Many charitable organisations have suffered financially throughout the pandemic and the Directors of West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd are determined to use the contributions of our members and their families to assist those less fortunate.
An email, recently received, highlights the impact even minor grants from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund can have on local organisations, striving to relieve the needs of families throughout the local community.
‘Thank you for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, we are busier than ever with our service. Families are really struggling, with the basic items, so obviously this time of year is even more difficult.
Children are told throughout the year if you are a ‘good’ girl or boy, Santa will bring you gifts.
Sadly, some ‘good’ children will wake up on Christmas morning to no gifts.
So far, we have had over 400 referrals from schools and other professional agencies for gifts for families. This equates to over 900 children/teens. as you can imagine we are super busy!
I cannot stress the importance of the grant you awarded us in March 2020. Yes, we had been flooded and needed to replace stock. We moved units, had new shelving put in. then the whole country went into Lockdown. We have continued our service throughout the pandemic, but, were unable to do any of our normal fundraising.
Without the funds you gave us, we would have really struggled to fulfil all our referrals.
We are so thankful for your kindness.
On behalf of Calderdale Lighthouse’
Halifax based, Calderdale Lighthouse was founded in 2018 by Emma, Diane and Donna, to supply vulnerable and disadvantaged families with quality baby equipment, essential items, clothing and shoes, bedding, toiletries, toys and books. Whilst the majority of items are donated by the general public, certain items rarely donated or for health and safety reasons, need to be purchased.
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 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 £15,350.30, to ten community organisations, where it is hoped there will be the biggest impact in terms of community benefit:
Keighley Albion RLFC
The Club has over 400 young members and fifteen Junior teams, for both males and females, aged 3 - 18 yrs.
The grant of £934.80 will allow the purchase of a portable defibrillator, which includes paediatric pads to be used on children and young persons; sponsored by Royal Yorkshire Lodge No 265, Keighley.
The aim of the charity is to provide, in Sheffield, a social opportunity where people who were formerly homeless will find somewhere safe and welcoming to live; a place where they can rediscover their dignity and self-pride through being part of a working community geared towards becoming self-sufficient through social enterprise; ultimately being able to regain a social and sustainable place in wider society.
The Sheffield Branch accommodate 18 residents, known as `Companions' and are working to provide accommodation for a further six.
The Companions require additional tools for their restoration work of donated furniture which is then sold in the onsite shop. These tools will increase the capability of the organisation to `up skill' Companions in their training programme.
The grant of £3,500 will enable the purchase of a Purpose Table Saw, Drum Sander and Jointer Planer; sponsored by Britannia Lodge No 139, Sheffield.
Doncaster Eagles Hoops Basketball Club
The club has been operating in the Doncaster area for over 20 years and works with 500 young people each week, including three sessions a week at Auckley College and with an abundance of schools in the Borough, including those with special needs.
The Coaches also provide mentoring programmes in schools and work as assistants, supporting youngsters who may be having trouble engaging positively. As well as having fun, improving personal health, learning something new and meeting new people, players are afforded the opportunity to play at the highest level in league competitions.
The Club are looking to form an Under 10s team and the grant of £962 will provide the team with their own team/training kit and equipment; sponsored by Magdalen Chapter No 242, Doncaster.
Read Easy, Leeds
Affiliated to Read Easy UK, this Leeds based group aim to advance the education of the adult public in literacy, by providing one-to-one reading coaching for adults with reading difficulties; using trained volunteer reading coaches.
The group are financially independent from Read Easy UK and are responsible for raising all the money needed to keep the group going.
It is hoped to train twelve volunteers to be paired with individuals who can learn to read in private and at their own pace.
The grant of £1,500 will contribute towards the cost of training manuals; sponsored by Loyalty Lodge No 4971, Leeds.
The following recipients will receive an equal amount in match funding from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.
Leeds Baby Bank
The charity supports families, in and around Leeds, with baby essentials to ensure no child goes without. From nappies and formula, to stairgates, buggies, clothing and toys, they aim to provide all that is needed to support families in caring for children aged 0 - 5.
