Uckfield Lions’ minibus fund boosted

Draw winners with Bob Eaves, Ann Press (Macmillan Nurses) and Waitrose manager Paul Cottingham. Photo by Ron Hill
Draw winners with Bob Eaves, Ann Press (Macmillan Nurses) and Waitrose manager Paul Cottingham. Photo by Ron Hill

Uckfield’s Lions are breathing a sigh of relief now their Christmas fundraising drive is over and members can concentrate on their programme of activities for 2015.

Lion Bob Eaves said: “The sleigh has been cleaned and packed up, we disposed of the Christmas Draw tickets and now it’s back to continuing the development and planning of this year’s service and fundraising.”

Lion Graham’s sleigh team raised a record £4,884.63, £65.68 more than last year. It was at the late night shopping evening, Bonfire Society Service and all of Uckfield and many surrounding villages. As a result the community minibus replacement fund has been boosted substantially.

Bob went on: “That’s pretty good considering the increasing age of our Lions team. UckfieldFM’s support announcing the daily venues, the help of our spouses, Leos and Friends of Lions collecting each night, the kindliness of the weather with only a couple of wet evenings, and Lion Lynne and Paul’s efforts collecting and counting the cash means we can top up the minibus replacement fund by about £4,750. Even with the fund being increased by Christmas monies, there is a long way to go.”

Lion Frank’s supermarket draw team spent a week standing in Waitrose in shifts every day selling draw tickets. The winner was picked by Heidi, on the customer service desk and Waitrose vouchers were won by Mrs Ingram (£200,) Mrs Ridley (£100) and Mrs Hayes (£50.) Thanks to Waitrose’s generosity, Lions made a profit of £2,479, divided equally between the Macmillan Nurses Appeal and the minibus replacement fund.

The minibus has a tail lift so it can accommodate four wheelchairs and can be used by any group or organisation in Uckfield. It is intensively used with 208 bookings in 2014 including Christmas when it transported lonely people to a special meal.

Bob Eaves said: “When bought in 2002 it cost about £29,000. It has now done more than 83,000 miles, mostly in short trips causing accelerated wear and tear. Although sound, it is aged and has increasing maintenance needs. A breakdown when in use would be unacceptable, so it must be replaced and a new one will cost about £45,000.”