Join Lions to help carnival survive

Ilkeston Carnival, parade through town centre and carnival at Rutland Recreation Ground.
Ilkeston Carnival, parade through town centre and carnival at Rutland Recreation Ground.

Fears have been voiced that the flagship Ilkeston Carnival could be in jeopardy unless the group that organises the annual extravaganza can attract more members to its ranks.

The Ilkeston Lions are the driving force behind the carnival and next year’s renewal, scheduled for Saturday June 13, will be the 25th presented by the club.

But the ranks of the Lions have diminished to such an extent that its very future is in doubt after more than 30 years.

Membership chairman Laura Rigby told the Advertiser: “We will struggle to organise and host next year’s event if more people don’t join.

“We need people of all ages, men and women, who want to do something to help their community.”

Thousands of people attended this year’s event but next year’s is under threat if the Lions don’t sign up more volunteers.

Laura, a 35-year-old mum- of-two, added: “The reason I joined the Lions was the carnival and I would hate to see it cancelled.”

Currently there are only six members of the Lions. When Laura joined seven years ago there were 25.

She said: “I think people associate the club with older men but that’s not a true picture at all.

“There are lots of opportunities and we would really benefit from some younger members. As well as organising the carnival, the fundraising and the community work, there is a really nice social side to the club.

“It’s as much time as you want to give, probably about four hours a month.”

In a bid to bolster the Lions numbers, the group is holding a membership drive on Tuesday July 22 for anyone interested in joining.

It is from 7.30pm at St Thomas Church hall on Nottingham Road. Anyone interested in getting involved should call Laura on 07967886463.