Another Magnificent Year

Last night we held our annual presentation evening:


Knowle and Dorridge Lions Club celebrated yet another successful year in September when the club held its annual presentation evening at the Greswolde Hotel in Knowle.

Welcoming over 60 guests and sponsors Past President Barry Dale announced that the club had again raised over £75,000 in total for charity over the past 12 months, primarily through it’s Knowle Fun Run, Festive Walk and Bike Ride. He thanked all the sponsors saying, ‘It’s great for our club of 25 volunteer Lions to celebrate such success again, but without the help from companies like yourselves our events would never realise so much for charity.’ He also emphasised how his Club needed new members if it is going to sustain this tremendous fundraising and community support in the years ahead.

He then introduced Harriet May, winner of this year’s Lions Youth Travel Bursary, who gave an excellent presentation having spent 4 weeks in Shanghai teaching pupils English and Maths.

Next Barry made the first cheque presentation of the evening. This July’s Heart of England Bike Ride had raised almost £18,000 for charity and British Heart Foundation fundraising manager Donna Stokes took home a cheque for £14,258 for their share. Donna said ‘This is the fourth year BHF has been the beneficiary of the Bike Ride and we are really grateful to Knowle and Dorridge Lions for all the hard work they put in organising the event.  The money raised goes to our Mending Broken Hearts Appeal which aims to fund research into preventing heart failure and giving hope to thousands of heart patients. We are looking forward to next July’s Ride from Packwood NT House and hope it will be even more successful than ever.’

New Community Service Chairman Eddie Matthews explained that the Club retain 30% of raised funds to be spent on locally determined causes. During the year his committee had spent and made donations of over £20,000, including the annual successful coach trip, where last year 2 coachloads of elderly residents had travelled to Weston Super Mare, a tea party for 100 older residents and the youth travel bursary. The many local and some not so local organisations who had been supported were briefly described. A full list of organisations supported this year and how to nominate a worthy cause can be found at

After a break Barry introduced the 8 Arden students who successfully competed to become the second year of a partnership between K&D Lions, Arden Academy and a rural school in Schitsdrift, near Ladysmith, South Africa. The students gave an illustrated presentation on how they raised over £16,000 to fund their 6 week trip teaching Maths, English, IT and Music to the children of poor local Zulu families, and leaving a valuable legacy – a multi-purpose climbing frame for the children to play on. The Lions had previously helped the school having donated computers, printers and internet satellite connections over the last few years to give the children access to modern technology and help them develop new skills.

Next Barry presented cheques totalling £32,947 to the 3 nominated charities – Arthritis Research UK, Knowle Football Club, Solihull Young Carers who in turn thanked the Lions for their tremendous achievements and the sponsors for their support.

Eddie then introduced the charities the Lions are nominating as beneficiaries for their 40th year; the forthcoming Lions Festive Walk on Monday 28 December and Knowle Fun Run on Sunday 15 May 2016 – Solihull Bereavement Counselling Service, Children’s Liver Disease Foundation and the Lily Mae Foundation who told everyone about why the monies to be raised will make such a difference to their charities.

Anyone interested in joining the Lions should contact this year’s President Bob Thurtle on 08458 335894 or visit for more details. Any charities wishing to be considered for funding by the Lions should contact them by email on

Past President Barry Dale with charity fundraisers:

  • Donna Stokes, British Heart Foundation;
  • Emma Macdonald, Arthritis Research UK;
  • Tracy Lake, Knowle Football Club; and
  • Young Carers Cerys & Lewys with Barry Noy, Solihull Young Carers