The Masonic Charitable Foundation has donated £25,000 to Plan International UK to help support 30,000 people whose lives have been devastated by the eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala.
Over 1.7 million people have been affected by the crisis, with at least 12,277 people having been evacuated from their homes. At least 100 people have lost their lives and the number is expected to rise as hundreds remain missing in the ash and rubble. The extreme conditions have left thousands of people without access to safe shelter, food, drinking water or sanitation facilities.
David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said:
“The Fuego volcano eruption has devastated the lives of many thousands of people, with, as usual, children bearing the brunt of the suffering. I am very pleased that the Masonic Charitable Foundation was able to move so quickly and provide funds for Plan International UK’s vital work at the heart of the disaster zone.”
Find out how this grant will help to fund Plan International UK's vital services across three evacuation centres >>
PGM David Pratt was the guest of honour at Harrogate Easy Living Project’s official ribbon cutting of its new van, which purchased with the assistance of an £11k major grant from the PGM’s fund. The application was submitted by the brethren of St Hubertus Lodge.
Looking Good! The Spa Lodge Charity Steward Doug Mills watches Disability Action Yorkshire customer Kayleigh Atkinson experiencing the new virtual reality headset, funded by the Freemasons
Disabled people supported by a Harrogate charity will be able to step into a whole new world, thanks to the Freemasons.
In a bid to equip customers for independent living, Disability Action Yorkshire is turning to virtual reality to help train and prepare them for a host of everyday life experiences, including supermarket shopping and travelling by public transport.
Members of the town’s The Spa Lodge secured a grant of £2,000 from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, which has been used for the charity’s Virtual Independence Project to purchase a Garmin spherical camera, Oculus Go virtual reality headset and a new laptop computer to edit the recorded footage.
Disability Action Yorkshire Chief Executive Jackie Snape said: “Thanks to The Spa Lodge nominating us for this generous grant, our training sessions for customers will be totally revolutionised.
“Whilst many are keen to live as independently as possible, the reality is that some people have had little or no experience of everyday life. Our Virtual Independence Project will change all that.
“Our customers will be able to experience what it is like to travel on a bus independently, travel around a busy shopping centre or supermarket, or prepare and cook a simple meal.
“The aim is that once people have gained confidence in a virtual setting they will then go to try new experiences in daily life.”
Doug Mills, The Spa Lodge Charity Steward, said: “Charity is one of the three grand principles of Freemasonry, and I’m delighted that we have been able to support Disability Action Yorkshire in kick-starting their Virtual Independence Project.
“With the camera, the charity will now be able to develop a series of 360-degree videos, which will help train and prepare customers keen to explore new experiences.
“I tried the headset on myself, and whilst it was great fun I could see a real benefit for those who lack confidence in undertaking simple tasks which, to them, can seem like major obstacles.
“The visit to Disability Action Yorkshire’s Claro Road residential care home proved to be a very satisfying experience, particularly in the knowledge that Freemasons in The Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, have provided financial support to the wider community.”
Further information about Disability Action Yorkshire is available from its website, www.disabilityactionyorkshire.org.uk
Further information about the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding is available for its website,http://wrprovince.net/
From Amsterdam to Leeds! Pictured is Norman Eagan, Master of Craven Lodge in Skipton, where the letter was rediscovered during an audit of Masonic records and artefacts
A letter written more than 250 years ago in Amsterdam, congratulating the new master of a Leeds Masonic Lodge, has been discovered amongst the pages of a book in Skipton.
In the two-page letter penned in 1762, Lewis Bastide, a member of Golden Lion Lodge, also speaks of his experience with foreign lodges in the Dutch capital, and his intention to form an English lodge in Amsterdam.
The correspondence was unearthed by Chris Hill, secretary of Craven Lodge, during an audit of historical books and documents, where it was found in an envelope tucked into an old copy of a Book of Constitutions.
From records held at The Library and Museum of Freemasonry in London, The Golden Lion Lodge was warranted by the premier Grand Lodge of England on January 8, 1761, and numbered 258 on the Roll of Lodges, and initially called “A Masters Lodge”.
