Recent Events

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 1958 by a salesman 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. The 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 a 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

May Fayre 2022:

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 11 February 2022: Pub Quiz

The Great #Woky Pub Quiz goes live again!

This was our second live quiz since the end of lockdown and proved to be equally popular, with all places sold. Chris of Bears Burgers and Chicken provided meals and the Cricket Club bar was open to provide drinks.

Lion Ian Grange asked the questions and a raffle provided extra income for our charity account.

January 2022: Tom Smith

Tom was an active member of Wokingham Lions Club from 1999, but sadly died in December. He will be fondly remembered for all his contributions to the local community.

In his later years he was closely involved with the WADE day care centre for the elderly, so we felt it would be a fitting tribute to leave a memorial to him there.

We donated £500 to WADE and financed a stone garden for them as a permanent reminder of Tom.