Celebrating 300 years

Yorkshire Freemasons’ participation in the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) initiative, which provides teddies to soothe children in A&E departments, reached a milestone when a young patient at Harrogate District Hospital received the 100,000th teddy bear

Since 2008, 17 hospitals in Yorkshire have benefited from the Province’s TLC scheme – funded by West Riding Masonic Charities Limited.

Refresh for Ripon Cathedral

Ripon Cathedral has received two grants totalling £12,500 from the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding, which will help to pay for the renewal of ancient flagstones.

The Dean of Ripon John Dobson received the two grants – one for £7,500 from West Riding Masonic Charities Limited, and a second of £5,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation. These were presented by David Pratt, PGM; Jack Pigott, Chairman of West Riding Masonic Charities; and Paul Clarke, APGM.

Lift for Heath Stroke Club

Stuart Burgess (shown centre left), Master of Beacon Lodge, No. 4066, has presented Heath Stroke Club Care Services, Halifax, with a cheque for a new battery-operated personal lift. Michael Hartley (right of centre), Immediate Past Master of Beacon Lodge, had applied to the West Riding Masonic Charities Provincial Grand Master’s Fund on behalf of the club for the full cost of the lift.

Receiving the cheque on behalf of Heath Stroke Club Care Services, Pat Akerman said that the lift will make a huge difference to the way the organisation can help people within the club. Anne Boyd, chairperson of the trustee’s committee, added that the lift will benefit both staff and clients.

Horticare in Wakefield has finally took delivery of their new van, made possible thanks to a grant of £16,000 received from the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding

Their old van was on its last legs, unreliable and starting to cost money to keep going. So with some keen negotiation by Horticare's Rosemary Robertshaw they were able to secure delivery of a brand new vehicle.

The vehicle (pictured) has been suitably lettered-up and is proudly displaying the new Provincial Fund decals, provided by West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd to act as a permanent reminder that the organisation has been supported by local Freemasons.

Horticare were also invited to spend the day on the Yorkshire Freemason's stand at last week's Great Yorkshire Show. They had a thoroughly enjoyable day and they still can't believe how generous the Freemason's of Yorkshire, West Riding, have been, and how much difference the new van is already making to their organisation.

Public opening of a New adventure play area designed to be accessible to children of all abilities at an award winning outdoor education centre

This project was the chosen charity of the 2010/11 Lord Mayor of Bradford, Cllr Peter Hill, who is a Nell Bank Trustee and a member of Lodge of the Three Graces No. 408 in Haworth in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.

The need was to replace an existing play area that, after hosting up to 20,000 children annually for nearly two decades, had reached the end of its useful life.

The project was to design a structure that would have a much longer lifespan than its predecessor, and which would be accessible to children of all abilities.

Raising money as the true impact of the worldwide recession began to bite was not easy, despite the great generosity of the people of Bradford. At one stage it looked as if the project would have to be scaled down and not fully achieve its goal.

However, an application to West Riding Masonic Charities made by Lodge of the Three Graces and seconded by Victoria Lodge No. 2669 of Bradford, resulted in a truly generous grant of £20,000 being made through the Provincial Grand Master's Fund, and was presented by the Provincial Grand Master, John Clayton.

This sum provided the additional funds to build 'The Tree House Adventure' to its full potential. A unique play area, accessible to children of all abilities, including wheelchair users, and so realise the dream of providing an inclusive play and educational area for generations of children to come.

The Tree House Adventure was declared open on 11th May 2013, the annual Nell Bank public access day, by Nell Bank Trustee Bro Peter Hill, see picture above.

The Yorkshire and Humberside arm of a national charity which helps change the lives of young people has been given a significant boost by Yorkshire Freemasons

Members of Doncaster's Don Valley Lodge, which meets in the town's Masonic Hall on Priory Place, hosted the presentation of cheques totalling £10,000 to two representatives from the Prince's Trust.

The donations, £5,000 from West Riding Masonic Charities and £5,000 from The Freemasons' Grand Charity, were presented to Prince's Trust Regional Chairman, Andrew Farley, and Prince's Trust Youth Ambassador, Rebecca Taylor, by John Kendall Clayton, the Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding.

Rebecca told the meeting how the Prince's Trust had totally transformed her life. She left school at the age of 15 with no qualifications and, in 2007, while carrying her first child, she was made redundant, subsequently losing her home.

'I lost everything', she said. 'I went to various organisations and literally begged for help, but there was no help. Then I was told to approach the Prince's Trust. They listened and they believed.

'I had done a beauty course and they gave me a grant to learn to drive so I could "go mobile". I went on more courses and then, with their help, set up my own business.'

Rebecca approached the Frenchgate Centre asking if she could rent a unit to set up a beauty salon. In December 2010, she became the shopping centre's youngest tenant.

'I now train young, employed girls and employ a team of beauty therapists and am a Prince's Trust Ambassador. I opened in a recession so the business should have been doomed for failure. It isn't and it's giving young girls hope too.'

As a way of repaying the Trust, Rebecca went to them with an idea which has now been adopted nationally. The Tomorrow Campaign aims to help 55,000 young people a year into employment.

'I owe everything to the Prince's Trust and this donation is fantastic. I can't get over how much you have raised. This is going to make such a difference.'

Mr Clayton said: 'We are delighted to be supporting such a worthwhile cause. The Prince's Trust does fantastic work in supporting young people, and Rebecca is testament to this.

'She is a true inspiration. When others had written her off and consigned her to the scrapheap, the Prince's Trust listened to her, and, more importantly, believed in her.'

Thursday, 15 March 2012 00:00

Technology boost for hospices

Lifelites, the children’s technology charity, has expanded its operations, picking up several awards and securing record funds in the process

A subsidiary of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB), Lifelites donates packages of fun and educational technology for children who stay, learn and play in all 44 children’s hospices in the country.

In addition to providing the equipment, Lifelites installs and maintains it, as well as training care staff. It became a charity in its own right in 2006, and since then the RMTGB has provided in-kind assistance rather than financial support. This means Lifelites relies on donations from other sources including Freemasons, the public and companies such as Thomas Cook – whose Children’s Charity donated £60,000 in 2011 – and organisations like GamesAid, the gaming industry’s charity.


Most of the charity’s volunteers are Freemasons, who assist in providing technological support in many of the projects and acting as trustees. ‘Our success is underpinned by our links with Freemasonry,’ explains Lifelites chief executive Simone Enefer-Doy. ‘Their support is vital to our continued growth. We also have a great relationship with both the RMTGB and Provinces across the country.’

A major masonic contribution last year came from the West Riding Masonic Charities that enabled a Soundbeam to be installed at the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice in Huddersfield. By using movement to produce sound, the Soundbeam enables children with even the most profound physical and learning disabilities to make music using whatever movement they can manage.

Provinces can become involved with Lifelites – who can showcase the equipment at masonic or other events – thanks to a donation from the Province of Surrey, which enabled the purchase of demonstration equipment. Lifelites staff can also attend after-dinner sessions and provide promotional material.

Published in Lifelites

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