A grant of £3,000 from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund in February, helped the creation of a social enterprise in Leeds.
The retail outlet, ‘Hidden Owls’ in Armley, offers high end ‘pre-loved’ items for sale and at the same time, provides training and work experience opportunities for individuals who are, or have recently been, homeless in the Leeds and Kirklees areas.
The grant was sponsored by the Lodge of Friendship No 750 and Craig McIntosh, Master accompanied by John Harrison, charity steward, visited the newly renovated premises, where they met with Andy Howarth, staff and volunteers.
Following the visit, the Brethren said, “The accounts of current and former clients were very moving to listen to and it is gratifying to know that we have been able to contribute to this venture, which will do so much to help the charity achieve its aims and support individuals who benefit from its support.”
In March, a Major Grant was awarded in the amount of £29,148 from the PGM’s Fund and as the restrictions on public gatherings were lifted, the Provincial Grand Master RW Bro David S Pratt was able to make a formal presentation to Sharon Milner, Chief Executive of the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund (CHSF).
Proud grandfather Carl Woodier (pictured centre with granddaughter Bella), of the sponsoring Lodge, Chevin No 6848, was present to witness the occasion.
Sharon Milner is pictured, front left, with David S Pratt, front right
The Grant has helped to support upgraded accommodation, for parents to stay with children who are undergoing heart operations, making this a much less distressing experience for all concerned.
David S Pratt PGM said, “It is a privilege for us, as Freemasons, to be able to support such a worthy cause and many of us have experienced the world class leading support of the NHS in this particular specialist area and from our truly excellent NHS staff, nurses and doctors, throughout all of our lives.”
Sharon Milner, Chief Executive of the CHSF said, “The charitable generosity of Freemasons is very much appreciated and the grant has made an immediate impact. The results can be seen already in the upgraded accommodation.”
Read more about this on the FMT web site - https://www.freemasonrytoday.com/more-news/provinces-districts-a-groups/freemasons-prove-they-are-all-heart-with-29-000-hospital-donation
This latest newsletter gives details of grants awarded during April, to charities and organisations across the Province. Its aim is to ensure that all Brethren and their families within Yorkshire, West Riding are aware of how their contributions are being used and the work that WRMCL is doing, on their behalf, to support those within our communities.
Since the previous update, the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund has made grants, to the total value of £17,456, to seven community organisations, where it is hoped there will be the biggest impact in terms of community benefit:
Cave Rescue Organisation
Based in Clapham, North Yorkshire, the charity, run by volunteers, provides cave and mountain rescue services in the Three Peaks area of the Yorkshire Dales National Park; extending to the West into Lancashire and Cumbria and to the East as far as Malham and Gordale.
The organisation is one of the UK’s most specialist rescue teams, often working in challenging conditions.
A need has arisen to replace their outdated control desk, PC and monitor in the incident control room. Replacement will make a huge difference to the communications available to them during their operations, which are key to a swift and effective rescue. A new system will also allow them to maintain more effective, confidential operational communications.
The team’s usual fund-raising efforts have been curtailed by the pandemic, which has prevented them visiting local agricultural/village shows with their trailer and equipment. Visitor numbers to Clapham have also reduced, leading to a loss of donations.
The grant of £2,460 will cover the cost of the replacement equipment; sponsored by Castleberg Lodge No 2091, Settle.
Ilkley Youth and Community Association
The Association works to further the opportunities for the community, with a particular focus on improving the provision and activities for children and young people. The ‘Warehouse’, based in Little Lane, Ilkley provides facilities and grounds for recreation.
During the first lockdown, they supplied school equipment to disadvantaged families in and around Ilkley and have provided free school meals during school holidays. Activities have been provided for primary school children during the recent Easter holidays.
A lack of outdoor creative space and places for children to socialise has been made worse by the current pandemic as children are now being encouraged to socialise outside more. It is acknowledged that there are insufficient playgrounds for the number of children and young people in Ilkley and Ben Rhydding, particularly for children with special educational needs and/or disabilities. The Association are looking to install a number of pieces of musical equipment in a small outdoor area close to the Ben Rhydding Pre-school playgroup.
