The LION podcast, Step Forward and Volunteer, is brought to you by Lions Clubs British Isles.

This archive helps you to discover guests and stories featured in previous episodes and the transcripts for each.

Through conversations with inspirational guests, Step Forward and Volunteer celebrates the positive difference that local community volunteering makes to communities across the British Isles and beyond.


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To download each episode of the Step Forward and Volunteer podcast as an mp3 audio file, visit: https://lionsclubspodcast.podbean.com/


Secure Stay and Play  In this episode of the podcast, we are joined by John Oldham a member of Yeo Valley Lions.  John joins to tell us all about a very special project the club set-up and run which is a secure stay and play area, called Kingsmour Playground.

Living with Sight Loss  In this episode, we are joined by Trish Sail. Trish Sail is the Community Connections Co-ordinator for the Royal National Institute for the Blind in the South West of England. Trish joins the podcast to talk about her own experience of living with sight loss as she has an eye condition called uveitis which affects the inside of the eye originating in a part of the eye, called the uvea. Trish is no stranger to adventures and with her best friend, Cathie Rowe entered the Race Across the World screened by the BBC in the Spring of 2023.

Cycling and a Positive Difference  In this episode we are joined by Kiera Byland, a member of the Centennial 100 Champion Lions. Kiera is a double triple gold medallist, she has been awarded a British Empire Medal and joins us to talk to us on how she got involved in cycling, and what a positive difference it has made in her own life and to those she is coaching. Next we feature Llew Monger of Winslow Lions. Llew joins us to tell us about the North Bucks Bike Ride, the partnership approach with Winslow Wheelers Cycle Club and Furze Down School, and the organisation and preparation leading up to the big day.

Hands and Hearts  In this episode, we are joined by Rhian Thomas and Elaine Maul from Ammanford Lions, mosaic artist Dani Lee, and community member and poet Melissa Lewis. They join us to talk about a stunning mural in Ammanford made by the hands and hearts of 50 local volunteers and Lions members. The mural was commissioned by Ammanford Lions to mark 50 years of supporting the town funded by a £5,000 National Lottery grant. Next, we hear from Rhian Thomas and Elaine Maul recalling how they stepped forward and joined Ammanford Lions.

Humanitarian Support  In this episode, we hear from the Past International President of Lions International and Chair of the Lions Clubs International Foundation, Douglas Alexander of Brooklyn, New York City who is speaking with Mandy Broadbent. Douglas Alexander explains the important work of the Foundation, some of the challenges being faced by local communities following a humanitarian disaster, and the impact local Lions members have in responding. Followed by a conversation with Ron Lindsay from Tickhill and District Lions in South Yorkshire who joins us to talk about how the club raises funds to support the community and how they’ve joined forces with neighbouring clubs to apply for matching grants from the Lions Clubs International Foundation to increase the Lions support for very local worthy causes.

Share and Promote In this episode, Brian Langton from Earl Shilton and Barwell Lions joins us to talk all about Community Radio Stations, followed by some hints and tips that you may find useful in preparing to be interviewed on your local station.

Reaching out and Nostalgia In this episode, Mel Watson from Hornsea and District Lions talks about how the club has financially supported their primary schools by purchasing defibrillators and providing training for teachers on their use. Next, we hear from Michael Gardiner of Bungay Lions about organising and planning their Classic Vehicle Rally and Country Fayre in the grounds of Earsham Hall.

Planning and Preparation In this episode, Melanie Davenport from Highworth and District Lions talks about how the club together with the invaluable support from the community and businesses renovated their Lions charity shop, all within 3 weeks. Next, we hear from Vijay Arora of Stanmore Lions Club on the organisation of the annual youth party – a fun-filled event for hundreds of young people with a range of abilities to celebrate with their carers and family members.

Listen and Recall In this latest episode which is a little different in its format, the host, Samantha Boffin takes us on a step back to listen and recall a few highlights from the ‘Step Forward and Volunteer’ podcast.

Santa Sleigh Special In this latest podcast, we hear from Neil Smith, a member of Calne Lions who tells us about the refurbishment, or should I say re-building of their Santa Sleigh. Following months of dedication and hard work it has been very worthwhile to see the reaction of the public when the new Santa Sleigh took to the streets of Calne.

