Adur East Lions Club member steps into new childhood cancer project role across south east

Marketgoers in Shoreham have shown their support for a Lions bucket collection, organised by the charity’s new childhood cancer project co-ordinator for the south east.

David Sluys, a member of Adur East Lions, has recently taken on the role for the district, covering Sussex, Surrey and Kent, after Lions Clubs International British Isles signed a charity partnership with Brain Tumour Research last August, with the aim of raising £1million over four years.

The collection at Shoreham Artisans’ Market on Saturday was a bit of a low-key start, due to Covid-19, but David has been proactive in organising diary dates for bigger events next year.

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He said: “It is my job to try to raise as much money as I can and I have mapped out some ideas. The bucket collection was a small thing to get us started.

Adur East Lions collecting for Brain Tumour Research at Shoreham Artisans' Market on Saturday

“Our local club has a presence at the market, so I thought we should see what we could raise for Brain Tumour Research at the same time. We collected £147.29, so I was quite pleased, and someone put in a ten pound note, so thank you very much to them.”

David has confirmed dates for two major events, a Texas Scramble tournament at Worthing Golf Club on May 27, 2021, and the East Grinstead 10k on September 26, 2021.

He said: “I have deliberately delayed these in the hope things will be closer to being back to normal by then, as that will mean we will be able to have a meal after the golf tournament and an auction, which should raise a significant amount of money. I was lucky enough to be invited to a charity event at the golf club last year and it was good fun.”

David ran the Worthing Half Marathon last February in aid of the Lions International Blood Research Appeal (LIBRA) and as a keen runner, he was pleased to agree a deal for next year’s East Grinstead 10k.

All proceeds from the community event, organised by East Grinstead Triathlon Club and East Grinstead Athletics Club, are usually shared equally between Prostate Cancer UK and East Grinstead Lions, supporting local good causes. For 2021, the Lions club has agreed to donate its half to Brain Tumour Research.

David said: “We are hoping that as many people as possible will take part in the run and individually raise money for LIBRA as well.

“I am also planning a number of other events at the same time, such as auctions, and I am speaking to our zone chairmen to see what things they can put on. I am hoping to have another golf event in Chichester and I am looking at having one in Kent, too. I also have quiz experts on board.”

David’s appointment is for one year but he is looking to do at least two years, with the hopes at least one of them will be more like normal times.

In the meantime, while Covid-19 continues to affect big events, he is using his time to plan ahead.

David said: “I have been in the role since June and I have realised the planning does take a long time but I have been proactive.”

He has been a keen supporter of LIBRA, having witnessed the benefits of new and improved leukaemia treatments first hand, and Brain Tumour Research is also a charity close to his heart, as a young relative died recently, having had a brain tumour since the age of five and lived with it for ten years, as it was inoperable.

David said: “Cancer charities are desperately short of funds at this time. All the services have been wonderful but I realised how little money is spent on research.”