Freemasons warmly welcomed by Herefordshire Samaritans

While it is appreciated that members from individual masonic Lodges have supported Herefordshire Samaritans in the past, the recent £500 donation to refurbish the organisation’s vehicle, was the first support given by the central Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association

In the words of Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, this assistance should be maintained in the light of the invaluable work undertaken by the Samaritans, as exemplified by the 18,835 contacts made to the local branch in 2013. David Bowen was impressed by the fact that Herefordshire Samaritans was a self funded charity with no paid employees, everyone involved being a volunteer.

Dorian Lower, Branch Director of Herefordshire Samaritans situated in Berrington Street, warmly welcomed the Freemasons who attended with David Bowen, namely Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Allan Lloyd and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward. He expressed his great appreciation for such support and hoped that the link with between the local Freemasons and Herefordshire Samaritans Group would continue and prosper.

The annual pantomime presented at Brookfield School and Specialist College, Hereford, has received the support of Herefordshire Freemasons with a donation of over £700

The school, which provides specialist educational needs for over sixty Herefordshire youngsters, has received such support on three occasions, much to the approval and wishes of the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire masons.

This year’s pantomime Treasure Island was organised through the national charity Happy Days by Anna Collum a senior member of the teaching staff at the school. The production was attended by the visiting Freemasons, David Bowen, Allan Lloyd, and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward.

David Bowen was delighted to be able to visit the school, and remarked how well the pupils responded to the professionally presented pantomime performed by the visiting theatre company Magic of Theatre. He remarked that the performance truly proved magical for the pupils who obviously greatly enjoyed the production, and promised that he and his fellow Freemasons would continue to fully support such local charities.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity supported this charity with a donation of £20,000 in 2011.

provides specialist educational needs 

Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, said that it was a wonderful experience to be with the young children of the Hereford Deaf Children's Society during a most enjoyable musical afternoon led by Real Impact Music

With a donation of £500 to enable 25 children to attend a pantomime at The Courtyard later in the year, Herefordshire Freemasons are continuing to support this worthy local charity.

The Society’s Chairperson Tracy Caddick-Rudd, together with the assistance of a large number of volunteers, has recently organised Hereford Deaf Children Society visits to York, Weston-super-Mare and Disneyland Paris, much to the delight of up to 100 children who were involved.

Tracy emphasised that the only way to maintain such participation among the children was to receive the continued support of charitable organisations such as the Freemasons.

Also in attendance at the presentation was David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Herefordshire.

Megan Baker House at Moreton Eye near Leominster, is seen as a 'centre of excellence' in conductive education for children and adults with neurological disorders

The charity is in its final year of a three-year project to REACH OUT - taking its services into schools and community centres for an ever growing number of beneficiaries.

Lottery funded project REACH OUT has to date delivered conductive education sessions into eleven schools for 62 children in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.

Megan Baker House has over recent years, been supported with donations from Herefordshire Freemasons, particularly from members of Royal Edward Lodge in Leominster. Now, Paul Beaumont, Worshipful Master of Saint Peter's Lodge in Bromyard, has initiated further support with a donation of £750 towards activities such as the REACH OUT project.

Paul and his wife Elizabeth were made aware of the 'deserving nature of this local charity', now in its second decade of activity, when working with Megan Baker House Chief Executive, Lee Gough, at various fund raising events. Paul, and Freemasons generally, appreciate that the charity does not receive statutory funding and does not charge for its services, and therefore needs as much support as possible. Richard James, Charity Steward in Saint Peter's Lodge, stated that 'local Freemasons will hopefully continue to assist Megan Baker House in its vital and fundamental role within the wider community.'

Zoe White, Office Manager at Megan Baker House, emphasised that such support was essential to maintain the services of the charity 'which provided an important pathway towards maximum physical independence of the individuals concerned.'

Freemasons from Bromyard are championing Macmillan Cancer Support in Herefordshire by sponsoring the charity’s Not Alone campaign which was launched just over a year ago

Paul Beaumont, Worshipful Master of Saint Peter’s Lodge in Bromyard, together with Richard James, Lodge Charity Steward, presented donations totalling £600 to Jenny Goddard Fundraising Manager of Herefordshire and Forest of Dean – money raised personally by the Bromyard members in a variety of ways including a recent Farm Walk, with match funding from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

The presentation took place in the Patient Garden Area of the Macmillan Renton Cancer Unit, Hereford. Jenny Goddard in thanking the Freemasons, emphasised that such support will enable Macmillan Cancer Support, 'to create more vital new services and reach more people than ever before, and together with the public of Herefordshire, we can make sure that no one faces cancer alone.'

Richard James indicated that he would keep in contact with Macmillan Cancer Support in Herefordshire in the hope of maintaining support for this worthy cause. Every day over 900 people in the UK hear the news that they have cancer, and a quarter of them will have no support from family and friends.

