Special Olympics has received an additional boost on the back of 2,600 learning disability athletes taking part at its most successful National Games in Sheffield last month, with Lions Clubs International renewing their Memorandum of Support.

For over 25 years, Lions Clubs International (MD105), which serves the British Isles, has proudly supported Special Olympics GB by giving donations, fundraising for athletes selected for international competitions and providing volunteers to help run key events.  In that time, over £600,000 has been raised for the charity, in addition to the countless human hours of support in volunteering at Special Olympics events.

Lions signing up with #SOGB pictured (L-R) Murton Mann Chairman Special Olympics GB, Phil Nathan MBE, Lion & Special Olympics GB Board Member, Lawrie McMenemy MBE, President Special Olympics GB, and Balvinder Singh Sokhi MBE, Council Chairman Lion

The two organisations have agreed to renew a memorandum which will focus the partnership work for the next three years on the following key areas:

  • Volunteer workforce development
  • Supporting Special Olympics clubs at local level
  • Fundraising to establish a development fund for local clubs to apply for grants to support Special Olympics GB regionally and National Games.

Lions Clubs International is the largest voluntary service club organisation in the world, founded by Melvin Jones in 1917.

Lions has over 46,000 local clubs and more than 1.4 million members in over 210 countries and geographical areas around the World. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, United States, the organisation’s Motto  is “We Serve” and its ethos is to help meet the needs of local and International communities wherever possible globally.

Special Olympics GB table tennis action from the recent National Games in Sheffield – more sporting images available

Karen Wallin, CEO of Special Olympics GB, commented: “To receive this support from Lions Clubs International, which builds on their generous backing over many years, is very significant for us as an organisation and also for our 10,000 Special Olympics athletes across England, Scotland and Wales.”

Phil Nathan for Lions Clubs of the British Isles said: “Lions Clubs International was privileged to have been the primary organisation to work in partnership with Special Olympics to enable the ‘Opening Eyes Programme’ at the turn of the Century, which is still being provided today. Our Lions clubs proudly support Special Olympics in many communities of the UK and worldwide and look forward to supporting a strong and relevant relationship.”

Nathan added: “Also, as a Board member of Special Olympics GB, I am delighted that this relationship between our organisations, goes from strength to strength.”

For more information about Special Olympics Great Britain, visit specialolympicsgb.org.uk.