Charity backing for neighbour scheme

The Royal Voluntary Service (formerly WRVS) has been awarded £50,000 by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to fund the establishment of a county-wide Good Neighbours Scheme for older people in Herefordshire.

The project will support one hundred older vulnerable people at home, providing practical help and companionship and using trained volunteers. Herefordshire RVS will require an additional fifty volunteers, over and above their existing 500 volunteers, to promote this new venture. In the words of George Driver, RVS local Service Manager, the scheme will enable the elderly receiving this support 'to retain their independence, give them choice, provide them with the opportunity of involvement, and positively encourage a feeling of being valued.'

Speaking about the donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, The Rev David Bowen, said: 'The wellbeing of the older members of our local community is of real importance to Herefordshire Freemasons and we are therefore delighted to support the Royal Voluntary Service with this grant to establish the Good Neighbours Scheme in this county. In other areas around Britain such schemes have shown real benefits and positive outcomes. This scheme will enrich the lives of the older people in our county.'

Claire Print, Locality Manager RVS Herefordshire, emphasised that 'We are very grateful for this substantial support from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity to set up a vital Good Neighbours Scheme in Herefordshire. Good Neighbours volunteers will make a huge difference to the lives of older people who find getting out and about difficult. Knowing that there is a friendly face willing to help will have a real impact on the wellbeing of older people who use the service.'

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is a grant-making charity dedicated to supporting people in need. The charity provides grants totalling about £8 million annually in areas of medical research, support for vulnerable people, youth opportunities, hospice services, air ambulances and disaster relief, as well as providing assistance to Freemasons and their dependants in financial need.

For further information about this grant please contact Allan Lloyd at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Siobhan McCarthy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in The Grand Charity

Dial-A-Ride has been awarded £1,000 by the Freemasons of Herefordshire

The charity provides affordable and accessible transport to the elderly, and those local people who have no means of suitable transport. There are nearly 300 people who are supported in this way by 20 volunteers. Brian Bentley has been a volunteer driver since the start of Dial-A-Ride in Hay back in January 1995.

The service operates within nine miles of Hay, mainly in rural areas and isolated villages with no public transport access. It operates in Hay and Talgarth, and such areas as Bronllys, Erwood, Gwernyfed, Llanigon, Clyro, Gladestry, Glasbury, Glascwm and Painscastle – on both sides of the English/Welsh border. The service assists people in leading independent lives.

The charity’s community transport includes a 12-seater mini bus and a six person people carrier. These vehicles have to be insured, maintained and provided with fuel.

Master of Loyal Hay Lodge No. 2382, Nigel Boothby, supported by his Charity Steward Brian Bevan, in presenting the donation of £1,000, emphasised how important it is for Freemasons to support local as well as national charities. Charity Chairman and present Mayor of Hay, Robert Golesworthy, stated that such financial assistance is fundamental to the continued success of the Hay and District Dial-A-Ride, and that the charity in is desperate need of such support.

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Palladian Lodge No. 120, its members organised a series of events to raise money for a variety of local good causes arranged by Denis Cox, Secretary of the Anniversary Committee

For one such local cause, this oldest of Herefordshire lodges donated £1,000 towards the general maintenance of Hereford Cathedral, so maintaining the strong support for the Cathedral by the Freemasons of the county down through the ages.

The presentation was made to the Dean of Hereford, The Very Rev Michael Tavinor, in the Lady Chapel of the Cathedral, following the Service of Choral Evensong which had been attended by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Herefordshire.

The Dean welcomed this continued support, and congratulated the brethren representing Palladian Lodge on their achievements over the past 250 years, and wished them well for the future.

Brethren of Eastnor Lodge No. 751 set up stall outside the Feathers Hotel in Ledbury High Street, to celebrate Community Day 2013 with other organisations with ties to the town

The aim of the day’s event was to show how such organisations were able and willing to contribute to the local well-being of the community.

Eastnor Lodge displayed photographs and literature on Freemasonry, and explained how it supported both local and national masonic and non-masonic charities. Freemasonry ranks as one of the largest charitable sponsors in the country.

Members of Eastnor Lodge who manned the display expressed their pleasure and appreciation in having the opportunity of discussing Freemasonry with members of the public, and intend to undertake a similar exercise in the near future.

Help for Hereford charities

At the annual distribution of donations to local organisations and charities held at Brook Hall Leominster on Saturday 15th June, the members of the Royal Edward Lodge No. 892 distributed cheques of between £250 and £1,000 to Hereford Breast Cancer Haven, the Robocap appeal, St Michael’s Hospice, Riding for the Disabled at Kyre, Megan Baker House, Leominster First Responders, and Leominster Scouts.

