A Yorkshire charity which supports people to work their way out of homelessness has received a £30,000 early Christmas present from the Freemasons.
Emmaus ‘communities’ in Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford, will each receive £10,000 to help finance their on-going activities, thanks to a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation
COVID-19 lockdown restrictions have meant that Emmaus social enterprise shops, which provide both income and employment training opportunities, had to close. The impact of this lost income meant that the communities could be at risk.
The charity, which first opened in 1992 and now has 29 ‘communities’ - the name it gives its residential sites, spread across the UK – was nominated for funding by the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding.
The valuable support from the Freemasons will help to ensure that current services are sustainable and able to continue to provide much needed support in the future.
Its Leeds and Sheffield communities provide accommodation, support and meaningful work to nearly 100 people, at any one time, who have experienced homelessness.
The combination helps to rebuild lost self-esteem, provides routine and stability to work on issues and enable those who have experienced homelessness to positively move on in their lives.
David S Pratt, the Provincial Grand Master of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said:
“We are absolutely delighted to have secured this £30,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation for the three Yorkshire Emmaus communities.
“Charity is at the heart Freemasonry and sadly due to COVID-19 many charities have been unable to undertake their normal fundraising activities. This grant will now go some way in ensuring Emmaus is able to continue the valuable work it does in supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our society get back on their feet.”
This latest grant is the third Emmaus Sheffield has received from the Freemasons this year.
In October, it was awarded £3,000 to part-fund the installation of two new boilers in its Victoria Quays community, a Grade II Listed former cutlery works which houses 18 former homeless people at any one time.
And during the first lockdown, it was given £5,000 to enable it to buy a fogging machine and personal protective equipment, so it could reopen its shop for the refurbishment and sale of second hand goods.
Calderdale SmartMove, who received the Halifax Courier Charity of the year award in 2015, was established in 1998 and their mission statement is to inspire local people on their journey to independence by providing housing, support and education tailored to their specific needs.
In more recent years many new services, all of which are free to clients, have emerged. They recognise that many clients are socially excluded and in an effort to help build networks, a range of practical activities are offered.
SmartMove’s learning centre provides a range of practical workshops aimed at improving lifestyles and therefore introducing more positive opportunities. Courses include arts and crafts, maths and English, positive parenting, eating healthily on a limited budget, growing your own food and many more. Their workshops are well attended and help clients build social networks, restore confidence and develop life skills.
In recognition of the excellent work being carried out by SmartMove in Yorkshire West Riding, the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Charity Grants Committee approved a small grant of £4,320 towards their general charitable purposes.
The cheque was presented to Craig George, Smartmove’s fund raising manager, by Area 2 Charity Chairman W.Bro Gerald Dickinson and Area 2 Charity Secretary W. Bro Granville Robinson.
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.”
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