Chris and Jeni, the parents of River Wardley from Littleborough, who suffers from a life-threatening genetic condition, were delighted when East Lancashire Freemasons came to their rescue with a grant of £2,295

The Rochdale district team helped the family secure a desperately needed new home that is much better suited to their son’s River and Ocean and daughter Roxi-Blue.

River suffers from the extremely rare mutation on his CNK SR2 gene, which causes seizures, and intellectual attention and language deficits. He also has central and obstructive Sleep Apnoea, Hypermobility Syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, Autism, ADHD and uncontrolled Epilepsy.

Rochdale District Chairman Doug Smith said: ‘When we heard about River, we wanted to do something positive.’

As a result, they secured a substantial grant from the East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) of £2,295 enabling the family to move River's specialist equipment and assist with prohibitive upfront rent costs, meaning the family can now move to a new home in Milnrow where their quality of life will be greatly improved.

District Charity Steward John Taylor added: ‘We really do like to help those in need and it is clear just how much this means to the whole family.’

Chris, Jenni, Roxi-Blue, River and Ocean can’t wait to make the move, and thanked East Lancashire Freemasons for their help and support.

East Lancashire Freemasons have donated £2,500 to the Bury Scout Group to help with vital work needed to upgrade their Scout Hut

The Scout Group approached the East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) to ask for help in funding the work and the ELMC were happy to contribute £2,500 to the total cost of about £7,500 of developing the toilet facilities.

The donation by the ELMC has kick started the funding for the remainder of the work, and the majority of the funding for the work to the toilets has now been secured. The work will be carried out in August 2019 when the Scout Hut is not in use.

Work needs to be done to bring the toilets and cloak room to modern standards including accessible toilets and widening of doors to accommodate a wheelchair. It was realised that there were several thousand pounds worth of development needed to bring that area to the right standards. This includes moving walls, resurfacing the flooring in the toilet area and re-designing the toilets from what, at one time, was a 'boys' organisation, to one where there are as many girls who involved in scouting as there are boys.  

The ROBOT (Rector of Bury’s Own Troop) Scout Group which is based at Bury Parish Church was founded almost one hundred years ago in 1924 and it has been one of the largest and most prominent scout groups in the area. This is in no small part due to its location adjacent to the Parish Church in the centre of Bury. The youth membership is drawn from a wide range of areas from across the borough when compared with other groups in the Borough, and it is blessed that the young people also represent a diverse range of economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. 

Scouting is the UK’s biggest mixed youth organisation. Its volunteers change lives by offering 6 to 25 years old (5½ to 14½ year olds at 44th Bury plus an ‘Explorer’ group for older teenagers and young adults) a mix of fun and challenging activities, unique experiences, every day adventure and the chance to help others so that they make a positive impact in our communities. There are groups for both boys and girls throughout the age ranges, and the Scout Hut is in use every day from Monday to Saturday and one Sunday every month.  It is used every week by one hundred young people.

The formal handover of the cheque took place on 9th June 2019 during the main service at the Parish Church with Steve Clark, the Provincial Charity Steward, handing over the cheque to some of the youngsters who will benefit from the work.

Bury Freemasons, the East Lancashire Masonic Charity and the Masonic Charitable Foundation have come together to support Grace’s Place – a children’s hospice located in Radcliffe – with a grant of £5,000 to fund a cuddle cot and special cuddle blanket

This will helps families who have just lost a young child to spend precious hours, even days, together during the grieving process, taking after life care to another level.

The presentation was made by Chris Eccles, the Bury District Charity Steward, accompanied by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward Steve Clark. The Hospice has fantastic facilities to make this very difficult time for children and families as pleasant as possible.

With the final pieces of equipment now in place, the Hospice is proud to announce it has now opened its doors.

A spokesperson from Grace's Place said: ‘Over the last year the building has been transformed to make sure families feel comfortable here – we’ve got children’s and family bedrooms, a toy-filled play area and space for mums and dads to relax.

‘We’ve also got a state-of-the-art sensory room – fantastic for children to develop their motor and communication skills – or just to chill out in. And a Snowflake Room, a private and peaceful room where bereaved families can spend time together and say their last goodbyes.’

