German Youth Exchange

As usual, our German Exchange went very well when we housed, fed, entertained and generally looked after 12 disabled folk.
Leeds Lions together with the Leeds Skyrack Lions Club have enjoyed this German Exchange for nearly 50 years. Whilst it used to be for the under 19s the age limit has been extended over the years. Back in 2016 we had one disabled gentleman who was 68! Siegfried had never had a holiday – been out of Germany or had anyone show him the ‘kindness’ he said he received during the week. He also said, “That was the best week of my entire life!”
Each evening back at Hinsley Hall in Headingley, Leeds where the group stayed they would each recall the days events and what the day had meant to them. Siegfried would write a little essay, verse or poem and ask for one of the carers to translate and read it out. This usually fell to Lion President Hans-Dieter (from Kassel where the Brothers Grimm were born). This was hugely enjoyed by everyone as the translation could be hilarious. One line in a poem he wrote for me translated as “Your eyes are as blue as..bricks!” He didn’t mind us laughing and was pleased he could bring laughter with his written offerings. I have got hold of some German Dictionaries (from Freeloved) so I can read and reply to some of the letters I have recieved from the group who are now back in Germany.
One wheelchair-bound young boy thoroughly enjoyed himself when the group went to Hunslet Boys Club for a boxing lesson. Through manually operating his wheelchair he has great arm strength and was able to take part alongside all the mobile youngsters. He was thrilled that he had done so well.
They were all taken ten-pin bowling, had a day at the seaside, went to ‘The Deep’ in Hull, had meals out, listened to a German Oompah Band in Roundhay Park in Leeds before spending the afternoon and early evening at Lions John and Caroline’s house. The weather was very kind and everyone played Boules on the lawn before dancing to the Jukebox which including specially sourced (By our President Peter Sandeman) German 45’s vinyl records – which, fortunately, they all recognised.
Now in 2019, the Clubs are busy organising the trip to Germany.  Lion President Peter Sandeman would like to hear from possible candidates who would like to be considered for the holiday in July.

About Lions

To find out more about what we do to help the local community and how you can get involved please use the navigation information above. We hope you find out exactly what you need to know but if you need anything more please get in touch by calling David Homewood on M 07752 503390  or E:

Lions meet the needs of local communities and the world every day because they share a core belief – to serve their community.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization

We have 1.35 million members in more than 45,000 clubs in more than 206 countries and geographic areas.

Lions have a dynamic history

Founded in 1917, we are best known for fighting blindness, but we also volunteer for many different kinds of community projects – including caring for the environment, feeding the hungry and aiding seniors and the disabled.

Lions give sight

By conducting vision screenings, equipping hospitals and clinics, distributing medicine and raising awareness of eye disease, Lions work toward their mission of providing vision for all. We have extended our commitment to sight conservation through countless local efforts and through our international SightFirst Program, which works to eradicate blindness.

Lions serve youth

Our community projects often support local children and schools through scholarships, recreation and mentoring. Internationally, we offer many programs, including the Peace Poster Contest, Youth Camps and Exchange and Lions Quest.

Our Leo Program provides the youth of the world with an opportunity for personal development through volunteering. There are approximately 144,000 Leos and 5,700 Leo clubs in more than 140 countries worldwide.

Lions award grants

Since 1968, the Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF) has awarded more than US$700 million in grants to support Lions humanitarian projects around the world. LCIF was also ranked the number one nongovernmental organization in a 2007 study by The Financial Times.

Lions help during disasters

Together, our Foundation and Lions are helping communities following natural disasters by providing for immediate needs such as food, water, clothing and medical supplies – and aiding in long-term reconstruction.

Lions are active

Our motto is “We Serve.” Lions are part of a global service network, doing whatever is necessary to help our local communities.

For more about Lions Clubs, go to

Lions are an international network of 1.3 million men and women in 205 countries and geographic areas who work together to answer the needs that challenge communities around the world.