A Melvin Jones Fellowship is a highly-prized and prestigious award from the Lions Clubs International Foundation which is awarded to members of the community whose work towards humanitarian causes is deemed worthy of special recognition. At the Newquay Towan Blystra Lions Charter Night on Saturday 21 October, two members of that club were surprised when called forward to be presented with individual fellowships for their outstanding voluntary service to the community by Past District Governor, Lion Lesley Chudley.
Lion Monique Collins does so much more than help others through the Lions as, being the manager of Newquay DISC for the past five years, she has not only helped the homeless but other members of the community many of them in full time employment who are finding it hard to make ends meet. She has championed many causes such as drop in benefit and legal advice sessions, giving mental health professionals a base to work from.
She has arranged for a mobile dentist to give treatment, liver screening tests and even self defence classes. She has also enabled street vets to visit and look after pets. Monique has appeared on television on many occasions speaking up for local people who find it difficult to get permanent accommodation in this seaside town. TV documentary-maker and presenter, Simon Reeve has visited DISC twice for different programme’s he has produced. Most recently DISC has been nominated for the Kings Award for voluntary service and the winners will be announced on November 14.
Lion Jill Bunt, a former Mayor of Newquay and previous president and treasurer of Towan Blystra Lions, is their current secretary and gives up many hundreds of hours every year in support of good causes through the Lions. In addition she volunteers at the RNLI shop at Newquay Harbour and in the Cornwall Air Ambulance shop in the town’s East Street. She has also been a keen and regular supporter of Monique’s work at DISC, helping to pack meals and organise deliveries to vulnerable people, notably during COVID.
Speaking of the two new Melvin Jones Fellows, Lion President Heather Stanley said: “We are so proud to have Monique and Jill as members of our club. Their contribution, not just to Lions, but directly to supporting others in the community makes these awards so appropriate and fits the criteria of the Melvin Jones Fellowship perfectly.”
The Melvin Jones Fellowship is named in honour of the founder of Lions Clubs International. The organisation was founded in 1917 and is now represented by clubs like Newquay Towan Blystra in over 200 countries and boasts some 1.4 million members. Cornwall has 16 clubs and two of them are in Newquay.