Previous events and appeals

As a long standing club whose membership has fluctuated over the past 55 or so years, we have a long history of running events and appeals. This includes the Gambia appeal, abseiling The Blade in Reading, a FunRun, Race nights and of course The Bracknell Show.

#100Words100Pounds (2021)

Bracknell Forest Lions planned a charity giveaway in Summer 2021.

After a tough couple of years for charities, the club decided to open our books up to local charities in need of a donation. The two lucky charities were Project 73 at The Ark Trust and St Pauls Child contact Centre who both received £200 towards their wonderful activities. we hope to open this up again in the future for more charities to apply.

100Words 100 Pounds challengeBracknell Lions 

"St Paul's Child Contact Centre, Bracknell is very grateful indeed to Bracknell Forest Lions Club for their generous donation to help us continue providing our valuable service. We provide a safe neutral place for children to meet the mother or father who no longer lives at home with them. We don't take sides. We simply operate in the best interests of the child."

The Bracknell Show (2015-2019)

The club raised over £5,500 for charity at the 2019 Bracknell Show, including the generous show sponsorship from Redwood Technologies and Boeringher Ingelheim.

It was a wonderful day (despite the threatened thunderstorms!), opened at midday by the Town Mayor Isabel Mattik and special guest Sue Holderness (Marlene from Only Fools and Horses). From then on in it was a non-stop blur of activity- with the critters from Berkshire Reptile Encounters pulling in huge crowds in the hope of holding a snake or stroking a skink! Performers from Martins Heron School of Dance and Bracknell Gymnastics Club entertained the masses whilst kids could play in the free Lions play area or have a go at crafts provided by Nakita at The Creation Station.

 There were ice-creams, vegan cakes, and burgers a-plenty, axe throwing, mini golf and archery too! Live music filled the air with Final Clause of Tacitus during the day and a range of acts including Abi Powell, Dave Bedford, Kris King, Keanne Le Moual, Tony Benett and Toxic Sofa into the evening where families returned with picnics to enjoy the atmosphere.

Lion President Paul said "We'd like to thank everyone who came along, bought a raffle ticket, spread the word or supported the event in some way. It's been a huge success- not only have we put on a wonderful community event for local families to enjoy but we've also raised a huge amount of money which we look forward to donating to those in need over the next few months."

Bracknell Lions raise funds to support local charities- in the last year they've supported Dementia-Friendly screenings at South Hill Park, donated items to the Pilgrim Hearts Night Shelter and made financial contributions to a huge number of causes including Project 73 and Festival Green Machine via The Ark Trust, CRUSE Bereavement Care, The Red Box project, Citizens Advice Bureau, the Me2Club and Give a Child A Chance to name just a few.

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The good weather held for the weekend, and this 2018's Bracknell Show was another success! Pride of Bracknell "Team of the Year" drew on all their teamwork experience to put together a wonderful family day out on Saturday 21st July at Wildridings Playing Fields.

The Bracknell Show is now a firm date in the local calendar after another brilliant event this summer. The day offered over 40 stalls with a selection of food and drink, crafts, ice cream, charity stalls, and even a range of fun have-a-go-activities such as Tomahawk throwing, football darts, dry land zorbing, bouncy slides and a coconut shy! On top of this, the arena was buzzing from 12:30-4 with dance displays from Martins Heron School of dance, the Twister Cheerleaders and Bracknell Gymnastics club's finest Team GB gymnasts.

During the day the Lions volunteers held a charity raffle with a £200 top prize, a name the Lion competition and a cake stall too, whilst also chatting to local residents about membership of Lions and giving out "Message in a Bottle" packs for free. Message in a Bottle is a simple scheme, known to the emergency services, where important medical information (allergies, medicines etc) is stored in a marked container in the fridge. The pack comes with two stickers- one for the front door and one for the fridge door- and the packs location and contents can save the emergency services valuable time finding important medical information about the holder. These packs are particularly useful for the elderly and vulnerable and anyone who lives alone- and are offered free of charge through Lions International.

In the evening, families brought picnics and stayed to enjoy music from local artists Aj Acoustix, Abi Powell and Keanne, enjoying beautiful weather and a lovely sunset to top off the day. This year the sums are still underway but it looks like another success with over £2,600 being raised by the club alone, and further funds raised by the charities who brought along stalls including Cats Protection and local Scouts groups. Last year the Lions were able to support local and national causes such as Pilgrim Hearts Trust, YouthLine, Me2Club, DRUGFAM, Parkinsons and numerous others.

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The 2017 show kicked off with wonderful new sponsors Thames Valley Signs and Haart Estate Agents.

The weather on the day did us no favours, but the event was still well received and somehow we managed to raise over £2,600! The club are in the process of allocating these funds to worthy causes, including Bracknell Youthline, Citizens Advice and more. This year saw local band Red Tape Resistance doing two sets, some wonderful ballet displays and even better and more varied food being provided by great local catering companies. The Lions had their own cake stall selling all kinds of goodies, and waitrose kindly provided hundreds of plastic ponchos to try to keep us all dry!

