Brethren of the Castle Grove Masonic Lodges, Leeds, once again rose to the occasion to make their Annual Toy and Gift Appeal an incredible success; resulting in an avalanche of cash donations totalling in excess of £2,700 plus donations of brand-new toys and clothing.
The annual appeal was launched in November 2018, with the intention of bringing the various Castle Grove Lodges together, to provide something tangible to young people in the local community.
Initially, the toys and gifts were to be donated to Leeds Children’s Hospital, however, the response proved so overwhelming that, in 2020, the number of charity recipients increased to six, including Leeds Children’s Hospital, The Leeds Children’s Charity, Leeds Baby Bank, Barnardo’s and the Leeds Jewish Welfare Board, which received Chanukah gifts for 24 children under its care.
Amanda Burdon Family Outreach Support Worker at LJWB commented, “We are delighted to receive the generous donation of toys and gifts from Graham and Robert on behalf of the Castle Grove Lodges. This year has been an extremely difficult year for our families with many struggling with social isolation caused by the pandemic. I am sure everyone of our families will greatly appreciate the kind thoughts and donation of gifts from the Castle Grove Masonic Lodges for their children at Chanukah.”
Toy Appeal co-ordinator Graham Shiers (pictured left) said, “Normally, Brethren and Lodges mainly donate toys and gifts, however, as we were unable to meet due to the Covid-19 situation, we asked for financial donations and purchased the gifts on their behalf.”
“Since launching the appeal in October, the response was overwhelming. We were inundated with financial donations, which we used to buy toys and gifts, including pyjamas and clothing. It also enabled us to provide items including nappies, nappy sacks, baby wipes, baby shampoo and wash, plus other essentials that the Leeds Baby Bank distributed to families in need over the holiday season. We were also able to help four families via Homeless Street Angels.”
West Riding Masonic Charities Limited (WRMCL) financial year runs from October to the end of September.
Thanks to the generous contributions from West Yorkshire Freemasons and their families, a total of £438,241 has been paid out in charitable grants by WRMCL during the year 2019/20 as shown below:
WRMCL discretionary Grants £79,650
West Riding beneficiaries - Christmas and birthday gifts £40,280
PGM’s Fund Major and Minor Grants
Meal Appeal Grants and
South Yorkshire Lord Lieutenants Fund Grants £215,703
TLC Teddies £18,714
Total Grants made £438,241
We reported in this month's Newsletter, a grant from the Provincial Grand Master's Fund to CGCC Food Bank. The letter below demonstrates how the charitable donations of West Riding Freemasons make a huge difference to the less fortunate in our communities.
Thank you so much for supporting the CGCC Food Bank by awarding a grant of £2,000.
Many of us are fortunate enough to lead comfortable lives and it can be difficult to
comprehend the poverty and deprivation being suffered within our district.
It wasn’t until the Covid-19 pandemic that we truly realised the extent of support needed
in our local community. As you know from our application, we’re now making the CGCC
Food Bank a permanent service, so that we can continue to support those who need it
Your donation will allow us to continue supplying between 60 and 100 households a
week with essential food parcels and ancillary assistance. You are making a real
difference to the lives of local residents who would otherwise struggle to access support
for a variety of reasons.
From all of our volunteers, recipient households and I, thank you for your generous
CGCC Food Bank
Brethren, this latest newsletter gives details of grants awarded during November 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 the work that WRMCL is doing to support those within our communities.
Since the previous update, the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund has made grants, totalling over £4,400, to three community organisations, where it is hoped there will be the biggest impact in terms of community benefit:
Honley Junior Football Club - is a community club, welcoming any young player, whatever age, gender or ability, to develop and enjoy their love of football. The grant of £400 will be used towards the provision of training tops for the Under 14s; sponsored by Beaumont Lodge No 2035, Kirkburton.
Sheffield Cruse Bereavement Care - is a registered charity providing counselling and support for individuals who are struggling to come to terms with bereavement in the Sheffield area.
Traditionally, this has been provided both face to face and over the phone, by trained volunteers and supported by a core of management and staff from their office. Covid-19 has placed additional strain on the service.
The current pandemic has increased the number of calls upon their services, yet funding has suffered due to the inability to raise monies during the lockdown. The grant of £2,000 will go some way towards their operating costs; sponsored by Lodge of Industry No 6579.
CGCC Community Foodbank - was established by a Community Workforce in March this year, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. They currently distribute 95 food parcels every week to households within a 4.5-mile radius of the Calder Grove cricket club; a number which is increasing. Having had to vacate the Village Institute, Crigglestone, they have moved into temporary accommodation and are building a permanent home for the food bank at the cricket club. The grant, of £2,000, will help towards the purchase of racking and equipment, to fit-out the new food bank including fridge/freezers, furniture and office equipment; sponsored by Tateshall Lodge No 7645, Pontefract.
Finally, Brethren during these very difficult times the CHOICES Care and Support Officers have maintained regular contact with clients and beneficiaries by phone, to reassure them that we are still here for them and to provide support and advice. The CHOICES Team are concerned that Brethren, in need of assistance, may not be seeking the help that is available.
The following detail and leaflet provide further information about the Scheme and you are encouraged to seek support should you require it.
Make CHOICES your first call for assistance.
West Riding Masonic Charities Limited, YOUR CHARITY, is ready to provide assistance to any West Riding Freemason, his family, dependants or widow, in their time of need.
CHOICES IS HERE TO HELP AND IS NOT MEANS TESTED.
Support can be provided in many different ways ranging from Emergency Financial Grants, financing home improvements and minor repairs, to short term respite and support with social care needs
We have two excellent Care & Support Officers, who are available to provide help, advice and support; we also provide a telephone befriending service, available for a confidential discussion.
For FAST, CONFIDENTIAL help contact your Lodge Almoner, or if you prefer, give the FREE Confidential Help Line a call, on 03449 02 02 20.
Never assume the CHOICES TEAM cannot help, if YOU don’t ask the question, YOU will never know the answer.
For more information, please see the attached brochure.
Stay safe, keep well.