Sunday, September 19, 2021 - 17:10

After so many months of only being able to meet on Zoom, Reepham Lions has returned to St Michael’s for its meetings and is continuing to hold monthly quizzes, but now face to face.

It is lovely to be back, and I hope this finds you all well and enjoying the opportunity to get out and about more.

Earlier in the year a request was received to fund a small, above-ground swimming pool for a young local girl who has cerebral palsy, hypermobility issues and epilepsy.

Photo: Liz Howes

Flissy (pictured above) experiences pain when moving but this is relieved when she is in water. In July, she was delighted to receive her Lions-funded pool and has spent many happy hours enjoying the freedom of easier movement.

Moving to stage four of the government’s roadmap on 19 July meant that the Norfolk Day celebrations could go ahead this year.

The Lions spearheaded Reepham’s celebrations in collaboration with the Bircham Centre. It proved to be a great success giving the local community, both young and old, the opportunity to meet up again in a lovely setting as well as enjoying games and refreshments.

In August the Lions ran a food-oriented tombola at the Reepham Food Festival. Despite the torrential rain at the start of the day, the sun came out –– and so did the local community.

The tombola proved to be popular and the small number of items remaining have been donated to the North Norfolk (previously Cromer) Foodbank.

Reepham Lions also ran a summer raffle with prizes donated by private individuals, as well as a voucher for a weekend away donated by the Original Cottage Company and a voucher from Woodgate Nursery, Aylsham.

Our thanks go to all of those who donated and to you, the community, who kindly supported us. Without your support the club could not continue to thrive.

September sees the start of the new football season and the local women’s football club, Cawston Red Rose FC, will be sporting their new shirts sponsored by Reepham Lions.

The Lions Club is now in the early stages of organising the first Reepham Christmas Tree Festival. Watch this space for updates on this event.

As a result of your continuing generosity, Reepham Lions is now in the fortunate position to be able to invite funding applications.

If you know of any local organisation or person you think would benefit from a donation, please ask them to make contact by email.

We are continuing to collect old spectacles and hearing aids, and these can be left in the collection boxes at the Bircham Centre and The Crown.

Why not come along to one of our monthly meetings to meet us, hear about the club and our plans for the future?

There is absolutely no commitment on your part. Look upon it as putting your toe in the water.

We hope to see you at our next meeting in St Michael’s on Thursday 7 October. Members start to arrive around 7 pm, have a catch up over a cuppa and biscuit and the main meeting starts at 7.30 pm.

Liz Howes

Saturday, July 17, 2021 - 16:04

Reepham Lions has recently been able to extend the equipment range of Aylsham Community Gym (ACG) by donating money to purchase resistance bands, which are now being used by members in various classes as well as individually.

Just prior to the first Covid lockdown in March last year, ACG moved from the Drill Hall across the road to the County Building, next to the fire station, in Cawston Road, Aylsham.

ACG prides itself in being “The Friendly Gym”, where members of the local community aged 13 years upwards can improve and/or maintain their fitness as well as meet others in a positive environment.

The gym boasts a team of three fully qualified instructors as well as a wide range of equipment, including cross trainers, treadmills and exercise bikes.

The past 18 months have been challenging for us all, both mentally and physically, and ACG provides the opportunity to get back into the routine of maintaining our fitness levels or improving them.

The instructors are there to help and will devise bespoke training plans, support local GP surgeries with exercise referral schemes and support specialist needs such as physiotherapy.

Above: Annette Marsh, fitness professional and chair, Aylsham Community Gym. Below: Members of the Aylsham Community Gym’s Keep Fit and Move class led by fitness instructor Beck Maun (right). Photos: Reepham Lions

With clubs and charities starting to open again, funds may be limited. If you know of any local organisations that would benefit from funding from Reepham Lions, please contact Liz Howes by email.

Meanwhile, thanks for your donations of spectacles and hearing aids – our latest batch has now been sorted and despatched to Chichester Lions Club.

To boost our depleted funds, Reepham Lions Club is holding a summer raffle. Tickets will be sold before the draw, which will take place at the Kings Arms on Sunday 22 August as part of the Reepham Food Festival.

Reepham Lions continues to work with the local community, and we shall be resuming our monthly face-to-face meetings on Thursday 5 August (we have been holding Zoom meetings and quizzes during lockdown).

The club meetings take place on the first Thursday of the month in St Michael’s. Members begin to arrive just after 7 pm for a cuppa and a catch up before the meeting starts at 7.30 pm.

We are a friendly lot, so please come along to meet us, hear about the club and what our plans are for the future.

There is absolutely no commitment on your part: look upon it as “putting your toe in the water”. Hope to see you then.

Liz Howes, Reepham Lions

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - 18:37

As I write this, the sun is shining, there is a clear blue sky and three weeks have already passed since the start of the roadmap out of lockdown.

I hope you’ve all been able to enjoy getting out and about more and meeting up with family and friends.

As soon as they could, the girls of Cawston Red Rose FC were out training in preparation for their return to football.

They were so pleased to be able to meet up again and enjoy the opportunity to play the game they love.

Also at the training were three members of Reepham Lions, who had come along to present the girls with new shirts that the Lions club has sponsored – this was a total surprise.

The girls were delighted to have new kit and, as there is a possibility that they will be allowed to play in a local mini-league before the end of the current season, they are looking forward to the opportunity to wear their new shirts.

