Triple backing for Midlands Air Ambulance rescue services
Three Provincial Grand Masters, Robert Vaughan (Worcestershire), Tim Henderson-Ross (Gloucestershire) and the Reverend David Bowen (Herefordshire) with his deputy Michael Roff, presented cheques totalling £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance.
Receiving the cheques was Michelle McCracken, fundraising manager at Strensham air ambulance base. The donations form part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s support for all of the 22 air rescue services in England and Wales, which since 2007 has totalled more than £2 million. An additional £6,000 was presented by the Reverend David Bowen from the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association.
Freemasons warmly welcomed by Herefordshire Samaritans
While it is appreciated that members from individual masonic Lodges have supported Herefordshire Samaritans in the past, the recent £500 donation to refurbish the organisation’s vehicle, was the first support given by the central Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association
In the words of Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, this assistance should be maintained in the light of the invaluable work undertaken by the Samaritans, as exemplified by the 18,835 contacts made to the local branch in 2013. David Bowen was impressed by the fact that Herefordshire Samaritans was a self funded charity with no paid employees, everyone involved being a volunteer.
Dorian Lower, Branch Director of Herefordshire Samaritans situated in Berrington Street, warmly welcomed the Freemasons who attended with David Bowen, namely Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Allan Lloyd and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward. He expressed his great appreciation for such support and hoped that the link with between the local Freemasons and Herefordshire Samaritans Group would continue and prosper.
According to the Haven’s manager, Frankie Devereux, the 'hugely successful' Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Hereford, 'culminated in a most welcomed and substantial donation of £5,800.00 from the Freemasons'
Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, in presenting this latest donation, spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken at the Haven in Hereford. He emphasised the continued support of Freemasons, being fully aware that the success of the Haven’s work depended entirely upon charitable giving. Herefordshire Province of Freemasons has been a Guardian of the Haven since 2011.
In attendance at the presentation, undertaking his first official duty, was Edward Lord, the newly appointed National Director of Fundraising and Development for the Breast Cancer Havens in Hereford, Leeds and London. As a senior mason himself, he welcomed the support given by both local Freemasons and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. He praised Herefordshire Masons for the continued support received over recent years.
This year’s annual masonic donation to the Haven included specific giving from Royal Edward Lodge No. 892, Palladian Lodge No. 120 and Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire, and the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association. This local support was match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
The recently held Old English Night at Dephis Lodge heralded another wave of charitable giving to local organisations. Over the past decades Delphis has consistently recorded the highest per capita giving within the Province of Herefordshire, generously supported by the Vaga, Delphis, Coningsby Charitable Trust as once again most evident on this occasion.
W Bro Kevin Lyons, Worshipful Master of Delphis Lodge, and his Wardens Brothers Ian Talboys and John Crooks, by example, supported the following proposals put by W Bro David Knowles and W Bro Don Lane which were universally approved:
- £1,000 Blackmarston School, plus £304 from the draw & £105 from the auction
- £1,000 Haven Breast Cancer Support Centre
- £1,000 Robocap
- £1,000 Herefordshire Masonic Charity Associations (HMCA) 'B' Fund used for petitions from local charities
- £30 Teddies for Loving Care for Hereford Hospital from the auction of one of the teddy bears
Such dedicated giving promises well for the future, including the next Festival to be awarded to the Province of Herefordshire.
Megan Baker House (MBH), a Herefordshire charity at Moreton Eye, near Leominster, is a centre of excellence in conductive education. It teaches problem-solving skills to people with physical disabilities and special educational needs. Many are from nearby counties, but some children – and more recently, adults – come from across the UK to attend classes.
As MBH does not receive any statutory funding, and does not charge for its services, local masons have maintained their support with donations from the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association and Royal Edward Lodge. Julia Higgs, MBH volunteer organiser, emphasised that such sponsorship is essential to the charity and its outreach centres.
Although well established and successful, Herefordshire Growing Point, situated on the campus at Holme Lacy, remains unheralded among the county’s registered charities
The Disabled and Older Gardeners’ Association, based at the Demonstration Garden in the grounds of Holme Lacy, deserves recognition for the immense and invaluable benefits afforded to about 300 disabled, elderly and young people, who attend the weekly sessions at Holme Lacy or during the charity's outreach programme to residential care homes and day centres round the county.
Mental stimulation, increased self-esteem and confidence, and social interaction, are clear and evident experiences for those attending these sessions. Age Concern, Martha Trust and Acquired Brain Injury Unit, are among the participating organisations. Barrs Court Special School tutors comment that “This project is one of the most stimulating of the educational modules provided away from the school ... solid experience in gardening skills and knowledge and of great benefit to our students”.
Herefordshire Freemasons support this view: such support, initiated among the Brethren of St Peter’s Lodge No. 7368 in Bromyard, especially when David Wall was its Worshipful Master, resulted in £1,000 being donated by the Herefordshire Masonic Charities Association to this worthy enterprise. Richard James, Charity Steward of St Peter’s Lodge said he was “Thoroughly impressed with the horticultural therapy provided to such a wide range of deserving people - the maintenance of this all-year round project is paramount”.
Laura Hone, Chairman of Herefordshire Growing Point, in thanking the local Freemasons stated that “Our costs are rising inexorably, particularly transport costs, and so such support is invaluable”.
If you would like to find out more about Herefordshire Growing Point or to make a donation, please visit their website.
HRH Princess Royal, National President and Patron of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) recently launched the Herefordshire RiDeAbility campaign at the Hereford Holme Lacy Campus.
Presented to the Princess Royal was Cliff Burkett, secretary of the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association, who initiated interest and awareness among local masons in the work of the Herefordshire RDA.