Prior to the Covid pandemic, the charity would average 15 to 20 referrals a week, now it is receiving 120 per week and is therefore having to buy far more new stock than usual.
The grant of £2,403.50 will go a long way to providing what is needed by children in the area; sponsored by both Loyalty Lodge No 4971 and the Lodge of Fidelity No 289, Leeds.
Homeless Street Angels
A charity providing outreach services every Thursday evening on the streets of Leeds City Centre, handing out hot and cold food, clean clothes, toiletries and more. In addition, a housing support service is also provided.
The charity has struck deals with local retailers, providing food and sleeping bags over the Christmas period.
Greggs are to provide £5 vouchers, entitling the bearer to a hot drink and something to eat.
GO Outdoors are offering sleeping bags at only £10.00.
The grant of £2,050 will contribute towards the cost of these deals and to the provision of food parcels to families in need; sponsored by Philanthropic Lodge No 304, Leeds.
Kellingley Community Hub
Following closure of the Trussell Trust Foodbank in Knottingley, Kellingley Miners Welfare Scheme and Social Club established an emergency Food Bank to meet the needs of the local community.
The Food Bank has been established as a standalone arrangement to support the vulnerable and needy in the community and is buying, packing and distributing food parcels to individuals and families in need in their community on an ongoing basis.
They provide a wide range of services to ninety adults and children; also helping vulnerable people without transport, collecting prescriptions and shopping etc.
The grant of £1,000 will allow the purchase of further supplies, particularly, long life, nutritionally balanced items to sustain families over the winter period; sponsored by Trafalgar Lodge No 971, Batley.
St Vincent's Support Centre
A community hub, in Leeds, providing support, advice and foodbank services to the marginalised, isolated and vulnerable in the community. Their current priority is to ensure all have access to food and are, during the pandemic, providing those most at risk, with hot food, home deliveries, food parcels and foodbank services.
The grant of £1,000 will support their Christmas Campaign; delivering hot Christmas dinners and creating food parcels and Christmas hampers for those in need; sponsored by Aurora lodge No 4047, Leeds.
Swinnow Community Centre
The Community Centre is the only remaining centre in the Pudsey district. It is a council- owned building, run by community volunteers and accommodates various local community groups and activities.
From the beginning of the pandemic, the volunteers at the centre have been delivering hot food and sandwiches to 200 local children and 100 elderly persons in the community every day.
Given the current situation the demand for their services is undiminished and likely to be required for many months to come.
The grant of £1,000 will assist in the purchase of further food baskets and essential food supplies; sponsored by St Laurence Lodge No 2330, Pudsey.
Whilst visiting the Great Yorkshire Show in Harrogate this year, Francis A Testo, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal was impressed with the presentation delivered by a volunteer of the Woodland Trust, a national charity working hard to create space for wildlife and people and to address the twin crises of climate change and ecological collapse, by protecting and restoring ancient trees and woodland and creating native woodland habitats.
Upon learning of a scheme to supply trees and guards to Colne Valley Tree Society and Holme Valley Connections for planting this winter, Francis approached West Riding Masonic Charities Limited and was pleased to receive support for a grant of £19.979, to be used specifically to cover the cost of 7,424 trees, along with guards and stakes to protect them from herbivore browsing.
At the Annual Convocation of Provincial Grand Chapter, the ME Grand Superintendent, Stewart Glasgow Carley was delighted to be able to present the cheque for £19,979 to Mr. Roger Parkinson, Woodland Trust volunteer.
A letter, sent to Chairman of WRMCL Duncan Kilbride is reproduced below:
A grant made to youth housing charity ‘Roundabout’ from the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, early this year was sponsored by Royal Brunswick Lodge No 296, Sheffield.
The following correspondence has been received, highlighting the benefit of the charitable contributions made by Freemasons in the Province.
Following your very kind allocation of £5,000 from the West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd to part fund one of our Rapid Re-housing workers this last year, I wanted to give you an update on how your support is making a difference.
The grant has enabled one of our Rapid Rehousing workers to support eight especially vulnerable young homeless people over the 6 months; the service altogether has supported 27 young people during the funding period.
