One of the first clubs to step forward to help was Havant Lions, one of 700 clubs in the UK helping to provide different types of support depending on the needs of their own area.
While the government is making money available to support people during the crisis there is inevitably a delay in getting cash into peoples’ hands - which can mean that in the short term people don’t even have the money to buy basic food.
Havant Lions has allocated an initial £2,000 to help, with funds converted into £50 food vouchers which are being routed via Social Services and Citizens Advice to make sure the vouchers go to those most in need.
Rob Waddington, Havant Lions’ president, said: ‘All our club members are local people so we can see first-hand that some Havant families have been hit really hard by the Covid crisis. It’s great that Havant Lions have been able to do a little to help them get through.’
Hayling Island Lions has also allocated another £1,000 to provide help to people on the island. In particular, the club is supporting Hayling Helpers, a group aimed at providing support to people who are self isolating.
Another Hayling Island Lions initiative gives islanders a chance to publicly thank a friend or neighbour who has gone above and beyond, with a lucky nominee receiving a small gift from the Lions as a thank you.
Sandra Manktelow, Lions chairman for this area, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see Lions stepping forward to help so many people in our communities.
‘The beauty of Lions is that, while it is a huge organisation, each club is local meaning they target their help on the needs of that community, and because each club’s running costs are paid by the club members every penny donated by the public goes towards supporting our communities.’
Petersfield Lions is working with other community organisations on Petersfield Coronavirus Resource Hub, helping let residents know where they can get assistance, wellbeing support or find open shops to buy food and other necessities.