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.
500 supporters of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity dined and partied the night away at Edgbaston on Friday 8th July to celebrate 25 years of HELIMED service to the counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Staffordshire
The AIR25 ball and awards ceremony celebrated the special achievements of individuals and organisations who had made continuous and significant contributions to the charity over the quarter century of its existence.
In the category of Community Partner there was only one nomination, the Freemasons of the four counties, who between them had contributed over £1,100,000 over twenty-five years. This amount excludes personal legacies from Freemasons, which in themselves have been significant. The donations from Freemasonry have come from individual lodges, from Craft, Royal Arch and Mark Provinces as well as from other Orders and from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
It was appropriate therefore that on the evening the award was presented to W Bro Dennis Hill PAGDC, who is the Treasurer of the Staffordshire and Shropshire Mark Benevolent Fund; Treasurer of the Shropshire Masonic Charitable Association; Treasurer of the 2019 Shropshire Festival Appeal in aid of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity and a Trustee of the Masonic Charitable Foundation! Dennis was presented with the award by television celebrity Rusty Lee. The stainless steel representation of a helicopter with the distinctive heartbeat logo displayed on all three Midlands Air Ambulance helicopters is a scale model of a very large sculpture which is soon to be prominently sited somewhere in the West Midlands.
The Midlands Air Ambulance Charity has helicopters based at Tatenhill in Staffordshire, at Cosford in Shropshire and at Strensham in Worcestershire and has carried out over 46,000 life-saving missions over the past twenty-five years. Recent high profile incidents include the Alton Towers ‘Smiler’ accident and the Sutton Coldfield stabbing of a pregnant lady. It is a fact that if a patient who has suffered a major trauma can reach hospital within sixty minutes they are several times more likely to survive. The Midlands Air Ambulances take the hospital to the patient - there are many alive today who without the service would have perished. It is all the more incredible that this important life-saving service is funded entirely by public, community and corporate donations. It receives no central or local government contribution other than a recent Libor grant of £240,000. Each mission costs a minimum of £2,500.
At the MAAC ball and awards ceremony Freemasonry was celebrated by the charity as its premier Community Partner over the past twenty five years. It is hoped that the award will, over the next twelve months, travel to each of the Craft masonic Provinces and to the Mark Province of Staffordshire and Shropshire and that the brethren of these Provinces will have an opportunity to see it.
RW Bros Tim Henderson-Ross, the Rev David Bowen and Robert Vaughan presented Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager at Strensham air ambulance base, with a combined donation of £12,000 as part of Grand Charity's support to all 22 rescue services in England and Wales – financial support which since 2007 has totalled nearly £2m.
The country’s air ambulance service, without either government or National Lottery funding, relies on such voluntary donations to operate its critical role. Annie Newell, in her final year as Fundraising Manager, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and generous support given to the charity by Freemasons over many years. Michelle McCracken will be taking over Annie’s responsibilities in September.
The Midlands Air Ambulance charity invited officers of the Shropshire Masonic Charitable Association and their ladies to view the new helicopter and crew centre at Cosford Airfield
The Air Ambulance has received very generous support in recent years from the nearby Provinces, from The Freemasons' Grand Charity and from the Mark Province of Staffordshire and Shropshire.
Luckily, the aircraft had not been called away on duty and the twelve visitors were able to benefit from a very informative session presented by a paramedic, a doctor and a pilot each of whom explained the important tasks they carry out in the vital business of treating and transferring patients.
Midlands Air Ambulance Fundraising Director, Jason Levy, in being presented with a cheque for £2,000.00 by WBro John Williamson, President of the SMCA, praised the masonic community in Shropshire and the West Midlands for being such important contributors.
Jason was accompanied by Shropshire Fundraising Manager, Maria Jones and by Midlands Air Ambulance Operations Manager, Becky Tinsdale.
Those in the SMCA party were:
RW Bro Peter Alan Taylor, Provincial Grand Master and Mrs Pat Taylor
VW Bro Roger Pemberton, Deputy Provincial Grand Master and Monica Pemberton (Roger is a Trustee of the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity)
W Bro John Williamson, President of the SMCA and Mrs Anne Williamson
W Bro Les Oakley, Secretary of the SMCA and Judy Oakley
W Bro Dennis Hill, Treasurer of the SMCA and Mrs Valerie Hill
W Bro Simon Aucott, Provincial Grand Charity Steward and Mrs Lynn Aucott
Triple boost for air ambulance
Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to be able to operate. Annie Newell, fundraising manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued masonic commitment.
The logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the air ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire.
The three Provincial Grand Masters for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire collectively presented a combined donation of £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance from their national charity, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been a regular supporter of air ambulance charities in recent years, donating over £1.5 million since 2007 to the twenty-two rescue services.
Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to operate. Support from grant-makers like the Freemasons means that doctors and paramedics reach patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible – saving lives in the process. This is especially true for rural areas. Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and sustained level of generous support of the Freemasons.
