The President of Ellesmere Rotary, Peter Broadbent, recently presented the Club’s annual Community Champion Award to Lilian Ashely for 2020/21.

Lilian is an avid knitter and member of Knit and Natter who has, over many years, made contributions to the fund-raising efforts of local organisations by selling her wares at craft fairs, coffee mornings, and then passing on the proceeds.

She has long been an annual presence at the Ellesmere Rotary Regatta in order to support that particular year’s chosen beneficiary. She has produced a variety of toys, baby clothes, hats, blankets etc. in that time, and she knits every spare minute she has.

She has been a member of the Ellesmere Hope House Supporters for many years and treasurer for some of that time. She is also a Past President of the Ellesmere W.I.

In recent years Ellesmere Rotary has been especially grateful to Lilian and her friends for their efforts in making teddies for the Buddy Bag Foundation. The Foundation supports children who are taken into emergency care, a group that numbers approximately 48,000 a year. At this low point in their life the bag contains a few essential items and some items of comfort; amongst them a Buddy Bear. Peter said, “At such a time children need to know that they are in a safe place, and the bear represents the fact that somebody believes they are worthwhile and really cares about them”. Based on a charity started in Australia in 2007, the Buddy Bags Foundation was founded in December 2015.

Lilian is filled with enthusiasm for the aims of the Foundation and Rotary is hugely grateful for her contribution. She really does fulfil one of the key commitments of Rotary International –  “Service Above Self”.

Anyone interested in learning more about the activities of The Rotary Club of Ellesmere should contact the Club Secretary on 01939 272949.

Pictured: The President of Ellesmere Rotary, Peter Broadbent, presenting the Club’s annual Community Champion Award to Lilian Ashely for 2020/21.