Community Service/ Santa Sleigh - 2019

We volunteer to help the Billericay Lions with its Christmas Santa Sleigh Charity Collection

Illuminated Santa Sleigh
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And then there were nine

Ten green bottles hanging on the wall
If one green bottle should accidentally fall
There’d be nine green bottles ...

That’s how the nursery rhyme goes, but on December 17 it was more a case of:

Ten keen members walking down the road
If one Greene Member was accidentally left
There’d be nine keen members ...

Peter Strong and Peter Greene had volunteered to help out the Lions with its Christmas Santa Sleigh Charity Collection.  Everybody met in Norsey View Drive before starting the collection down Perry Street and into Chestwood Close.

Easy start, but conscientious Peter tried ALL the houses at the end of Chestwood Close.  “Wait a moment, while I get some money” said one householder.   When he returned “I missed you last time so here’s double” as he put £10 in the bucket.  Worth the wait!  Or was it?

Peter returned to the Close – no sleigh, .... nobody!  Perry Street – no sign there.  Hillhouse Drive – NO. The Knoll – NO.  The Copse – NO.  Moat Edge Gardens – NO. Every road down to the Queens Park Roundabout – NO.  Abandoned in the cold.  An hour fruitlessly searching to no avail.

In the end, collection bucket in hand, a slow walk back to the start to hand over the collection but still nobody there.  After 40 minutes, and just starting a long walk back, the team re-appeared and, with them, a lift home to the warmth.

Much Smoother Operation

But this wasn’t typical.  On the previous Friday, four of our Members and partners – Patrick and Carol Rothon, Roger Kettle, and Les Sheppard, helped out with collections at Queens Park.  Much better luck, and what a reception they got!  Everyone was in a festive mood and they even came across a family street party with tables outside serving mulled wine and mince pies.  Les even managed to outdo the others by enjoying a hot dog with all the trimmings (isn’t that right Les?).  

They were out collecting for over three hours and Carol said they had walked around six miles.

This is a great effort, we get (much needed?) exercise, the kids see Santa and we all collect for Charity - approx £9200 this year.  Well Done Lions!