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From Yorkshire with Love !

[Photo: Tim Ritson (Wetherby District Lions) and Bob Frendt (driver and fundraiser)]

A man appeared at a folk club in Wetherby asking for £20,000 and didn’t get thrown out - his name was Bob, a retired lorry driver from Knaresborough and he had just returned from his eighth (8th) trip to Ukraine delivering humanitarian aid to the town of Volodymyr. He had become friendly with the mayor and asked if there was anything special they desperately needed – the reply was a fire engine! Specifically, one with a high-rise telescopic ladder as most of the accommodation in the town is in Soviet era tower blocks with no lift and only one staircase. A rocket attack on a lower floor would trap those in the upper flats with no means of escape.

The sums involved were more than one organisation could be reasonably expected to raise. The folk club together with Leeds Ukrainian Society were organising fund raising events and asking for help from any other groups. Wetherby Lions member Tim Ritson was in the audience and after a brief discussion with Bob decided this was something the Lions could become involved with and requested at the next Lions’ meeting that they should support the project. This was happily agreed and Knaresborough Lions were invited to combine forces with Wetherby. The clubs, working together with other organisations, proved an unstoppable force and “Joyce” the fire engine will shortly be on her way to Ukraine.

Bob says, “thanks to the generosity of many people and companies including Wetherby District Lions and Knaresborough Lions, we are able to deliver a fire engine to the residents of Volodymyr!”

Bob adds, “it's amazing what you can do, and people want to help where they can.”

As an additional bonus any empty space on the vehicle will be filled with chocolates for local schools and hospitals thanks to one of Wetherby Lions long time supporters donating a large amount of confectionery.

Want to make a positive contribution to your community? Please consider joining our grrrreat team where you will be warmly welcomed. For more information call us on 0345 833 9529 or email or contact us online here

If you wish to help financially then you can donate here Thank you. Need support? Lion members are always available to assist where appropriate and to support other local clubs, charities, individuals etc. Please visit to discover more of what we do and who we support.


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