Blackmore Vale Lodge No. 3625 in Dorset have donated £115 to Yewstock School, which will go towards helping its students to attend residential trips to Leeson House Field Studies Centre

The Master of Blackmore Vale Lodge, Lawrence Jones, together with lodge member Trevor Legg, presented the cheque for £115 to Clive Padgett, Head Teacher of Yewstock School in Sturminster Newton.

Yewstock School is a day community school for children with profound and multiple (PMLD) , Severe (SLD), Moderate (MLD) or complex learning difficulties. Some children have additional sensory or physical impairments, speech and language disorders or medical needs, others are statemented as being within the autistic spectrum. The school provides for 131 children and students between the ages of 2 and 19 years.

This donation is part of a continuing partnership between the school and Dorset Freemasonry, as they are regular participants in the MTSFC (Masonic Fishing Charity) events held in Dorset each year.

The money was raised at the Blackmore Vale Lodge Junior Warden's Festival, a yearly event where members of the lodge move up a couple of places from their normal positions in Office and demonstrate a ceremony.

Dorset Freemasons have donated £500 to support dementia care in the local community

Lodge of Friendship and Sincerity No. 472, who meet in Shaftesbury, were approached by a local care company asking for help to purchase a new piece of technology to help their clients. 

An interactive games machine has been designed to help numerous clients, but in particular those with early to mid-stage dementia. The lodge readily agreed to help and pledged £250.

A matching amount from the Provincial Grand Master’s discretionary fund was also pledged.  The care company, Tricuro, have now raised the necessary funds of nearly £10,000 and the lodge was delighted to present a cheque for £500 to them.

Graham Glazier, Provincial Grand Master for Dorset, said: This type of donation is typical of the care and attention Dorset Freemasons put into their communities. Kindness is at the core of our masonic values – we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures.’

From Hill to High Water

Dorset Freemasons have presented Dorset Search and Rescue (DorSAR) with a donation of more than £3,000 to support their work

The Lodge of St Cuthberga No. 622 in Wimborne raised funds with lodge raffles and social occasions throughout the year. At a remote location in Dorset and during a break in training, members of the lodge presented DorSAR with a cheque for £3,062.

DorSAR is a team of highly trained volunteers who work with the police, coastguard and other emergency services. They assist in the search and recovery of missing persons and items, plus specialist water rescue. Called into action via Dorset Police, DorSAR are able to offer considerable resources to support the county's emergency services with over 80 specialised volunteer search and rescue personnel. 

Paul Martin of DorSAR said: 'It costs approximately £400 to fully equip a volunteer and our control vehicle, which we require at major incidents, is in need of maintenance. The money raised by Dorset Freemasons will help towards equipment and transport.'

Andy Gale, the outgoing Master of the Lodge of St Cuthberga, said: 'I am delighted that this money will help DorSAR save lives here in Dorset.'

Members of Dorset were entertained to a short playlet which has been performed over 200 times across 40 Provinces

‘Talking Heads’ portrays an encounter between two lodge members – one, an experienced Past Master (and a Royal Arch Companion) and the other, a Master Mason curious to know more. Jeffrey Chitty, Master of Loyal Manor Lodge, hosted a Metropolitan Grand Chapter lecture team who delivered a presentation that had originally been intended for new Master Masons. The playlet introduces the Holy Royal Arch (or Chapter) to Craft Masons wanting to know more about the Royal Arch, as well as reminding those who had been members or for whom Chapter did not 'click'.

The presentation highlights the path along a member's masonic journey from 'Initiation to Exaltation'.  It covers the history of the Order, explanations of the regalia, links to the Craft and why the Royal Arch is considered the climax and completion of pure Ancient Freemasonry. A member's time commitment and financial aspects in being a member is explained, as well as how to discover more and – importantly - how to find a Chapter to join.

The playlet starts with an encounter, at a Craft meeting, in the ante room just outside the lodge room. Two members open their cases and are preparing for the meeting. The presentation lasts about 35 minutes and covers questions ranging from idle curiosity - 'Why is the Royal Arch a separate Order?' to more personal speculations, such as 'What is the Master Mason in the 21st century missing by not being a member of the Royal Arch?'.