The main challenge has of course been Covid-19. The majority of the young people we support are from low-income families. Even during ‘normal’ times, these families are under constant daily pressures which can put serious strain on relationships within the home, and family breakdown is the main reason that young people seek our help. During the pandemic, these families have faced even more challenges whilst being forced together, often in overcrowded spaces. As a result, more families have been reaching crisis point and the demand on many of our services, including Rapid Rehousing, has significantly increased.
Here’s how we made a difference to just one of these vulnerable young people:
D was sleeping in his car when Seb, the Rapid Rehousing worker funded by the Evan Cornish Foundation, began supporting him. After Seb spent time with D and gained his trust, D was able to open up and tell Seb that he had been exploited on the street; someone had been giving him accommodation in exchange for sex.
Through Roundabout, D was able to start his recovery and gain stability and confidence. Roundabout supported him to attend the gym and to train as a security guard. D has recently acquired a job and a council home of his own.
Thank you so much for helping us to support D and others through such difficult times in their young lives, helping them to find a path through to a brighter future.
With many thanks for your support once again
Fundraising and Communications Manager
This latest newsletter gives details of grants awarded during October, 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 £6,524.12, to three community organisations, where it is hoped there will be the biggest impact in terms of community benefit:
St John Ambulance, Harrogate
A volunteer-led health and first aid charity, dedicated to the teaching and practice of first aid and the support of the national emergency response system in England.
Their work in local communities is a way to raise people's knowledge of and confidence to use, first aid. They go right into the heart of the community with first aid training for local organisations and groups, for people who look after young children and infants.
For example, Community Advocate and Community Champion programmes help to reach local communities that would benefit most from their support. Community Advocates and Community Champions are based in these local communities. Their role is to inspire others to learn first aid skills. They do this by raising awareness of the importance of first aid. They also deliver first aid workshops at community centres, local events, and groups.
Whilst building costs, training courses and uniform etc. are provided by central funds, the cost of training equipment must be raised individually by each unit.
Harrogate’s equipment is very basic and they are now wishing to utilise up to date technology for life saving training resuscitation techniques.
The grant of £4,860 will be used to purchase two items of equipment, a Laerdal Resusci® Junior QCPR Training Manikin and a Laerdal Resusci® Anne QCPR AED Training Manikin Full Body with Airway Head and Shock Link.
The new Resusci® Anne’s make teaching resuscitation far easier and helps visually demonstrate the techniques employed far simpler because of the impact the new technology has on students.
The former is a full-body paediatric manikin designed for training professionals; it is anatomically correct, the life size and weight of a 5-year-old child.
The latter is a realistic rechargeable full body manikin for adult CPR training, allowing for practice of airway manoeuvres and can be used with a live defibrillator.
The grant application was supported by Harrogate and Claro Lodge No 1001.
Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) Ltd
ARC is the only national charity which provides non-directive support and information to parents before, during and after antenatal testing. We offer parents specialised support for as long as is needed when an abnormality is diagnosed in their unborn baby.
Through its training programme for health professionals and work with policy makers, ARC aims to ensure that parents are able to make informed choices and experience the best possible care in what are often distressing circumstances.
ARC have pioneered ‘Sensitive Communications’ training for medics working in screening diagnosis and foetal medicine. Informed by parents and policy research, they help professionals reflect on and improve their skills in dealing with distressed parents.
Pre-pandemic they ran in-person training around the UK, including in Yorkshire, but after March 2020, converted to remote support, training over 1,000 medics via Zoom webinars.
To support professionals’ recovery from the pandemic, they are keen to relaunch a programme in 2021-22, with a focus on widening engagement with hospital units underrepresented in their network, such as those in South Yorkshire.
The grant of £1,400 will assist in the purchase of a lap-top, publications and membership packs, to kick-start the Sheffield engagement project; sponsored by Welcome Lodge No 3779, Sheffield.
Rothwell Town U8s
Rothwell Town U8s is community football club designed to help children develop necessary skills that can be transferred into other things as they grow older, such as team work and the basic values of being part of a team.
