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Kindness Matters Service Award nomination

Lions Clubs International – Kindness Matters Service Award

This award is presented annually to a select number of Lions and Leos clubs around the world. It recognises outstanding service projects in one of the five Lions global cause areas. Through this award, clubs are challenged to develop innovative and creative service projects that make a lasting impact in their local communities.

The 2019/20 winning nomination for MD105 – selected from District nominations by the Global Services Team (GST) committee – goes forward to represent Lions Clubs British Isles when the global award winners are chosen by the LCI Board of Directors Services Activities Committee in January 2021.

Winning MD105 nomination: East Anglia New Century Lions – ‘Gleaning Hub’

This partnership with the campaign group, Feedback Global, enabled East Anglia New Century Lions to form a Lions Gleaning Club. It involves working with farmers to collect leftover crops from fields after they have been harvested commercially, or where it is not economically profitable to do so.

Club members have been trained and equipped with tools to undertake gleaning. In late 2019, with support from friends and other Lions, they collected 16,000kg surplus pumpkins and squashes from three gleans. This produce was sent on to FareShare, the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors. It helps thousands of frontline charities and community groups get food to vulnerable people through food banks, school breakfast clubs, homeless shelters, and community cafes.

The Lions Gleaning Club project meets all of the award criteria. It takes an innovative approach to address simultaneously two of the Lions global cause areas: environment and hunger. The whole Lions’ family, friends, farmers, and other partner organisations are involved in helping to reduce food waste and hunger by redirecting fresh nutritious food to those in need. Gleaned produce supports a healthy, balanced diet, which can assist in the reduction of type II diabetes, another of Lions global cause areas. Moreover, the gleaning project is sustainable and replicable. It can be adopted by other clubs and serves the interests of communities, farmers, and the planet.

Runners up: Reading Lions & Ironbridge and Severn Gorge Lions

Reading Lions responded immediately to the unprecedented demand for food required by their local food banks and homeless charity between May and August 2020. It launched a ‘Food Donation Heroes Appeal’ and organised twelve street collections using the club’s Santa Sleigh to pick up donations with an estimated value of £18,000.

Ironbridge and Severn Gorge Lions had a positive impact in their community in response to both the severe local flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic. Working with the local Council, club members helped to mobilise groups, and partnered local charities. They also prepared and delivered 150 hampers to families in need, donated £11,500 across 44 individual good causes, and organised free prostate testing for 600 men.

Award criteria

To be eligible for the next Kindness Matters Service Award, clubs must complete a service project within a global cause area within the 2020/21 Lions fiscal year and have reported it in MyLion. Nominations open in July, and clubs should contact their District GST Co-ordinator for details of the process to be considered for the award. The following award criteria are used to judge nominated entries:

  • Benefit one of the five global causes:- diabetes, environment, vision, childhood cancer, and hunger
  • Demonstrate innovation
  • Achieve the impact of scale and long-term sustainability
  • Develop local partnerships
  • Use local Lions/Lions or Lions Clubs International resources.
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