Lions’ new president enjoys ‘giving back’

New Adur East Lions president Frances Burt, left, with Claudine Rogers
New Adur East Lions president Frances Burt, left, with Claudine Rogers

Magical moments are what make community work so worthwhile, says the new president of Adur East Lions.

Frances Burt is looking forward to her year ahead in the role and says she is hoping to do her best for everyone.

She officially takes over from Claudine Rogers on July 1 but the handover was celebrated at a cream tea in her back garden on Sunday.

Frances said: “It was lovely meeting everyone on a social level. They are a lovely group, very friendly.

“A lot of us are very like-minded. I have been very fortunate and it is nice to give something back.

“Things like the Donkey Derby and the annual car boot on Adur Rec bring people together. Everybody in the Lions pulls together to get it running and the bonus is meeting other people, who are usually very nice.”

Frances joined the club in 2014 but first went along with her husband Colin a while before she signed up.

She explained: “When my husband retired, he was looking for something to do and saw an advert from Adur East Lions looking for new members.

“He said he thought he would go along and I went to see what it was like. The president at the time was someone I went to school with but I didn’t feel it was right for me at the time.

“Colin joined up, then it was ‘can you come and help’ and it went from there.”

Frances was born in Shoreham and brought up in Southwick, so her roots are here. She was educated at King’s Manor Girls School, in Kingston Lane.

She said: “When I was small, I remember the steam fair in Buckingham Park and I think the Donkey Derby must have come from that. This year’s was the best ever.”

The Lions’ spring and autumn teas are events Frances particularly enjoys, as they bring older people together.

She said: “We had a great group of people turn up at the spring tea this year. I arranged for saxophonist Alison Clark to play for an hour but they didn’t want her to stop.

“Some of the people got up and danced, they just forgot that they might need a zimmer frame, it was magical. They enjoyed it so much, that is what makes things worthwhile.

“You can put as much or as little as you like into it. It gives you a purpose. Some people get involved at a district and national level. I am happy on a local level, I enjoy that more.”

Frances worked in local government in Brighton, in education then social services, and became secretary to the director.

She left to have children but as Catherine, Helen and David grew up, she went back to work part time.

In 1994, she joined Pavilion Publishing, a Brighton-based company producing training materials for health and social care.

As the children got older, her hours increased, and when the company started running conferences and exhibitions, she became the organiser.

Frances said: “I loved it, it was very interesting.”

For more information about the Lions, telephone 0845 8337356, visiting www.adureastlions.org.uk or find Adur East Lions Club on Facebook

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Donkey Derby is simply the best