Today, Brighton Lions Club members will be out in force, manning our various stalls and stands at the annual Lilac Lark which we run in conjunction with the Friends of Withdean Park. Quite obviously, this is a high profile affair with members of the public seeing Lions at work. But what many of those members of the general public will not think about is the amount of work that is put in by Lions Club members either right behind the scenes or in fairly private situations. Just as a f'r'instance, take this last week - and this is just what I know about.
Saturday - 8 members setting up, running and clearing up the monthyl book fair, a sale of second-hand books.
Monday - 1 member printing menus in preparation for Charter Night.
Tuesday - 1 member printing menus in preparation for Charter Night, 1 member producing entertainment poster for today's Lilac Lark.
Wednesday - 1 member checking & preparing bingo equipment & prizes, 1 member sorting books at the club's store, 2 members dealing with paperwork for the Housing Society, 3 members running bingo at a retirement home.
Thursday - 3 members making a presentation to the Sussex Heart Charity, 1 member checking & preparing bingo equipment & prizes, 2 members dealing with requests for Message in a Bottle bottles, 1 member preparing notices etc for today's Lilac Lark, 1 member dealing with coconut shy equipment.
Friday - 1 member collecting coconuts for today's Lilac Lark, 2 members running bingo at a retirement home.
Saturday - several members loading van in readiness for today's Lilac Lark, 1 member delivering Message in a Bottle bottles, 1 member putting up notices around the park for today's Lilac Lark, 3 members attending other Lions Clubs events in the evening.
On top of that, there have been various phone calls making and confirming arrangements, the secretary has had to deal with post and emails, the treasurer has been paying in at the bank and updating his paperwork etc etc. And there have certainly been other things going on about which I know nothing.
That is a glimpse of the "behind the scenes" work put in by just one Lions Club. Add up the hours of work done by other Lions across the country, the continent and the world - and then add in the hours of work done by members of Rotary, Round Table and so many other voluntary service organisations and give thanks. The world really is not such a bad place when there are so many people willing to give so much of their time to help their communities.
I'm not sure why I took this photograph in Stanmer woods the other day - or what it is that I like about it.