Hope Support Services, founded in 2009 in Ross on Wye, provides support for young people aged 11-25 when a close family member is seriously ill with a life-threatening condition, especially those with cancer. They provide support at this stressful time through sessions where young people can gather together in Ross, Leominster and Hereford.
They arrange various activities and outings, and also provide support online, through Facebook and Skype, and are in the process of developing an app with help from Comic Relief which will enable young people to communicate with each other and to link with other charities which might be able to provide help.
Their aim is to provide emotional support for their young clients, of whom there are around 300, and to prepare them for bereavement. They also run a Building Better Opportunities course for those young people who are wanting to find work.
In 2017, they were approached by St Michael’s Hospice to run their services for the children of cancer patients being cared for by the Hospice. Children looked after in this way can be as young as five, and around 130 children and young people are cared for through this initiative.
They have eight full and part-time staff, plus a session worker and two online workers. There is also a Youth Management Team, who have benefited from the services themselves in the past and now help with planning and holding the charity’s range of activities.
On receiving the donation, Hope Support Services warmly thanked the Freemasons of Herefordshire for the generous grant, which will go towards developing the activities provided for young people at this difficult time in their lives.
After their meeting on 10 November 2018, on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice, Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire presented the Province with a plaque commemorating those Herefordshire members who lost their lives in the First World War
In a special ceremony, Paul Young, Worshipful Master of Delphis Lodge in 1991, presented the plaque, which was received by the Provincial Grand Master The Rev David Bowen. Paul then read the complete poem by Laurence Binyon, 'For the Fallen', with the assembled members joining in repeating the well-known middle verse - 'They shall not grow old as we that are left grow old'.
In receiving the plaque on behalf of the Province, The Rev David Bowen, thanked members of Delphis Lodge for this thoughtful gift to the Province and read the Wilfred Owen poem, 'The Parable of the Old Man and the Young'. Bugler Colin Davies gave added further dignity and poignancy to the occasion, rounding off the ceremony with The Last Post.
The plaque commemorates the six members known to have died, from Palladian, Vitruvian, Eastnor, Arrow and Loyal Hay Lodges. Their identities and history were researched by Tim Fycun, Worshipful Master of Delphis Lodge 2015-2016. The plaque, with its fine wooden frame made by Keith Farmer, will occupy a prominent and permanent position within the Hereford Masonic Hall.
On the same occasion, a statuette was unveiled of a soldier commemorating the memory of all Herefordshire members who lost their lives in the service of their country, generously provided by Wilf Charles.
Triple backing for Midlands Air Ambulance rescue services
Three Provincial Grand Masters, Robert Vaughan (Worcestershire), Tim Henderson-Ross (Gloucestershire) and the Reverend David Bowen (Herefordshire) with his deputy Michael Roff, presented cheques totalling £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance.
Receiving the cheques was Michelle McCracken, fundraising manager at Strensham air ambulance base. The donations form part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s support for all of the 22 air rescue services in England and Wales, which since 2007 has totalled more than £2 million. An additional £6,000 was presented by the Reverend David Bowen from the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association.
Help for St Michael’s Hospice
Herefordshire Freemasons have continued a long tradition of supporting the county’s St Michael’s Hospice with a further donation of £5,000.
Director of income generation Ruth Denison and community fundraising manager Paddy Nugent received the donation from Provincial Grand Master (also former hospice chaplain) the Reverend David Bowen and Deputy Provincial Grand Master Michael Roff.
With the money to be used for the fitting out of one of the bedrooms in the new building, Nugent said: ‘St Michael’s Hospice is eternally grateful for the support from the masons, which goes back to 1984. We really appreciate their continued commitment and would like to thank all involved for their continued support.’
A St David’s Day tradition
Every year Coningsby Lodge holds a St David’s Day celebration at its March meeting. This includes the ordeal of eating raw leeks, and current Worshipful Masters are ‘invited’ to take part in the ceremony. This year the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, agreed to join them for a sponsored leek-eat in aid of the 2020 Festival.
In introducing the event W Bro Roger Tomlinson explained that it was a tradition for all new members of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, of which he had been Bandmaster, to eat a leek on St David’s Day. He said that the tradition dates back to the 6th century when St David advised the commander of the Welsh army that his soldiers should wear a leek on their head-dress to distinguish them from the Saxons, with whom they were about to do battle. Having won the battle, the Welsh celebrated, and honoured St David, by eating the leeks. The tradition has continued among Welsh soldiers, and for a number of years has been re-enacted by Coningsby Lodge.
As well as the PGM, the Worshipful Master of Coningsby Lodge, W Bro Kevin Jones, took part, together with W Bro Keith Farmer, WM of Dean Waterfield, and W Bro David Joyce took part. A salver of raw leeks was carried in by W Bro Gordon Bumfrey, to a drum accompaniment by W Bro Ian Warren. The four participants were then invited to select their leeks, and eat them whole. Having done so, they were rewarded with a drink of Welsh beer.