At the presentation, organised by the Lodge Charity Steward Gareth Prosser, W Bro Richard James, Past Master of Royal Edward, distributed the donations to those recipients present, including the Leominster Scouts.

Representing the Leominster Scouts, Mrs Sandra Hackley emphasised how grateful she was to receive the support of the Freemasons, as 'the Leominster Scouts are financially in a dire situation, and such support means a great deal.'

RW Bro the Rev David John Bowen was installed as the nineteenth Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire on Monday 3rd June 2013

Except for a break of twelve years between 1836 and 1848, when no Provincial Grand Master was appointed, this otherwise continuous period of 260 years has witnessed Dukes, Lords, and Members of Parliament as Provincial Grand Masters for Herefordshire. The first and longest serving being Sir Thomas de Cornwall 1753-1789.

Rev David Bowen was installed by MW Bro Peter Lowndes, Pro Grand Master representing the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent.

Rev Bowen’s first act as Provincial Grand Master was to appoint VW Bro Mike Roff as Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire.

Herefordshire Freemasons held their annual church service at Hereford Cathedral Sunday 9th June.

Financial support for Air Ambulance throughout England and Wales has been maintained again this year by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, taking the total awarded over the last five years to £1 million

Flying over 20,000 'mercy' missions every year, this vital national emergency service relies entirely on such voluntary donations and public fundraising.

Meeting at the Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, which operates the service for Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the Welsh border, Herefordshire Freemasons were able to make a further donation on behalf of the Grand Charity. The contribution from local Freemasons, in addition to that from the Grand Charity, has totalled £54,000 over the past four years.

Such continued support has been acknowledged by the display of the masonic square and compass logo and the words 'Supported by Freemasons' on the distinctive red and yellow air ambulance helicopter.

The Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the Rev David Bowen, and Mike Roff, Deputy ProvGM in charge, on their first visit to Strensham, were 'hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication of the Air Ambulance staff', and discussed at length the operational side of the service with helicopter pilot Tim Hutchins.

Michelle McCracken, a member of the fundraising team who organised the visit, expressed the gratitude of Midlands Air Ambulance to all Freemasons for their generous support.

Long service acknowledged

One of the first official duties of the newly installed Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, was to award Long Service Certificates to three Herefordshire masons who had completed fifty years membership in Freemasonry.

The men who received this honour at the Three Counties Hotel were Peter Like, of Loyal Hay Lodge No. 2382, John Poyner, of Coningsby Lodge No. 6383, and Stanley Davey, of Saint Peter’s Lodge No. 7368. All three masons are Past Provincial Grand Wardens. Rev David Bowen warmly congratulated the three recipients for their dedication, commitment and loyalty to Freemasonry in the Province of Herefordshire and beyond.

The members of Bishop Sara Rose Croix Chapter have donated ten height-adjustable foot stools to aid recovery of knee replacement patients in Hereford County Hospital’s Teme Ward.

Illustrious Brother Tony Weal, a member of Delphis Lodge No. 7769, was behind this support to enhance care following his recent stay in hospital. He presented the stools to Ward Sister Rose Treherne in grateful appreciation for the excellent care and attention he and other patients have recently received.

Twelve unemployed young people who completed The Prince’s Trust Get into Woodlands programme were presented with certificates of achievement at the Duchy of Cornwall’s Herefordshire Estate. Senior Herefordshire Freemasons were invited to attend the presentation.

The Prince’s Trust Programme Executives, Paul Beesley and Rachel Edwards, emphasised that Get into Woodlands gives unemployed young people aged between 16 and 25 confidence, motivation and skills in forestry. The young people gained the qualifications they need to work in forestry, as well practical experience in coppicing, horse logging, tree planting and harvesting.

This programme, linked with Hereford College of Technology and Holme Lacy College, is sponsored by MVision Private Equity, with additional financial support provided by Herefordshire Freemasons.

Last year the Trust supported over 5,000 young people across the West Midlands, helping to give them the skills and confidence to find a job. Three in four young people supported by the youth charity move into work, education or training. Following the programme, participants are given six months support to help them into employment or further training.

The senior Herefordshire Freemasons attending the presentation, Rodney Smallwood and Mike Roff, welcomed meeting all participants, especially Kelly Hallworth who was a participant on last year’s programme and is now a full-time member of The Prince’s Trust team at Dewsall.

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