Being part of a team also helps them develop as children giving them a purpose and something to look forward to at the weekend.
The children are also encouraged to assist in the community, they have had litter picking days and hope to expand on this going forward. No child wishing to participate is ever turned away.
With many of the children’s grandparents attending matches throughout the winter, having some portable hot water receptacles will enable them to serve hot drinks at the side of the playing fields. Also, a Gazebo will afford protection from the weather.
The grant of £264.12 will not only enable the purchase of `pop up' goals to replace cones, but two hot water dispensers and a Gazebo; sponsored by Aurora Lodge No 4047, Leeds.
In December last year, the Yorkshire Air Ambulance welcomed two brand-new hi-tech promotional vehicles to their fleet, one of which was acquired as a result of support from Yorkshire Freemasons.
With the impact of Covid having diminished over the summer, the vehicles have been seen at many shows, including the Great Yorkshire Show and have been utilised in YAA’s schools educational project, aimed at teaching children about the service and inspiring the next generation of supporters.
Pictured are children from Norton Infant School, Doncaster.
Helen Callear, Director of Fundraising (North/East) commented, “The new Mobile Units have helped us enormously this summer season, where we have been playing catch up with the hundreds of events that were cancelled due to the pandemic.
Although it is early days yet, we reckon we are doubling our income if we bring the vehicle along to an event which is incredible, but it does look impressive!
Apart from the obvious fundraising benefits, at events like the Great Yorkshire Show where we displayed it in the Discovery Zone, and engaged with children of all ages, we were able to tell our story and enthuse minds.
The onboard cockpit experience particularly has allowed children to sit in the pilot’s seat and imagine flying through the clouds over the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. We are incredibly grateful to the Freemasons for their forward-thinking generosity and aim to engage with the generations of the future to promote social responsibility and charity.”
This latest newsletter gives details of grants awarded during August, 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 £18,650, to four community organisations, where it is hoped there will be the biggest impact in terms of community benefit:
The Huddersfield Mission is well known for supporting those with multiple and complex needs, including homelessness, mental health, addiction, a history of offending and more.
A team of experienced volunteers, led by a Support Services Manager and including three Advice Officers, offer free advice and support in the areas of Benefits and Finances, Housing and Tenancy Support, Health and Wellbeing and Emergency Help in a crisis, with access to emergency provisions and food parcels (via referral to the Welcome Centre).
At the heart of the building on Lord Street, Huddersfield, is a café, offering nutritious, affordable hot and cold food, produced and served by paid staff and dedicated volunteers.
The grant of £5,000 will facilitate the refurbishment of a room, enabling the display of clothing and other donated items, together with a dressing area and the provision of heavy-duty trestle tables in the café area; sponsored by the Chapter of Truth No 521, Huddersfield.
Holmfirth Civic Hall Community Trust
The Holmfirth Civic Hall Community Trust was established to run and manage Holmfirth Civic Hall for the community. Volunteers form a Board of Trustees, employing a small team to run and manage the Hall on a day-to-day basis.
The Hall is used to benefit the residents of Holmfirth and surrounding areas by advancing education and providing facilities in the interests of social welfare and leisure time recreation, to improve conditions of life as well as promoting the performing and visual arts.
The Trust are to undertake a major project to replace the aged toilet facilities and provision of disabled toilet facilities. The grant of £5,000 will assist in the completion of the work; sponsored by Holme Valley Lodge No 652, Holmfirth.
Harrogate Homeless Project
The Project run a hostel on Bower Street, which is a safe place for 16 residents to stay while they work together to identify goals and provide support to reach those goals. The hostel also has a dedicated area offering emergency accommodation for rough sleepers.
The average occupancy for the hostel each year is over 95% and the average length of stay is currently 80 nights. The aim is for residents to move on to independent living which may be to one of the Project’s own move on houses or other local accommodation, which they help to organise. They continue to offer support when residents leave the hostel and to liaise with other agencies to ensure the best possible outcome.
They also have the Springboard Day-centre, in the town centre, which provides meals, shower facilities, laundry, clothing, GP services, therapies, skills training, advice and practical support for anyone who is experiencing homelessness or is in need of support around their housing situation.