Meeting volunteers at the Newton Farm Community Association in Hereford to support their charitable work over Christmas and the New Year, local Freemasons greatly appreciated the level of commitment evident

Rev David Bowen, who had ministered to the people of this part of the city in the past, welcomed the opportunity to revisit Newton Farm and once again see how the community centre continues to positively assist in bringing the people of local neighbourhoods together.

Financial support was presented by Rev Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, to Audrey Pask, the long standing vice chair of Newton Farm Community Centre. This support was identified as help towards the cost of 50 Christmas Hampers being distributed, and the children’s presents received in Santa’s grotto thanks to Richard Johnson, chairman of the centre.

David Bowen, who was accompanied by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles, expressed gratitude to the people of Newton Farm for the warmth of their welcome, and the privilege of being able to support such a worthy local enterprise. He praised the dedication of all involved in the non profit making charity with special reference to the 24 volunteers, and looked forward to the forthcoming planned renovation of the immediate area.

Ian Talboys of Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Hereford, has long admired the staunch work of Linda Bishop in her support of St Michael’s Hospice

Ian has known Linda for many years through their involvement with the local Scout movement and has had the pleasure of walking many miles with her in the Black Mountains.

Linda recently completed her Beating Boundaries Challenge Hike, the first ever complete walk around the county boundary of Herefordshire, to raise money especially for the new Complementary Therapy Suite at Bartestree.

With the £14.5 million new build at St Michael’s Hospice due for completion in June 2014, as projected by Head of Fundraising Ruth Denison, visiting Herefordshire Freemasons recently took the opportunity of viewing its progress while presenting their annual donation.

A donation of £2,809 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity was presented to Ruth Denison during the visit, with an additional £1,000 from Hereford’s Delphis Lodge being ring-fenced for the provision of the state of the art Complementary Therapy Suite.

Since 1984, £10.5 million has been donated to hospices across England and Wales by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Speaking about the donation, Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'Every year Freemasons all over the country work together to provide funding for hospice services.

'The care provided by our local hospice is exceptional, but financial support is fundamental to ensuring a continued good service. We recognise the vital role the hospice plays within our community here in Herefordshire, and that is why we are so happy and committed to maintain our support.'

On a visit to Sophie House in Hampton Bishop, Ian Talboys of Delphis Lodge No. 7769 found the experience 'truly inspirational'

Together with fellow Freemason Don Lane, Ian presented a donation of £1,000 from his lodge to the Martha Trust.

Sarah Sharp-Smith - founding trustee and mother of Sophie, one of the lifelong residents - gave a guided tour of the new building, now just twelve months in being.

The visitors were suitably impressed with the home’s exceptional and innovative design with 'organic shape' open spaces. It has a fully landscaped garden and a state of the art centre for complementary therapies, including hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, and music and multi-sensory stimulating light therapies.

This new building adds to the charity’s first purpose-built home at Hampton Green, established in 1996, resulting in a total of 28 single bedrooms. The rooms serve lifelong residents with profound disabilities and complex needs, requiring specialised individualised care.

Don and his wife Heather have supported the Martha Trust over the years, appreciating the severe lack of long term respite care nationally for such individuals.

Ledbury’s recently formed Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraising Group has been supported by Freemasons with a donation of £1,500

The donation was awarded by local masons from Eastnor Lodge No. 751 of Ledbury and Vaga Lodge No. 3146 of Hereford, with an additional £500 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Bruce Foster, Chairman of the Ledbury Fundraising Marie Curie Group which was formed in March 2012, emphasised that such financial help would be ring-fenced to support Herefordshire Marie Curie nurses in their care of the terminally ill.

His group of ten local members raised £8,000 during their first year, and hope to exceed this total during this current twelve months. He emphasised that, 'Our Marie Curie fundraising charity group in Ledbury genuinely welcomes this significant support of the Freemasons.'

Presenting the cheques at the Feathers Hotel, Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, expressed the significance not only of the charitable giving by local Freemasons, but also that of the London based Grand Charity, specifically awarded to support local charities in the shire counties such as Herefordshire.

According to the Haven’s manager, Frankie Devereux, the 'hugely successful' Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Hereford, 'culminated in a most welcomed and substantial donation of £5,800.00 from the Freemasons'

Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, in presenting this latest donation, spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken at the Haven in Hereford. He emphasised the continued support of Freemasons, being fully aware that the success of the Haven’s work depended entirely upon charitable giving. Herefordshire Province of Freemasons has been a Guardian of the Haven since 2011.

In attendance at the presentation, undertaking his first official duty, was Edward Lord, the newly appointed National Director of Fundraising and Development for the Breast Cancer Havens in Hereford, Leeds and London. As a senior mason himself, he welcomed the support given by both local Freemasons and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. He praised Herefordshire Masons for the continued support received over recent years.

This year’s annual masonic donation to the Haven included specific giving from Royal Edward Lodge No. 892, Palladian Lodge No. 120 and Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire, and the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association. This local support was match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

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