Lions aim to roar into a bright future

A Brighouse organisation which is devoted to helping others needs a helping hand to boost membership.

Brighouse and district Lions, which has raised thousands of pounds for charity over nearly three decades, needs to attract fresh ideas and more volunteers.

The Lions are behind the hugely-successful Festival of Brass, which has gone from strength to strength since it was started in Brighouse town centre 14 years ago, and support local charities through regular fund-raising.

The organisation is holding an open evening at Brighouse Rest Centre, Park Row, on Wednesday, August 7 to tell interested members of the public about its work and attract new recruits.

Brighouse Lions’ first woman president, Pamela Lumb, said: “We are keen to attract new members and move the branch forward. Like many organisations, we need more volunteers and fresh ideas. We want to enhance the group to strengthen our team and build for the future.

“The Festival of Brass at the end of June was a super weekend and organiser David Horsfield had everything in place to make sure it was a success.

“But it would not be possible without the assistance of our regular volunteers who work alongside the Lions to provide all the stewarding requirements which are essential to the smooth running of the festival.”

Pamela, who has been chair of Brighouse and Rastrick Band Supporters’ Group for 15 years, said that many of the people who volunteered to help at the festival were unable to join the Lions club because work commitments took them away from home.

“The Festival of Brass is now very well-established and is second only to the Whit Friday Band Marches in Saddleworth and Tameside. But it does stretch our resources and more people to get involved would be very welcome.”

Until recently one of the Lions’ most successful ventures was the monthly car boot sale at Daisy Street but Calderdale Council has now started holding its own event on the site.

Nevertheless Brighouse Lions were able to provide sensory lights for the children’s unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital earlier in the year and they have supported Yorkshire Air Ambulance and Kirkwood Hospice in the past.

Barclays Bank in Halifax came on board to match the cash raised from Festival of Brass programme sales and three charities - the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Highbury School and Breast Cancer Campaign - benefitted.

In June members of the Lions held a bag pack in Sainsbury’s in Brighouse and other iniatives include tree planting and bulb planting to brighten up areas of the town and helping Specsavers to collect old pairs of glasses.

Pamela said: “The motto of the Lions is ‘We serve’. Helping the community is important to us but we are keen to attract new members to take on roles so that we can expand our charity work and reach a wider audience for our welfare sector and enhance our fund-raising activities.”

In October the Lions will again be providing support for the slow melody competition which is run in conjunction with Clifton and Lightcliffe Band.

Doug Cornell and Derek Ashton have stepped down as president and secretary of Brighouse Lions and Pamela Lumb and Joyce Cawthra have taken over those posts. Long-standing treasurer Eric Nelson is continuing his role.

l The open evening will be held on Wednesday August 7 at 7.30pm at Brigghouse Rest Centre. It will an informal social evening with refreshments.