New Banbury Lions club president looks towards the future with theme of re-connecting and making difference in the community

New Banbury Lions Club president aims to expand the club's membership with a theme of connecting and building relationships within the community.

By Matt Elofson
Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:23 am
Updated Thursday, 5th August 2021, 11:24 am
Graham Raven (at left in photo) stepped down as president of the Banbury Lions Club this summer turning the role over to John Couppleditch for the coming year ahead. (Image from Banbury Lions Club)
Graham Raven (at left in photo) stepped down as president of the Banbury Lions Club this summer turning the role over to John Couppleditch for the coming year ahead. (Image from Banbury Lions Club)

John Couppleditch took over role of president of the Banbury Lions Club this summer from Graham Raven.

Mr Couppleditch said: "It's about creating links this year. It's about building up those relationships again."

The theme for the next year as John Couppleditch takes over the club is 're-connecting and re-engagement.'

The Banbury Lions Club typically meets at 7:45pm on the first Tuesday evening of the month at The Wroxton House Hotel in Wroxton near Banbury. The club has plans in the future to hold their face-to-face meetings at a different local area pub each month supporting local business in the process.

The club also plans to continue using Zoom for its monthly meetings after its usage during the pandemic actually helped boost attendance to the club's monthly meetings.

For more information on the Banbury Lions Club see its website here: https://www.banburylions.co.uk/But during a recent meeting with the Banbury Guardian John explained how the Banbury Lions is about more than meetings.

The club is a group of men and women who want to put something back into the local community.

Mr Couppleditch said: "For me the key is how we can impact this town and its surrounding villages."

Club member, Jamie Cox, added: "It's all about how can we make a difference in the community."

Some of the other community projects the Banbury Lions Club has launched include the funding and installation of four defibrillators in town. They funded and installed a defibrillator outside the former M&S building at Castle Quay, one on Butchers Row, one at the Banbury Football Club grounds and jointly funded one at Banbury Cross.

Mr Couppleditch said: "We do weekly checks on them all too."

Members of the Banbury Lions Club also served as volunteers at a local vaccination clinic earlier this year. Volunteers from the club helped keep the car park flowing and provide information for attending patients getting their Covid-19 vaccination at the Grimsbury Community Centre clinic.

They also served with the Rotary Club Banbury Cherwell to marshal the Cycle Sportiff event this summer. They also helped serve as marshals at the NOT the MIDNIGHT walk in aid of Katherine House Hospice last month. And they also hosted a stall at the Banbury Play Day at Peoples Park held late last month.

Their annual Children in Need party is back on the calendar for this year in November, which they hold at Banbury College.

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The Banbury Lions Club currently has 20 members.

He said: "My plan is to grow this number, and we already have interest from two people who will be coming to our next meeting.

"I've also started to reach out to some of the youth organisations in town. Generally people come to us, but I sort of flipped it on its head and went to them."

The Banbury Lions Club has recently visited both the Banbury sea and air cadets. The club made a donation to help the Banbury Sea Cadets group buy a new kayak to use for the summer season.

He added: "We're just building bridges for the future.

"We're looking at how we can improve what we've already done in the past.

"We're sort of a crossroads. We really need to reach out to people right now."

Mr Couppleditch is also looking at launching a Friends of Lions group, which will be for people in the community who would like to help out with the club's community events, but are not ready to become full club members.

He's also looking at launching a guest speaker series over the next year.

The club also has a variety of social events on its upcoming calendar from a pub games night as well as some different style events such as a llama trekking event and an afternoon in the woods on a foraging expedition with local experts.

Mr Couppleditch added: "It's important with the effect of the pandemic on all of us to try and get out and have some fun and reconnect again."