The Warrant for Lodge No 258 was issued by Lord Aberdour, Grand Master, and appointed Sir Henry Ibbetson to be Master, Lewis Bastide to be Senior Warden and George Lawman to be Junior Warden.
During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, Sir Henry raised a corps of 100 men at his own expense and, in recompense for his loyalty, was created a Baronet.
Lewis Bastide was a prominent merchant in Leeds whilst George Lawman was a master Surgeon in the Army.
The lodge met at various taverns in Leeds including, from 1766, the Golden Lion, Briggate, from which the Lodge took its name in 1772.
However, it ceased to meet regularly from December 1780, and was erased on February 1, 1786.
The only information available about the Lodge’s members is a list of names which appears in a volume entitled List of Members 1770.
Chris Hill, Secretary of Craven Lodge, which meets at The Masonic Hall, Sackville Street in Skipton, said: “This wonderful letter was found totally by accident when I was conducting an audit of lodge possessions.
“It was in a plain envelope and fell out of the pages of an old Book of Constitutions. Despite it being there for goodness knows how long, the letter is in remarkably good condition, and is now carefully preserved.
“The contents of the letter are fascinating and give an insight into Freemasonry in Leeds and Amsterdam more than 250 years ago. It’s just a shame the name of the Master Lewis Bastide was writing to congratulate is not known.”
Pictured are W Bro David Whitteron, right, W Bro Roy Meredith, centre, and Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team Chairman, David Warden
Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team will be able to replace aging analogue radios with new, digital replacements, thanks to a £1,000 donation from the Freemasons.
De Warren Lodge, which meets in Halifax and has close ties to the organisation, - Past Master, David Whitteron, is the rescue team’s new President - secured the money via numerous raffles and the individual generosity of members.
With GPS capability, the new radios will enhance the safety of rescuers in remote areas, and greatly improve the management of searches for missing and vulnerable persons, relaying the position of search parties to the control vehicle and base.
The team, which is part of Mountain Rescue England and Wales, is a Registered Charity, and is funded entirely through donations from the community, societies and local business.
The team members are all volunteers, on call 24/7 throughout every day of the year.
Details of the Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team Team can be found at http://www.cvsrt.org.uk/.
Further information about the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding. Which encompasses South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and parts of North and East Yorkshire, is available from its website, http://wrprovince.net/
Bags of Support! Pictured from left are Michael Baxter, Harrogate & Claro Freemasons; Laura Milburn, Lead Cancer Manager; Charlotte Rock; Palliative Care Team Leader; Satokh Sidu, Master of Harrogate & Claro Masonic Lodge; Sarah David, Clinical Nurse Specialist; John Birkenshaw, Charity Steward, Harrogate & Claro Lodge; and Beverley Harrison, Harrogate Hospital & Community Charity Administrator
Funding from the Freemasons has helped Harrogate District Hospital launch a “comforting” initiative for relatives of patients at the end of their lives.
Harrogate & Claro Freemasons Lodge secured £1,700 from the Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s Provincial Grand Master’s Charity Fund, to kick start the “Comfort Bags” scheme.
Set up by Harrogate District Hospital & Community Charity and Harrogate District Palliative Care Team, the bags are helping enhance both dignity and practical support throughout end of life for patients and their relatives, in the acute hospital setting.
Each year, more than 600 patients spend their last days and hours in the Harrogate District Hospital and Ripon Hospital.
The bags – which contains a blanket, travel pillow, toothbrush and toothpaste, tissues, notebook and pen, hand lotions and essential toiletries, a free meal voucher and a free parking permit - provide very practical items to help improve the comfort of relatives staying for long periods, or overnight with patients who are in the last days of life.
These are items they may well forget to bring with them when they’re in a hurry or didn’t expect to stay long.
Feedback from relatives has been very positive and grateful for the additional support this scheme has provided.
One relative said: “At the moment my mum is receiving end of life care and last night I received one of your bags. It is a really thoughtful touch. Thank you!”
John Birkenshaw, Charity Steward of Harrogate & Claro Lodge of Freemasons, said: “We are really proud to support this innovative scheme which will bring much needed comfort and support to both patients and relatives at a time when it is needed the most.”
