, picnic adventures, and a heated swimming pool.
They cater for children with cognitive and physical issues including Autism, Downs Syndrom and brain injuries.
Some 1,000 children visit the facilty each year.
Their needs:
Financial help to construct a changing room near the pool
A retractable cover for the pool to allow more use in cooler weather conditions
A hoist
Refurbishment of a sensory room.
Estimated cost of all these projects is £350,000

Berkshire Vision presentation by Sara Gibbons and Carol Barnfather

They support over 1,000 people with sight loss. Four children every day are diagnosed with sight loss.
Their role is to develop confidence and self esteem using five Sight Loss Support Officers.
They have a telephone support befriending service which helps over 300 people.
They run family programmes with day excursions, boat trips, go karting, swimming, adventure parks and football with Reading Football Academy.

Sebastians Action Trust presentation by Megan Lowden

Founded in 2004 with office in Crowthorne and facilities in Basingstoke.
They support families with children near end of life and those whose children have passed away.
The Bluebells facility in Basingstoke cost £8.7 million and took eight years to complete. They have two apartments for families together with a hydrotherapy pool. They primarily cover Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey but families from all over the country come to their facilities.
Their bereavement support is funded by the National Lottery.
They also give theraputic support.
Their needs:-
Volunteers to help them with repair and building of facilities
Publicising their work
Their Christmas in July at Ascot Racecourse event including toys and bottles of water.

Monday 2 January 2023: £3,500 donations to Kaleidoscopic UK and Building for the Future

Kaleidoscopic UK and Building for the Future were nominated an the main beneficiaries of the Winter Carnival.

Claire Mangers-Page (Wokingham Lions president) and Tim Hanton (Chairman of the Winter Carnival committee) met with representatives of the charities to hand over cheques:

Vickie Robertson of Kaleidoscopic UK was the grateful recipient of a cheque for £3,500. They are a charitable organisation of survivors for survivors of domestic abuse in ALL its forms, based in the Thames Valley and providing support services throughout England and Wales. It was founded by Vickie in January 2019 after her experience of childhood and adult domestic abuse.

Jane Holmes received a £3,500 cheque for Building for the Future. They are a Wokingham based, parent led charity providing activities, support and therapy for children with disabilities and/or additional needs and their families.

Wednesday 21 December 2022: Festive Dinner

President Claire Mangers-Page welcomed 42 members and guests to our annual Festive Dinner at Bearwood Golf Club. Guests included the town mayor, Maria Gee and her husband and two of our ex-members, Heiki and Leila Viika, who now live in Finland.

During the evening Claire awarded chevrons (which mark significant anniversaries since joining) to Patrick Allen (35 years), Andy Slay (20 years) and Debbie Slay (15 years).

Paul Baily drew the lucky number for the £500 prize for the 100 Club, the winner being Neil Hodgson

Paul and Lyn Baily, who orgainsed the event, entertained us with a festive quiz and a round of bingo, then the evening ended with our traditional singing of Christmas songs and carols.

December 2022: Can-Can

The Can Can Christmas Food Appeal had another successful year with nearly 2700 food and personal hygiene products being donated by Tesco and Waitrose customers.

First Days Children’s Charity kindly gave up some of their warehouse space for a couple of weeks which enabled us to make up over 230 bags of shopping. These were then distributed to families and individuals in Wokingham who are finding life a little tough at the moment.

We were also able to deliver a bulk order of assorted food items to SHARE Wokingham to help towards their effort in supporting local people through the festive period.

Can Can started 30 years ago, long before Foodbank’s were a thing, however our collaboration with Wokingham Foodbank, First Days and SHARE Wokingham in recent years has proved extremely successful ensuring that donations continue to reach all the right people.

A special thank you to Tesco and Waitrose in Wokingham for their ongoing support and of course their very generous customers. 

Project leader John Cleary with some of the food parcels
The Lion helped at Waitrose
We were also at Tesco

Wednesday 13 December 2022: Another new member, Jonathan Blane

Jonathan was accompanied by his sponsor Sean Clarkson as he was inducted by president Claire Mangers-Page and Membership chairman Bob DuGard.

Sunday 27 November 2022: Wokingham Winter Carnival

Wokingham Winter Carnival was a fun day out for the whole family. The town was closed to traffic for the day so children could join in the fun in a totally safe environment.

There were a whole host of street entertainers, music, singing, dancing and all the fun of the fair with loads of different rides.

There was a fantastic grotto for the children, with Santa greeting them and giving them presents

The day ended with a laser light show.

Saturday 19 November 2022: Collection for the Foodbank

Wokingham Foodbank asked us if we could run a special collection for them to help with the expected increase in demand leading up to Christmas. We were given permission to set up a stall outside Waitrose supermarket, asking customers to buy an extra item and leave it with us.

Their customers were very generous, so we were able to collect over 400Kg of donations.

Friday 18 November 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Our comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre have proved to be so fantastically popular that we decided to hold them regularly.

There were four fantastic comedians:

Sally-Anne Haywood has the rare ability to be cynical but likeable, sarcastic but playful as she gives a tongue-in-cheek look at how we live our lives. She has performed all over the world and has provided tour support for Sarah Millican, Russell Howard,  Russell Kane, Hal Cruttenden and Suzi Ruffell.

Kevin McCarthy not only performs on but also writes for television, having been involved recently in writing “The Sketch Show”, the BAFTA award winning ITV comedy. His involvement with T.V. includes warm-up duties on such shows as “The Lottery”, and “Later, with Jools Holland”.

Stefano Paolini was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent and will be performing a brand new Stand-up Comedy Show, called First Impressions at the Camden Fringe.

Mad Ron, the Third Hardest Man in Uxbridge, is a comedy creation of Steve Lee, first appearing on the comedy circuit back in December 2015. Mad Ron has taken the circuit by storm. Now a multi award winning act, Mad Ron also finished 3rd in the prestigious 2019 NATY’s.

Saturday 5 November 2022: Wokingham Charity Firework Spectacular

We are one of the five local service clubs that work together as a consortium to organise and run the annual Firework Spectacular. Over the years the event has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local charities.

This year’s event was as spectacular as ever. Despite the forecast of rain the weather held so a large crowd assembled in the town centre ready for the torchlight procession, which began at 6:15pm. The sight of 500 flaming torches is truely awe-inspiring.

The capacity this year was set at 10,000 spectators, with tickets sold only online. All tickets were sold out several days before the event.

Each club nominates a charity so this year the proceeds will be divided between Alexander Divine Children’s Hospice, Wokingham Foodbank, Farnborough Air Science, Topic of Cancer, Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Education Wessex & Thames Valley. Wokingham Lions nominated the Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Photos courtesy of Emma Merchant, Wokingham Today

The torchlight procession leaves Broad Street
Two of the 500 torches
Wokingham Town mini mayor Jayden Hawie enjoyed the event
The crowd eagerly anticipates the fireworks
The display was amazing
The funfair provided extra entertainment
...and the band played on

Sunday 16 October 2022: The Wokingham Walk

The Wokingham Walk has proved to be so popular that we organise two walks every year, in Spring and in Autumn.

There are four routes available: five, 10 and 15 miles, and an accessible route of five miles, all starting and finishing in Elms Field.

This Autumn walk was very popular, with about 200 walkers enjoying the good weather. As well as providing a nice day out and plenty of exercise the event also raised about £2,500 for our charity account in addition to any sums raised by participants who took sponsorship for their chosen charities.

Friday 7 October 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Another fantastic night of comedy at Wokingham Theatre. We had another full house enjoying our great comedians!

