News from Caterham, Oxted and Godstone Lions – January 2024

By Peter Drysdale

Who doesn’t like going out to meet friends when somebody else cooks the food and you’re making money for charity at the same time?! It seems over 70 people were of that mindset when Caterham, Oxted and Godstone Lions held another of their famous themed evenings. This time it was Italian, with a menu of bruschetta, lasagne, tiramisu and limoncello.

Entertainment on our Italian theme was provided by Tim Lomas, who stood in at the last moment for Nat Rhodes, who had a family emergency.

The dinner was a good opportunity for the Lions to give recognition to one of Godstone’s most stalwart volunteers, Louise Case. In addition to being a parish councillor and chairman of the Godstone Fete Committee, around 10 years ago Louise instituted, and still runs, Café Connect: a coffee morning on the first Saturday of each month, held in Godstone’s Youth Centre. Each month there is a different charity to support, stalls, a raffle and, of course coffee and cake – and there is always a goodly crowd.

The Lions presented Louise with the Bob Tester Cup, an award given annually in memory of Lion Bob who passed away many years ago, and is given to somebody who goes ‘above and beyond’ in their voluntary work – as Bob himself always did.

Collecting with Santa

The Father Christmas Float made its rounds of the villages in December, and the club is most grateful to all the 36 ‘friends of Lions’ who willingly signed up to help by towing the sleigh or collecting door to door, wearing Santa hats, Lions’ hi-vis tabards and with a collecting tin in one hand and a torch in the other, negotiating hundreds of front gardens on the way.

There were few people who refused to give a pound or two or a handful of small change – and we gloss over those who were obviously in but didn’t answer the door after dark to strange folk in funny hats – and, really, who can blame them?

Donating to the Food Bank

One wonderful result of fundraising is that we are able to give money away and recently it was £2,000 to Caterham Food Bank, which enabled them to give out 280 hampers containing both essentials and Christmas treats.

The boxes were colour-coded according to family unit size, with some items bought in and others donated. Recipients are referred to the Food Bank by agencies such as Social Services, Citizens Advice, GPs or schools.

Lion President Tony Gordon presenting the cheque for £2,000 to Food Bank manager Robin Gwynne
Lion President Tony Gordon presenting the cheque for £2,000 to Food Bank manager Robin Gwynne

The Lions Club of Caterham, Oxted & Godstone would like to wish all readers a healthy and happy 2024. Perhaps some will give a thought to the possibility of joining the club to make a difference in the community by helping people less fortunate than themselves?

To find out more about your local Lions club, visit our website or call Lion Tony on 01883 741809. We also have a minibus available for hire – contact Lion David on 01342 893353. 

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