Lions have been supporting the Special Olympics for many years and in the past they have been welcome guests at Autumn Forum and District Convention. It was at one of these events that we first became aware that a local group in Solihull was potentially in difficulties. Help was offered at the time but declined. Since then the situation deteriorated and Lion Greg Hessian stepped in to ask local clubs to offer support.
A series of meetings took place appointing a new committee and Shirley Lions President Chris Burrows volunteered his services as football coach (and PDG Neil thought he was unique with his refereeing skills). The key position of treasurer remained vacant but undaunted Chris’s colleagues in Shirley went out and not only found a retired accountant with extensive knowledge of charity accounts, charity funding but he also had intimate knowledge of the Special Olympics as his son had been a swimmer with them and knew some of the other athletes in the Solihull club. Introductions were also made to another Leaning Disability group in Solihull which was able to offer specialist advice and support. Solihull Special Olympics Chairman Paul Robinson said “It is absolutely astounding. We couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you Lions.”
Shirley Lions are now offering on-going practical and specialist support to the new committee through various contacts. They will also be able to profile their activities at a disability sports taster event in Solihull on 29th August (being co-ordinated by a Shirley Lion via Enable-Solihull). If anyone is interested in coming along to this event or finding out more please contact Kay.