Initial funding was used to launch the bags, however ongoing funding is vital to continue to provide this service. Current projections suggest this will require approximately £5,000 per year to fund 300 comfort bags.
The donation of £1,700 from Harrogate Freemasons will make a set the scheme on a firm road ahead and the donation will be used to continue to fund the contents of the comfort bags.
For Further Information Please contact:
David Simister, Different PR, on 07870 550 760
Noreen Hawkshead, Macmillan Lead Nurse for Cancer and End of Life Care, 1st Floor Phoenix Unit, Briary Wing, Harrogate District Hospital Harrogate. HG2 7SX. Direct Line :01423 555797. Email: Noreen.Hawkshaw2@hdft.nhs.uk Or
John Birkenshaw, Charity Steward, Harrogate & Claro Freemasons Lodge, Tel: 07791864260. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Five Yorkshire charities have shared a £90,000 “major grants” windfall from the region’s Freemasons.
The financial donations - which ranged in value from £9,000 to £30,500 - were presented at the Freemasons’ Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s annual meeting held at Harrogate’s Royal Hall.
Representatives from the five organisations were presented with their cheques by the fraternity’s Provincial Grand Master, David S Pratt, at the event attended by Freemasons from Yorkshire’s four counties and beyond.
Those who received grants were:
Provincial Grand Master David S Pratt, said: “It was my absolute honour to be able to present these five different, yet equally deserving, organisations with their grants, at our Provincial Grand Lodge annual meeting in Harrogate.
“This money was all raised thanks to Freemasons from throughout our Province, and I am extremely grateful to them for their generosity and continued support of charity.
“This year alone we will give £200,000 to a wide range of charities, clubs, societies, hospitals and hospices.
“Charity has, as always has been, at the heart of Freemasonry, and it will continue to be so for as long as our ancient and honourable institution exists.
For Further Information, please contact:
Roger Newhouse on 01756 796 164
David Simister, Different PR, on 0845 389 26 26
The Freemasons have given a £5,000 boost to a Doncaster charity providing a valuable counselling service to disadvantaged young people in Doncaster.
The money, via the Masonic Charitable Foundation, will fund Doncaster Housing’s service in supporting young people at risk of homelessness, for a further 12 months.
Stuart Shore, chief executive of Doncaster Housing for Young People, said: “The MCF funding will help us provide a counselling service for 12 months.
“Virtually all of our clients come from disadvantaged backgrounds in Doncaster, and we provide support at a time of crisis in their lives. Our core purpose is supporting young people who are at risk of homelessness, but our clients often have a range of support needs and many experience mental ill health.
“Our counselling service is really important in helping young people address often deep-seated issues in their lives and this, in turn, helps provide the stability for them to sustain a tenancy and cope with independent living.”
Graham Bailey, the Master of Danecastre Lodge which meets in Doncaster town centre, said: “We are delighted that our funding has ensured the continuation of this important service for another year.
“Charity is at the heart of Freemasonry and we are always keen to support organisations such as Doncaster Housing for Young People, whose work is making a huge, positive difference, to the lives of young, vulnerable people across Doncaster.”
Further information about the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding. Which encompasses South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire and parts of North and East Yorkshire, is available from its website, http://wrprovince.net
Twenty-one community organisations across Yorkshire have shared a £30,370 Easter masonic windfall.
The Province of Yorkshire West Riding - which encompasses the geographical area of South and West Yorkshire, and parts of North and East Yorkshire - has given grants ranging from £500 to £3,520 to worthy causes including grassroots sports clubs, schools, hospitals and clubs for the young and old alike,
The grants have come from the Provincial Grand Master’s (PGM) Fund, which are presented on a quarterly basis, with each recipient being nominated by individual Masonic Lodges across the region.
Each year, the PGM’s Fund presents grants totalling £200,000 to assist organisations across the country.
Those to benefit this quarter include:
David S Pratt, The Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said: “Assisting community led initiatives and projects is incredibly important to the Freemasons.
“This quarter, we have been able to give grants to 21 worthy causes, nominated by members of lodges within our Province.
