Lions put generous wheels in motion
DEDICATED members of the Lions Club of Corio Norlane are making a difference throughout the Geelong community thanks to a trio of programs which provide essential items to those in need.
The club, which was established nine years ago, passes on refurbished bikes and computers to those who can’t afford them, as well as running the Road Home Geelong program which provides winter goods to the homeless and those sleeping rough.
Club secretary Richard Walter said the second-hand bike project was in its seventh year and during that time more than 2500 bikes had been handed over to children and adults who might otherwise have gone without.
He said the club wanted to ensure everyone had the opportunity to use a bike to exercise or get themselves to school or work.
“We collect them from police stations and then we also put it out to the community and we do get a reasonable amount of donations from people who have grown out of them or no longer use them,” Mr Walter said.
“We clean them up and make sure they are in working order and then donate them on.
“They are for people who can’t afford to pay for it or can only afford to pay a small amount of money as a donation to the club.”
Mr Walter said there are about 15 Lions clubs in the region but there was no similar program so it was agreed the Corio Norlane branch would provide the service across Greater Geelong.
The second-hand computer program started nine years ago and fills a similar gap.
“If businesses or schools have computers that are being retired then we will accept those and we will upgrade them and pass them on to those in need, as we do with the bikes,” he said.
Club volunteers also run a bike safety education program in primary schools which is supported by VicRoads who provide the Bike Ed trailer which contains student bicycles, adult bicycles, helmets, vests and dome markers.
Meanwhile, the Road Home Geelong program started nine years after the club identified a local need for blankets for the homeless.
“We collect donated winter items – jackets, blankets, socks, scarfs, beanies, gloves or anything winter-related – that we can pass on to homeless people or those in the midst of homelessness who might be living in their car or couch surfing,” Mr Walter said.
“We collect those things and pass them onto the agencies.”
He encouraged agencies to reach out to the Lions if there was a need to be filled and they would endeavour to help.
Mr Walter said the Corio Norlane club had 25 members but was always open to more help.
“It’s a good number but for the amount we do it can be a bit of a struggle,” he said.
“Anyone who is willing to put a bit of voluntary time in to the help the community is welcome to join us.”
Anyone interested in donating items or those interested in volunteering with the Lions Club of Corio Norlane, or connect with their nearest club, can email [email protected] or phone 0490 802 003.