The District Final was held on Sunday 22nd November 2015 at St John’s Hotel Solihull. Three Lions Clubs had found a quality trio of young people to be candidates, all were impressive, all working hard within their schools and in their communities. Charles James-Pemberton sponsored by Shakespeare Lions Club, who have a good liaison with local youth and schools in their area and cultivate this to participate in Young Leaders in Service and Young Ambassador year on year. Gemma McNally sponsored by Martson Green Lions Club, again the Club has very well established links with local schools and works with them on all kinds of youth projects. The third candidate was Jessica Browne sponsored by Shirley Lions Club, who have a good track record when choosing the winning candidate, again with strong links in the youth voluntary sectors in and around Shirley.
The competition took place throughout the morning, each candidate presenting a three minute outline of their project and how they would spend the bursary of £500 should they win, followed by 20 minutes of questioning by three judges. The education and lead judge Chris Parry, the business judge Chris Train and the voluntary sector judge Jackie Lees, all commented on how impressed they were with each candidate and how difficult it had been to decide upon a winner, as all the projects were impressive.
The judges spent a long time deliberating, some of the time over a lovely lunch, but eventually a winner was decided upon. Jessica Browne sponsored by Shirley Lions Club was declared the winner in front of many Cabinet Officers that had stopped to support this competition. She was awarded a Winner’s Certificate by Chris Parry and DG Heather, and at District Convention in March 2016 she will receive the Lion Geoff Thompson Memorial Trophy to keep for twelve months plus a smaller replica to keep.
Jessica has been involved in developing, planning, designing, planting and maintenance of a Sensory Garden on Castle Bromwich Green to enable the disabled and able bodies to access it, in the garden is a Peace Tree in remembrance of all those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world. She is a member of the local Youth Parish Council and takes her duties very seriously. As well as her school work she is also an impressive gymnast on the trampoline, there appears to be no end to her talents.
Jessica will now represent 105M in the MD Finals to be held the weekend of 19th – 21st February 2016, at The Village Hotel, Dudley, West Midlands, all Lions are invited, especially to attend the award ceremony on the morning of Sunday 21st February 2016, there is no cost, and as it’s on 105M’s patch easily accessible. She will also be at District Convention a month later to receive her award.
I would ask all clubs in 105M to rise to the challenge of finding a Young Ambassador Candidate for next year NOW. Young people have so much enthusiasm, energy and foresight they can enhance any Lions Club and they are our future.
Look out for updates and information for next year. Any details please contact me Cath Kendall on firstname.lastname@example.org