Town's Lions Club to close after 42 years service

Downham Market Lions transferring used spectacles to Chichester Lions for recycling to those who need them.

Downham Market Lions transferring used pairs of glasses to Chichester Lions for recycling to those who need them. Picture: Downham Market Lions Club - Credit:  Downham Market Lions Club

A Norfolk Lions Club has announced it will be closing at the end of the month after 42 years as a result of reduced membership and fundraising.

Downham Market Lions Club made the decision to close the group after a reduced and ageing membership of six struggled to continue to raise funds to "fulfil their objective of helping those less fortunate than themselves".

Previous fundraising Hogroast event at Wimbotsham Bike Rally.

Previous fundraising Hogroast event at Wimbotsham Bike Rally. Picture: Downham Market Lions Club - Credit: Downham Market Lions Club

The club, which was formed in 1977 and chartered on March 10, 1978, was set up to help the local community by providing financial and practical support to those in need.

Sept 2019 Presentation of Washing Machine to Swan Centre Youth Project.

Sept 2019 presentation of washing machine to the Swan Centre Youth Project in Downham Market. Picture: Downham Market Lions Club - Credit: Downham Market Lions Club

Club president John Fox said over the years many activities had taken place to serve and support causes in the area, including a fundraising tandem ride to Downham Market's twin town of Civray, in France, another cycle ride on a vintage 'boneshaker' to King’s Lynn and organising and coordinating the Christmas Lights Switch-on and Santa in his Grotto for several years.

Downham Lions have raised £2,000 to buy a defibrilator for the town which will be kept at the Castle

Downham Lions have raised £2,000 to buy a defibrilator for the town which will be kept at the Castle Hotel. With the new device is Robbie Bywater. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Mr Fox added that it was difficult to know how much has been raised over the years but said the club has used around £65,000 to help those in need over the past 12 years.

Feb 2020 Lions and Lionesses present dictionaries to Hillcrest Primary School.

Feb 2020 Lions and Lionesses present dictionaries to Hillcrest Primary School. Picture: Downham Market Lions - Credit: Downham Market Lions


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He said: "The members would all agree that little is more heart-warming than to be able to take an elderly couple on a holiday, to present a mobility aid to a disabled child in need or to donate equipment to a needy cause.

"The years have seen many such events and often not a dry eye around.

Children in Need Rickshaw Ride 2016.

Children in Need Rickshaw Ride 2016. Picture: Downham Market Lions Club - Credit: Downham Market Lions Club

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"There have also been times, such as providing the fire service with a thermal imaging camera or supplying the first publicly available defibrillator to the people of Downham Market, when we know that lives will be saved as a result of the fundraising and donations.

Downham Market Lions certificate of appreciation for support Picture: Downham Lions

Downham Market Lions certificate of appreciation for support Picture: Downham Lions - Credit: Archant

"All these and many more ways of helping have been made possible by the ongoing support of the local businesses and members of the public with their support of events and donations through the likes of bucket collections.

"The Lions Club members thank everyone for their support and generosity over the years. Also a special thanks goes to those who have been supporters of the Lions Draw Club taking part in the monthly draws."

Autumn Quiz 2019 Winners - Royal Osteoprorsis Society in King's Lynn.

Autumn Quiz 2019 Winners - Royal Osteoprorsis Society in King's Lynn. Picture: Downham Market Lions Club - Credit: Downham Market Lions Club

Mr Fox is encouraging people to support other Lions Clubs offering their services in the other places.

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