Partner charities 2019-2020

This year we have selected 2 worthy charities to partner our Festive Walk and Fun Run fundraising, whilst we retain half of all proceeds for Lions locally determined causes:

Solihull Hospital Charity is one of four hospitals within the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust. 

The hospital charity exists to support the patients and staff within the hospital by providing items that are over and above those that the NHS can provide.  Be it support for cutting edge medical equipment, research, refurbishment of existing buildings to provide a more comfortable space for patients during their stay or activities for patients with dementia.  With your help and with the help of the Knowle and Dorridge Lions we can raise funds that directly benefit locals in the area. 

All the money raised from the events held by the Knowle and Dorridge Lions will be donated to Solihull Hospital Charity will be spent on services that enhance the stay of both our younger patients by way of the transformation of the Children’s Outpatients area and also towards providing an Older Persons Activities Coordinator. 

We would like to thank you in advance for your support of these events and in turn supporting Solihull Hospital Charity.

For more details visit their website


CLIC Sargent – Young Lives vs Cancer are the UK’s leading charity for children and young people (under the age of 25) with cancer. We provide emotional, practical and financial support to children, young people and their families to try and limit the damage that cancer causes, outside of to their health. CLIC Sargent currently supports 413 children, young people and their families from across the West Midlands at our bases at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Birmingham Children’s Hospital. Across the Midlands, our incredible team of social workers, play specialists and nurse educators are on hand to do everything from talking to schools, employers and mortgage providers to make sure families are in the best position possible, to providing counselling and financial support and advice. On average the cost of living for a family goes up by £600 per month when a child is diagnosed with cancer, one way CLIC Sargent supports is by providing diagnosis, essentials and hardship grants to try and provide some stability when families are struggling. Last year the CLIC Sargent support team based in Birmingham enabled 440 grants for families in the West Midlands, totalling £88,140 to help ease the financial burden on families dealing with childhood cancer in our community.

For more details visit their website

At the same time we shall retain 50% of the net proceeds for Lions locally determined causes. For examples please click

If you know of a local cause you believe worthy of our fundraising no matter what size or location please get in touch

Posted in Charities, News, Where the money goes

Where the money went 2018/19

Here are just some of the disbursements over the last 12 months:

Partner charities:

  • The UK Sepsis Trust                                       £11,951
  • SoLO – Solihull Life Opportunities                  £11,901


  • Pensioner Outing
  • Older Folks Tea Party
  • Presentation Evening
  • Christmas distribution
  • Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal


 Lions International causes:

  • Indonesia appeal
  • Mozambique appeal
  • Various other District projects
  • Youth Award


Community Services

  • Youth Travel Bursary & young people
  • Arden Academy (Prince William Award)
  • Arden Academy (Schitsdrift Grant)
  • Berrow Homes – Kitchen
  • Knowle Society (Knot Garden)
  • ReCOM Ltd
  • Knowle Royal British Legion
  • Fast Aid
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Sparkbrook Foodbank
  • Marie Curie Men’s Shed (Zone project)
  • Niemann-Pick
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Garden project
  • Partner Charities
  • Meningitis NOW                                                                


  Total                                                                        £51,990

The donations to partner charities include funds raised at the 14th Heart of England Bike Ride on 8th July 2019

The other payments were made from funds raised in the year ended 30th June 2018.

A further £23,427 has been set aside for future locally determined donations

If you wish to nominate a local worthy cause please get in touch

Posted in Charities, News, Where the money goes

Jack’s year in Guyana; An Adventure into The Unknown

On the 23rd of August 2018 I embarked on a journey that would take me across the world to Guyana (a country I knew little idea about), to volunteer as a teacher (an occupation I had little experience in) and live independently for the first time. This was a huge leap of faith, but one year on I’m home again, having learnt a huge amount about myself, the people I was living with and the world.

