A recent grant of £4,000 to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance from Freemasons in the Province has helped to bring the total masonic support given to Air Ambulance charities across the country to £2.1 million since 2007
The Hampshire and Isle of Wight grant will go towards the purchase of syringe drivers that will be used by the Air Ambulance team to deliver critical care drugs to seriously ill patients.
A syringe driver functions as a pump that ‘drives’ a syringe, allowing a drug to be administered continuously to a patient at a controlled rate. Syringe drivers have many uses in pre-hospital medicine, including anaesthesia, cardiac support and intensive care transfers.
Help where it’s needed
This year, Freemasons around the country will be presenting their regional air ambulance services with donations from the Masonic Charitable Foundation that total £192,000
The Foundation and its four predecessor charities have been regular supporters of air ambulances since 2007, with more than £1.9 million awarded to 22 different rescue services, and every Air Ambulance charity in England and Wales has received masonic funding.
Air ambulances rely on voluntary donations to operate. The Foundation’s support saves lives by enabling doctors and paramedics to reach patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible.
Titan Lodge No. 6002 has donated £10,000 to the MMC Air Ambulance Appeal.
The donation came from the generosity of Lodge members and a contribution from the Lou Rose Memorial Fund. The Lou Rose Memorial Fund was created in September 1986 shortly after the death of W. Bro Lou Rose who was a founder and the first installed Worshipful Master of the Lodge, and was set up as a permanent memorial to his memory with an initial £2,000 being donated by his son to which a further sum of £2,000 was added by the then Brethren. Subsequently £5,000 was added to the fund on the death of W. Bro Bernard Summers who left the sum to the Lodge in his will and who, like Bro. Rose, was a founder of the Lodge. Having consulted with the families of the late Bros. Rose and Summers, the families and the Lodge agreed that such a magnificent donation to such a worthy cause as the MMC Air Ambulance Appeal was a fitting tribute to their memory.
RW Bros Tim Henderson-Ross, the Rev David Bowen and Robert Vaughan presented Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager at Strensham air ambulance base, with a combined donation of £12,000 as part of Grand Charity's support to all 22 rescue services in England and Wales – financial support which since 2007 has totalled nearly £2m.
The country’s air ambulance service, without either government or National Lottery funding, relies on such voluntary donations to operate its critical role. Annie Newell, in her final year as Fundraising Manager, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and generous support given to the charity by Freemasons over many years. Michelle McCracken will be taking over Annie’s responsibilities in September.
Somerset and Dorset Freemasons have each presented the local Air Ambulance with a grant of £4,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, part of the total of over £1 million donated by the charity since 2007, providing funding to every Air Ambulance in England and Wales.
On average, an emergency Air Ambulance takes off every 10 minutes in the UK, reaching people as quickly as possible to help save lives. Air Ambulances operate almost entirely from donations from charities such as The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, as well as from the general public.
Justin Martin, speaking on behalf of both Provinces, said: ‘Air Ambulances across the country play such a vital role in taking the hospital to the patient, saving precious time and consequently saving lives. We are proud to provide this further support.’
Members of Coningsby Lodge No.6383, known as the `Weekenders’, have raised £360 to support the emergency operations of Longtown Mountain Rescue Team
Longtown Mountain Rescue Team, which is based in the shadow of the Black Mountains and consists of some fifity volunteers, undertakes in excess of thirty search and evacuation missions each year in liaison with other emergency services, particularly RAF Search & Rescue (SARF) and Midlands Air Ambulance.
Chairman of the Longtown Team, Mike Jones, stressed the importance of community and public support to meet the £15,000 annual cost of maintaining this vital public service, and applauded Herefordshire Freemasons for the donations received by both the Mountain Rescue Team and Midlands Air Ambulance.
Gordon Bumfrey, Coningsby Lodge's Charity Steward, with first-hand experience of the expertise of the Longtown Team, said he was privileged to be given the opportunity, on behalf of Herefordshire Freemasons, to support such a worthy, crucial and indispensible local service.
Since 2007, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has supported air ambulance and similar rescue charities in the delivery of their life-saving services and this year marks the giving of more than £1 million in total donations. These charities are considered to be the busiest voluntary emergency services in the country. Operating almost entirely from donations, air ambulance services save thousands of lives each year by getting doctors to patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible.
In regions where no air ambulances currently operate, the Grand Charity has supported other rescue services, including Channel Islands Air Search, the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and St John Ambulance. Since April 2012, Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Lodges have been invited to help distribute a total of £192,000 to their regional rescue services.
The Grand Charity has commemorated this £1 million overall donation by creating a short video, which can be viewed on its website.
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.
The Duke spoke to everyone present and saw the work of the province in its ‘Freemasonry in the Community’ projects, particularly the iHelp youth competition and the Rock Ride 1,500-mile charity bicycle ride from Gibraltar to Stowe School.
The former project has involved heats of young groups in Buckinghamshire competing for prize-money worth £13,500 to show the positive side of young people, while the latter project has raised around £70,000 so far, including funds for several non-masonic charities - the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the Royal British Legion, Air Ambulance and the Pace Centre, Aylesbury, who provide an education for life through programmes which incorporate all daily living activities and address the needs of the whole child. In addition, the Rock Ride also raised £22,000 for the province’s RMTGB 2010 festival.