Pictured above: The girls of Red Rose FC with lead coach Paul Willmott. Photo: submitted

As you’ll recall from my previous article, Reepham Lions is now part of the Broadland Community at Heart Lottery.

Since it started on 27 February, the club has been lucky enough to have two winners, each winning three extra tickets, as well as raising funds to boost our coffers.

If you would like to buy a ticket to support us, please click HERE

A draw takes place every Saturday evening at 8 pm. As the saying goes “every little bit helps”.

The Bircham Centre is now open and the bin for used/old spectacles is in the entrance hall. Please put any old spectacles you have in there ready for collection.

Lions club members are hoping to resume face-to-face meetings later in the year. Information about this will be published in due course.

Liz Howes

Friday, February 26, 2021 - 10:02

Thank you to all the customers of the Reepham Co-op who have made donations to Reepham Lions since the store opened in mid-November and to the Co-operative for agreeing to our having collection buckets in store.

It is wonderful that people are still managing to find a bit to help others in these difficult times.

A grand total of £150.01 has been collected and the Lions Club is grateful for every penny.

As you will be aware, our opportunities to fundraise dried up overnight last March. The monies raised will help us restart our quest to continue to support local community groups.

In January, Broadland District Council launched the Broadland Community at Heart Lottery, which was created to support local good causes across the district: Reepham Lions applied and has been accepted.

There will be a weekly draw with a jackpot of £25,000 for a matching sequence of six numbers; other prizes are £2,000, £250, £25 or three free tickets.

Tickets cost £1 and purchasers can choose where they want their money to go: 50% of ticket sales will go the person’s nominated good cause and 10% will go into a community fund run by Broadland to benefit local good causes; the remaining 40% will go towards prize money.

If you would like to buy a ticket to support us, please follow this link. Go to “Play the Lottery” and scroll down to find Reepham Lions. The first draw is on 27 February.

The government is currently planning that community centres such as the Bircham Centre will re-open on 12 April.

If, like me, you’re having yet another sort out, please remember that if you come across any old spectacles you will soon be able to put them in our collection bin in the Bircham Centre. Please hold on to them and bring them along when the centre re-opens.

During lockdown, the club has continued to meet over Zoom as well as holding a monthly quiz. We hope to soon be back to meeting up face to face.

Perhaps you’d like to come along and see what we do and what our plans are for the future? I will keep you updated when things start to return to the new “normal”.

Liz Howes

Monday, December 14, 2020 - 17:41

Christmas will be different for many people this year.

When Big Ben chimed midnight for the start of 2020, none of us knew what the coming year would hold, least of all a worldwide pandemic.

Now, as we are coming to the end of 2020, vaccinations have started to roll out across the country and we are feeling more positive about 2021.

Like the majority of charities, the Lions’ fundraising opportunities came to a halt, so sadly we’ve been unable to achieve all that we’d planned for this year.

However, despite the difficulties, we have held socially-distanced spectacle sorts (thanks to the donations from the Reepham community), donated funds and food to the Cromer & District Food Bank, supported Reepham Scouts with the donation of kitchen units and formed links with Reepham Co-op, raising awareness and helping funds with donation buckets.

We have also continued to meet using Zoom as well as holding a bi-monthly quiz.

We are now planning for 2021 amid hopes that life will start to return to “normal” soon.

On behalf of members, thank you all for your continuing support of Reepham Lions and we wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2021.

We look forward to seeing you next year.

Liz Howes

Thursday, November 19, 2020 - 16:55

When I last prepared a report about Reepham Lions it was July and we had been out of Lockdown 1 for two weeks; I now find myself writing as we start the third week of Lockdown 2.

When the first lockdown was lifted, the club was unable to meet because of the numbers who could not mix safely inside, so we are continuing to hold our monthly meetings on Zoom as well as a bi-monthly quiz.

Over the past 18 months, Lion Michael Black has been liaising with Reepham Scouts to explore the possibility of the club contributing towards the refurbishment of the scout hut kitchen.

The stainless steel units purchased by the Lions were delivered in October and will be put in position when the remaining work on the hut has been completed.

Pictured above: Scout leaders Neil Sainty (left) and Mark Frary of 2nd Reepham Scouts with the kitchen units purchased by Reepham Lions.

At our November meeting the members voted to donate a further £250 to the Cromer & District Foodbank in support of its Christmas appeal.

There will be many families this year who are not looking forward to the festive season, so we are delighted to be able to help improve it for those less fortunate than ourselves.

We would not be in a position to make these donations without the generous support of the local community. On behalf of Reepham Lions, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you.

We are continuing to collect old spectacles and despatched another batch in October. With the help of Cecil Amey Opticians in Aylsham, we have another collection box in place that has already been emptied twice in six weeks.

Unfortunately, the Bircham Centre and the Crown, where our Reepham bins are located, cannot be accessed currently, so we would appreciate it if you could save any old spectacles and put them in the collection bins when life returns to “normal”.

Reepham Lions meets on the first Thursday of the month, and if you are interested in joining one of our Zoom meetings to get a further insight into the role of Lions Clubs, please contact me by email. We hope you will give us a try.

I cannot close this article without thanking all our key workers who are working tirelessly to support us: where would we be without you?

Liz Howes