Burnham-On-Sea Lions Club members have this week been celebrating the group’s 30th anniversary.

The Lions Club was formed in the town exactly 30 years ago this month – and the occasion was marked this week with a special presentation.

Lions Club founder member Martin Hall received a cut glass tankard and a bottle of vintage cider from President Andrew Taylor and member Colin Rufus in commemoration of the club’s 30th charter (pictured).

The celebrations will continue into next year when the 30th anniversary will be marked with a special function on Saturday March 17th 2007 at Brean Leisure Park. Former members and friends will be gathering to celebrate the occasion and tickets are now available from Martin Hall on 01278 786370.

The news comes as Burnham Lions handed over a cheque for £1,400 to Children’s Hospice South West on Monday (October 9th).

The cheque was presented by the Lions’ last President John Hodgson and Mr Hall to Louise Turner from Charlton Farm Children’s Hospice in Wraxhall, pictured right.

John was responsible for organising a sponsored walk in the Quantocks which raised the charity funds.

The Quantock Walk has been organised by John on an annual basis since it first started in September 1995. “John got the idea after he was invited to walk the Malverns to raise money for charity, and on completion he thought how great it would be to organise a walk in the Quantock Hills to raise money for Children’s Hospice South West. Since the 10km walk first started, over £25,000 has been raised for the Children’s Hospice,” said spokeswoman Pippa Gore.


Under the guidance of Bridgwater Lions, Burnham-On-Sea Lions was quickly off to a fine start when raffles for a new Ford Fiesta in 1977 and a new Mini the following year put the group on a sound financial footing.

In its first year, the club was given a static caravan by the Charlie Chester organisation, modified for use by people with physical disabilities. One of the members sited the caravan at Brean and for the next 15 years the Lions provided a most welcome holiday venue for disabled people from all over the country.

Burnham Lions also set up the North Sedgemoor Opportunity Playgroup, led by the wife of one of the club’s members. The group enabled children with learning difficulties to go on to mainstream schools and many others to have a better start in life. Three members of Burnham Lions received their International President’s Year of the Child Award for their work with the playgroup.

The club has been actively involved in the Burnham Carnival and for several years has been responsible for organising the collection on carnival night, counting and banking the money, and distributing some of it to deserving local causes.

When the appeal for money to build the first children’s hospice in the south-west was launched, Burnham Lions undertook to donate at least £1,000 every year to Children’s Hospice South West. The club has always honoured this commitment and most years the donation has been well over £1,000 thanks largely to the efforts of the walkers who enjoy the Lions annual sponsored walk on the Quantocks.

Whether it is trimming an elderly person’s hedge, reading to a blind person, running Diabetes screening clinics, or even distributing ‘messages in a bottle’, the club continues to live by its motto “we serve”.

Membership is open to all and anyone who wishes to learn more should contact Membership Officer John Hodgson on 01278 782527.

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