The President of Crewkerne Lions Club, Cecil Turner, was honoured for a life time of charity work when he was invited to the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace. Cecil joined the Lions late in life, at the age of 70 years, when he came to talk to the club about the work he had done setting up the Yeovil Freewheelers EVS (Emergency Volunteer Service) in 1978. Known now as YFW Blood Bikes, it is the longest running Blood Bike group in the country, run entirely by volunteers and funded by kind donations from members of the public and community organisations.
Although one of the eldest members in Crewkerne Lions Club, Cecil quickly earned the nickname Duracell, because there was no stopping him. Younger members were left in awe and watched with trepidation as he would climb on the roof of his camper van, to set up PA systems or hang off ladders to wire up lights.
Apart from Cecil’s work with the Freewheelers and Lions, he also set up a swimming club for the disabled called The Apollo Club. Cecil went on to train as a coach for kayaking to allow some of the members to participate in the sport as well as enjoy a swim. With his late wife Val, he was a stalwart at the annual Woodlarks Camp for disabled, providing entertainment and First Aid. A member of Crewkerne Lions Club said: “Cecil is the epitome of where there’s a need, there’s a Lion.”