Julian Knight's Westminster Diary, 06/06/2019

Solihull Mail.

This weekend, Tudor Grange Park is playing host to one of the highlights of the Solihull social calendar: the annual Carnival!

Organised by our local Lions branch, Solihull Carnival is always a treat, with a broad selection of stall and entertainments as well as rides and entertainments for the children. This year apparently include Chinese lion dancing, go-karts, theatre and much more besides.

I’ll be there, and I hope that as many of you as possible will join me to support this outstanding event, which raises so much money for charities and good causes.

Every year the Carnival is always organised and run extremely well, and this is testament not only to everybody who volunteers on the day but also to the broader work that the Lions do, both here and across the world, to help those in need and enhance their communities.

Some of you may be familiar with the Lions for their projects in Shirley and Solihull – I’m sure many of you will have spotted the life-saving defibrillators they installed around our town a couple of years ago, for example.

But did you know that the Lions is actually a global organisation? Our local branch is one of over 46,000 branches worldwide, spread across almost 200 countries. There are 1.7 million members, including over 250,000 young ‘Leos’. In 2017 the organisation celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Whatever town or country they’re in, the ethos is the same: to raise money for good causes. Every pound (or dollar, or euro…) raised from the public is always passed on the good work being supported, with administrative and other costs are paid for by the members themselves.

The nature of this work is hugely varied, but there is a special focus on community hearing and cancer-screening projects, as well as on work with blind and partially-sighted people.

I’m very proud to be an honorary member of the Solihull Lions. My wife Philippa and I attended their most recent Charter Dinner, and I am always glad of an opportunity to support their work.

So make sure you drop by on Saturday – and put the 13th of July in your calendar too. That’s when Shirley Lions are throwing their own carnival, and you won’t want to miss it.

Originally published in the Solihull Mail, 06/06/19.