The grant of £5,000 will contribute towards the overall cost of replacing their aged telephone system; sponsored by Harlow Lodge No 4404, Harrogate.
Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity
Harrogate Hospital and Community Charity, supported by Friends of Harrogate Hospital, raise funds to do more for patients, staff and their families in the care of Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, going above and beyond the provision of the NHS, including provision of specialist equipment, training and services.
The grant of £3,650 will purchase Dementia Memory Boxes, DVD players and DVDs; sponsored by Harlow Lodge No 4404, Harrogate.
Following the donation, of £60,000, from West Riding Masonic Charities Limited, on the NHS, Social Care & Frontline Workers’ Day, a representative of the Teddies for Loving care initiative visited a number of the region’s 21 hospitals.
Ted had been in lockdown for some considerable time, but feeling a little more confident after having been vaccinated twice and taking a spoonful of honey every day for a whole year, he was looking forward to an adventure.
It began in Giggleswick with Ted's friends, John Birkenshaw and Mike Wrigglesworth. Here they are together with Sister, Staff Nurse and Student Nurse representing Castleberg Hospital, in the sunshine.
Ted managed to speed ahead and arrived before the rest of the team at Skipton.
Finally, he was tracked down and here he is (below), outside Skipton Hospital with Angela and Helen, before signing into Outpatients.
Ted directed John and Mike through a tricky one-way system and safely to Ripon Hospital, where the wonderful staff supported in such numbers, that everyone went outside again, into the afternoon sunshine, to stand under the 'Tree of Light' for a real picture of joy and happiness.
Ted was very pleased to be making everyone smile on this special day of thanks to our Yorkshire NHS Staff.
And finally, to Harrogate, oh so busy, but Ted managed to find a nice, quiet, variegated bush to keep everyone safely in the shade.
What a day for Ted; £3,000 to the staff of each Hospital, to say thank you for all their hard work, commitment, help and support to Yorkshire communities, through a very testing time.
We may see Ted in his continuing adventures, sitting in new outdoor furniture in Giggleswick or Skipton, or in newly refurbished staff rooms in Ripon or Harrogate, keeping staff company and as always, being a good listener.
Ted was taken care of by Area 3 Charity Chair John Birkenshaw, supported by Deputy Chair Mike Wrigglesworth and joined by PCA David Elsy in Ripon and PCA Chris Boothby in Harrogate.
Adventures like this need Team effort and many assisted in making this happen, pictured above are some of the key players with Emma Parker, leading as the NHS Charity Champion.
Photographs courtesy of Paul Durkin.
In May this year, the Provincial Grand Master’s Fund made a grant to the Friends of Woodseats Playground, Graves Park, Sheffield.
The charity trustees met in the playground recently to receive the cheque for an amazing £4,959!
Presented by Richard Campos, Worshipful Master of Welcome Lodge No 3779, Sheffield and his wife Sandra, the trustees were thrilled to receive such a generous donation.
The funds will go towards a new exciting and challenging climbing frame for older children and teenagers, which they hope to install this Autumn.
The following letter of appreciation has been received from Highbury School, Brighouse.
We were delighted to receive your letter of 14 July 2021 informing us that you were awarding a grant of £2775 to Highbury School – thank you so much.
We were so disappointed to learn that the insurance would not cover the cost of the malicious damage to the gates and this was a large part of the shortfall to replace the minibus and secure the school grounds. Therefore it means so much to us that you have supported us so generously to meet this cost.
We are pleased to report that your grant, along with fundraising and support from other organisations, has enabled us to secure a new minibus for September. We are so pleased that we can start the new school year with the ability to provide transport to activities which enrich the education of our pupils so much. After what has been such a difficult school year, your investment will go a long way to ensuring Highbury School can continue to provide the very best care and support to those in our community who need and rely on our services.
Thank you again for your generous grant which we will most certainly publicise when we announce the new minibus purchase in September.
Mrs Debbie Sweet
Latest News from West Riding Masonic Charities Limited