National Arboretum

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Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex dedicates
the new Lions Shelter at the National Memorial Arboretum
 
So that visitors to the National Memorial Arboretum can take a rest or shelter from the weather, Lions Clubs International in the British Isles and Ireland has risen to the challenge of creating a purpose-built new shelter at the site.
 
HRH The Countess of Wessex, as the patron of Lions Clubs International in the British Isles and Ireland, officially opened the shelter on Wednesday 14 September 2011 at midday. Following months of fundraising to pay for the building, Lions from across the four countries gathered for this special event.
 
The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK's year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. Visitors from all walks of life number around 300,000 per year and include Service personnel, veterans, students of all ages, groups and individuals.
 
The new building will have a screen where the names of members of the Lions family, who have passed to higher service during the last 12 months, will be placed.   This will be renewed each year.
 
Lions is also very proud of its work with young people in developing the ethos of peace around the world and, as such, they will be putting the winning picture from the annual Peace Poster and Poetry Competitions on a screen for people to read as they sit and reflect.
 
Chair of the Lions Council, Tony Gadsby, comments: "This is a wonderful occasion and particularly because our Patron was here to open the building.   It shows the spirit of Lionism to Serve the community by providing them with a building so that they can shelter from the elements and take time to remember their relatives and friends who have died in whatever circumstances. 
 
"The Lions from across the British Isles and Ireland have pulled together to raise over 30,000 to achieve this goal and I am sure that the visitors to the Arboretum will appreciate all the hard work it has taken to raise this money for such a worthwhile cause."

The Lions Club of Ringwood and Fordingbridge have made a contribution to this worthy and emotive cause.