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Woodcote Correspondent

The latest issue of the Woodcote Correspondent is available to download here.

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Selected photographs on this website courtesy of Alan Copeland.

2013 Reports

Conkers with Apples

The Lions Club of Goring ,Woodcote & District Annual Conker Challenge for Charity will again take place during Apple Day at Cross Lanes Fruit Farm, Mapledurham, near Reading RG4 7UW on Sunday 13th October 2013, from 10.00am to 5.00pm.

Entrance to the Fruit Farm and car parking are free.

This year most varieties of apples have produced a splendid crop,and you will be able to enjoy a wonderful experience at the Open Day to see, taste and learn about a wide variety of locally grown apples.

Local horse chestnut trees look to be set well for a good harvest of conkers, so you maythen help Lions Charities by preserving a great British tradition and fun pastime of playing conkers. Instruction and safety equipment will be available free of charge to anyone who may deem it necessary on the day.

However, to enter the Conker Challenge a donation of £1 to Lions Charity Funds in return for a fresh conker complete with stringwill be much appreciated.

Competition rules:

  1. Only fresh conkers may be used, as will be provided by Goring, Woodcote & District Lions Club.
  2. Players take alternate hits at their opponent's conker.
  3. The player whose conker is to be hit holds it with the string wrapped round one hand and suspends it at a height to suit his/her opponent. It must be kept still.
  4. The striker holds his/her conker in one hand and the end of his/her string with the other, then swings the conker to hit the opponent's conker.
  5. A miss by the striker entitles the striker to another shot.
  6. If the strings tangle the first player to call ‘strings’ can claim an extra shot.
  7. Alternate blows are struck until one of the conkers is destroyed; that is until no part of it remains on the string. The player with the surviving conker is deemed the winner.

For directions to and details about Cross Lanes Fruit Farm see the website: www.crosslanesfruitfarm.co.uk

Chernobyl kids with Lions

A very special group of 10 young children are selected to come over from Belarus to stay here in England for a month each year, away from the radioactivity poisoning ever present in their homeland since the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster in mid-1984. This one month of respite away from their home environment much enhances their health and extends their life expectancy. Each year since 2001 Goring, Woodcote & District Lions Club have organised a day trip out to Rushall Farm at Bradfield for the visiting Children. It has become a very popular event for the local Lions who have sponsored a different group of children each time travelling to the U.K. from Belarus since 2001. On Wednesday 31st July this year there were 10 children of between 11 and 14 years of age in the group hosted by the Lions. They all spent the day happily taking part in the various farm activities including wading in the nearby river Pang, pond dipping, feeding the animals, tractor trailer riding and insect identification. A picnic lunch was provided on site by members of the Lions Club. All the children come from the Borodianka District, Kiev Region, Ukraine. They are brought over to the U.K. by the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline Group to staying here for 4 weeks and returned home on Sunday 4th August.

The Management and staff at Rushall Farm generously gave their time and facilities free, to enable these visiting young children to experience life on an English farm. They got to meet at close quarters with donkeys, cows, pigs and lambs - which is something those from the larger communities in Belarus do not often get a chance to see. A happy hour was spent fishing with nets in the local river, which they cannot do back home as the water is too contaminated to play in.

Chernobyl Kids

The above photo shows from L - R the following adults: Pam Sheterline ( host family ) , Lions John Bridgens ( in wheelchair ), his wife Ann Bridgens , Lion Derek Robinson , Lion President Alan Lovegrove , Graham Parsons ( Education Officer Rushall Farm ) , Nina Kachalenko ( Group Leader & Interpreter ).

Chernobyl Kids

A New Lion President

At their 32rd Charter Anniversary held as a Garden Party at the Swan Hotel, Streatley on Thames the Lions Club of Goring, Woodcote & District celebrated a handover from outgoing President Chris Stevens to Lion Alan Lovegrove from North Stoke who will become their Club President for the year ahead, starting 1st July.

The photograph shows Alan receiving the President's chain of office from Chris in the informal setting of the Garden Party, attended by local Lions Club members, partners and guests from across the South of England.

Alan receiving the President's chain of office from Chris

As outgoing President Chris handed over he thanked Club members for their support during his year during which just over £15,000 had been raised in charitable funds. This had enabled numerous needy individuals and local projects to be supported across a wide area totalling more than £11,000 as listed below.

Charitable Donations made during Lion Year 2012/2013.

