From Hill to High Water
Dorset Freemasons have presented Dorset Search and Rescue (DorSAR) with a donation of more than £3,000 to support their work
The Lodge of St Cuthberga No. 622 in Wimborne raised funds with lodge raffles and social occasions throughout the year. At a remote location in Dorset and during a break in training, members of the lodge presented DorSAR with a cheque for £3,062.
DorSAR is a team of highly trained volunteers who work with the police, coastguard and other emergency services. They assist in the search and recovery of missing persons and items, plus specialist water rescue. Called into action via Dorset Police, DorSAR are able to offer considerable resources to support the county's emergency services with over 80 specialised volunteer search and rescue personnel.
Paul Martin of DorSAR said: 'It costs approximately £400 to fully equip a volunteer and our control vehicle, which we require at major incidents, is in need of maintenance. The money raised by Dorset Freemasons will help towards equipment and transport.'
Andy Gale, the outgoing Master of the Lodge of St Cuthberga, said: 'I am delighted that this money will help DorSAR save lives here in Dorset.'
Members of Lodge of St Cuthberga No. 622 in Dorset travelled to Freemasons' Hall in London to present a cheque for £1,785 to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT)
The lodge's Past Master Geoff Knights and current Master Andy Gale presented the cheque inside Freemasons' Hall to Patrick Tonks, CHECT's Chief Executive, and Diana Emery, their Fundraising Manager. Geoff Knights said: 'During my term of office, I had funds for several charities and the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust was dear to everyone’s heart.'
The lodge raised a proportion of the funds through social events and lodge meetings. A large share however, was raised by James Smith, the lodge Charity Steward, when he and his wife Maria ran the London Marathon last year.
CHECT supports children with Retinoblastoma, which is a fast-growing eye cancer found in some babies and children under the age of six years. CHECT helps guide families through the shock, stress and practical challenges after diagnosis.
The charity funds research to improve understanding, treatments and outcomes and raises awareness to improve recognition and early diagnose of the disease.
Diana Emery said: 'I am over the moon with the amount raised by Dorset Freemasons as CHECT is a small charity with no public funding.'
The Lodge of St Cuthberga No. 622 in Dorset have supported Dorset Cancer Care Foundation (DCCF) this Christmas with a £3,432 donation
St Cuthberga's Family Christmas Lunch was made extra special as Chris Hawkes from the Lodge presented Leslie May Harrison, the founder of DCCF, with the cheque for £3,432.
DCCF provides financial support to families affected by cancer in Dorset, to aid with the recovery and treatment when traditional care may be insufficient. The foundation also supports and works with other Dorset-based groups to assist with cancer research and education, as well as helping fund medical equipment required for the treatment of cancer patients.
The charity will use the donation to provide services such as transport and parking costs for travelling to treatment, counselling, wigs and prosthetics, as well as respite breaks for patients.
Lesley May Harrison said: 'Thank you from all at DCCF and those we will be able to help.'
Leslie then joined the Lodge for a Christmas lunch at Wimborne Masonic Hall, with special guests including eight widows of past lodge members.
All present were able to join in the singing of carols accompanied by the Wimborne Musical Theatre Society (WMTS). The Lodge also gave a donation to WMTS at the dinner and raised a further £425 for Teenage Cancer Trust.