The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) has awarded grants amounting to £85,000 to four charities that are working to alleviate the effects of poverty and to improve educational outcomes for children and young people. The grants have been made from the RMTGB’s Stepping Stones scheme and will be used to fund projects aimed at transforming the lives of hundreds of children and young people. Since the scheme was launched, the RMTGB has awarded grants totalling almost £500,000.
Two powered wheelchairs were presented to disabled children by the South Cheshire Masonic Golf Society at its annual Eaton Golf Club meeting in Chester. The event has been supported by South Cheshire Masons since 1971. Marley Tiles took over patronage in 1979 and now the Peter Alliss Wheelchair Crusade acts as national co-ordinator. Since 1979, the Society has purchased at least one wheelchair each year, at a total cost of around £200,000.
Lodge Malaya, No. 5213, based at Freemasons’ Hall, London, and with members worldwide, has been fundraising for the MOMS (Multidisciplinary Obstetric and Midwifery Safety) programme, particularly in Africa. MOMS, run by Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, provides obstetric research, trains maternity teams and develops new technologies that improve safety in childbirth nationally and internationally. The lodge shares the MOMS vision for women to have access to safe maternity care and has presented the programme with a cheque for £12,500.
Nottinghamshire Freemasons have celebrated raising £1m for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) in only 8 months. The donations from members of the Province and their families will support the 2018 Festival, launched by Provincial Grand Master Robin Wilson in April 2012. The funds will enable the RMTGB to continue providing financial and welfare support to children and grandchildren of Freemasons who have experienced a distress that has led to financial hardship for their family.
Young deaf and hard of hearing people in Cheshire have welcomed a £30,000 funding boost by the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys. Cheshire-based charity Deafness Support Network (DSN) received the award to expand its Deaf Active youth services into Crewe and Warrington.
The project aims to help socially excluded deaf children and young people develop their self-esteem and sporting skills by taking part in a variety of non-traditional sports alongside their hearing peers.
The scheme will give young people the opportunity to work towards achieving accredited outcomes to help boost their education and career prospects. It will also improve access to a broader range of services for its existing 78 users and strives to benefit at least 20 new deaf and deafblind young people in the area.
Local children have been entertained at their annual pantomime – this time, Dick Whittington – thanks to Warwickshire Freemasons and TOA Taxis. A morning show was enjoyed by children with learning and physical disabilities, while an afternoon performance was staged for youngsters who might never have seen a live theatre show before. More than 600 children and around 100 carers attended. Warwickshire Provincial Grand Master David Macey introduced the show in the morning, welcoming the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr John Lines, and the Lady Mayoress, who presented David with a cheque for £500 for the Freemasons’ chosen charities.
Devonshire masons and their families have raised a magnificent £3,836,625 in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB). The result of the 2012 Festival Appeal, which lasted almost 6 years, was announced during a memorable night at the Riviera International Convention Centre in Torquay.
RMTGB President Mike Woodcock thanked the Province for its efforts during the appeal and spoke about the importance of the charity’s work. Provincial Grand Master Michael Penny praised the members of his Province and the Festival Committee, which had been instrumental in the appeal’s success.
During the dinner, harpist and former RMTGB beneficiary Angelina Warburton played some popular classics before a lively performance by the Devon Youth Jazz Orchestra, whose trumpeter is also a trust beneficiary.
Established in 2005 to connect lodges with students country-wide, the Universities Scheme is flourishing, enabling a new generation to experience Freemasonry
Hartington Lodge, No. 1085, in the Province of Derbyshire, has become the 55th lodge to join the Universities Scheme, opening a path for it to welcome members of the University of Derby into the Craft from the age of 18.
The lodge was accepted into the scheme after a sub-committee, led by Alan Cudworth, met with Assistant Grand Master David Williamson, Scheme Chairman Edward Lord
and Midlands Co-ordinator David Staples.
David Williamson explained how the Universities Scheme makes it easier for young men to join the Craft, with Provincial Grand Master Graham Rudd then presenting the Assistant Grand Master with a Derbyshire tie and a Festival barbecue cook’s apron.
Hartington Lodge has proven successful in bringing young men into Freemasonry, with members including graduates and former staff of the University of Derby.
Essex Provincial Grand Master John Webb invited a number of local hospices to the Chelmsford Masonic Hall to present donations totalling £21,496. Also in attendance were Provincial Information Officer Brian Wright and Provincial Grand Almoner Paul Cohen. The Provincial Grand Master said that since The Freemasons’ Grand Charity began to support hospices in 1984, masons have donated more than £10m, with £371,500 of that figure going to hospices in the Essex area.
Carlisle masons are working on plans for what they believe will be the largest masonic exhibition ever held outside London. The nationally renowned Tullie House museum and gallery, noted for the range of its exhibitions and varied events programme, will act as host. The exhibition will run from 25 May to 7 July 2013 and show the history of Freemasonry in Carlisle in a national context.
John Beadle, Chairman of the Carlisle Group of Lodges, Provincial Grand Orator and Provincial Second Grand Principal Keith Beattie and Andrew MacKay of Tullie House have held several meetings with staff at the Library and Museum at Great Queen Street, London, to develop the exhibition plan. This includes the loan of several significant exhibits from London, including a Victorian punchbowl (above).