“Charity is one of the three great principles that our order is founded on, and it is very much at the heart of what we do here throughout Yorkshire.”
Further information about the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding is available from its website, http://wrprovince.net/
For Further Information, please contact:
Roger Newhouse on 01756 796 164
David Simister, Different PR, on 0845 389 26 26
Oakworth Community Trust
Provide third defibrillator in the village
Buy and install defibrillator for use by those in cathedral and those nearby
Global Diversity Positive Action, Huddersfield
Purchase five laptops
Friends of Greenhead Park, Huddersfield
Provide colourful play train for young children in the park
Meltham and Meltham Mills Band
Replace one of three tenor horns
Southgate School, Huddersfield
Purchase outdoor tents to improve outdoor activities
White Rose Rhythmic Gymnastics Club, Huddersfield
Towards purchasing a specialist carpet
Bradford City Community Foundation
Purchase football kit for youngsters
Ripon Museum Trust
Towards recreating a late 19th century workhouse master’s garden
Jennyruth Workshops (supports adults with learning disabilities), Ripon
Towards the cost of a new laser cutter
Harrogate & District NHS Foundation Trust Palliative Care Charitable Fund
Buy 300 comfort bags for relatives to make their stay more comfortable
St George’s Community Centre, Harrogate
Guiseley Brass Band
Replacing two tubas for two refurbished instruments
5th Skipton Scout Group
Fit out kitchen with dishwasher and fridge/freezer
The Principle Trust Children’s Charity, Skipton
Towards cost of replacing sensory toys
Friends of Aireville Park, Skipton
Develop park equipment for children with purchase of a seesaw
Tockwith Juniors Football Club
Buy a range of items to improve in-house educational programmes for players and coaches
Roundabout Ltd, Sheffield
Buy essential electrical equipment to equip four housing units for four homeless people
To buy a set of chairs and tables for use by patients and visitors in the outdoor area
Swallow Hill Community College, Leeds
Provide a range of personal hygiene products
Senior Citizens Support Group, Horbury
Buy four laptops and four tablets
Freemasons And Zumba Enthusiasts Raise More Than £7,000 For Harrogate District Hospital’s Nidderdale Ward
Harrogate District Hospital’s Nidderdale Ward has been given £7,148 to purchase new reclining bedside chairs, thanks to local Freemasons and Zumba enthusiasts.
Harlow Lodge nominated the ward as the beneficiary of its fundraising activities in memory of the late Irene Simister, the mother of two of its members, who spent the last month of her life being cared for by staff before her death.
An observation the pair made during the hours they spent at her bedside was the comfort of the chairs, so they set about raising funds to replace worn out and broken pieces of furniture.
Additionally, another lodge member, Fernando Sarmento De Alencar, organised a sponsored Zumbathon at Harrogate High School in aid of the appeal, which raised £4,100.
Harlow Lodge, one of five craft lodges that meet in Harrogate’s Masonic Hall, raised £1,148 which was further enhanced by a £1,900 donation courtesy of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s Provincial Grand Master’s Fund.
Andrew Simister, Master of Harlow Lodge and Irene Simister’s eldest son, said: “I would like to pay tribute to everyone who has contributed towards this fund-raising initiative for Nidderdale Ward. I can’t thank them enough.
“Whilst the care of patients is quite rightly the hospital’s number one priority, the comfort of visitors is also an important concern, in particular those spending lengthy hours with loved ones nearing the end of their lives.
“The £7,148 raised will certainly be able to fund the replacement of a good number of chairs for the ward’s side rooms.”
David Fisher, Community and Events Fundraiser at Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity, said: “On behalf of Harrogate District Hospital and in particular Nidderdale Ward, I would like to say a huge thank you for the incredible support of the Simister family and their friends who have worked so hard to raise funds to make improvements to the comfort on the ward.
“Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity raises money to help make a difference to the care end experiences of local patients and their families, going above and beyond that which the NHS can provide.
“The staff are extremely grateful for the generous financial support, and in recognition of this, a plaque in memory of Mrs Simister will be placed within the ward.”