Lions International empowers volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.

Global Mission Statement

Empowering volunteers to serve their communities, meet humanitarian needs, encourage peace and promote international understanding through Lions clubs.Whilst we are autonomous and our focus is doing whatever is necessary to help our local community, all Lions are part of a global service network and through global initiatives can really make change happen fast and on a large scale.

Our motto is "We Serve".


Take a look at our UK national and Global websites by clicking on the appropriate link below:


     Lions in the UK

     Lions Around the Globe


The Lions Story

From Humble Beginnings to Global Reach

In 1917, a Chicago insurance agent named Melvin Jones convinced his luncheon club, the Business Circle of Chicago, that it should ally itself with other independent clubs to form a national organisation that would be dedicated not only to networking for business and social purposes, but also to the improvement of the community as a whole.

Among the groups invited were the Association of Lions Clubs, headquartered in Evansville, Indiana and led by Dr W.P. Woods. At the time of the meeting, June 7, there were several Lions clubs already in existence, some having been organized in 1916.

The Business Circle and other clubs agreed to rally under the Lions name, and a convention was called for October at Dallas, Texas. Thirty-six delegates representing 22 clubs from nine states heeded the call, approved the "Lions Clubs" designation and elected Woods as the first president. Guiding force and founder Jones was named acting secretary, thus beginning an association with Lions that ended only with his death in 1961.

The convention also began to define what the association was to become; a constitution and by-laws were adopted, the colours of purple and gold approved, and a start made on the Lions Clubs Objects and Code of Ethics.

Remarkably, considering the materialism of the era, both Objects and Ethics encouraged Lions to put service ahead of profit, and to uphold the highest standards of conduct in business and the professions.

Community leaders soon began to organise clubs throughout the United States. The association became "international" with the formation of a club in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in 1920. Clubs were later organised in Mexico, China and Cuba. By 1927, membership stood at 60,000 in 1,183 clubs.

In 1935, Panama became home to the first Central American club; the first club in South America was organised in Columbia the following year. Sweden, then France, brought Europe into the association in 1948. Japan had clubs by 1952, and the so-called "Eastern Bloc" was unblocked in 1989 with the formation of clubs in Hungary, Poland and Estonia. In 1990, a club was chartered in Moscow and today hundreds of Lions clubs are demonstrating the value of service in countries once closed to voluntary action. 

Lions serve our local community - youth, elderly and anyone in-between.


Lions International awards grants. Since 1968, the Lions Clubs International Foundation has awarded more than $670 million, about £430 million, in grants to support Lions humanitarian projects around the world, including major projects such as LIBRA based here in London. LIBRA is a trust set up by the South East of England Lions Clubs and currently its Chairman and Secretary are members of Farnham Lions.

The Foundation was ranked the number one Non-Governmental Organization in a 2007 study. (Source:The Financial Times)

Lions are helping communities following natural disasters by providing for immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies and aiding in long-term reconstruction.