Julian Knight's Westminster Diary, 13/06/19

Solihull Observer.

Last weekend, I was delighted to join so many local residents in Tudor Grange Park to enjoy this year’s Solihull Carnival.

This is always a highlight of the social calendar, even when the weather doesn’t do it justice. I’m glad so many of us braved the rain and cold to make it a success!

As promised there was a huge range of diversions and entertainments, including go-karting, theatre, Chinese lion-dancing and much more besides, and Solihull Radio was broadcasting live too.

I was especially pleased to see charity workers giving people with severe disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the sensation of cycling – even if it was just the rush of wind on their face. As a keen cyclist myself I know how special that can be, and it was great to see more people having the opportunity to share that experience.

Of course, that is just a small snapshot of the rich and diverse charitable sector we enjoy here in Solihull. Few organisations better embody this spirit that the one which organises the Carnival every year: Solihull Lions.

Some of you may be familiar with our local Lions clubs because of the many projects they have run in and around Solihull and Shirley over the years – perhaps you’ve spotted the life-saving defibrillators they helped to install around town a couple of years ago.

But in fact, these excellent groups are just local outposts of a world-spanning organisation. The Lions have over 46,000 branches globally, spread across almost 200 countries and made up of 1.7 million members, including over a quarter of a million young ‘Leos’.

But no matter where they are, the goal is always the same: to raise money for good causes and serve those in need. This includes everything from local community events such as the Carnival to high-profile work on behalf of deaf, blind, and partially-sighted people, as well as cancer-screening projects.

Every penny donated to the Lions is passed straight on to the causes they serve, with the costs of their fundraisers and other activities defrayed by the members themselves. That’s why I’m so proud to be an honorary member of Solihull Lions, and always glad to support their work in any way I can.

Originally published in the Solihull Observer, 13/06/19.