Speaking about the donation, the Right Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'We are delighted to be able to show our support for Midlands Air Ambulance once again. Charitable giving is central to Freemasons as evident that in 2012 the Province of Herefordshire donated £54,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance as a result of a designated three year campaign of support. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity works on behalf of all Freemasons in England and Wales, donating millions of pounds to worthy causes every year.'
It is with a continued sense of pride within the three Provinces of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, that the logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the distinctly coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire, off the M5.
Photograph taken at Strensham during the presentation of £12,000, with staff of Midlands Air Ambulance who over the years have become close acquaintances of the Freemasons present.
Colin Tudor, having successfully undergone more than five years of extensive treatment for cancer, has commenced a campaign to pass on his personal experiences during his period of therapy and care, to groups of public and patients
His initial illustrated presentation 'Life is for Living', was given at a seminar held at The Three Counties Hotel at the request of Alison Stemp, Macmillan Information and Support Advisor based at the Hereford Cancer Unit. The illustrations in the presentation included a photographic record of his sponsored 90-mile walk from Aberystwyth to Hereford, as the crow flies, in aid of the purchase of new equipment for the unit.
Such presentations are designed to demonstrate, in Colin's words, 'that just because a person has a life threatening condition, it must not be an excuse to give up, and that normal life – perhaps with some restrictions – can still go on.'
Several organisations have received this presentation, and any donations received Colin has given to charity, mostly to Midlands Air Ambulance.
Colin's next presentation will take place at St Michael's Hospice.
Shropshire’s Freemasons gave over £40,000 to 49 local and regional charities at a special presentation on Monday, 10th June
Awards included £5,000 to the Midlands Air Ambulance, £1,000 each to Shrewsbury MENCAP, SSAFA Forces Help (Shropshire Branch), Macmillan Cancer Support and the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries. Hope House Children’s Hospice received £1,500 and Combat Stress £1,000. The Severn Hospice at Shrewsbury and Telford, which both received major grants last year, were each given £1,500.
Many smaller grants were also made to local charities which struggle to match the profile of larger national organisations. The Shrewsbury Ark, which cares for homeless people, Shropshire MIND, local Scouts and Guides and the Movement Centre each received £500. Donations were also made to Shrewsbury Street Pastors, the Friends of Whitchurch Community Hospital and the Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest. In most cases the cheques were received by representatives of the charities, who spoke – occasionally very movingly – of the difference these grants would make to their work.
Provincial Grand Master Peter Taylor explained the importance of these grants to Freemasons.
'All of the money distributed today has been raised from within our own membership – the majority by the 1,300 Freemasons in Shropshire. Over the years we have developed strong links with many of charities – both great and small – which benefit our community. Some of our members have very compelling personal reasons to support these good causes, and we believe that these donations show Freemasonry to be a real power for good both in Shropshire and in the wider world.'
The continuing work of Shropshire’s Freemasons can be seen on twitter by following @ShropshireMason
Financial support for Air Ambulance throughout England and Wales has been maintained again this year by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, taking the total awarded over the last five years to £1 million
Flying over 20,000 'mercy' missions every year, this vital national emergency service relies entirely on such voluntary donations and public fundraising.
Meeting at the Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, which operates the service for Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the Welsh border, Herefordshire Freemasons were able to make a further donation on behalf of the Grand Charity. The contribution from local Freemasons, in addition to that from the Grand Charity, has totalled £54,000 over the past four years.
Such continued support has been acknowledged by the display of the masonic square and compass logo and the words 'Supported by Freemasons' on the distinctive red and yellow air ambulance helicopter.
The Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the Rev David Bowen, and Mike Roff, Deputy ProvGM in charge, on their first visit to Strensham, were 'hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication of the Air Ambulance staff', and discussed at length the operational side of the service with helicopter pilot Tim Hutchins.
Michelle McCracken, a member of the fundraising team who organised the visit, expressed the gratitude of Midlands Air Ambulance to all Freemasons for their generous support.
Members of Coningsby Lodge No.6383, known as the `Weekenders’, have raised £360 to support the emergency operations of Longtown Mountain Rescue Team
Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, which is based in the shadow of the Black Mountains and consists of some fifity volunteers, undertakes in excess of thirty search and evacuation missions each year in liaison with other emergency services, particularly RAF Search & Rescue (SARF) and Midlands Air Ambulance.
Chairman of the Longtown Team, Mike Jones, stressed the importance of community and public support to meet the £15,000 annual cost of maintaining this vital public service, and applauded Herefordshire Freemasons for the donations received by both the Mountain Rescue Team and Midlands Air Ambulance.
Gordon Bumfrey, Coningsby Lodge's Charity Steward, with first-hand experience of the expertise of the Longtown Team, said he was privileged to be given the opportunity, on behalf of Herefordshire Freemasons, to support such a worthy, crucial and indispensible local service.