With this year’s Bed Race still fresh in the memory, there comes news of the other side of the work done by the Knaresborough Lions: using funds raised to support the local community. The Lions have just announced the recipients of their 2017 Centennial Community Fund.
Some 13 organisations in Knaresborough, Nidderdale and surrounding areas have been awarded grants of up to £1,000 each under the scheme. These grants will help with community initiatives ranging from fencing in Jacob Smith Park to outings for young carers.
President of the Knaresborough Lions, Martin Brock, said: This Centennial Fund supplanted our usual community fund. This is because 2017 is the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Lions Clubs International. A range of centennial projects have been launched by Lions around the world, and the Centennial Fund in Knaresborough is our club’s way of celebrating this anniversary.
We launched the Centennial Fund in January and reviewed all the applications during May. Although we have not been able to support every application, we are delighted that we have been able to contribute to so many community needs.
In some cases the grant forms a contribution to a large project for which further funding is being raised from other sources. In this category are a new centre for the Badger Hill Residents’ Association, fencing to protect the pond in Jacob Smith Park, and the restoration of the 130-year-old Jubilee Fountain in Knaresborough.
Various community groups which provide services to local people received donations to help them continue their valuable work. Awards were made to Friends of the Library in Knaresborough (FOLK), which organises the extensive volunteer programme at Knaresborough Library, and to Dancing for Well-Being to fund creative movement taster sessions for people with mobility or balance problems.
Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre, which supports people with sight loss and other disabilities and contributes so much to community life in Knaresborough, were given funds to buy a professional food processor as part of their kitchen refurbishments, while Harrogate and Ripon Voluntary Service’s Easier Living Project (HELP) received a contribution towards a replacement vehicle. The Young Carers’ Resource and the Harrogate and Craven Young Carers group were each awarded funds to help provide day trips to remember for young carers, for whom it can often be so difficult to get some space to be themselves and to have fun.
On the theme of life-saving and first aid, donations were given to the Knaresborough First Responders to buy child manikins for resuscitation training, and to Restart Yorkshire for two training defibrillators.
An award was made to St Cuthbert’s Primary School to support an after-school flower planting project as part of Pateley in Bloom. And finally, funds to buy new furnishings and kitchen equipment were given to Knaresborough Cricket Club, which makes its facilities available for use by other community groups and supports the community in other ways such as organising the annual duck race to raise money for good causes.
Martin Brock, said: The Lions Centennial Fund, like the other community funds that preceded it, is designed to support formally constituted groups but it doesn’t cut across what the Lions do for individuals, families, the elderly, children and many others in need in our area.
We also support national and international appeals through Lions Clubs International, but our rule is that a minimum of 80 per cent of what we raise should stay in the local area.
Our doors are always open and we welcome contact from people in our area who would like to ask for our support.
Knaresborough Lions Club was formed in 1987 and consists entirely of volunteers. It raises funds through organising community activities such as the Great Knaresborough Bed Race, Santa’s sleigh visits to homes in December, and the feva Lions Beer Festival – this year on 11th-13th August, at Knaresborough House. The club is open to anyone in the local area who would like to join.
More information is available on www.knaresborough.co.uk/lions-club