In 1997 Lions Clubs International (LCI) created a Bridge Programme to encourage all Lionesses to become Lions, offering concessions e.g. reduced fees. In April 2019 the LCI Board of Directors made the decision to end the Bridge Programme with effect from 30th June 2021, meaning that any Lioness Clubs who do not become or join a Lions Club will cease to exist and no longer be able to use registered trademarks of LCI, including our Lioness logo and name, they also would no longer come under Lions Clubs insurance or charity status.
At the MD105 Lioness Conference in February 2020 club members voted to accept the emergency resolution to investigate setting up a new organisation. Subsequently at the Advisory Body meeting in April 2020 it was decided to set up a sub-committee to action this.
The sub-committee are researching setting up a new organisation including a format to allow for virtual club(s). They are trying to identify the benefits of a new organisation with a less bureaucratic structure; registering as a charity; insurance requirements; production of all documents including a new organisation constitution and guidelines and, of course, any costs that these arrangements will involve.
This is a very brief summary of what has happened with Lionesses in the UK. There are many Lioness Clubs throughout the world, and all are affected by the decision of LCI. All Lioness Clubs have had to prepare to make changes to their form of governance whilst still serving their communities. To help with understanding and sharing ideas an International Virtual Meeting has taken place, hosted by the Lionesses of the UK. Six countries joined in representing around 10,000 Lionesses worldwide. More similar meetings are planned, hopefully leading, in time, to even closer cooperation between Lioness Clubs of the world.
For more details about the ongoing efforts to form a new organisation following and continuing the work of Lionesses please see the “Way Forward” pages in the Lioness Newsletter, copies of which can be found on the “Newsletter” page of this website.