1. Water Aid £400
2. Lions Eye Health project £300
3. Lions District Youth Trust Fund £300
4. Lions International Disaster Fund £200
5. Woodcote Primary School (for a new mini bus) £500
6. Woodcote holiday club (support for local child) £120
7. Goring Youth Club (support for needy children) £50
8. Footsteps Foundation donation £1500
9. Goring Primary School (for additional classroom) £500
10. Nomad and Rainbow Goring child £80
11. Albinism Fellowship (for Christmas Party) £100
12. Shire Hall Rugby Club Charities (for help with Xmas Float) £174
13. Goring Primary School appeal (for help with Xmas Float) £513
14. Wyfold Riding for the Disabled £700
15. Chernobyl Children ( Rushalls Farm Trip 2012) £253
16. Planting a Jubilee Tree at Whitchurch £70
17. Help with cost of Crays Pond Scout Hut roof repairs £400
18. U.K. Visas for Chernobyl Children 2013 visit £178
Sub total£6,338

Payments to LOCAL Charities & Volunteer organisations made from the 2013 Lions 10K Run Proceeds

1. Food Bank Wallingford £400
2. Woodcote Youth Club, (upgrade to PC hard drives & software) £400
3. Goring Youth Club (contribution to new carpet in Club meeting room) £400
4. Woodcote Volunteers (help with running costs) £250
5. Greenshoots, Peppard (lawn mower, hedge trimmer and strimmer) £500
6. Carpmael Charitable Trust Withymead Nature Reserve. (nest box camera, and laptop to record images) £450
7. Age UK Oxon (Reminiscence Kit). £200
8. Sonning Common Youth Club (contribution to new activity room) £400
9. Footsteps Foundation (Funding for Sienna ) £750
10. Goring Heath/Goring Scouts and Guides £200
11. Donations to Langtree and Woodcote Primary Schools £200
12. St. John Ambulance £540
Sub total £4,690

Lions stepping out

By stepping just outside their local territory the Lions Club of Goring, Woodcote & District have enabled a young girl to continue receiving unique life enhancing physiotherapy treatment at the Footsteps Centre, in Dorchester-on-Thames. A donation from the Lions of £750 on Saturday 12th May at the Footsteps Open Day will pay for half of a 3 week treatment programme comprising up to 3 hours a day for 6 year old Sienna Steptoe from Abingdon, South of Oxford. Download more details here.

Footsteps Centre Presentation

Shown in the photograph with 8 year old Callum Berry from Bracknell, Berkshire are (L-R) Lion President Chris Stevens & Lion Derek Robinson presenting the Lions Club donation to Pippa Hoyer-Millar - the founder of Footsteps.

The Footsteps Centre provides access to a team of highly experienced physiotherapists and equipment for children suffering from varying conditions or disorders such as cerebal palsy, muscular dystrophy and even epilepsy. Amongst some of the specialist equipment used is ‘The Spider’ which, developed in Poland, enables therapists to carry out a range of exercises whilst the child is supported by elastic ropes which are adjusted to allow different parts of the body to be freely exercised.

It is highly successful at enhancing and improving physical development as well as building confidence, which often also positively affects speech and cognitive capabilities. Other more traditional therapeutic aids and equipment are also used such as balls, rolls, trampolines, treadmills and ladders to facilitate therapy. This combination of therapy is not available anywhere else in the U.K.

Footsteps was founded 10 years ago by Pippa Hoyer-Millar who brought these uniquel physiotherapy techniques over to England from Poland having seen at first hand the great improvements it made to her own daughter who is now 20 years old.

Currently there are 9 physiotherapists at the Centre who work with approximately 15 youngsters during a three-week session from all over the country, and involve as many as 150 different cases annually. The aim of Footsteps Foundation is to raise £150,000 a year to help fund the therapy costs for low-income families who would not otherwise be able to access the innovative Footsteps treatment programme.

For more information about Footsteps telephone: 01865 340376
Email: info@footstepsfoundation.com
Website: www.footstepscentre.com.

Lions help Riders

Re-surfacing of the horse riding arena used by disabled riders at Wyfold has been completed with the help of a donation of £700 from Goring, Woodcote & District Lions Club. The special compound used incorporates re-cycled plastic and rubber to provide a soft and cushioned surface on which horses and their disabled riders may walk comfortably and more safely.

Wyfold Riding for Disabled Gift

Shown in the photograph formally presenting the cheque L-R are Lion President Chris Stevens, Jasmine Street-helper (with Basil the horse), Linda Potter-Trustee of Wyfold RDA, Anne Walters-Trustee of Wyfold RDA, Jodie Gilder-helper (with Bob the horse), Adrienne Heriot-Trustee of Wyfold RDA, and Lion Jon Solman.