The event raised over £2,000 for good causes. We also invited the Ollie Young Foundation to run a raffle, which helped them to support paediatric brain tumour research & support.

The next comedy night will be on 18th November – we’ll announce it here as soon as tickets go on sale!

Wednesday 5 October 2022: Visit to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice

Seven members of the Wokingham Lions Club visited the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service in Maidenhead. They wanted to see first-hand how this £6 million facility helps children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, play and relax during their last days of life.

Jasmine Parker conducted the informative tour of the inside and outside of the children’s hospice. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and include areas for music therapy, arts and crafts, cooking and reading. A beautiful hydrotherapy pool was designed and donated by Nirvana Health Spa in 2019.

The Enchanted Forest outdoor sensory garden was donated by Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity, in association with LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. There are many LEGO creations in the garden, which includes an herb garden. An outdoor play area features a swing and trampoline that can accommodate a wheelchair.

Alexander Devine was a bright and funny child, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just four years of age. He endured four and a half years of operations, treatments and therapy, and sadly died at the age of eight in 2007. His parents, Fiona and John Devine, founded Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, and the facility opened its doors for day care in 2018. They currently provide a safe place for 150 families in Berkshire and the surrounding counties. It costs around £2.33 million to run the children’s hospice service each year.

Childhood cancer is one of the five global causes of Lions International.

Friday 23 September 2022: The #Woky Quiz

Another successful night at Wokingham Cricket club, with over 100 attendees. Quizmaster Ian Grange challenged eveyone’s brain cells with some demanding questions

Congratulations to team “No Eye Deer” who were the winners – by just 1 point!

Thanks to Wokingham Cricket Club for hosting us, Tesco Superstore & Wokingham Theatre for raffle prizes, and Bears Burgers & Chicken for the great food! And of course, great thanks to Ian Grange for organising the event.

Quizmaster Ian looking relaxed!

Sunday 14 August 2022: Ollie Young Foundation

On Sunday 14th August the Ollie Young Foundation held its annual fun day at the new venue Reddam House, formerly Bearwood College. The Wokingham Lions ran a children’s and adult Tombola, using the brand new Tombola drum kindly made by Mens Shed. Despite it being a blazing hot day meaning a lower turnout of people than usual, we had plenty of fun with those who did come along and raised £409.50! All proceeds went straight to the Foundation whose aim it is to find a cure or prevention of brain tumours in children through research. 

Thank you to those Lions who gave up their time to help at the event and everyone who supported it. 

August 2022: Donations from the Classic Car Show to Wokingham Men’s Shed and Leukaemia UK

Leukaemia UK and Wokingham Men’s Shed both received £1,500, which will be put to good use very soon.

When presented with the funds Paul Abbott from Leukaemia UK was delighted and said: “We are so grateful to Wokingham Lions Club for choosing Leukaemia UK as one of the charities to receive this money. Donations like this help us continue to fund life-changing research to accelerate progress in diagnosis, find kinder treatments and better care for leukaemia patients. Leukaemia devastates lives and it’s due to fundraisers like Wokingham Lions Club that we hope one day this will no longer be the case.

Ron Baillie of Wokingham Mens Shed was similarly pleased and said “It is wonderful that the Wokingham Men’s Shed has been widely recognised in the community. We are all about helping to combat loneliness and isolation, by giving men an opportunity and good reason to get out of the armchair and go and do something collaborative with others in the Shed. This donation from the Wokingham Lions will go towards new tools, and we are deeply grateful for their support.”

Bob DuGard (organiser of the Classic Car Show) hands over a cheque for £1500 to Janet Simmonds from Leukaemia UK

Saturday 16 July 2022: Wokingham Borough Welcomes New Arrivals

Wokingham Borough Council ran a special event on Elms Field to welcome new arrivals to the borough, including more than 400 refugees from Ukraine (as part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme) as well as families from Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Syria and other places who have moved to the area.

Those who attended were able to get food from stalls or bring their own picnics with them to enjoy in the town centre green space.

We were asked to provide a tea tent, so we offered tea, coffee and cold drinks free of charge to all newcomers and to families hosting refugees. 

Cllr Clive Jones, leader of the council, said: “We’d like to welcome anyone who wishes to join us on the day to provide a warm welcome to those who have moved to our borough. This is a perfect chance to build relationships and make new connections, as well as being a fun day out for all the family”

As well as food vendors there were stalls representing charities offering support to refugees, including Reading Ukrainian Community Centre, Citizens Advice, First Days, SHARE Wokingham, the Cowshed, Home-Start and Churches Together.

Saturday 2 July 2022: Wokingham Classic Car Show

The first-ever Wokingham Classic Car Show took place on Saturday, 2nd July in Elms Field. There were more than 100 classic, unusual and interesting cars and motorcycles on display.

The day began with a procession from Reddam House UK school to the display area in Elms Field, where refreshments were provided by local scouts and younger visitors were entertained with a Teddy Bear hunt organised by Lions Lyn Baily and Monnie Lin.

Town Mayor Councillor Maria Gee officially opened the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony, and later in the day presented four trophies, sponsored by generous local businesses, to two car and two motorcycle owners. One was presented to the owner of the world championship winning speedway bike, once ridden by Ivan Mauger.

The event was open to the public and attracted thousands of local residents plus enthusiasts from far and wide. There was no charge but local businesses were encouraged to sponsor the event to cover the costs and allow us to raise funds for charity. The main beneficiaries were Leukaemia UK and Wokingham Men’s Shed.

Bob DuGard, co-organiser of the event said “After expenses, we hope to have a profit in excess of £3,000. This includes a very generous donation of £1,000 from the Barkham and District Classic Car Club, who have supported all the shows I have been involved in

We would like to thank our sponsors: A1 Group, Academy Insurance Services, Bearwood Fencing, Beech Hill Garage, Bulldog Triumph Motorcycles, Citroemech Ltd, Munich Motors, Steadfast Autos, Trimmania, Wingfield Engineering and Wokingham MOT & Service Centre Ltd,

We have a few limited edition lapel badges/ brooches left for purchase, be quick they’re going fast,  if you’d like one for a minimum £5 donation, please contact us via mail@wokinghamlions.org.uk  All money raised contribute to our charity donations

Sunday 3 July 2022: Charter Lunch

Charter is our annual celebration of the anniversary of the formation of our club in 1974. We meet, with our partners and friends, to remember our achievements over the previous year and set our goals for the next year. We also inaugurate the president for the next year and thank all those who made significant contributions to the previous year.

This year we held a Charter Lunch at the Rose Inn in the centre of Wokingham. Claire Mangers-Page was inaugurated as our new president, taking over from Andy Goffin.

The Lions Club was founded in 1917 by a businessman in Chicago called Melvin Jones. As an ongoing memorial to him Lions Club International offer a prestigious Melvin Jones Foundation award to members who have made a significant contribution. At the Charter we were please to give an MJF award to Tim Hanton for his long service to Wokingham Lions and to the Lions zone

Andy Goffin hands over to Claire Mangers-Page
Tim Hanton receives his MJF award from president Andy Goffin
We also inducted a new member, Jane Bentley

Friday 24 June 2022: £3,000 donation to Just Around the Corner

Just Around the Corner, JAC, was the second charity chosen as a beneficiary of the May Fayre so we had pleasure giving a cheque for £3,000 to the founder, Sam Milligan.

