Lions Clubs’ £160k boost for local air ambulances


Air ambulances across the British Isles will receive vital equipment in the battle against COVID-19 – thanks to generous £160,000 grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation. President of the Lions Club of St. Austell Tony Pickup says: “We know that air ambulance charities have been busier than ever during the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve faced considerable extra – unbudgeted – day to day costs – at the same time as lockdown has affected fund-raising. Now, thanks to an emergency COVID-19 relief grant from the Lions Clubs International Foundation in the US, we can provide immediate support for this emergency service that touches lives in all our local communities.”

Working with Air Ambulances UK, Lions Clubs compiled a list of equipment and supplies needed by individual air ambulance charities – totalling £161,468. Cornwall Air Ambulance will receive a grant of £4560 to enable the purchase of two UV Decontamination Chambers. Local Lions have continued to support their communities facing difficulties due to COVID-19. This latest boost for air ambulance charities comes on top of £140,000 awarded in grants to foodbanks and other causes nominated by Lions clubs across the British Isles.

As well as their ‘day job’ - responding to accidents, traumatic incidents and medical emergencies - air ambulances are supporting the COVID-19 response to help reduce the huge burden on the NHS and other public services. The equipment and supplies they requested, which has been funded by the Lions Clubs International Foundation grant, includes isolation capsules and decontamination units, separation screens, PPE, ventilators, respirators and hoods, a thermal screening camera and monitoring system, compression devices, fluid warmers, an ultrasound cardiac probe, and mobile connectivity devices.

Heather Benjamin, Chair of Air Ambulances, UK said: “The donation of equipment and supplies by Lions helps air ambulance charities to support the COVID-19 response and their communities in these extraordinary times and beyond.”

Air Ambulances UK is the national organisation representing, supporting and advocating the lifesaving work of the UK’s 21 air ambulance charities and wider air ambulance sector. Collectively, these air ambulance charities are dispatched to 70 missions a day, equating to 25,000 missions a year. The 20 air ambulance charities based in the British Isles operate 38 helicopters and critical care cars. Air Ambulance charities receive no day-to-day government funding and are reliant on the generosity of local communities to deliver their lifesaving services. Their funding models vary but they typically have a diversified income portfolio incorporating public fundraising, trusts and grants, retail, and lottery.

Lions Clubs International (LCI) is the largest service organisation in the world. Its 1.4 million members volunteer their time to serve local communities and help good causes in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. There are 12,000 members in 615 Lions Clubs across the British Isles, which raised over £9 million in 2019 to help those in need.

For more information, please contact: Lions Clubs International British Isles, Mandy Broadbent ( or call: 01204 435340) for details of the equipment and supplies funded by Lions for local air ambulance charities.



Lion Ray George gave an interesting, informative and amusing talk to members and partners on his 6 month deployment to Ascension Island, whilst serving in the RAF.

He is pictured being thanked by the President of the Lions Club of St. Austell Michael Collins.

The Lions Club of St. Austell welcomed three volunteer ‘listeners’ from their Samaritans branch in Truro, Suzy Gilchrist, Tom Hotton and Annie Reynolds (pictured below), who gave a most interesting and informative talk on their valuable work. There are 100 volunteer ‘listeners’, plus other support staff based at Truro. As might be expected, the largest number of Samaritans branches are in Central London, with the smallest in Orkney, with 13 ‘listeners’. Nationally, a call to the Samaritans is received every 6 seconds, and a call every 52 seconds from a person actually considering ending their own life. 5.7 million contacts were made nationally in 2016, with 53 thousand in Cornwall alone. Contacts are not just by telephone, but also by email, texts and SMS.                                                                  

The suicide rate in Cornwall is higher regionally than many other areas; approximately 60 per year, possibly influenced by isolation and low wages.

In the Samaritans organisation, all staff are unpaid volunteers and have to undergo rigorous training. Listeners must always be completely trusted by callers, and never know any details of the caller.

The talk was followed by a question and answer session, including a discussion of the increasing problem of bullying suffered by young people on social media, and also in care homes.

The Samaritans are very willing to visit any organisations who would like to know more, and may be contacted for this purpose on 01872 222321, and of course the main Samaritans Freephone 24 hour Help line is 116 123.

Lion Alan Moore presented a donation, and thanked our Samaritans guests for an excellent talk, and for being there for all of us.


In photo, left to right

Samaritans volunteer Annie ReynoldsSamaritans volunteer Tom Hotton,  Lions Club of St. Austell President Michael Collins and Samaritans volunteer Suzy Gilchrist.







The Lions Club of St. Austell have presented a cheque for £300 to the Sea Cadets of St. Austell, and Lions President Guy Wardle warmly thanked them for their help in manning the Club’s Christmas Sleigh last December.

Pictured left to right, at Back: CPO Greet, Cdt Karsberg, PO Cdt Winnett, Leading Cdt Stephen, Ord Cdt Childs, Cdt Fildes, Leading Cdt Truscott, APO Winnett Middle Row: Cdt Baker, Cdt Spencer, Cdt Newman-Reed, Lions Club of St. Austell President Guy Wardle, LT Nash, Cdt Trembath, Ord Cdt Winnett Front Row: Junior Cdt Drinkwater, Junior Cdt Swire, Junior Cdt Williams, Junior Cdt Pinkston, Junior Cdt Churcher, Junior Cdt Newpont, Junior Cdt Cook, Junior Cdt Payton, Junior Cdt  Baker


The Club presented cheques to representatives from two local charities at a recent Lions dinner meeting, at which they both gave an interesting and informative talk about their activities.  A cheque for £600 was was presented to Aliza Dayton for Headway Cornwall, the brain injury association, and another, also for £600, to Mike Bearcroft, Trustee of Penhaligon’s Friends, helping bereaved children and young people in Cornwall.

The money raised was from the proceeds of the Lions Club of St. Austell’s Silent Auction, thanks to the generosity of local businesses and individuals.


The Club welcomes new members and anyone interested in becoming a member should contact Lion Bill Roberts through our website at:











 President Guy Wardle, Aliza Dayton, Fund Raiser for  Headway Cornwall,

and Silent Auction Organiser Lion Geoff Kaye



President Guy Wardle, Mike Bearcroft, Trustee of Penhaligon’s Friends,

and Silent Auction Organiser Lion Geoff Kaye


On Saturday 23rd May 2015 the Lions Club of St Austell joined with the Boxing Club of St Austell to stage an evening of amateur boxing at the Polkyth Leisure Centre, St Austell, with boxers coming from as far afield as Birmingham and Bournemouth.  A demonstration of boxing skills opened the evening staged by the Elite Team of the St Austell Boxing Club, followed by 9 competitive bouts of boxing.

The dance team ‘For Funk Sake’ provided an energetic halftime performance.  St. Austell Lions Vice President Guy Wardle presented trophies to all boxers taking part.

The Lions would like to thank the management team at Tempus Leisure for allowing use of the venue, and all those who supported the event. The evening raised £480 to benefit the youth activities of the St Austell Boxing Club and Lions Charitable activities.



Trophies for the evening                                      Lion Vice President does the presentations

The Arena at Polkyth Recreation Centre


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