Is it better to go alone or engage with others within your community?

Like many Lions club’s Newport and Usk Vale club struggle with increasing membership and raising the profile of Lions International.  We are a small club, made up of dedicated individuals who are eager to help others locally, nationally and internationally.  However, it is apparent to everyone that our activities are sometimes limited, and we are asking the same people to support us by giving up their time and also through financial support. 

In April 2018 we were contacted by the Community First Responder Coordinator to ask for financial support to provide Community Defibrillators within our area.  At our business meeting we reflected on what could be done.  Asking ourselves how we can promote Lions whilst supporting this community activity.  We could have just given them the money, we have enough, but what benefit would our club gain from that, against the backdrop of the nearly impossible task of getting an article in the local press?

We decided to learn from our Centennial Legacy project (wild flower seeds), and engage with others, within the community.  We decided to work in partnership with a range of individuals, established community groups, organisations and churches.  Each member of our club would make a link and together we would hold events during May to raise money for the Community First Responder Defibrillator project.  Social Media would be our platform for publicity.

We were surprised at the level of interest and within a week we had a programme of events planned during May.  We have had coffee mornings being held in very different communities one in Newport and the other in Torfaen, raising over £275.  A table top sale was held in a Church Hall within a discrete community on the outskirts of the city raised over £520, A ladies choir, put on a concert on our behalf in a local Church, supported by two 15year old school boys singing a range of music from film and shows, raising over £400. A bespoke market stall was rented on two separate days to sell goods in Newport Market which raised over £70 , one of our Lions a local quizmaster in partnership with a local bar and restaurant held a curry and quiz night which raised over £200.  In total over £1800 was raised, and we reached our target in order to enhance Defibrillator provision within Newport.  Individuals donated goods to sell, made cakes, provided transport – all of which contributed to the events being community focussed.

This approach has raised the profile of Lions within several communities, the Lions club are taking the initiative and realising that as a small group their impact is limited but in partnership with others, the impact can be maximised to help not only charities, communities and the Lions Club – but everyone benefits from working together. 




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