Sam gave us a tour of their premises and explained how JAC started from humble beginnings about 24 years ago and has grown into an amazing facility that helps young people overcome difficulties that prevent them from engaging in society. It does this primarily by encouraging them to interact with animals, and also by developing interests in topics like gardening, bee-keeping and horticulture. They also run a shop manned by youngsters to encourage them to interact with the public.

Sam showed us the buildings and facilities they have created, and the livestock, including horses, donkeys, goats, chickens and rabbits. He explained that horses have an affinity to people and there is a two-way interaction that is particularly beneficial to youngsters who may have problems interacting with people.

We were totally overwhelmed by Sam’s dedication and commitment, and astounded at his breadth of knowledge. We all agreed that JAC richly deserved the donation we gave him

Sam Milligan (left) receives a cheque for £3,000 from Lions president Andy Goffin

Wednesday 8 June 2022: £3,000 donation to Link Visiting

Link Visiting was one of the charities we chose as beneficiaries of the May Fayre. We therefore invited their John Mallaghan to our business meeting, at which we presented him with a cheque for £3,000.

John thanked us for the donation and gave a summary of the history of Link Visiting and the work they do addressing loneliness and and social isolation. They currently support around 400 people living on their own by matching them to volunteers who befriend them and give whatever support they can. Their motto is Confronting Loneliness, Celebrating Friendship. The pinnacle of their success was receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

John Mallaghan receives a cheque from president Andy Goffin

Wednesday 8 June 2022: Claire Revie receives Gerry Aggett award

Gerry Aggett was a very active member of our club, but he sadly died several years ago. One of his greatest achievement was to instigate the Wokingham May Fayre in 1994, which we have continued running ever since.

As a momento we created the Gerry Aggett award which we grant annually to an individual who we consider has made a major contribution to the local community. As well as receiving a certificate the recipient also receives a donation of £1,000 to be given to a charity of their choice.

This year we gave the award to Claire Revie, who founded SHARE Wokingham at the start of the Covid Pandemic. SHARE collect surplus food and give it to those in need. Claire naturally chose SHARE as her nominated charity for the donation

Claire Revie, President Andy Goffin and Gerry’s widow Ursula

Wednesday 8 June 2022: Induction of Town Mayor

It is a tradition of the club that the town mayor is inducted into the club as an honorary member. Maria Gee was recently elected as Wokingham Town Mayor so we duly inducted her into the club.

John Cleary, Maria Gee and President Andy Goffin

Saturday 28 May 2022: Foodbank collection at Tesco

Wokingham Foodbank told us their stocks were running low as a result of increased demand. We responded by co-ordinating with Tesco to arrange a day’s collection similar to that in our Christmas Can-Can appeal. We were again amazed at the generousity of their customers and collected 511Kg of food donations plus £504.

Friday 27 May 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Another fantastic night of comedy at Wokingham Theatre. We had another full house enjoying our great comedians!

The event raised over £2,400 for our charity account. We also invited the Kimelcafe charity to run a raffle, which helped them to support the neurodivergent community.

The next comedy night will be on 7th October – we’ll announce it here as soon as tickets go on sale!

Saturday 14 May 2022: Support for Ukraine

We were at Tesco Wokingham to help support their energetic staff for their two-day virtual cycling marathon to Ukraine (1,500 miles!). They managed to raise £1622.34 in aid of the British Red Cross

Sunday 8 May 2022: The Wokingham Walk

MORE THAN 300 people put on their boots and went for a walk … and they were given a medal for doing so.

There were four routes available: five, 10 and 15 miles, and an accessible route of five miles, all starting and finishing in Elms Field. Youngsters were encouraged to fill in a nature trail as they went along one of three routes

There were teams from Dingley’s Promise, and Soulscape, among others.

Lion Andy Slay, who was one of the organisers, said “We should have comfortably made in excess of £4,000 for local charities, so it’s been a great day, I’m really pleased.”

Bank Holiday Monday 2 May 2022: Wokingham May Fayre

Thousands of people visited the town centre for the first major event organised on the refurbished Elms Field, although it also encompassed Denmark Street and Market Place.

Alan Rouse, May Fayre chairman, said “It was an outstanding success with possibly the most people we have ever seen. This is the first year we have been able to run it after a 4 year break due to the town centre regeneration then Covid. I visited all the stalls, food vendors and attractions and without exception everyone was bowled over. We estimate that there were around 25,000 visitors”.

Andy Goffin, the president of Wokingham Lions CLub, said “This year the two main beneficiaries will be The Link Visiting Scheme and Just Around the Corner (JAC). Link is a charity dedicated to reducing loneliness in the Borough and JAC help young people with special needs to find acceptance and employment”.

Alan added “Organising the event took a considerable amount of planning. I would like to thank my fellow committee members and all the volunteers who helped to make this a wholly successful day. We look forward to doing the same next year. Between now and then we will be organising numerous other events to entertain the public and raise money for our charity account so we can continue to support good causes”.

The event raised about £12,500 for our charity account, and the various charity stallholders raised a total of over £15,000 for their charities.

Photos courtesy of Paul King

As well as 100 stalls in the town centre there was a wide range of entertainment including:

  • A full programme of performances on the stage outside the town hall
  • A funfair and numerous childrens activities on Elms Field
  • A petting zoo outside Nuffield Health
  • Ferret Racing
  • Birds of Prey
  • Numerous food vendors selling a wide variety of meals, snacks, ice cream and drinks
  • Street circus performers
  • Punch and Judy

13 April 2022: Donation to Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Wokingham Lions Club is one of the five service clubs that together form the Wokingham Fireworks Charitable Trust which organises the annual fireworks display every November. The 2021 event raised over £30,000 so our share was £6,000. We nominated the Thames Valley Air Ambulance as our chosen charity. Covid restrictions prevented us from holding meetings earlier, but we were able to invite Nicola Bishop to come to our April business meeting to accept our donation.

Nicola gave an illustrated presentation of the great work carried out by the TVAA before being presented with a cheque for £6,000 by our president, Andy Goffin.

3 April 2022: Spectrek spectacle recycling

We participate in an international project to recycle spectacles and hearing aids for use in third world countries. We collect them from opticians and individuals and take them to the UK centre run by Chichester Lions. They collate them and send them on to a centre in France which then forwards them on to people in need. for more details click here.

Nick Halford and president Andy Goffin took our latest consignment of over 3,000 pairs to Chichester

March/April 2022: New members

Our membership continues to thrive and we inducted two new members, Monnie Lin and David Dunham. We are still open to new members so if you would like to find out more about what we do why not contact us at mail@wokinghamlions.org.uk? We will invite you to our meetings and social events then, if you like what you see, you can join us.

29 March 2022: Civic Award

One of our members, Alan Rouse, was honoured to receive a civic award from Wokingham Town Council for the voluntary work he has done with Lions, Citizens Advice, the Foodbank, Wokingham Fireworks and the Unicorn Club. He is pictured second from left, with the five other recipients

11/12 March 2022: Marie Curie Daffodil Collection

After a break of two years due to Covid we were again able to assist the Marie Curie Daffodil collection. As usual we made fools of ourselves by dressing up!

Wednesday 9 March 2022: Ukraine

At our business meeting there was universal support and sympathy for the residents of Ukraine. It was agreed that we would donate £500 to the Disaster Emergency Committee Ukraine Relief Fund. This attracted Gift Aid, and the government had pledged to match all donations, so the effective total was £1,200.

We also agreed to give £1,000 to the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. This is directly administered by Lions Clubs in the area, thus ensuring that no money is lost in administration costs.

Friday 4 March 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Wokingham Lions ran a very successful Comedy Night at Wokingham Theatre! There were three brilliant acts plus a fantastic compere – along with a full bar.

