The Lions Club has been advised to open its doors to allow fresh, young members to join its ranks.
During recent celebrations marking the club’s 30th anniversary, District Governor for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Sherwin Greenidge acknowledged that the club’s membership was aging.
And while noting that this was the norm for most service organizations, he urged Lions to take action to reverse the trend.
“I have been asking clubs to seek out good citizens in their communities within the age range of 30 and 60 years to invite for membership,” he said at the Savannah Beach hotel where the club held its charter dinner.
Greenidge recalled that when the Lions Club of Barbados East started it had 52 members.
However, “volunteerism at that time took on a different perspective,” he said, adding that “this has led to a high number of members in service organizations over the age of 65”.
Greenidge is therefore anxious to welcome a fresh “new breed of volunteers” that could bring a range of skills and services to the table.
“One huge benefit of volunteerism in this era is the availability of young volunteers who are ready to enable your organizations to offer more support and services to the people who require assistance; allowing your organizations to involve a more diverse group of people; opening channels for local input and providing new perspectives for service,” he said, adding that “often these perspectives reflect the views of the community”.
Greenidge, who ascended to District Governor in mid-2017 and brought to the post some 20 years experience in the telecommunications services sector in customer experience management and relationship management, advised that when taking in new and vital blood to ensure continuity of the organization, members should not expect it to be business as usual.
“These [new age] volunteers are not prepared to attend any long and boring meetings where persons rehash old problems and spend inordinate time to agree on delivery of the project.”
He however suggested that the blend of youthful energy and mature wisdom could redound to the benefit of the organization.
“They[youth] bring energy and enthusiasm to your organization… new skills and experiences that may otherwise be unavailable in your organization.”