Again we had some wonderful support from local companies, who either donated prizes to our raffle or sponsored the event in some way. Huge thanks to those listed below.

Beale Park Frankie & Bennys Lookout Discovery Centre SC Johnson Venture Photography
Birdworld Haart Estate Agents Marc Antoni- Princess Square Syngenta, Jealott's Hill Whoosh
Blankson's- The Ironing Shop, Binfield Halsa Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Matrix Hair Design Team Sport Go Karting Waitrose
Boots- Princess Square Harvester Bar & Grill Morrisons Bracknell Tesco Express, Forest Park Wyevale Garden Centre
B-O-B Affordable Hairdressing Hot Dogs Grooming Oaktree Garden Centre Thames Valley Signs
Bracknell Leisure Centre Swimming Pool Hollywood Bowl Odeon Cinema The Picture Company
Co-op Funeral Care, Easthampstead Homebase Pets At Home Timpson, Princess Square
Country Mouse, Moss End Garden Centre Jakes Play Barn Pizza Hut Total Tyre & Exhaust Co, Binfield
Daruchini Brasserie, Binfield KidsNAction Ponden Home Tropical Tanning
Downshire Arms Longacres Garden Centre Sainsburys- Princess Square Unique Hair Studio, Binfield

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We built on the success of the 2015 show with a bigger and better event for 2016. This time we raised over £2,500, which we donated to Pilgrim Hearts (a local homeless charity), food hampers for local families in need, donated to the Me2Club, donated to the MD Disaster Fund and raised money for the Gambia Appeal. 

For 2016, there was have-a-go archery, displays from the UK champion gymnastics team and battle reenactment- with a healthy dose of sunshine, ice cream and smiles! We were also very lucky to be supported by Pauls Trust who helps us with some of the upfront costs of running the show.

We had prizes kindly donated by local companies and support and assistance from the following:

Ballcock and Bits

Hot Diamonds Sainsburys- Princess Square Bracknell The Weathervane
Beale Park Inner Sense Hypnotherapy Scissor Shack Timspon- Princess Square Bracknell
Birdworld Kids N Action SC Johnson Tropical Tanning
BOB affordable luxury hairdressing Leapfrog Ceramics- Moss End Garden Centre Team Sport Go Karting RTS Solutions
Boehringer Ingelheim Londis- Great Hollands Tesco- Warfield Venture Photography
Boots- Princess Square Bracknell Longacres Garden Centre Tesco- Martins Heron Victoria's Beauty- Harmans Water Shops
Bracknell Leisure Centre Oaktree Garden Centre The Co-Op Easthampstead Waitrose- Bond Way
Costco- Reading Panasonic UK The Co-Operative Funeralcare- Easthampstead Waitrose
Downshire Arms Parafit UK The Lookout Discovery Centre WH Smiths- Princess Square
Fi's Papercraft Pets at Home The Picture Company Whoosh
Harvester Bar & Grill- Bracknell Sainsburys- Bagshot Road The Quality Meeat Company, Great Hollands Square Bracknell

Wyevale Garden Centre- Binfield

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Our first show back in 2015 was a bit of a test to see how we got on organising a huge event.

It was a success- with us raising over £1,700 profit which we distributed to local, national and international charities and good causes. These included the Serbia Appeal, local families in need, Bracknell College, The Scouts, the Me2Club, Parkinsons UK and the Children of Syria Refugee Fund. CRUSE Bereavement Care, The Red Box project, Citizens Advice Bureau, the Me2Club and Give a Child A Chance to name just a few.


Bag packing at Morrisons (2018)

The Lions also raised funds in 2018 by good old bag packing activities at local supermarkets. 

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The Gambia Appeal (2016-2021)

This project has now finished from the Bracknell Lions input but it's an amazing bit of work that shows the international nature of Lions.

In January 2016, members Brigid and Mike went on holiday to The Gambia and met with Kebba Cham who took them to the village of Gunjar Kunkujang where they sat with the elders and the chief and spoke about the issues there and what help they required. 

In their village they have a bore hole powered by solar power which currently services just 9 taps for 2000 people (one of those taps is dedicated solely for the school which has over 800 pupils).

 Their need was to get a minimum of 25 taps which potentially could provide clean water to 10,000 people. To do that meant replacing the existing solar panels, water tank and tower and provide larger ones to power the water distribution to a wider area.

Since then, the club's relationship with the village has continued, and Mike and Brigid have continued to tirelessly raise funds. 