The event proved to be a good fund-raiser, earning us £1600 for our charity account. The theatre were very pleased too, because they had the takings from the bar.

We invited First Days Children’s Charity to run a raffle which raised £400 for their funds

We also held a collection for Ukraine

Friday 2 February 2024: #Woky Comedy Night

Our series of comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre continued into 2024

20 December 2023: Christmas dinner

About 45 members and partners enjoyed a festive night at our annual Christmas dinner at Bearwood Lakes Golf Club. As well as a fabulous meal we entertained ourselves with games and Christmas carols.

2 – 9 December 2023: Can-Can

Lion John Cleary ran our annual Can Can Christmas Food Appeal again, as he has for the last 20 years. He organised our volunteers outside Tesco and Waitrose, asking customers to buy an extra item and donate it to us as they left.

The collected items were taken to First Days Children’s Charity who again offered us space so we could collate them into about 150 bags. We then delivered them to individuals in Wokingham who are finding life a little tough at the moment. We also made bulk deliveries to the Salvation Army and selected care homes.

All the item remaining were taken to Wokingham Foodbank, who used them to support individuals and families facing hardship with a little Christmas cheer.

A special thank you to Tesco and Waitrose in Wokingham for their ongoing support and of course their very generous customers. 

Sunday 26 November 2023: Wokingham Winter Carnival

This was another great free day out for the community. Thousands came to enjoy a selections of funfair rides, charity stalls, trade stalls and food and drink.

Santa was in his grotto to welcome small children. The grotto was a fairyland of twinkling lights and decorations.

The whole of the town centre was closed to traffic for the day, and the event extended into Elms Field.

The event was introduced by Lions president Lyn Baily and opened by Wokingham Town Mayor Sally Gurney and Wokingham Mini-Mayor Leah Vas. Lyn then took Sally and Leah around the carnival, which took over three hours due to the size the event has now become.

Wokingham Lions run the event to raise money for our charity account. The main beneficiaries are SHARE Wokingham and Homestart Wokingham District. SHARE is a locally founded food sharing charity that helps over 2000 people in our local community who need support foodwise by redistributing an incredible 40 tonnes of food from local supermarkets and food suppliers that would otherwise go to waste. Homestart is a small, local charity, offering a family support service to disadvantaged and vulnerable families in the Wokingham District, with at least one child under the age of five.

Friday 17 November 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Yet another great fun night.

The audience were entertained by four great comedians, will be David Ward, Michael Fabbri, Richard Morton and Mike Gunn

The event raised £1600 for our charity account

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Friday 2nd February 2024, Friday 1st March 2024 and Friday 17th May 2024

Saturday 4 November 2023: Wokingham Charity Firework Spectacular

This year’s Fireworks was a sell-out, with all 10,000 ticket sold online in advance of the event.

Despite poor weather forecasts earlier in the week the rain held off but the field was very muddy! Fortunately most visitors came prepared and wore suitable footwear.

Hundreds of people met in the town centre to join the torchlight procession, which was as fantastic as ever with 700 flaming torches and hundreds of flashing toys for the children. When they arrived at Cantley Field they were treated to a fantastic firework display

We run the event in conjunction with three other local service clubs to raise money for our nominated charities. This year we have chosen Daisy’s Dream and First Days Children’s Charity to receive the majority of our share of the proceeds.

Sunday 15 October2023: Wokingham Walk

Over 250 walkers took part in the Wokingham Walk, which gave them the option of walking 5, 10 or 15 miles through lovely countryside in glorious weather.

Each walker paid an entrance fee that covered the costs and left us with around £2,500 for our charity account. Walkers also had the opportunity to seek sponsorship for charities of their choice which raised further amounts.

The Spring Wokingham Walk will be on Sunday 28 April 2024

October /November 2023: More new members

At our October business meeting we welcomed another new member to the club – Alwyn Jones. He was introduced by Jonathan Blane and inducted by our membership officer, Bob DuGard, then president Lyn Baily welcomed him as a new member.

Friday 6 October 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Another great fun night that helped raise funds for our charity account.

A full house was entertained by Windsor, Ricky Balshaw, Mary Bourke and Andrew Maxwell

The event raised almost £1,600 for our charity account, and the raffle was run by Homestart who raised a further £540

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Friday 17th November 2023, Friday 2nd February 2024, Friday 1st March 2024 and Friday 17th May 2024

31 August: Auction of Promises

This was a trial of a new event for us. We ran an online auction with a large number of lots. All lots were generously donated to us so all the proceeds went to our charity account. Participants were invited to make their offers online until the closing date of 31 August.

There were numerous lots on offer including:

  • Photos with the TARDIS – and a Dalek
  • A Tour of Wokingham Town Hall – and tea with the Mayor!
  • Aerial photos of your house
  • Tickets to our next Comedy Night
  • A golf lesson

Wednesday 12 July 2023: Donations to the May Fayre 2023 beneficiaries, Camp Mohawk and Thames Hospice

Representatives from the two main beneficiaries were invited to our business meeting to accept cheques for £4000 each.

Samantha Rosier, Fundraising Chairman for Camp Mohawk receved a cheque from president Lyn Baily and said “We will use the money to refurbish our Sensory Room, to provide options of both calming and stimulating environments. Sensory rooms play a pivotal part in assisting with the development of children with sensory issues. They are also hugely enjoyed by children with other learning difficulties and disabilities and as such are a fundamental part of Camp Mohawk’s range of facilities”.

Layla Pipe, Senior Community Fundraiser for Thames Hospice said “On behalf of us all at Thames Hospice, I would like to thank the Wokingham Lions for the £4,000, which could fund six weeks of vital end-of-life care for two patients at home. We rely heavily on support from groups such as the Lions to help fund our care, and their continued support and amazing donation are so very much appreciated”

Samantha Rosier receives a cheque for Camp Mohawk
Layla Piper receives a cheque for Thames Hospice

Saturday 15 July 2023: Sausage Sizzle

Members Paul and Lyn Baily invited everyone to a sausage sizzle in their lovely garden. The weather was dry but a little cold, but that didn’t spoil the enjoyment

Friday 30 June 2023: Charter Night

Charter is our annual celebration of the anniversary of the formation of our club in 1974. We meet, with our partners and friends, to remember our achievements over the previous year and set our goals for the next year. We also inaugurate the president for the next year and thank all those who made significant contributions to the previous year.

This year we held the event at the Walter Arms, with 37 members, partners and guests enjoying a great 3-course meal.

The outgoing president, Claire Mangers-Page, thanked all the members for their great work then summarised the achievements of the previous year, saying “We raised a record £53,000 from 12 fundraising events including the May Fayre, Winter Carnival, Classic Car Show, Comedy Nights, Wokingham Walks, Quiz Evenings, and our contribution towards the Firework Spectacular at Cantley Field. This is due to our strong team of dedicated members, including six new active and enthusiastic members this year, and the generous residents in our community. We donate all the funds raised to mainly local charities and individuals in need. We are so fortunate to live in a town with a great spirit of giving and kindness towards others.”

Claire then gave prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship awards to Ian Grange and Debbie Slay in recognition of the outstanding contributions they had made to the club. She then inducted the new Wokingham Town Mayor, Sally Gurney, as an honorary member of the club before passing the chain of office to her successor, Lyn Baily.