The grant of £1,500 will assist in the purchase of the instruments; sponsored by Lodge of King Arthur No 9311, Ilkley.
Venn Academy Trust
Brooke Primary Academy, situated in Thorne in the north of Doncaster, has approximately 410 children from 3-11-year-olds, over a quarter of whom are classified as disadvantaged.
The Venn Academy Trust, a charitable company, raise funds for the purpose of providing curricular and extracurricular activities for the children of this school, in order to enhance their education, awareness, confidence and general well-being.
A Breakfast Club is available for children and a 3-2-6 Club is run by academy staff in the on-site bungalow. Children have the opportunity to participate in an array of activities and socialise with their friends in a safe and happy environment as well as having a hot meal.
Whilst parents are charged for these services, the Venn Academy Trust make up a shortfall in the overall cost to the tune of £900 a month
The grant, of £2,000 will contribute to the provision of meal costs; sponsored by Stonegate Lodge No 6118, Thorne.
The Shadwell Playground Campaign
A group of local residents have volunteered their time towards a project aimed at raising funds to refurbish the park in Shadwell.
In collaboration with Leeds City Council, a scheme has been designed to improve the play area and address a drainage issue associated with the football pitch; at a cost of £120,000. To date, nearly £115,000 has been raised, going a long way to making the plans a reality.
In addition, it is hoped to provide benches for use by visitors to the park, including picnic benches with wheelchair access.
The grant of £5,000 will enable the purchase of four benches; sponsored by Lodge of Excelsior & Prudence No 1042, Leeds.
Leeds Jewish Housing Association
The Jewish led, minority ethnic housing association, provide homes for primarily for the Jewish community, although with almost 500 properties in their portfolio, housing is not restricted to that community alone. Continued support is provided to tenants, to make them feel safe and secure in their home.
Around half of tenants are in sheltered housing where residents, with an average age of 82 years, are supported in their day-to-day living. Cleaning services have increased as a result of the pandemic and support staff have been provided with the necessary PPE, resulting in increased costs to the Association.
As a contribution towards these costs the Association was awarded a grant of £2,000; sponsored by Lodge of Dawn No 6511, Leeds.
Mr Craig Simons, Director of Operations at the Association, wrote to say what a great surprise it was to learn of the grant, which will make such a difference in these challenging times.
Farsley Celtic Under 12s Blues
Farsley Celtic Football Club are members of the National League North and play at the Citadel in Farsley. They have several age-group teams for both boys and girls. The U12s Blues was established in March 2020 as a grassroots football team, with the aim of pulling together children from different backgrounds, many underprivileged, to share their love of football
Due to the pandemic the team have been unable to play games or train together regularly. Nor have they been able to raise funds to be in a position to set up the team for next season.
The grant of £1,000 will contribute towards the cost of training kit and footballing equipment; sponsored by St Laurence Lodge No 2330, Pudsey.
Cloth Cat Studios
Established in 1999 to promote the advancement of education and training in the arts, in particular in music, Cloth Cat Studios work with vulnerable adults and young people from disadvantaged areas of Leeds. Their service seeks to engage with those who might not otherwise have access to music courses and lessons.
Cloth Cat is open to all, including those with learning disabilities and mental health problems and seeks to promote social integration and tackle stigma.
A new project, ‘Repair & Recycle’, starts in July this year and will bring together and support a community of unemployed adults, who have mental health issues, from disadvantaged communities in Leeds. They will learn how to repair, recycle and sell musical equipment, instruments and vinyl. The project will reduce the carbon emissions by diverting items destined for landfill and reduce social isolation, teach skills and improve mental health by providing social opportunities and a sense of purpose.
Having raised a substantial amount, including £200 from Excalibur Lodge, the grant of £3,496 will allow the completion of the project; sponsored by Excalibur Lodge No 9214, Morley.
Joe Kent, Business Development Coordinator, wrote to convey the thanks of Cloth Cat to the Freemasons of Yorkshire, West Riding for the kind grant award.
Latest News from West Riding Masonic Charities Limited