The Lions motto is “WE SERVE” and we are the largest and most committed voluntary service organisation in the world. We have more than 1.35 million members in 207 countries. Lions International was founded by Melvyn Jones in Chicago in 1917. The first Lions Club in the UK was chartered in London in 1950 under the auspices of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Malton, Norton and District Lions Club was formed in 1963 by Driffield Lions.
Our 52nd President is Nick Simpson who with his wife Sandra has lived in Thorpe Bassett since the early 1980s. Nick joined Lions after many years in the erstwhile Malton Round Table including time as its Chairman during which he significantly increased the membership.
Building the membership of our own Lions Club is a key objective that Nick has set himself during his year at the helm. He is also maintaining the focus on assisting local good causes, working alongside other voluntary organisations in the area and of course guaranteeing Santa gets to meet all his local fans when the Lion’s Sleigh hits the road in the run up to Christmas.
Club members are all volunteers giving our time to run events that raise money to help those less fortunate than ourselves whilst enjoying fun and fellowship. We meet monthly to plan our fund raising and social events and to agree which of the many requests for help we receive are most worthy of support from the limited funds we have available.
People become Lions for many and varied reasons. For some it is the wish to put something back in to the community, for others it’s the desire to make a difference. Whatever your motivation for wanting to join Lions we would love to hear from you. There is no minimum time commitment required from members, but we all try our best to work our commitment to Lions around the demands of our family and work lives.
The events we run are many and varied. Our key fund raisers are the annual golf event at Sandburn and our Santa’s Sleigh which tours Malton, Norton and the surrounding villages during December. In addition our summer lunch has traditionally raised money for a nominated charity – for the last two years this has been the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
We use the money to fund the delivery of Fish and Chips at a subsidised price to people with serious mobility issues between October and April each year. We take Ryedale Special Families on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in October, travelling to Whitby and providing picnic boxes, ice cream and entertainment in our private carriage during the journey. We take up to 200 senior citizens by coach each year to The Milton Rooms where we feed them and entertain them with bingo and music hall style entertainment. And we consider individual requests for assistance based on their merits – our resources are limited so we can only support some of those who are referred to us.
But it isn’t always about giving. When Malton and Norton was hit by severe floods in 2000 we received donations from Lions Clubs around the UK and from Lions Internationally – the money going in to the appeal fund managed by the two towns to benefit those worst affected.
The weather throws everything at us when we take Santa out during December, sleet, snow, sheet ice – you name it and we’ve experienced it over the years. But it’s great seeing the expression on the childrens’ faces and there is always the hope that the next door we knock on there will be mince pies and a small tipple waiting for us!!
Delivering fish and chips between October and April to the house-bound of Malton, Norton and the villages can also be exciting at times. In 1989, on an extreme winter’s day, one of our members got 50 portions of fish and chips delivered when even the snow ploughs had ground to a halt.
(Click here to read more).