Wokingham Town Mayor Sally Gurney was inducted as a honorary member
Ian Grange receives his MJF award from president Claire Mangers-Page
Debbie Slay with her MJF award

Friday/Saturday 23/24 June 2023: Support for Ukraine

Tesco Wokingham repeated their annual fund raising event to cycle to Ukraine. Volunteers from their staff took turns to ride exercise bikes with the objective to cover the equivalent distance from Wokingham to Kyev, to raise money for the Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. Wokingham Lions helped them by managing the collection, which raised over £1000

Wednesday 24 May 2023: Meal at the Jolly Farmer

Twenty-nine members, partners and friends spent a very enjoyable evening at the Jolly Farmer. The pub offered us a great selection of Thai food on their large outdoor patio. The service was excellent, albeit a little confused as several people forgot what they had ordered so the meals got a bit mixed up! However everyone was very satified with the quality and quantity of food.

Friday 19 May 2023: #Woky Comedy Night

Due to public demand we are now holding regular comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre. This followed the trend of being a sell-out and successfully raising fund for both our charity account and Wokingham Theatre (which is a registered charity).

We also invited Share Wokingham to run a raffle, at which they raised £460.

The comedians were David Ward – MC, Terry Alderton – Act 1, Gordon Southern – Middle Act and Paul McCaffrey – Headline

For future reference there will be more Comedy Nights on Friday 6th October 2023, Friday 17th November 2023, Friday 2nd February 2024 and Friday 17th May 2024

Wednesday 17 May 2023: Visit to Camp Mohawk

Camp Mohawk is one of the beneficiaries of the May Fayre so a number of our members visited to see first hand what they do.

It’s a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families, set in 5 acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wargrave, Berkshire. Throughout the year the centre provides a range of activities, facilities and natural space to encourage children with a variety of special needs to play, socialise and learn in a secure and caring environment.

It was a very informative session for members – thank you for showing us around!

You can read more about their work here https://www.campmohawk.org.uk

.

Bank Holiday Monday 1 May 2023: Wokingham May Fayre

Thousands attended the May Fayre, undeterred by the slightly inclement weather.

Stallholders were encouraged to decorate their stalls in a ‘Coronation’ theme and wear hats or items of clothing to reflect the celebration too. Wokingham Town Mayor, Cllr. Maria Gee opened the Fayre along with her consort Philip Gee and Mini-Mayor Jayden Hawie. They then judged the stalls, giving the first prize of £150 to CLASP, a local self-advocacy group for people with learning difficulties, Girlguiding Wokingham took the Highly Commended prize of £100.

The event was run to raise much needed funds for local charities. Many stalls were run by charities who raised funds for their own good causes. Our main beneficiaries this year were Camp Mohawk and Thames Hospice.

Camp Mohawk is a multi-functional day centre for children with special needs and their families, set in 5 acres of beautiful countryside, just outside Wargrave, Berkshire. Throughout the year the centre provides a range of activities, facilities and natural space to encourage children with a variety of special needs to play, socialise and learn in a secure and caring environment.

Thames Hospice is a leading UK Hospice providing inpatient and community palliative and end-of-life care services to people aged 16 and over across East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.

Thanks to Wokinghamaerialphotography for some of the pictures.

Thanks to all our supporters and sponsors:

Sunday 23 April 2023: Wokingham Walk

We had over 350 walkers take part and the event has raised over £4000 which will be used by Wokingham Lions Club to support local charities – thank you!

Many walkers were also being sponsored to raise funds for causes that were close to their hearts – congratulations to everyone who got sponsored for a good cause!

Thanks also to Tesco Superstore , Morrisons and Waitrose & Partners for their donations of foodstuffs – and to TradeMark Windows Doors & Conservatories for sponsoring the canvas bags we were distributing.

Our autumn event will be on Sunday 15th Oct – add it to your Facebook calendar here: https://fb.me/e/zsorrzzq

April 2023: Donation to Thames Valley Air Ambulance

In April, Wokingham Lions Club members Paul Baily and Andy Goffin were delighted to accept an invitation to attend the Thames Valley Air Ambulance, Supporter Day. It was a good chance to find out more about this excellent charity and to see their helicopter up close. The opportunity was also taken to present them with the donation of £5,000 from The Wokingham Fireworks event.

Paul and Andy present a cheque to Nicola Bishop,
Fundraising Manager at Thames Valley Air Ambulance

4/5 March 2023: Marie Curie Daffodil Collection

As in previous years we assisting with the Marie Curie Daffodil collection at Morrisons supermarket. As usual we will made fools of ourselves by dressing up!

We collected over £700 for them

Friday 3 March 2023: The #Woky Quiz

The quiz was held in the magnificent surroundings of Wokingham Town Hall. Quizmaster Ian Grange challenged eveyone’s brain cells with some demanding questions

Congratulations to team “Where’s Wally” who were the winners.

Thanks to Tesco Superstore and Morrisons for donating raffle prizes, and to the 100 people who attended to support the event. It raised over £1000 for our charity account.

We’re planning another quiz on Fri 29th September – add the event to your Facebook diary by clicking here where details will be updated when they are announced

Wednesday 22 February 2023: Life Saving Skills Presentation

About 40 members and friends attended a presentation by Tony Colby of South Central Ambulance Charity, who outlined the role of the SCA Charity, and what their wide range of volunteers get up to. This includes Community First Responders, who are volunteers contacted by 999 operators at the same time as ambulances are called.  If a responder reaches a patient before the ambulance he/she will give emergency first aid.

He also outlined the basics of how the lay person can respond in the case of a medical emergency, particularly cardiac arrest. He instructed us how to apply CPR, and demonstrated how easy it is to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). He explained that by using these simple techniques the patient’s chance of survival is dramatically increased.

Wednesday 11 January 2023: Another new member, Nandini Banerjee

Our club continues to grow with the induction of another new member, Nandini Banerjee.

Nandini (in orange), was accompanied by her sponsor Sarah Newstead, as she was inducted by president Claire Mangers-Page and Membership chairman Bob DuGard.

Monday 9 January 2023: Charity Presentation Evening

Lion Nigel Page introduced 4 presenters to outline the work done by their resprectivre charities. 14 of our members attended to hear the following presentations:

Kaleidoscopic UK presented by Vickie Robertson and Nicole Taffani:

This charity’s main aim is to support and help victims of domestic abuse, in all it’s forms from coercive control to actual physical abuse . Victims may be female , male or  children.
They hold regular coffee mornings for victims to attend, and listen to their stories. Their motto is Educate to Eradicate.
They go to schools and give teachers three hour seminars on how to identify abuse victims.
They have made Awareness videos and these are used by Thames Valley Police. They also train Social Service staff. 
They have made Awareness videos and these are used by Thames Valley Police. They also train Social Service staff.
They provide Christmas hampers ( this year to 74 families), and fund family freedom holidays with camping and other equipment.

Camp Mohawk presentation by Samantha Rosier

Established in 1980 this charity is based in Wargrave and they have five acres of ground. They provide soft play, art, games, picnic adventures, and a heated swimming pool.
They cater for children with cognitive and physical issues including Autism, Downs Syndrom and brain injuries.
Some 1,000 children visit the facilty each year.
Their needs:
Financial help to construct a changing room near the pool
A retractable cover for the pool to allow more use in cooler weather conditions
A hoist
Refurbishment of a sensory room.
Estimated cost of all these projects is £350,000

Berkshire Vision presentation by Sara Gibbons and Carol Barnfather

They support over 1,000 people with sight loss. Four children every day are diagnosed with sight loss.
Their role is to develop confidence and self esteem using five Sight Loss Support Officers.
They have a telephone support befriending service which helps over 300 people.
They run family programmes with day excursions, boat trips, go karting, swimming, adventure parks and football with Reading Football Academy.