I moved to Sand Creek, South Central, Region #9, Guyana. A village positioned in between the expansive savannah and the impressive jungles. A place impacted by colonialism and more obviously, by Christianity. My school, Sand Creek Secondary School, was one of 4 schools in the region and served the surrounding villages. There were 250 students from years 7 to 11, with students in year 11 sitting their CXC’s (GCSE equivalent). In terms of their teaching staff, there were about 20 teachers, but quantity is pushed above quality. Students who failed 1/more of their CXC’s are now teachers in the same subjects. Therefore, with both GCSE’s and A Levels I was more qualified than most, that’s not to say it was easy at all. The school environment is very much different, corporal punishment is still legal and very much used (and more commonly threatened). Teachers commonly have very little patience and teaching methods tend to include reading from a textbook for students to copy, or writing on the chalkboard, again for students to copy. So, the idea for me was to show the students how to enjoy school and learn whilst having fun.

In terms of communication, there is a village radio to contact nearby villages. The radio operates on solar and was patchy at best, the WiFi situation was similar. The school had free, government provided WiFi, although it only worked when the sun was shining and even then ‘worked’ is generous. So, communication with family was done via WhatsApp, with phone calls a handful of times throughout the year.

As a teacher, I was involved in teaching students in year 7, 9 and 10 maths, science and geography. Maths and science were the ‘easy’ subjects as they were common in the school with resources and teachers to ask for help. On the other hand, geography was brand new, introduced for the first time by yours truly. The school had 4 CXC textbooks as well as some British A level resources but no curriculum or guide for teaching it. So, I wrote my own. I found this hugely enjoyable as I choose subjects that gave the students a view of the world around them, their impacts on it and how it’s changing (areas that I am passionate about).

A memorable moment for me was whilst teaching students about the world’s continents, a student stopped me to ask “Sir, how do you know all of this information?”. These students are disconnected from what is going on around the world and for me to be able to stand in front of them and answer all their questions about the animals that live in Europe, what the temperatures are like in Australia or even the languages spoken across the Americas boggles their minds. I found all my teaching hugely rewarding, especially with the younger students who would sometimes be the sunshine in your day, and other days they would be the hardest class. They ended up teaching me a lot about patience and perseverance (it’s not just the students that learn in school). For science, I taught at year 9 level and in Guyana they have a national exam at this level. I was responsible for coaching 42 students through coursework and how to answer the exam questions. A challenging experience when some students don’t want to help themselves, but together we got through it and I’m just as nervous for the results as they are.

At the end of a year of teaching, both my students and I had been on a journey. From my first day teaching to my last and from their first day in secondary school and still many more to go. My time there was short at only a year, but I would hope to have left a lasting memory with my students, of perseverance, of learning from mistakes, and of having fun and working hard.

Although teaching was a large part of my year, I was also living amongst an indigenous Amerindian community. A community below the poverty line, but regardless get on and live their lives. They work on their farms to provide vegetables and provisions for their community. They train as cowboys to herd their horses and cattle in order to earn some money. This is a place where laziness isn’t allowed, as it doesn’t put food on the table. That is the day to day struggle, what will we eat today? Where will it come from? Through their struggle they are the most generous and kind people I have known. Everyone knows everyone, says hello to everyone and helps when they’re in need.

To exemplify generosity, I will tell a little story. There was a time that I visited my friend’s house, they are a family of about 12. I stayed for a while and chatted and played with their children. When I get up to leave, they hand me half a bunch of bananas. Half of their last bunch. They don’t know when they will next get fruit, fruit that is their breakfast and snack. If I was to politely refuse, they would be offended, they are offering, and I must accept. Can you imagine your friend turning around and offering you a similar proportion of their monthly salary?

I have to say, my experiences in Guyana have had a profound impact on me. I have jumped into the deep end of the deepest pool I know and not drowned but thrived. I made lifelong friends, I helped shape the futures of my students and I gained memories that will never fade.

Finally I would like to extend a huge thank you to the Knowle and Dorridge Lions, without their invaluable support through the Youth Travel Bursary Programme I am not sure how I would have raised all my funds (£6,200 in total!). I hope that they continue to offer this amazing support to young people who are hoping to embark on the journey of a lifetime. To any young people reading this, I can whole heartedly recommend travelling out of your comfort zone, not just as a tourist, but live in a new, exciting and diverse place.

Jack Bailey – August 2019

Posted in News, Youth Travel Bursary

Aston Hall visit

Lions, partners and friends were warned to look out for Unicorns, secret doors, cannon balls and maybe a ghost or two when they visited Aston Hall in late August. Fortunately no ghosts were spotted but we did experience the splendour of one of the last great house built in the Jacobean style. Our experience was completed by a fine lunch in the nearby Aston Tavern.