East Lancashire Freemasons have supported Thomasson Memorial School with a £4,000 donation towards installing new carpets and stairs. As the pupils are deaf or hearing impaired, carpets are imperative to help in reducing echoes and reverberations within the school

Steve Clark, East Lancashire’s Provincial Grand Charity Steward, was delighted to accept an invitation from their Headteacher Lisa Lane to visit the school on 1st March where he was given a fantastic reception from the children.

Lisa had submitted a grant application to East Lancashire Masonic Charity to assist in buying new carpets for the halls and stairs within the school, which have now been installed.

Thomasson Memorial is a day school in Bolton for deaf children aged 4-16 and a nursery for hearing and deaf children age 2-4. It provides a caring, secure and supportive environment in which all children are respected and encouraged to develop their full potential.

The school was founded after Mr Thomasson, a local businessman who was hearing impaired, bequeathed money to provide a school for deaf children. Thomasson Memorial are one of a only a handful of schools for deaf children and have students from across the whole North West of the country.

When Gordon Fielding, Charity Steward of Concord Lodge No. 1534 in East Lancashire, heard about the arson attack on Red Lane Primary School in Bolton, he approached the school to see if any help was needed

He learnt that, although much of the damage to the school property was covered by insurance, items such as nativity costumes, PE kit and take home bags, which had been purchased from funds raised by the children and parents, were not insured. The school was asked to prepare a list of what was needed which totalled around £4,600.

An application was made to the East Lancashire Masonic Charity Grants Committee who awarded a grant of £3,500 which was topped up with a donation of £500 from members of Concord Lodge. Red Lane Primary School is actually in the Bolton District but, as it is only some half a mile from Radcliffe Masonic Hall where Concord Lodge meets, it was decided that it was appropriate for Bury District to make the application. 

Unfortunately, on the day that the cheques were to be presented Gordon was unable to attend due to illness but Chris Eccles, the Bury District Charity Steward, was delighted to attend and present the cheques. The presentation was made at a school assembly when Chris was able to explain to the children where the money had come from and what is was for.

The school's Executive Head Lisa Whittaker and Headteacher Rhian Driver both expressed their most sincere appreciation to Gordon Fielding for the initial approach and to the generosity of Freemasons who had made possible the replacement of the damaged equipment. As a result of the masonic donations, the school had been able to stage its annual nativity play, in front of parents and guests.

The Young People's Committee of the East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) have raised over £8,500 for a number of children's charities through a sponsored abseil challenge at Peel Tower in Bury

In total, 77 people completed the abseil challenge on 7th July 2018 including the Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire and President of the ELMC Sir David Trippier. 

It quickly grew into an event to showcase the support that the ELMC and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) has given locally and nationally to children's charities. The MCF has recently donated to East Lancashire-based young persons' charities including Bolton Young Persons Housing Scheme and Salford Foundation, which provides targeted intervention for young people.

Many of the participants chose to donate their sponsorship monies to the ELMC, which will be used to support its causes, including the Young People's Committee. 

It is envisaged that the amount raised will be in excess of £10,000 through outstanding sponorshop money and gift aid.

An East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) grant of £4,650 is the first contribution to a million-pound appeal by East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust’s ELHT&ME charity

Launched at a breakfast reception, the appeal will focus on improvements that are above and beyond normal NHS provisions, such as specialised medical equipment. It also aims to enhance the patient environment at ELHT’s five hospitals.

The ELMC grant will provide static and mobile video conferencing technology and equipment that allows young people to access speedy support for mental health issues from medical professionals without the need to travel.

Published in Freemasonry Cares

Over the past year, Manchester Freemasons have given £55,000 in donations to non-Masonic charitable organisations and on 3 May 2018 hosted a Giving Evening at Manchester Hall where cheques were presented to a number of exceptional organisations from Greater Manchester

The 109 attendees included Brethren, their guests and representatives from the good causes they have supported. The Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier, and The Lord Lieutenant for Greater Manchester, Warren Smith, were both in attendance.

Each of the organisations receiving donations had laid out a stand in the Goulburn Lodge Room and the evening began with the guests navigating their way around the room, learning about the amazing services they provide to the larger community, whilst enjoying the drinks reception and canapés. 