Sebastians Action Trust presentation by Megan Lowden

Founded in 2004 with office in Crowthorne and facilities in Basingstoke.
They support families with children near end of life and those whose children have passed away.
The Bluebells facility in Basingstoke cost £8.7 million and took eight years to complete. They have two apartments for families together with a hydrotherapy pool. They primarily cover Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Surrey but families from all over the country come to their facilities.
Their bereavement support is funded by the National Lottery.
They also give theraputic support.
Their needs:-
Volunteers to help them with repair and building of facilities
Publicising their work
Their Christmas in July at Ascot Racecourse event including toys and bottles of water.

Monday 2 January 2023: £3,500 donations to Kaleidoscopic UK and Building for the Future

Kaleidoscopic UK and Building for the Future were nominated an the main beneficiaries of the Winter Carnival.

Claire Mangers-Page (Wokingham Lions president) and Tim Hanton (Chairman of the Winter Carnival committee) met with representatives of the charities to hand over cheques:

Vickie Robertson of Kaleidoscopic UK was the grateful recipient of a cheque for £3,500. They are a charitable organisation of survivors for survivors of domestic abuse in ALL its forms, based in the Thames Valley and providing support services throughout England and Wales. It was founded by Vickie in January 2019 after her experience of childhood and adult domestic abuse.

Jane Holmes received a £3,500 cheque for Building for the Future. They are a Wokingham based, parent led charity providing activities, support and therapy for children with disabilities and/or additional needs and their families.

Wednesday 21 December 2022: Festive Dinner

President Claire Mangers-Page welcomed 42 members and guests to our annual Festive Dinner at Bearwood Golf Club. Guests included the town mayor, Maria Gee and her husband and two of our ex-members, Heiki and Leila Viika, who now live in Finland.

During the evening Claire awarded chevrons (which mark significant anniversaries since joining) to Patrick Allen (35 years), Andy Slay (20 years) and Debbie Slay (15 years).

Paul Baily drew the lucky number for the £500 prize for the 100 Club, the winner being Neil Hodgson

Paul and Lyn Baily, who orgainsed the event, entertained us with a festive quiz and a round of bingo, then the evening ended with our traditional singing of Christmas songs and carols.

December 2022: Can-Can

The Can Can Christmas Food Appeal had another successful year with nearly 2700 food and personal hygiene products being donated by Tesco and Waitrose customers.

First Days Children’s Charity kindly gave up some of their warehouse space for a couple of weeks which enabled us to make up over 230 bags of shopping. These were then distributed to families and individuals in Wokingham who are finding life a little tough at the moment.

We were also able to deliver a bulk order of assorted food items to SHARE Wokingham to help towards their effort in supporting local people through the festive period.

Can Can started 30 years ago, long before Foodbank’s were a thing, however our collaboration with Wokingham Foodbank, First Days and SHARE Wokingham in recent years has proved extremely successful ensuring that donations continue to reach all the right people.

A special thank you to Tesco and Waitrose in Wokingham for their ongoing support and of course their very generous customers. 

Project leader John Cleary with some of the food parcels
The Lion helped at Waitrose
We were also at Tesco

Wednesday 13 December 2022: Another new member, Jonathan Blane

Jonathan was accompanied by his sponsor Sean Clarkson as he was inducted by president Claire Mangers-Page and Membership chairman Bob DuGard.

Sunday 27 November 2022: Wokingham Winter Carnival

Wokingham Winter Carnival was a fun day out for the whole family. The town was closed to traffic for the day so children could join in the fun in a totally safe environment.

There were a whole host of street entertainers, music, singing, dancing and all the fun of the fair with loads of different rides.

There was a fantastic grotto for the children, with Santa greeting them and giving them presents

The day ended with a laser light show.

Saturday 19 November 2022: Collection for the Foodbank

Wokingham Foodbank asked us if we could run a special collection for them to help with the expected increase in demand leading up to Christmas. We were given permission to set up a stall outside Waitrose supermarket, asking customers to buy an extra item and leave it with us.

Their customers were very generous, so we were able to collect over 400Kg of donations.

Friday 18 November 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Our comedy nights at Wokingham Theatre have proved to be so fantastically popular that we decided to hold them regularly.

There were four fantastic comedians:

Sally-Anne Haywood has the rare ability to be cynical but likeable, sarcastic but playful as she gives a tongue-in-cheek look at how we live our lives. She has performed all over the world and has provided tour support for Sarah Millican, Russell Howard,  Russell Kane, Hal Cruttenden and Suzi Ruffell.

Kevin McCarthy not only performs on but also writes for television, having been involved recently in writing “The Sketch Show”, the BAFTA award winning ITV comedy. His involvement with T.V. includes warm-up duties on such shows as “The Lottery”, and “Later, with Jools Holland”.

Stefano Paolini was a semi-finalist on Britain’s Got Talent and will be performing a brand new Stand-up Comedy Show, called First Impressions at the Camden Fringe.

Mad Ron, the Third Hardest Man in Uxbridge, is a comedy creation of Steve Lee, first appearing on the comedy circuit back in December 2015. Mad Ron has taken the circuit by storm. Now a multi award winning act, Mad Ron also finished 3rd in the prestigious 2019 NATY’s.

Saturday 5 November 2022: Wokingham Charity Firework Spectacular

We are one of the five local service clubs that work together as a consortium to organise and run the annual Firework Spectacular. Over the years the event has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for local charities.

This year’s event was as spectacular as ever. Despite the forecast of rain the weather held so a large crowd assembled in the town centre ready for the torchlight procession, which began at 6:15pm. The sight of 500 flaming torches is truely awe-inspiring.

The capacity this year was set at 10,000 spectators, with tickets sold only online. All tickets were sold out several days before the event.

Each club nominates a charity so this year the proceeds will be divided between Alexander Divine Children’s Hospice, Wokingham Foodbank, Farnborough Air Science, Topic of Cancer, Thames Valley Air Ambulance and Education Wessex & Thames Valley. Wokingham Lions nominated the Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Photos courtesy of Emma Merchant, Wokingham Today

The torchlight procession leaves Broad Street
Two of the 500 torches
Wokingham Town mini mayor Jayden Hawie enjoyed the event
The crowd eagerly anticipates the fireworks
The display was amazing
The funfair provided extra entertainment
...and the band played on

Sunday 16 October 2022: The Wokingham Walk

The Wokingham Walk has proved to be so popular that we organise two walks every year, in Spring and in Autumn.

There are four routes available: five, 10 and 15 miles, and an accessible route of five miles, all starting and finishing in Elms Field.

This Autumn walk was very popular, with about 200 walkers enjoying the good weather. As well as providing a nice day out and plenty of exercise the event also raised about £2,500 for our charity account in addition to any sums raised by participants who took sponsorship for their chosen charities.

Friday 7 October 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Another fantastic night of comedy at Wokingham Theatre. We had another full house enjoying our great comedians!

The event raised over £2,000 for good causes. We also invited the Ollie Young Foundation to run a raffle, which helped them to support paediatric brain tumour research & support.

The next comedy night will be on 18th November – we’ll announce it here as soon as tickets go on sale!

Wednesday 5 October 2022: Visit to Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice

Seven members of the Wokingham Lions Club visited the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service in Maidenhead. They wanted to see first-hand how this £6 million facility helps children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions, play and relax during their last days of life.