  • January 2016 First trip to The Gambia and Gunjar Kunkujang
  • August 2016 With the approval and support of Bracknell Forest Club the project fundraising was launched nationally
  • November 2016 Second trip with 90kgs of school stationery (mostly donated by St Teresa's Catholic Academy, Wokingham after we addressed a school assembly)
  • July 2017 Have raised £8000 in 12 months from clubs in this District, other clubs in MD, schools, companies and family and friends
  • July 2017 - Banjul Kairo Club now established 1 year advised to apply for LCIF International Assistance Grant
  • August 2017 Completed paperwork despatched to Oakbrook
  • 25th October 2017 Matching grant of £7200 granted by LCIF
  • November 2017 Third trip to Gambia with another 40kgs of goods. Minor variations in project - contractor instructed to start work
  • End December 2017 Work starts
  • Spring 2018- Agreed next stage of project to be solar powered electricity for the nursery and an IT suite for the lower school
  • Summer 2018- Fundraising target set and planning for next stage
  • Spring 2019- Solar energy and fencing project comissioned and work started.
  • Summer 2020- Baby scales, Glucometers, printer cartridges clothing and nurses uniforms sent over.
  • Autumn 2020- Second shipment of tracheistomy tubes, suction machines and computers.

Image: gambia water towers

Mike & Brigid Hendy

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Charity Race Nights (2011-2013)

In February 2011 we ran the first of our charity race nights, raising over £700 for the St Dunstan's who provide lifelong support for blind and partially sighted ex-service men and women. At a race night random horse-racing DVDs are chosen and guests at the event put small blind bets on the horses. There is also usually a raffle, and the chance to "buy" horses and jockeys or sponsor races.

In September 2011 we held a second race night, held in the memory of Iris Gough who was a very active Lion for many years who sadly died earlier in the year. Over 60 people attended both evenings, and they enjoyed a fish and chip supper and 8-10 different horse races. We raised a further £700 at the evening, half of which has been donated to Help fo Heroes, and the other half is currently being split between local charities, including Bracknell Food Bank and the Me 2 Club in Wokingham.

 October 2013 saw our third race night, with our new members getting stuck into the organisation. A further £650 was raised for local charities, which was fantastic.

We all had great (and noisy!) fun at the nights and deemed them both to be a success- even getting some lovely press coverage in the Bracknell Standard for September's event (see the Press section of the website). These kind of events are the bread and butter of any Lions club, with 100% of the profits going towards local charities. They can be hard work to organise but are always enjoyed. Keep your eyes peeled on this site and local newspapers if you'd like to attend a future event!

Images from most recent 2013 Race Night:

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racenight taking betsracenight commentator

Maidenhead Lions Fundrun

In September 2013, Bracknell Lions entered a team into the Maidenhead Lions "Fundrun" event- a team relay race of the athletics track to see how many laps could be completed in 55 minutes.

The Bracknell Lions team was 10 strong (which is fantastic as in April we only had 5 members!), incuding novices at running and a couple of more experienced runners.

The event was set up to suit all abilities and team members could walk or run their laps. Our team completed a huge 50 laps in 55 minutes, raising more than £625 in the process and coming third!

The money will be split 50:50 between Thames Valley Adventure Playground (which is where the Me 2 Club 10 year anniversary party was held earlier this year) and the Pulse Oximeter we bought in September for a local boy.

We look forwards to similar events in the future! Well done Maidenhead Lions for organising such a brilliant event!

More information on the Maidenhead Lions website, and a great press article on the Maidenhead Advertiser website.

Abseiling The Blade (2011)

Club member Brigid joined forces with Lesley Robinson from Reading Lions to tackle a huge leap of faith- an abseil down the Blade building in Reading in October 2011. It was organised by the Alexander Devine Trust, and Brigid raised over a thousand pounds for them that day.

From the Alexander Devine website:

Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service was founded in 2007 with the aim of providing a dedicated children's hospice service for all children with life limiting and life threatening illnesses in Berkshire and beyond.

Families tell us that they find it difficult to find the right support at the right time and we understand that it is the whole family who need to be looked after. Our ultimate aim is to provide well co-ordinated support, which is available from the point of diagnosis for as long a families want, either in the home or in our local hospice.

We currently fund Alexander's Nurses who provide quite unique specialised care and respite by regularly supporting families in their own homes - our service is unique because we work very closely with all our local NHS hospitals so that families receive a 'joined-up service'.

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(Photography copyright Clare Dowling Photography)

Rebuilding homes in Sri Lanka (2011)

 On top of our local efforts, Bracknell Forest Lions get involved in international projects too. In 2008 and 2009, we raised funds to help rebuild these homes in Sri Lanka after they were destroyed by the Tsunami. We donate to a number of national and international disaster relief funds, including the Pakistan Earthquake appeal in 2011, the Flood relief fund in 2014, Ebola Fund, Serbia Appeal and Nepal Earthquake fund in 2015, the Children of Syriah Refugee fund in 2016, the Special Olympics fund in 2017, and supported the Gambia Appeal from 2017 onwards.

 Sri Lankan residents with their new homeRebuilt Sri Lankan homes

 Planting Trees for a Guiness World Record Attempt (2009)

 In December 2009 members and friends of Bracknell Forest Lions Club helped out with the Guiness Record attempt called Tree O'Clock

There's more information about the challenge here but in short it was a challenge to break the world record of how many trees could be planted all over the world in one hour. It was great fun and a very hands on way to get involved with local ecology.