Newsletter - May 2020


I scraped back into the country on 16th March, just as things started to go pear-shaped, and immediately self-isolated. Along with many others in the Club, I am classified as “vulnerable”. There are those among us who are not as well as we might be, but for the most part we are as tough as hobnail boots (particularly the women). So it will come as no surprise that, while following social distancing guidance, we remain active.

As soon as it became clear that we could no longer hold our Business meetings at the normal venue, our President got to grips with Zoom and got us set up to conduct our business that way. It is not ideal, but we had an 80% turn out at our last meeting which is about normal. But minute taking is a challenge. One cannot bang one’s fists on the table to restore order when things get out of hand (And boy do they get out of hand!). Men for the most part have minds that run on rails – solid and predictable. Women are multitaskers par excellence and have the vociferous communication skills of a flock of starlings in flight – they all manage to get on the same wave length almost at once creating a stunned silence among the men.

Welfare wise the inability to contact people face to face has not so far been too much of a problem. Recently the Red Cross got in touch with us about a man who had just left hospital and was in sore need of a new mattress. We managed to supply one thanks to the good offices of the Basingstoke Community Furniture Project. We have also donated to Spotlight, who are running their own foodbank, and to a group of seamstresses to enable them to buy more material to make scrubs for the NHS. One of our members has been accepted as a food parcel deliverer for the foodbanks on the strict understanding that she does not wear her “Lennie the Basingstoke Lion” suit. We don’t want any heart attacks!

Another of our members is a nurse at the hospital. So we asked her if there was anything that was in short supply on her ward. She said that the only thing they were short of was hand cream which got used up very quickly due to the excessive amount of handwashing that is now required and the resulting chapped hands. So we’re supplying some additional hand cream and then we’ll see what more we can do.

We have recently been joined at our meetings by two members of the Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) team and they are proving to be worth their weight in gold. The Fleet Lions Club project to recycle redundant computers which can, after a general makeover, be re-cycled for use by children and in schools has tweaked their imagination and they have been locating redundant equipment, picking it up and delivering it to Fleet. They are also a fount of useful information and pointed us in the direction of In these difficult times, when our normal means of fundraising are impossible, this is a godsend. All you have to do is register on line with the organization and nominate Basingstoke Lions Club as your charity. Then, when you want to make an online purchase, you access your supplier (there are over 4000 registered) through the Easyfundraising website and make your purchase as normal. There is no additional cost to you. Easyfundraising then collects whatever the percentage agreed with the supplier is and credits it to our account. With five members signed up we’ve already been paid £8.88. Not exactly a fortune, but with all you readers signed up it could be. So please remember us the next time you are about to make an online purchase. We do help many of the most disadvantaged people in Basingstoke.

The Corona Virus is dreadful. But it has demonstrated how many caring people, kind people, brave people are around us. We salute them all! Bravo Basingstoke!

You too can help to make a difference to the lives of others by joining us via

Philip Wilson