LIONS in Littlehampton had good reason to roar with joy as they celebrated one of their best Christmas collections in years
Volunteers from the Littlehampton District Lions Club managed to raise a stocking-busting £3,613.45 during their Christmas charity Santa sleigh collection – £700 more than last year’s figure.
And members at the group admitted the sum could have been much, much more if ill-health and atrocious weather conditions had not disrupted the collection.
Lion member Austen Beard explained: “The weather was terrible, we had to cut down two routes.
“It was tipping it down with rain and blowing like a gale. Our people are all volunteers and they were braving the conditions.
“But we had to cut our route short because the rain was just so bad.
“Our volunteers were soaked through and I can’t blame them for stopping.”
He added: “We also had two people taken ill, which didn’t help.
“But I think if it wasn’t for the illnesses and adverse weather, we would have easily broken the £4,000 marker, which would have made it our biggest collection yet.”
The club visited homes across Littlehampton, Wick and parts of Rustington, with Santa and his sleigh in tow.
Many people gave generously in spite of the uncertain economic climate.
“The response to our collections are always positive,” Austen said. “As soon as the music comes on, people open their doors to support us. It’s really wonderful.”
Austen added that people walking through Rustington also gave generously.
“We had one man who was in The Street, on Christmas Eve, come out of the bank.
“He opened up his wallet and gave us a £20 note. It was a lovely gesture.”
All the money raised will go to supporting local charities and needy causes.
Austen explained that the cash, which is safely banked in the Lions’ kitty for 2014, could also be used to help support individuals in need of help.
“People know that all the money we raise will go to helping a local cause,” Austen added. “That could be Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice or someone that really needs help.
“We haven’t yet decided which charities or causes we will be supporting this year.”
The Lions are keen for people to contact them with suggestions of worthy causes. To do so, call club secretary, Les Fuller on 01903 770074 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Austen wished to thank everyone who donated as well as all the Lions and friends who gave up their time to help, not only with this appeal, but for all the group’s fundraising efforts throughout 2013.
“The support we receive is fantastic. Hopefully next year’s collection will be even better,” he said.