Firstly, can I thank the District for the faith shown in me to lead it through the challenges of the final year of District 105C! I am very grateful and will not let you down.
It is, perhaps, a strange coincidence that the first District Governor of 105C following the redistricting in 1984 was former Lion Brian Cuthbert from the Morley & District Club and now the last also comes from that Club.
In addition to creating the new District 105N, from Districts 105C and 105NE, we have a number of other challenges to contend with. Not least of these are two created by legislation that impacts our Clubs – becoming a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
As you will be aware, I am helping the priority Clubs – those with income in excess of £5,000 in a year and without a Charitable Trust – to become a CIO; all of these have to be registered with the Charity Commission by 31 December 2018.
Your Cabinet will be discussing recommendations from District Data Protection Office, Lion Steve Valentine, at the April meeting to establish what Clubs and District will need to do to comply with the new GDPR. In particular, this will impact the information we hold about non-Lions, who may help us with our events, such as Santa’s Sleigh every Christmas.
I promised Convention that there would be some radical thinking and I will talk to you about my thoughts about how we can stop the slide in membership we have seen over the past several years. I will, however, be discussing these with Lion Amin Dada and his Global Membership Team before letting any loose. There are no simple answers, of course, because all membership organisations are facing similar challenges. However, I cannot believe that out of a population of Yorkshire of some 5.3 million there is only a thousand that believe in what we believe in! I’m sure it’s a question of how we make Lions appealing and accessible to the Millennials.
Finally, I hope that all District Officers will want to continue in their current role in 2018/19, but if you have a burning ambition to become a District Officer, then please let me know. Even if there is no vacancy in 2018/19, you could shadow the current incumbent to learn the ropes for the future.
I look forward to working with all of you to help us continue to serve our communities.
Lion Clive Barwell
District Governor Elect 105C