Posted in Membership, News


This month we welcomed a new member to our Club. Known to many of us through his support of our Festive Walk for several years. Tony Gee has decided to join us.

Tony who had known his neighbour Past President Bob Thurtle for over 30 years, was inducted by Deputy President Jeff Potts at our August meeting

We all welcomed Tony and hope he will enjoy his times with us.

You don’t need to live close to a Lion to want to join us, we will welcome you wherever you live. Please peruse this website and get in touch today

Posted in Membership, News

Pétanque Evening

Was it the wine or the trophy that brought forth the smiles from winning our annual Pétanque competition held at Blossomfield Sports Club in late July?

Our new President Richard Buckley showed off his leadership skills by having the highest score followed by his wife Jen who came a very close second.

Posted in Membership, News

A tall story

The perfect combination of our caring residents coupled with great support from our three local opticians (Alan Tyler, Bannisters & Vision Express) resulted in 750 pairs of specs being sent to our sister Lions Club in Chichester who after sorting them distribute them over the world to where they can do most good.

Posted in News, Spectacle Recycling

Another great Lions Bike Ride

Another great bike ride organised by Knowle and Dorridge Lions saw nearly 640 cyclists set off from Packwood House on Sunday 14 July to wind their ways around the lanes of Warwickshire all in aid of charity.

Riders had a choice of 20, 30 or 100 kms with the dry and not too hot weather encouraging many to tackle the longer routes this year

“We were delighted to welcome so many riders again for the Heart of England Bike Ride on Sunday 14 July”, said organiser Lion Paul Wheatley. “Many riders helped by riding in to the start at Packwood House, avoiding major parking issues. We raised close to £12,000 thanks to the generosity of cyclists and sponsors alike. As well as thanking all the riders and helpers I now have to thank the generous sponsors who enabled the Lions to tell riders that all their entry fees will go to the charity partners – SoLO Life Opportunities, Sepsis Trust UK and locally determined causes”

Photos courtesy of

If you missed out this year the Lions are already planning next July’s ride. Anyone who would like to help organise the day should contact Paul via now

Posted in Heart of England Bike Ride, News

Lions gain Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

The 7 Lions Clubs in Solihull have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, for supporting the Solihull and wider community with service and financial support.

Knowle and Dorridge Club are proud to be one of the strongest clubs in the Solihull area fundraising for charities through their Knowle Fun Run, Heart of England Bike Ride and Festive Walk. Each year they fund two youth travel bursaries, a 3 coach trip and tea party for the elderly as well as making many grants for local causes. The most recent being a joint project with the other Solihull clubs to fund a Man Shed at Solihull Marie Curie Hospice, and more locally the provision of 2 community seats in the High Street in Knowle and outside Dorridge Station.

On hearing of the Award Lion Bob Thurtle, Knowle & Dorridge Lions President for 2018-9 said ‘As far as our Club is concerned this is an award for all our members but equally for all the volunteers who help us put on our community fundraising events. I’ve said it before but I need to emphasise we do need residents to come forward to help with our future programme. Please call us on 08458 335894 or email today to express an interest

The 7 local Lions Clubs in Solihull (Balsall Common, Castle Bromwich, Knowle & Dorridge, Marston Green, Birmingham Exhibition, Shirley, Solihull) are one of 281 charities, social enterprises and voluntary groups to receive the prestigious award this year. The number of nominations and awards has increased year on year since the awards were introduced in 2002, showing that the voluntary sector is thriving and full of innovative ideas to make life better for those around them.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.  Winners are announced each year on 2 June – the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse.  They include volunteers helping people overcome mental health problems through sport, volunteers using caravans as mobile cafe/information centres in geographically remote locations and another group mentoring children who have a parent in prison.


Posted in News

Longest Urban Bus Route in Europe

Fully equipped with maps and a fully illustrated electronic guide Lions, partners and volunteers boarded the 11A bus to journey the 27 miles around Birmingham.

Being a social event the intrepid explorers were obliged to stop off for mid-morning coffee and bacon rolls before a long and enjoyable lunch in the Station Pub in Kings Heath.

Posted in Membership, News


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