Listening and Supporting In this latest podcast, we hear from Fiona Reilly, a member of Horley Lions.  Last year, Horley Lions set up Warm over Winter campaign working in partnership with a range of organisations to support families who are struggling, due to the rise in food and fuel costs.  We also feature John May from the Bert Mason Internet Lions who has been actively working on the Lichfield and District Talking Newspapers for 41 years.  John talks about what this vital service means for those that are blind and visually impaired.

Fair and Fayre In this latest podcast, we hear from John Milner of Ashby de la Zouch and Coalville Lions.  Each year, Ashby Statutes Fair is opened for a pre-arranged morning free of charge due to the generosity of Anthony Harris, the fair owner for the club, especially to bring children and adults with a range of abilities and their carers.  We also feature Tim Clark from Yateley Lions whose making a difference by supporting the ‘Get Ahead’ campaign for a charity, Harry’s Hat, through their local May Fayre event.

Exploring and Volunteering In this episode, Paul Allaway from Guernsey Lions talks about an imaginative idea the club has come up with, working in partnership to encourage families to explore the outdoors through the creation of a woodland creatures trail.  We also hear from Tracey Field of Chelmsford Lions who joins to tell us why she stepped forward to volunteer at the Commonwealth Games during the Summer.

Coastal and Rural In this episode of Step Forward and Volunteer we welcome Richard Allen, president of Budleigh Salterton Lions, and Lynda Burns of Dalbeattie & District Lions. Richard gives us an insider’s view on organising Budleigh’s annual Gala Week and its popular pebble-building contest, while Lynda recounts Lions’ efforts in her part of rural south-west Scotland to refurbish and maintain much-loved memorial benches along the Jubilee Path between the coastal villages of Rockcliffe and Kippford.

Experience and Popularity In this episode, we welcome Andy Ansell – Head of Estates, and Mark Ellis – Head of Visitor Experience from the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. They’re here to talk with us about what makes it a special place to visit. Next, we hear from Annie Vickers, a member of Basingstoke Lions about the club’s mascot. Annie explains how Lennie the Lion has become so popular that the club regularly receives requests for guest appearances.

Competitive and Inspirational In this episode, we hear from Nigel Perry of the Knaresborough Lions Club. The club hosts the Great Knaresborough Bed Race, featuring 90 teams, attracting crowds of thousands, drawn to experience the excitement of the high-speed bed race. Next, we listen to feedback from those taking part in the annual Lions Roar Competition. A unique programme working with schools to inspire children, to think big, dream big.

Compassion and Humanity In this episode, we hear from Radu Cristea of the Lions Club of Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania in Romania about setting up a shelter for people displaced from their homes and delivering humanitarian aid in Ukraine.  We also hear from Serhii Denisenko, from Kyiv Lions, explaining how aid is being coordinated and distributed in Ukraine with the support of clubs from across the globe.

Makers and Creators In this episode, we hear from Bexhill Lions, Pam Edwards, Sue Saunders, and Sharon Webb who tell us about their magical green fairy trail made from recycled materials. We also hear from Allan Clark a Keighley Lion using woodwork skills to start a crafting revolution and attract new members.

Nursing and Nurturing In this episode, we speak with Nurse Sophie from Marie Curie. Over the last 10 years, Lions have helped raise close to £975,000 for the charity’s Great Daffodil Appeal, and Sophie shares her experiences of providing care and support for people affected by terminal illness. We also hear all about the Pirbright Nurture Farm, a community project supported by Guildford Lions, with its member, Michael Eagle and teacher, Dan Smith telling the story.

Passion and Creativity 2021 Young Ambassador award winner Ellie-Mae talks about her experience entering the Young Ambassador programme and green-fingered Cynthia Lines opens her beautiful garden in Leicestershire to the public, with the support of fellow Hinckley and Burbage Lions.

Photography and Championing talent Paignton Lions member Ian Snell shares advice on photography at events, such as the Walk into the Sea, before wheelchair tennis champion, Alfie Hewitt recalls how Acle and Brundall Lions played a key role in his early career.

Partnerships and Fundraising  Bolton Lions member Mandy Broadbent discusses the continued success of the club‘s annual Christmas Toy Appeal, and fundraising experts Amanda Horton-Mastin and Nick Gardner share tips to access grant funding.