At the annual meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Herefordshire, Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master, presented Midlands Air Ambulance with grants totalling in excess of £50,000. This represented money raised and given by local Freemasons over a three year period.
An additional £12,000 was also presented to Midlands Air Ambulance by the Provincial Grand Masters of Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire, on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. This donation is part of over £1 million donated by the Grand Charity since 2007 to air ambulances and similar rescue charities throughout England and Wales to support them in the delivery of their life-saving services.
Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance, on receiving these donations, expressed her sincere gratitude for the commitment, and generous support given to the charity by Freemasons over the years.
Rodney Smallwood emphasised how “Midlands Air Ambulance plays a vital role in our rural community, and without either government or National Lottery funding, their services are in need of support. Helping local projects and such services, is important to Freemasons as these donations demonstrate. It is with a sense of pride that the masonic Square & Compass logo is displayed on the tail fins of the three distinctively coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance helicopters as they take to the air on their mercy missions.”
The recently registered charity appeal ROBOCAP, which uses state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer, was officially launched in Herefordshire, in an event organised by local Freemason Howard Pitts.
Appeal chairman Les Kinmond introduced the three consultant urologists of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire, Graham Sole, Biral Patel and Aloysius Okeke. They described this advanced form of keyhole surgery, which offers surgeons three-dimensional imaging and magnification in order to give greater precision and allow for minimally invasive surgery with the reduced incidence of complications.
Cllr Olwyn Barnett, chairman of Herefordshire Council, urged local mayors to support this appeal, and local mason Brian Wilcox, Mayor-elect for Hereford City, said that ROBOCAP would be his official charity during his term of office.
Rodney Smallwood, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire is piloting the county’s Masons in a sustained and dedicated programme of support for Midlands Air Ambulance.
At a recent meeting with Annie Newell Community Liaison Officer at Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, Rodney Smallwood presented a donation of £25,000.
An annual national grant, this year totalling £192,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity which is distributed countrywide, formed part of this local donation, with the remaining £21,000 being the amount raised for the Air Ambulance within Herefordshire’s Masonic Lodges.
Such continued support over the years, both nationally and locally, has been acknowledged by Midlands Air Ambulance with the display of the Masonic Square & Compass logo on the tail fin of their three distinctly coloured helicopters.
Rodney Smallwood praised Midlands Air Ambulance staff for their dedication and expertise, and these sentiments were echoed by the Provincial Grand Masters of Gloucestershire, R W Bro Adrian Davies, and Worcestershire R W Bro Richard Goddard, both present on this occasion, who also presented donations to the Air Ambulance.
Mr. Graham Sole, Consultant Urologist at Hereford Acute Trust, meeting with local Freemasons, has welcomed the lead taken by Masons from Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and South Worcestershire in the launch of the “Robocap” appeal.
This is a newly Registered Charity set up to generate funds to purchase a 'da Vinci’ surgical system which uses the latest robotic technology to provide the most up to date and advanced form of treatment for prostate cancer. Approximately one thousand men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in the three Shires.
Graham Sole speaking with Herefordshire Freemasons at Kyrle Street Hereford, supported the fact that such state-of-the-art robotic surgery will offer surgeons superior 3D HD imaging and magnification, with greater precision for the optimal performance of minimally invasive surgery, resulting in a quicker recovery and reduced incidence of complications.
The initial target of £400,000 would allow delivery and installation of such a unit at a location within the 3CCN area. The full cost of the robotic system is £1.6 million.
To date in excess of £100,000 has been raised following the lead taken by Freemasons from the three counties. Worshipful Brother David Sparrey of Eastnor Lodge Ledbury is a Fundraising Trustee of the Charity.
Very Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, welcomed the opportunity given to local Freemasons to be in the vanguard of this public appeal, and ultimately achieving the appeal’s slogan “Taking surgery beyond the limits of the human hand” for local people.
After the Lodge meeting the Brethren moved to the dining room for the Festive Board. More than £500 was collected for charitable causes. Feedback from the event has been extremely encouraging. The Provincial Grand Mentor W Bro Toby Jones announced that this first evening will be followed by a series of similar events for new Masons around the Province.
James Bartlett Looks at the Growing Success of the Mentoring Programme
Each year about nine thousand men are initiated into our lodges and hopefully each one will be introduced to the meaning, teachings and traditions of our Craft. Those who do this introduction, whether formally appointed or not, will be mentoring the new Freemason.