THE monthly business meeting was very quiet and uncharacteristically orderly until some bright spark spotted that all the new calendar dates had been put in using a 2013 diary. To compound that error the minutes showed that we would be “twining” with the French instead of twinning. This of course gave rise to some ribald remarks, and not just from the men.

A couple of months ago we decided to start our meetings half-an-hour earlier in the belief that they would end half-an-hour earlier. Has that worked? What do you think?

Welfare: Giving a helping hand does not always go to plan. We had a case referred to us where a person was trying move to a smaller place but could not do so until the interior doors of the current accommodation had been replaced. Having studied the background to the case we agreed to help. Two standard doors were obtained and delivered as requested. Wrong! They needed non-standard. We had to take them away, exchange, re order and redeliver. But, as a counterpoint to that particular fiasco, our president spoke nicely to Basingstoke Building Supplies who very kindly gave us the materials to install a hard standing for a swing for a family with a very ill child. Thank you BBS! We also attended the official presentation of a special tricycle which we and the Loddon Valley Lions Club (Tadley) funded for an eight-year-old with cerebral palsy. Her delight had to be seen to be appreciated. We used a further £580 helping to sort out a variety of other problems.

Fundraising: By dint of much effort we raised £3,200 in March. April was a lot quieter but nevertheless pretty successful.

Easter Eggs: We supply large high quality chocolate eggs to a number of enterprises around Basingstoke to raffle for charity. Half of the proceeds come to the club and half to the enterprise’s favoured charity. This year the raffles raised £1,393. As a result Hampshire Air Ambulance, St Michael’s Hospice, Come Dine with Spencer, the Kingfisher Trust, Bolton Arms Quiz Charity, Spotlight, Cancer Research and Oakley First Responders have all benefitted. But this is only one of a number of our activities where we encourage people to piggyback our event to raise money for their charity. Our next is another.

On June 8 we’re having our Annual Charity Cycle Ride starting from the QMC car park between 9am and 10am. It’s not a race and there is no mass start. Just turn up, pay your £6, choose your route, pick up your map and notes and off you go. The routes are marshaled and signposted and you can choose to do 14, 20, 30 or 33 miles. We’re still trying to crack a hundred entrants for this event so come on, give it a go. We also provide our official form to anyone who wants to obtain sponsorship for a recognised charity or good cause. So, without wishing to make any kind of political statement may I invite you to “get on your bike”.

Contact Philip on 01256 352393 if you need to know more.

Future Programme: 30th August – The Sussex Kings Jazz Band. 4th October – A Barn Dance. 15th November – Quiz Night. 29 November – The Apollo Big Band.

There’s something for everyone so fill up your diaries now. Between times we’ll be out with our Golf Game “The Lions Den” supporting other charities, school fetes etc. throughout the summer.

Details about the above and more can be found on our website