Jasmine Parker conducted the informative tour of the inside and outside of the children’s hospice. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and include areas for music therapy, arts and crafts, cooking and reading. A beautiful hydrotherapy pool was designed and donated by Nirvana Health Spa in 2019.

The Enchanted Forest outdoor sensory garden was donated by Merlin’s Magic Wand Children’s Charity, in association with LEGOLAND Windsor Resort. There are many LEGO creations in the garden, which includes an herb garden. An outdoor play area features a swing and trampoline that can accommodate a wheelchair.

Alexander Devine was a bright and funny child, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just four years of age. He endured four and a half years of operations, treatments and therapy, and sadly died at the age of eight in 2007. His parents, Fiona and John Devine, founded Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service, and the facility opened its doors for day care in 2018. They currently provide a safe place for 150 families in Berkshire and the surrounding counties. It costs around £2.33 million to run the children’s hospice service each year.

Childhood cancer is one of the five global causes of Lions International.

Friday 23 September 2022: The #Woky Quiz

Another successful night at Wokingham Cricket club, with over 100 attendees. Quizmaster Ian Grange challenged eveyone’s brain cells with some demanding questions

Congratulations to team “No Eye Deer” who were the winners – by just 1 point!

Thanks to Wokingham Cricket Club for hosting us, Tesco Superstore & Wokingham Theatre for raffle prizes, and Bears Burgers & Chicken for the great food! And of course, great thanks to Ian Grange for organising the event.

Quizmaster Ian looking relaxed!

Sunday 14 August 2022: Ollie Young Foundation

On Sunday 14th August the Ollie Young Foundation held its annual fun day at the new venue Reddam House, formerly Bearwood College. The Wokingham Lions ran a children’s and adult Tombola, using the brand new Tombola drum kindly made by Mens Shed. Despite it being a blazing hot day meaning a lower turnout of people than usual, we had plenty of fun with those who did come along and raised £409.50! All proceeds went straight to the Foundation whose aim it is to find a cure or prevention of brain tumours in children through research. 

Thank you to those Lions who gave up their time to help at the event and everyone who supported it. 

August 2022: Donations from the Classic Car Show to Wokingham Men’s Shed and Leukaemia UK

Leukaemia UK and Wokingham Men’s Shed both received £1,500, which will be put to good use very soon.

When presented with the funds Paul Abbott from Leukaemia UK was delighted and said: “We are so grateful to Wokingham Lions Club for choosing Leukaemia UK as one of the charities to receive this money. Donations like this help us continue to fund life-changing research to accelerate progress in diagnosis, find kinder treatments and better care for leukaemia patients. Leukaemia devastates lives and it’s due to fundraisers like Wokingham Lions Club that we hope one day this will no longer be the case.

Ron Baillie of Wokingham Mens Shed was similarly pleased and said “It is wonderful that the Wokingham Men’s Shed has been widely recognised in the community. We are all about helping to combat loneliness and isolation, by giving men an opportunity and good reason to get out of the armchair and go and do something collaborative with others in the Shed. This donation from the Wokingham Lions will go towards new tools, and we are deeply grateful for their support.”

Bob DuGard (organiser of the Classic Car Show) hands over a cheque for £1500 to Janet Simmonds from Leukaemia UK

Saturday 16 July 2022: Wokingham Borough Welcomes New Arrivals

Wokingham Borough Council ran a special event on Elms Field to welcome new arrivals to the borough, including more than 400 refugees from Ukraine (as part of the Government’s Homes for Ukraine scheme) as well as families from Hong Kong, Afghanistan, Syria and other places who have moved to the area.

Those who attended were able to get food from stalls or bring their own picnics with them to enjoy in the town centre green space.

We were asked to provide a tea tent, so we offered tea, coffee and cold drinks free of charge to all newcomers and to families hosting refugees. 

Cllr Clive Jones, leader of the council, said: “We’d like to welcome anyone who wishes to join us on the day to provide a warm welcome to those who have moved to our borough. This is a perfect chance to build relationships and make new connections, as well as being a fun day out for all the family”

As well as food vendors there were stalls representing charities offering support to refugees, including Reading Ukrainian Community Centre, Citizens Advice, First Days, SHARE Wokingham, the Cowshed, Home-Start and Churches Together.

Saturday 2 July 2022: Wokingham Classic Car Show

The first-ever Wokingham Classic Car Show took place on Saturday, 2nd July in Elms Field. There were more than 100 classic, unusual and interesting cars and motorcycles on display.

The day began with a procession from Reddam House UK school to the display area in Elms Field, where refreshments were provided by local scouts and younger visitors were entertained with a Teddy Bear hunt organised by Lions Lyn Baily and Monnie Lin.

Town Mayor Councillor Maria Gee officially opened the event with a ribbon cutting ceremony, and later in the day presented four trophies, sponsored by generous local businesses, to two car and two motorcycle owners. One was presented to the owner of the world championship winning speedway bike, once ridden by Ivan Mauger.

The event was open to the public and attracted thousands of local residents plus enthusiasts from far and wide. There was no charge but local businesses were encouraged to sponsor the event to cover the costs and allow us to raise funds for charity. The main beneficiaries were Leukaemia UK and Wokingham Men’s Shed.

Bob DuGard, co-organiser of the event said “After expenses, we hope to have a profit in excess of £3,000. This includes a very generous donation of £1,000 from the Barkham and District Classic Car Club, who have supported all the shows I have been involved in

We would like to thank our sponsors: A1 Group, Academy Insurance Services, Bearwood Fencing, Beech Hill Garage, Bulldog Triumph Motorcycles, Citroemech Ltd, Munich Motors, Steadfast Autos, Trimmania, Wingfield Engineering and Wokingham MOT & Service Centre Ltd,

We have a few limited edition lapel badges/ brooches left for purchase, be quick they’re going fast,  if you’d like one for a minimum £5 donation, please contact us via mail@wokinghamlions.org.uk  All money raised contribute to our charity donations

Sunday 3 July 2022: Charter Lunch

Charter is our annual celebration of the anniversary of the formation of our club in 1974. We meet, with our partners and friends, to remember our achievements over the previous year and set our goals for the next year. We also inaugurate the president for the next year and thank all those who made significant contributions to the previous year.

This year we held a Charter Lunch at the Rose Inn in the centre of Wokingham. Claire Mangers-Page was inaugurated as our new president, taking over from Andy Goffin.

The Lions Club was founded in 1917 by a businessman in Chicago called Melvin Jones. As an ongoing memorial to him Lions Club International offer a prestigious Melvin Jones Foundation award to members who have made a significant contribution. At the Charter we were please to give an MJF award to Tim Hanton for his long service to Wokingham Lions and to the Lions zone

Andy Goffin hands over to Claire Mangers-Page
Tim Hanton receives his MJF award from president Andy Goffin
We also inducted a new member, Jane Bentley

Friday 24 June 2022: £3,000 donation to Just Around the Corner

Just Around the Corner, JAC, was the second charity chosen as a beneficiary of the May Fayre so we had pleasure giving a cheque for £3,000 to the founder, Sam Milligan.

Sam gave us a tour of their premises and explained how JAC started from humble beginnings about 24 years ago and has grown into an amazing facility that helps young people overcome difficulties that prevent them from engaging in society. It does this primarily by encouraging them to interact with animals, and also by developing interests in topics like gardening, bee-keeping and horticulture. They also run a shop manned by youngsters to encourage them to interact with the public.

Sam showed us the buildings and facilities they have created, and the livestock, including horses, donkeys, goats, chickens and rabbits. He explained that horses have an affinity to people and there is a two-way interaction that is particularly beneficial to youngsters who may have problems interacting with people.