The focus of the evening then turned to the Goulburn Dining Room, where the donations would be presented. As everyone made their way into the room, the Drum Corps of the Manchester Army Cadets demonstrated their new instruments that were bought for them earlier this year, with help from a grant from the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. This part of the evening was hosted by Stephen Thomson and Tony Stephenson, District Charity Stewards for the Manchester Districts.

The guests were formally welcomed by Chris Welton, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Manchester Districts, and then Sir David Trippier spoke about the commitment Manchester masons have to supporting their local community and commended the achievements attained, often voluntarily, by the organisations they aim to help as Freemasons.

Warren Smith was then introduced to the podium and, describing Manchester masons as philanthropists, praised the valuable contribution they make to the community. A number of representatives from the organisations that received donations gave short talks on the difference the money they have received has made on the lives of people in their area. 

The lodges and chapters were then invited to present their cheques to their beneficiaries and the following donations were made to:

Finally, two cheques were presented on behalf of Manchester Masons – first to Challenge 4 Change and the second to the Lord Lieutenant’s charity – The Duchy of Lancaster.

The evening was closed by Chris Welton, who declared it to have been a great success and commended the hard work and dedication displayed by Stephen Thomson and Tony Stephenson in delivering this momentous event.

The East Lancashire Masonic Charity has donated £50,000 to fund the Patient Information Zone in the new Diabetes Centre at the Manchester Hospitals Complex

The £50,000 donation will help make a difference to diabetes patients from across the North West of England. The donation, in support of Manchester Royal Infirmary Charity’s Diabetes Appeal, will help the hospital to relocate its Diabetes Centre into a more vibrant and spacious patient-friendly building and continue to be a leading centre for Diabetes care.

The Manchester Diabetes Centre is recognised around the world for its high-quality clinical care and cutting-edge, world leading research. It is one of the first dedicated diabetes centres in the UK, providing care to 4,000 patients across the North West each year.

The current Diabetes Centre is cramped and outdated, meaning the hospital’s medical professionals are unable to offer the breadth of treatment, research and care that they want to their patients.

The substantial donation will contribute towards the Charity’s Appeal to vastly improve the patients experience when being treated at the new Diabetes and Endocrinology Centre. Relocating to a larger facility will mean an increase of clinical capacity, reduction of waiting times and the ability to adapt the care to the diverse needs and lives of the hospital’s diabetic patients. This friendlier, less clinical environment, will also improve the quality of transition of care for young patients from child through to adult services, which is a major concern.

Maurice Watkins CBE, Chairman of Manchester Royal Infirmary Hospital Charity’s fundraising board, said: 'We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of the East Lancashire Freemasons. Our aim is to ensure that the Manchester Diabetes Centre continues to be a world-class facility, pioneering treatment and care for chronically ill patients in the North West and beyond. The Freemason’s support is invaluable in helping us to provide a brighter future for these patients and their families.'

The Appeal also plans to relocate the hospital’s Endocrinology Services to the new and purposely designed Diabetes facility. Currently, despite the close clinical connection of the two specialities, the hospital’s Endocrinology and Diabetes services are located in different areas of the hospital site. Housing the two linked services in one central location will ensure optimal patient care, clinical outcomes and patient experience.

Sir David Trippier, the Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, said: 'Freemasons are delighted to have provided vital financial support for the most worthy cause of Diabetes Care in the North West. Diabetes is an illness that has serious implications so we are keen to support this project which will ultimately benefit an immense number of people, from children to the elderly, for now and well into the future.'

The East Lancashire Masonic Charity (ELMC) has donated £25,000 to the Manchester Cathedral Chapter to assist in the funding of the choristers over the next five years

With support from East Lancashire Freemason, the Rev Richard Hawkins, an application was made which would enable the Chapter to continue contributing to the cost of choristers’ school fees at Chetham’s School of Music and support gifted children of less well off families in paying fees.

The donation will be split between choristers’ parents who are suffering hardship and unable to raise their element of the fees, and the Chapter’s annual contribution towards the fees of a child.

The President of the ELMC, and Provincial Grand Master of East Lancashire, Sir David Trippier was in attendance to speak to some of the choristers.

Provincial Grand Organist Chris Stokes and the Rev Richard Hawkins spoke to Sir David about how the money would be distributed and the effect it would have on supporting the Chapter over the coming years.

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