Chris Bond, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Dorset, was impressed with the professional and clear manner in which the Metropolitan Grand Chapter team presented the educational initiative.

Royal Arch Freemasonry in Dorset was well represented by a number of Chapter Officers including Mike Worne, Deputy Provincial Grand Superintendent, and Julian Mitchell, 2nd Provincial Grand Principal. Among the many visitors was Chris Hare, the first undergraduate to be initiated in Dorset through the UGLE Universities Scheme.

Lodges and chapters in Dorset have come together in an effort to support Budmouth College with a potentially life-saving donation in the form of defibrillator equipment

Together with the Craft and Royal Arch Provinces of Dorset, Rose Croix, Mark and Royal Ark Mariners, local lodges and chapters have donated more than £2,000 of defibrillator equipment to the school in Weymouth, Dorset. The defibrillator was installed at the entrance to the secondary school building and is available for use by the public.

Graham Glazier, Provincial Grand Master of Dorset, said: 'As Freemasons we believe in playing a key role in our communities and give time and money to charitable ventures. It’s an honour to be able to supply this machine to the school.'

A defibrillator gives a high energy electric shock to the heart through the chest wall to someone who is in cardiac arrest. It's an essential lifesaving step in the chain of survival.

This defibrillator is the latest in a succession of similar donations by Dorset Freemasons who have placed public access defibrillators on all 17 masonic buildings across Dorset. The cost of the Defibrillator was £2,398.80 with donations from a number of lodges and chapters in the local area as well as contributions from the Provincial Grand Master's Discretionary Fund.

Alongside the Province of Dorset, the lodges and chapters who donated were Portland Rose Croix, All Souls Lodge No. 170, Dorset District Rose Croix, Quintus Lodge No. 8118, All Souls Mark Lodge No. 126, Portland Royal Arch Mariners No.133 and Portland Lodge No. 1037.

Kinson Chapter No. 5331 in Dorset have made a £700 Donation to support a local homeless charity

Based in Bournemouth, Hope Housing Training and Support is a charity for single homeless individuals aged between 18 to 65. Last year, 150 people were encouraged to move forward into independent living through addressing their needs, which included substance misuse, crime, poverty, mental health and unemployment.

Members of Kinson Chapter presented a cheque for £700 to Garth Underhill, Hope Trustee, who promised this would help to improve people’s lives.

60 vulnerable people are housed by the charity, whilst trained counselling and support workers help to overcome personal issues faced.

Hope believes in the right of the individual to be treated with respect and due regard at all times, adhering to a comprehensive Equal Opportunities ethos. They aim to offer the highest possible quality of service which reflects the diversity of each individual needs.

Dorset's Vespasian Lodge No. 8099 held a 'race night' at Branksome Masonic Hall, attended by a number of members, family and friends where they were able to support local, worthy charitable causes, including The Crumbs Project and Macmillan Caring Locally with a £275 donation to each

Macmillan Caring Locally is a small local charity which supports the Macmillan Unit at Christchurch Hospital. The Macmillan Unit is a specialist palliative care ward built in 1974 and was the first of its kind in the country. Although the charity has the Macmillan name, it is in fact an independent charity with no connection to the national organisation Macmillan Cancer Support.

In partnership with the NHS, the charity supports 16 in-patient beds at the Macmillan Unit Christchurch, a 15-person Day Centre, 12 Specialist Palliative Care Sisters who look after up to 450 patients living at home in their local community, and three Specialist Palliative Care Sisters who support patients at the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Every year there are more than 1,600 referrals to the Macmillan Unit. Macmillan Caring Locally also funds the multi-disciplinary teams at the Macmillan Unit which include the Family Support Team, Rehabilitation Team, Complementary Therapy, Welfare benefits advice and Chaplaincy. 

Vespasian Lodge was pleased to support Macmillan with a donation of £275 which was presented by Dorset Freemason Steve Spender to Neal Williams, Trust Secretary, who was accompanied by two members of the dedicated team from the unit at Christchurch Hospital.