In recognition of the RW PGM’s participation, and in his role as President of the Festival, the Lodge then presented him with a cheque for £100 in aid of the Festival. The PGM thanked the Lodge, and said how much he had enjoyed taking part.
£5,000 donation to St Michael's Hospice
Herefordshire Freemasons have long been strong supporters of the county’s St Michael’s Hospice, and have continued that tradition with a further donation of £5,000. The donation was presented by the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire and former Chaplain at the Hospice, the Rev David Bowen, and the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Michael Roff, to Ruth Denison, Director of Income Generation, and Paddy Nugent, Community Fundraising Manager.
Receiving the donation, Paddy Nugent said: 'St Michael’s Hospice is eternally grateful for the support from the masons, which goes back to 1984. We really appreciate their continued commitment and would like to thank all involved for their continued support.' The money will be used for the fitting out of one of the bedrooms in the new building.
This follows closely on a donation of £500 made by members of the oldest lodge in Herefordshire, Palladian Lodge. One of its members, Colin Tudor, has been receiving out-patient care at St Michael’s, and is so pleased with the way he is being looked after that he wanted to show his appreciation, with the support of his Lodge. In presenting that cheque Colin thanked the dedicated staff for all they had done for him and many others.
Freemasons throughout the country are strong supporters of their local Hospices, and those in Herefordshire are very pleased to have such an invaluable and high-quality facility available to the local community.
Help for St Michael’s
In a visit to St Michael’s Hospice Hereford, the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, met patient and Past Master of Delphis Lodge, No. 7769, Colin Tudor and his wife Gill.
Colin had for some time been a fundraiser for the Macmillan Renton Unit and St Michael’s Hospice. Following a period of chemotherapy treatment, Colin walked across mid-Wales for these charitable concerns.
While he was there, David Bowen, accompanied by Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, presented the hospice with a £3,343 donation from the Grand Charity.
Over the years, the Province of Herefordshire has presented some £70,000 to the hospice, helping towards the current £3.2 million refurbishment.
Fly high for charity
The end of 2015 saw some fantastic and exhilarating fundraising efforts by members of the masonic community
The Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, and Kevin Lyons, Past Master of Delphis Lodge, Hereford, completed freefall tandem skydives from 12,500ft and raised over £7,000 for the Herefordshire 2020 Festival in support of the Masonic Samaritan Fund.
Meanwhile, Nigel Moran and Andrew Paice from the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight completed the Sky Tower 100ft freefall challenge in Tivoli Friheden, Denmark. They completed the feat dressed as Batman and Robin to raise funds for the 2016 Festival for the RMTGB.
At the top, Andy suggested that Nigel (Batman) should go first. Nigel shouted, ‘So mote it be!’ before plunging into the net below. Their sense of achievement was reinforced by raising over £1,000, double their original target.
Herefordshire PGM meets Royal visitor
HRH The Countess of Wessex has paid a return visit to The Haven’s Hereford centre. The Countess is an active supporter of the charity, which provides emotional and physical support to women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Calling The Haven a ‘fantastic organisation’, she thanked all the fundraisers gathered for giving their time and backing to the charity. During the visit, the Countess also met Herefordshire PGM, the Rev David Bowen, and thanked him and his fellow Freemasons for their substantial and continued support. The Province is an official Guardian of the Hereford Haven.
During one of many visits to St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford, RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, was recently given the most welcome opportunity of meeting and greeting hospice patient Colin Tudor and his wife Gill.
Colin, past Master of Delphis Lodge No. 7769, had for some time been a valiant and resolute supporter and fundraiser for the Macmillan Renton Unit and St Michael’s Hospice: following a period of chemotherapy treatment, Colin walked across Mid Wales for such charitable concerns.
David Bowen, accompanied by VW Bro Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, presented Ruth Denison Fundraising Manager and Paddy Nugent Community Fundraising Manager, with the annual donation awarded to the Hospice by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.
This year the award was for £3,343. Since 1984 The Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated rising £12m to the 245 adult and children’s hospices in England and Wales.
The Province of Herefordshire has also presented approximately £70,000 to St Michael’s Hospice over the years, and this support will be recognised within the £3.2m refurbishment of the original hospice buildings due to be completed within the next three months.
The Rev David Bowen pledged the continued support of Herefordshire Freemasons to the dedicated care the hospice provides, which is so highly valued by the local community. David Bowen had been Chaplain to the hospice in the past, and truly appreciated the work undertaken at St Michael’s.
The presentation took place in the new £8m In-Patients’ Unit – the most advanced and highly specified in the country. David Bowen emphasised how important it was to be able to show a continued commitment to the outstanding work of the hospice.