Riverside Lions build mobile amenities unit for homeless in Launceston

Members of the Riverside Lions Club in Launceston Tasmania have built a mobile amenities unit providing homeless people access to warm showers and a place to wash and dry clothes.

The club saw the need for all community members to have access to a safe space to shower and wash their clothes, so set to work building the unit from the ground up in the club’s own work shed.

The club received a grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund and was also supported by a number of local businesses, particularly Samios Plumbing Supplies.

Construction of the unit totaled $25,000 and the club was pleased to have Tasmanian Premier The Hon Peter Gutwein attend the opening.

The unit is located at the Shekiniah House centre for the homeless in central Launceston and is managed and maintained by a team of volunteers.

Oatley Lions Donate $30,000 to purchase neo-natal care unit at St George Hospital

Oatley Lions Club and the Australian Lions Foundation have donated $30,000 towards the purchase of a neo-natal bed for the local St George Hospital Special Care Nursery.

Money was raised through community support of the annual Oatley Lions Village Festival, a $5000 donation by the club’s major sponsor, Oatley Hotel, and the Australian Lions Foundation.

“St George Hospital is so important to our local community and we are incredibly proud to work with Oatley Lions to help care for newborn babies. Oatley Lions are good people doing good work and their fundraising always goes towards the benefit of our community,” said Oatley Hotel owner and licensee Lyn Humphreys.

The new unit will enable continued treatment and care of many newborn babies.

Margaret River Lions fundraise $15,000 to purchase interactive table for local aged care facility

Western Australia’s Margaret River Lions are helping local elderly residents who are battling with dementia.

The club has donated $15,000 to Baptistcare Mirrarnbeena to purchase an interactive table which uses light animation to help with cognitive challenges.

The Tovertafel – also called a ‘magic table’ – was developed in the Netherlands and uses infrared sensors to detect hand and arm movements, allowing people to play games and interact with everything from colourful flowers and butterflies to bubbles and falling leaves.

Baptistcare had tested the technology and felt it would be perfect for some of its residents, but were struggling to come up with funding.

“Then something magic happened,” said Baptistcare’s Lesley Longfield. “Our dear friends at the Margaret River Lions Club saw the Tovertafel in action, and with their usual generosity and community spirit decided to fundraise so we could purchase one for Mirrarnbeena.”

The club’s Vice President Brian Pendergast said members were always keen to support the elderly thanks to a long association with Baptistcare.

“As soon as we saw the faces of the residents who were trialing the Tovertafel, we knew this was something worth getting behind,” said Brian.

Lions caring for kids in quarantine

COVID-19 may have changed the way volunteers meet and fundraise in the community but one thing that hasn’t changed is the resilience and determination of volunteers.

The community spirit of West Australian Lions volunteers has been brightening up the days for children in hotel quarantine.

Lions Clubs in Western Australia were contacted by the Department of Communities in 2020, regarding concerns around the health and wellbeing of children in quarantine.

Lions volunteers across the state quickly swung into action and raised funds to supply packages of books, puzzles and games tailored to different age groups.

Hundreds of care packages have been delivered to children in quarantine by Lions Clubs in Western Australia.

Several families have contacted the Lions project team to express their thanks and provide comment on the support they have received.

Matthew Morgan and his family decided to move back to Perth after living in Texas for the last 10 years. Children Amelia (8), Jakub (5) and Isabel (3), although excited to celebrate Christmas in Australia, had found it difficult passing the time in their hotel. A couple of days into their isolation there was a knock on the door and Matt was delighted to see three activity packages. The children were ecstatic with their new-found fun, as were the parents.

“We received three amazing packages of toys and books for my kids! They were so excited, and I’m so grateful. I really appreciate the effort taken to put these together and bring them to us, and I’m also really heartened to know that there are people out there who are thinking of us – even if we haven’t met yet!” said Matt.

Mother Martina Ricciardi is isolating with her two-year old son Benjamin and was also very grateful for the surprise gift at her door.

“I feel that the language makes it difficult for me to express how grateful I am for everything you do for the well-being of me and my son. Benjamin woke up today with a big smile and still did not discover the blocks or the bubbles! We have so many things to play and have fun with thanks to everyone who donated,” she said.

The project concept has been promoted to Lions Districts in other States around Australia.