The Crumbs Project was founded by the late Anne Gardner, whose daughter Liz at the age of 17 started hearing voices which tormented her for the rest of her adult life. Crumbs sprang from the need for those in long-stay care to have a structured programme of support to encourage their learning and professional development. The Crumbs Project is charity which provides supported vocational training for adults with learning disabilities, mental health issues and stabilised addictions. It specialises in vocational training within the hospitality, catering, housekeeping and administration sectors.

The Crumbs team works closely with trainees supporting them into either paid or voluntary work placements. In order for The Crumbs Project to become a self-sufficient charity, the team also provide a wide range of food services, including; buffets, hot food, cakes, snack pack and wedding catering. Their ultimate aim is to help vulnerable people live a life of independence.

Vespasian Lodge was pleased to support the Crumbs Project with a donation of £275 which was presented by Steve Spender to Leanne Miller, Operations Manager, who was accompanied by other members of her team and some of the Trainees from the training centre. 

Mark Burstow, Communications Officer for Dorset Freemasonry, said: ‘This is an incredible effort by Vespasian, supporting two wonderful, local non-masonic charities. This typifies the kind of support Dorset Freemasons regularly provide to their local communities.’

Dorset Freemason John Howland proudly presented a donation of £1,000 to Poole Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), which was raised by members of Northbourne Lodge No. 6827

John appreciates the remarkable work conducted by the NICU and reflected: ‘When I became Master of Northbourne Lodge, I realised I had an opportunity to repay them in some small measure for not only saving my granddaughter's but also my daughter’s life.’

John’s 13-year-old granddaughter Hannah, who was born prematurely at 26 weeks in 2005, was present when the cheque was handed over to staff nurse Felicity Metcalfe.

Poole NICU cares for babies requiring special care, whether it is due to pre-maturity, illness at delivery or health problems during the baby’s stay at hospital. The money will go towards procuring one of nine much needed £3,000 state-of-the-art ‘Hot Cots’, which are vital in enhancing the NICUs on-going success in safeguarding premature babies.

Dorset’s Provincial Grand Master Graham Glazier said: ‘This work by Northbourne Lodge is a terrific embodiment of the values of Freemasons all over the UK. We believe in playing a key role in our communities and regularly give time and money to charitable ventures.’

Dorset Freemasons stepped up to the mark when a 'recovery café' run by the Essential Drugs & Alcohol Service (EDAS) in Poole needed extra funds

Members of the Lodge of Meridian No. 6582 and St Aldhelm's Lodge No. 2559, Magnaura Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Dorset Provincial Grand Master’s Discretionary Fund joined together to fund an information system which will allow the cafe to widen the services it provides.  

The Serenitea Café provides an alcohol-free social environment for people in recovery, as well as members of the public. Dorset Freemason Mark Burstow and Lionel Turner of Magnaura Conclave visited the cafe to find out more about its work.

Mark Burstow, who also acts as the Province's Communications Officer, said: ‘A key element of our activities as Freemasons is to play an active part in our communities and support charitable activities such as these. The support that Serenitea will offer is invaluable helping individuals to cope whilst on their path to recovery.’

Kate Allard, of EDAS, said: ‘This donation will help us provide events that members of the community can enjoy in a safe space; we are very grateful for this generous donation.’

The Master of Dorset’s United Service Lodge No. 3473, Roger Barnes, handed over a cheque for £305 to the Weymouth and Portland Veterans Hub in February 2019

The Veterans Hub was set up to try and make services to former troops more accessible and any profits made from the café at the Hub go towards continuing the hub's work. On Mondays, they close to the public so organisations such as the Lantern Trust and SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, can come together in one place to provide a 'one-stop' hub for people seeking help.

Since its birth the hub has continued to grow and now provides food and drink for veterans and the local community of Wyke and surrounding areas.

The latest donation now brings the total amount given to the Hub by United Service Lodge to just under £1,000.

Wayne Ingram, a member of United Service Lodge, plays an active part of this project as their ambassador and can often be seen chatting to those who enter its doors. The money raised by the lodge will go towards sculpturing the garden area with the intention to provide veterans and members of the community a place to rest, relax and grow their own vegetables in a walled, safe environment.

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