ONE of Bolton’s oldest service organisations the Bolton Lions has opened its own seasonal shop in The Market Place.

The ground-floor unit showcases the variety of projects the 52-year old organisation carries out. The Bolton club is part of an international movement started in America in 1916 but which is now in more than 200 countries.

The new unit, opposite Bodycare, provides a drop-off point for toys, gifts and donations for its well-known annual Christmas toy appeal.

There is also the opportunity to learn more about the Lions’ many projects and work in the local community. These include the Message in a Bottle campaign - providing a place for personal and medical details - and the recycling of used spectacles and hearing aids as well the national appeal to raise £1 million for tumour research.

The new shop also provides information about volunteering with Bolton Lions and has been supported by Bolton FM and students from Bolton School. It is open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Bolton Lions’ President Jeff Hartley said: “We’ve wanted to improve our public profile for a while and the initial response to the new shop is really positive.

“The Lions is a busy organisation all year round and we welcome greater interest in what we do and meeting more potential members and volunteers.”