Wyfold Riding for Disabled was founded 40 years ago and moved to their current site off the Stoke Row Road on the Wyfold Estate near Peppard 14 years ago. The organisation is funded entirely by public donations and runs 3 sessions a day for 3 people riding , also providing carriage drives 4 times a week with carriages specially adapted to carry wheelchairs. There is just one lady stable manager who is employed part-time to look after their 4 horses and 5 ponies. She is supported by up to 75 volunteers, plus several youngsters engaged in Duke of Edinburgh award schemes on Saturdays. There is currently a waiting list of disabled people eager to join the 70 riders and 20 carriage drivers attending each week, half of this number being adults and half are children.

For more information about Wyfold RDA please e-mail: info@wyfoldrda.org.uk, telephone: 0845 450 7017 or visit the website: www.wyfoldrda.org.uk.

Food banked by Lions

As part of the funds raised at the 29th Annual 10k Charity Road Run organised by Goring, Woodcote & District Lions held in January 2013 the Club has purchased and donated two supermarket trolley loads of food to the Wallingford Food Bank.

Wallingford Food Bank

The photograph shows part of the first of two deliveries planned to be made, the next will be supplied later in the year. Pictured are the Manager Jean Burt, Neville Burt (Wallingford Food BankChairman) together with Lion Alan Lovegrove and Lion Derek Robinson. In the first 4 months of this year more than 300 people have been helped and it is thought that with the new benefits system coming into place and the rising cost of living, even more help will be needed.

Derek Robinson, the Lions Community Service Committee Chairman stated ‘Our Lions Club are delighted to donate this food to the Wallingford Food Bank. We hope it will help people who are desperately in need of support at a difficult time in their lives. We are full of admiration for the work done by Jean Burt and her helpers and hope they will be able to continue to serve the less fortunate in our community.’

People in need may obtain a voucher from any of several local organisations such as Age UK Oxfordshire - Abingdon, Balsam Project - Harwell, Berinsfield Children's Centre, Berinsfield Community Business, Carers Oxfordshire - Abingdon, Citizens Advice Bureau - Didcot and Wallingford, Clifton Hampden Surgery, Oxfordshire Reablement Services - Wallingford, PACT - Wallingford, South Adult Social Care Team - Abingdon, SOHA Housing - Didcot, Wallingford Health Visitors, Wallingford Medical Centre, Westgate House Day Centre - Wallingford and CTWA ( Churches Together in Wallingford ).

Anyone given a voucher will be provided with a three day supply of food for themselves and their families.

For information about Wallingford Food Bank please contact Neville Burt via email at: nevburt@btinternet.com Donations of food or money may be left at The Fountain, 22 St Mary's Street, Wallingford or at the Food Bank itself during opening hours, Mondays and Thursdays 11am - 1pm.

Lions run with chips

The 29th Annual 10k Charity Road Run organised by Goring, Woodcote & District Lions Club was successfully completed in good running conditions on Sunday morning 13th January 2013. A team of Lions had been out early to spread salt and grit on parts of the route that had developed some icy patches. Despite there being no wind the course was slow and so the record finish time of 30 minutes 31seconds still stands.

First over the finish line was Nick Jones from Newbury, timed at 34:37 followed by Charlie Pearson from London, who was second over the line and timed at 34:46. The first female 10th over the line was Samantha Amend from Marlow, timed at 38:16.

Trophy Winners

A total of 383 runners finished the course despite 425 having pre-registered, and some runners arrived too late after the 10am cut-off deadline to be entered and given electronic timing chip tags on the day. The UK Athletic Association referee, Graham Pickup helped assure the Lions of their continued good organisation, preparation and administration of this popular annual event.

All finishers received a medal. Winners Cups and Trophies were presented by the main sponsor of the event, Goring estate agent Bob Warmingham as shown in the photograph. To get copies of photographs taken of individual runners on the day please tel: 0118 978 4331 or view www.denischapman.co.uk.

Results & Reports

Results - download.

Prize Report - download.

Gender Results Summary - download.

Club Results - download.

Volunteers from a number of other local clubs and organisations helped the Lions maintain the enjoyment, safety and efficacy of this annual event. They include Scouts & Guides, Rotary and 41 Clubs, and wives all are much appreciated. A team from St John Ambulance provided first aid cover, but thankfully no injuries were reported.

Eight local businesses made generous contributions. Warmingham - Goring Estate Agents were the major sponsor, others include Halarose Ltd - Woodcote, Sol-Tec Ltd - Reading, JRS Services - Woodcote, Wooodborough House Dental Practice - Pangbourne, Bouchier Fencing Co - Woodcote, Johnson Matthey - Sonning Common. and The Boathouse Dental Surgery - Goring.