We were totally overwhelmed by Sam’s dedication and commitment, and astounded at his breadth of knowledge. We all agreed that JAC richly deserved the donation we gave him

Sam Milligan (left) receives a cheque for £3,000 from Lions president Andy Goffin

Wednesday 8 June 2022: £3,000 donation to Link Visiting

Link Visiting was one of the charities we chose as beneficiaries of the May Fayre. We therefore invited their John Mallaghan to our business meeting, at which we presented him with a cheque for £3,000.

John thanked us for the donation and gave a summary of the history of Link Visiting and the work they do addressing loneliness and and social isolation. They currently support around 400 people living on their own by matching them to volunteers who befriend them and give whatever support they can. Their motto is Confronting Loneliness, Celebrating Friendship. The pinnacle of their success was receiving the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

John Mallaghan receives a cheque from president Andy Goffin

Wednesday 8 June 2022: Claire Revie receives Gerry Aggett award

Gerry Aggett was a very active member of our club, but he sadly died several years ago. One of his greatest achievement was to instigate the Wokingham May Fayre in 1994, which we have continued running ever since.

As a momento we created the Gerry Aggett award which we grant annually to an individual who we consider has made a major contribution to the local community. As well as receiving a certificate the recipient also receives a donation of £1,000 to be given to a charity of their choice.

This year we gave the award to Claire Revie, who founded SHARE Wokingham at the start of the Covid Pandemic. SHARE collect surplus food and give it to those in need. Claire naturally chose SHARE as her nominated charity for the donation

Claire Revie, President Andy Goffin and Gerry’s widow Ursula

Wednesday 8 June 2022: Induction of Town Mayor

It is a tradition of the club that the town mayor is inducted into the club as an honorary member. Maria Gee was recently elected as Wokingham Town Mayor so we duly inducted her into the club.

John Cleary, Maria Gee and President Andy Goffin

Saturday 28 May 2022: Foodbank collection at Tesco

Wokingham Foodbank told us their stocks were running low as a result of increased demand. We responded by co-ordinating with Tesco to arrange a day’s collection similar to that in our Christmas Can-Can appeal. We were again amazed at the generousity of their customers and collected 511Kg of food donations plus £504.

Friday 27 May 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Another fantastic night of comedy at Wokingham Theatre. We had another full house enjoying our great comedians!

The event raised over £2,400 for our charity account. We also invited the Kimelcafe charity to run a raffle, which helped them to support the neurodivergent community.

The next comedy night will be on 7th October – we’ll announce it here as soon as tickets go on sale!

Saturday 14 May 2022: Support for Ukraine

We were at Tesco Wokingham to help support their energetic staff for their two-day virtual cycling marathon to Ukraine (1,500 miles!). They managed to raise £1622.34 in aid of the British Red Cross

Sunday 8 May 2022: The Wokingham Walk

MORE THAN 300 people put on their boots and went for a walk … and they were given a medal for doing so.

There were four routes available: five, 10 and 15 miles, and an accessible route of five miles, all starting and finishing in Elms Field. Youngsters were encouraged to fill in a nature trail as they went along one of three routes

There were teams from Dingley’s Promise, and Soulscape, among others.

Lion Andy Slay, who was one of the organisers, said “We should have comfortably made in excess of £4,000 for local charities, so it’s been a great day, I’m really pleased.”

Bank Holiday Monday 2 May 2022: Wokingham May Fayre

Thousands of people visited the town centre for the first major event organised on the refurbished Elms Field, although it also encompassed Denmark Street and Market Place.

Alan Rouse, May Fayre chairman, said “It was an outstanding success with possibly the most people we have ever seen. This is the first year we have been able to run it after a 4 year break due to the town centre regeneration then Covid. I visited all the stalls, food vendors and attractions and without exception everyone was bowled over. We estimate that there were around 25,000 visitors”.

Andy Goffin, the president of Wokingham Lions CLub, said “This year the two main beneficiaries will be The Link Visiting Scheme and Just Around the Corner (JAC). Link is a charity dedicated to reducing loneliness in the Borough and JAC help young people with special needs to find acceptance and employment”.

Alan added “Organising the event took a considerable amount of planning. I would like to thank my fellow committee members and all the volunteers who helped to make this a wholly successful day. We look forward to doing the same next year. Between now and then we will be organising numerous other events to entertain the public and raise money for our charity account so we can continue to support good causes”.

The event raised about £12,500 for our charity account, and the various charity stallholders raised a total of over £15,000 for their charities.

Photos courtesy of Paul King

As well as 100 stalls in the town centre there was a wide range of entertainment including:

  • A full programme of performances on the stage outside the town hall
  • A funfair and numerous childrens activities on Elms Field
  • A petting zoo outside Nuffield Health
  • Ferret Racing
  • Birds of Prey
  • Numerous food vendors selling a wide variety of meals, snacks, ice cream and drinks
  • Street circus performers
  • Punch and Judy

13 April 2022: Donation to Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Wokingham Lions Club is one of the five service clubs that together form the Wokingham Fireworks Charitable Trust which organises the annual fireworks display every November. The 2021 event raised over £30,000 so our share was £6,000. We nominated the Thames Valley Air Ambulance as our chosen charity. Covid restrictions prevented us from holding meetings earlier, but we were able to invite Nicola Bishop to come to our April business meeting to accept our donation.

Nicola gave an illustrated presentation of the great work carried out by the TVAA before being presented with a cheque for £6,000 by our president, Andy Goffin.

3 April 2022: Spectrek spectacle recycling

We participate in an international project to recycle spectacles and hearing aids for use in third world countries. We collect them from opticians and individuals and take them to the UK centre run by Chichester Lions. They collate them and send them on to a centre in France which then forwards them on to people in need. for more details click here.

Nick Halford and president Andy Goffin took our latest consignment of over 3,000 pairs to Chichester

March/April 2022: New members

Our membership continues to thrive and we inducted two new members, Monnie Lin and David Dunham. We are still open to new members so if you would like to find out more about what we do why not contact us at mail@wokinghamlions.org.uk? We will invite you to our meetings and social events then, if you like what you see, you can join us.

29 March 2022: Civic Award

One of our members, Alan Rouse, was honoured to receive a civic award from Wokingham Town Council for the voluntary work he has done with Lions, Citizens Advice, the Foodbank, Wokingham Fireworks and the Unicorn Club. He is pictured second from left, with the five other recipients

11/12 March 2022: Marie Curie Daffodil Collection

After a break of two years due to Covid we were again able to assist the Marie Curie Daffodil collection. As usual we made fools of ourselves by dressing up!

Wednesday 9 March 2022: Ukraine

At our business meeting there was universal support and sympathy for the residents of Ukraine. It was agreed that we would donate £500 to the Disaster Emergency Committee Ukraine Relief Fund. This attracted Gift Aid, and the government had pledged to match all donations, so the effective total was £1,200.

We also agreed to give £1,000 to the Lions Club International Foundation (LCIF) Ukraine Humanitarian Fund. This is directly administered by Lions Clubs in the area, thus ensuring that no money is lost in administration costs.

Friday 4 March 2022: #Woky Comedy Night

Wokingham Lions ran a very successful Comedy Night at Wokingham Theatre! There were three brilliant acts plus a fantastic compere – along with a full bar.

The event proved to be a good fund-raiser, earning us £1600 for our charity account. The theatre were very pleased too, because they had the takings from the bar.

We invited First Days Children’s Charity to run a raffle which raised £400 for their funds

We also held a collection for Ukraine

Loading