Partner Story – Southwell & District Lions Club
  • Sarosha Byrne, Fundraising Volunteer interviewing Alastair Murray, Southwell & District Lions Club President 2022-2023

Reach is all about people coming together to make a difference; this aligns with the aim of Lions Club International to enable individuals to join together to give their valuable time and effort to improving their communities, and the world. Reach has been closely connected with Southwell Lions for many years now, working together to build an excellent relationship. We are even more closely connected through Nick Turner, Reach Trustee and Steve Scall, family carer to one of our clients and accommodation tenant, who are both Lions.

Southwell Lions do wonderful work within our local community, giving their time volunteering and raising money to support charities, schools and individuals. They currently have 32 members who, together, raise around £20,000 each year, some of which is used to support Reach’s work. Including:

  • Making a grant towards Reach’s Southwell Accommodation project
  • Donating towards Reach Southwell’s socials
  • Pledging to match-fund 2021 and 2022’s Big Give Christmas Challenge
  • Gifting two Christmas trees and decorations to the Southwell accommodation

Our rich and mutual partnership with Southwell Lions has created a valuable source of funding, whilst working alongside a strong pillar of the community. We look forward to building on this in the future.

Sarosha, Volunteer

“Southwell Lions have supported Reach in many ways including volunteering at Flower Pod Southwell and at events like the Viking Challenge. At Flower Pod Southwell, six Lions helped dig a new wildlife area. Reach also helps us, by sharing resources and supporting our activities. Reach loan us marquees for social and fundraising events, and staff members enjoy attending our quizzes and comedy nights.

We ensure we are involved beyond the financial investment too, for example making site visits to see the progress of the accommodation build. This enables us to report back to our monthly business meetings and demonstrate where our money is going which helps give members confidence in Reach’s work and increases the likelihood of reinvesting in Reach. Collaborating with Reach gives us further insight into how a charity operates, which will help cultivate future work. For example, Reach has provided information on ways to diversify our fundraising to improve the club’s financial sustainability.

Lions know the importance of the work Reach do in the community. If Reach weren’t here, we know that people with learning disabilities would fall off the radar. Without Reach, people like Steve’s daughter wouldn’t receive the excellent support that they do. It’s a pleasure to work with the dedicated staff. The friendliness from the Reach team is outstanding, I receive the same friendliness as they give to their clients.” - Alastair, Club President 2022-23

"As members of ARC England since 2015, Reach’s input into our work is highly valued; their role in our 2021 Virtual Visit with DHSC and Care Quality Commission colleagues played a vital part in driving home the message about what life is really like in learning disability services and how hard staff worked during the pandemic to maintain excellent care.

Providers coming together under the ARC England banner to represent the sector’s needs has never been more important. Below-inflation fee uplifts, a recruitment crisis and the steep rise in living costs is affecting services, staff and supported people. We are lobbying the Government to make their Fair Cost of Care exercise more representative of the learning disability sector and continuing to bring members together to share best practice in offering high quality, person-centred care.

The creation of the ARC England Learning Disability Research Unit will tackle the problem of a lack of available data about learning disability social care. This will allow new insight into the sector’s size and value, providing a knowledge base to inform business planning and shape policy making. As an ARC England member, Reach will be invited to take part in a quarterly CEO Confidence Index which will track sector health across a range of key indicators.

Reach provides an outstanding example to fellow ARC England members and the wider learning disability and autism sector, and we look forward to continuing our relationship for many years to come.”

Clive Parry, ARC England Director

Liz Collins, ARC England Relationship and Communications Manager