The profit and sponsorship monies from this event are still being received, but are estimated to be about £3,000 and will be used to support local charities and volunteer groups.

Lions thank Santa helpers

The Lions Club of Goring, Woodcote & District raised a record £4,391.18 with the kind help of local volunteer groups who turned out as Santa's elves to assist with door to door collections. This total is over £1,000 above last year and marks the 31st successive year the Lions have toured the villages of South Oxfordshire with Santa on his sleigh to collect donations whilst playing seasonal carols.

Each volunteer group of helpers have received 50% of the amounts they collected towards their chosen charity project. In Sonning Common the Lions were helped by Shirehall Rugy Club, in Woodcote by local Beavers, Cub & Scout Leaders and in Goring by Goring Primary School PTA.

The total amounts collected by area are as follows:

Sonning Common£1,026.30
Goring on Thames £1,025.46
Woodcote & Crays Pond£1,009.12
Whitchurch Hill £371.07
Whitchurch on Thames£306.47
At the Tollbridge£652.76
Santa in Woodcote 2012 Santa at the Toll Bridge 2012

Goring, Woodcote & District Lions Club is part of the International ‘family’ of Lions Clubs, but is very much a local club, dedicated to helping in the local community with members who live in the area. The majority of the Club's fund raising receipts are spent locally with approximately 10 to 12% of funds going to support Lions International charitable projects in other parts of the world where people are in need of help.

Every pound donated goes to charity with no administration charges taken out.

This is a summary of some of the projects undertaken and support provided during 2012:
- supply of 3 kissing gates for Chiltern Way footpaths in & near Woodcote
- supply & plant Jubilee trees in Goring, Woodcote & Whitchurch Hill
- Christmas hamper given to someone in need
- new washing machine (plumbed in) and furniture provided for a local family
- donation to the Air Ambulance Berks/Oxon/Bucks
- donation to Macmillan Nurses
- support for the RBH Prostate Cancer ‘Robbie the Robot’ appeal
- provide a specialist bed & chair for two local Hospices
- giving two weather-proof benches for residents of Mowforth Close, Woodcote
- supplying equipment for Sonning Common pre-School
- provision of 4 tents for Sonning Common Cubs Group
- sponsorship for local girl to work with children overseas
- financial support for the Footsteps Foundation
- internationally approved overseas projects, such as Water Aid and the Lions Eye Health Programme.

Lions to go with chips

The 29th Annual 10k Charity Road Run organised by Goring, Woodcote & District Lions Club will start at 10.30am on Sunday 13th January 2013. Entries for this popular run are now being received and for the first time runners will be issued with timing chips to automatically record finish times and places.

The race start point is between the entrance to Langtree School and Woodcote Village Hall, Reading Road, Woodcote RG8 0RA. Following undulating by-roads, the course is kilometre marked and marshalled. It has been officially measured by the SEAA Course Measurement Team and takes place under UK Athletic Rules (UKA race permit number is 2013 - 104688).

Free hot drinks will be provided for all runners and a water station en-route and at the finish. Only very limited changing and toilet facilities are available in the village hall. A team from St John Ambulance will provide first aid cover.

In accordance with SEAA regulations the minimum age for entry is 15 years.

All finishers will receive a medal.

Trophies will be awarded as follows:
First over the line
1st - 2nd 3rd male & female
1st Veteran (40+) male & female
1st Senior Veteran (50+) male & female
1st Vintage Veteran (60+) male & female
1st Junior under 16yrs male & female

Detailed instructions and entry forms are available to download from www.lions-gwd.org.uk.

Entry fee is £15 when paid in advance (£13 for affiliated Club runners). The late registration fee is £17 and will only be possible if space allows and before 10.00am on Race Day. Gift Aid sponsorship forms are also available to down load from the Lions website.

Volunteers from a number of other local organisations help the Lions maintain the enjoyment, safety and efficacy of this annual event. They include Scouts & Guides, Rotary and 41 Clubs, and all are much appreciated. Please do contact the Lions as soon as possible if you would like to help with marshalling. It does take as many as 50 people on the day with assigned jobs to ensure things go smoothly and safely.

Several local businesses are making generous contributions and this year the main sponsor is again Warmingham Estate Agents.

Every single penny raised from the public by Lions goes to charity and nothing is taken up in administration costs. Funds raised and sponsorship at this event will go to local charities and volunteer groups.

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