Dorset Freemasons stepped up to the mark when a 'recovery café' run by the Essential Drugs & Alcohol Service (EDAS) in Poole needed extra funds
Members of the Lodge of Meridian No. 6582 and St Aldhelm's Lodge No. 2559, Magnaura Conclave of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Dorset Provincial Grand Master’s Discretionary Fund joined together to fund an information system which will allow the cafe to widen the services it provides.
The Serenitea Café provides an alcohol-free social environment for people in recovery, as well as members of the public. Dorset Freemason Mark Burstow and Lionel Turner of Magnaura Conclave visited the cafe to find out more about its work.
Mark Burstow, who also acts as the Province's Communications Officer, said: ‘A key element of our activities as Freemasons is to play an active part in our communities and support charitable activities such as these. The support that Serenitea will offer is invaluable helping individuals to cope whilst on their path to recovery.’
Kate Allard, of EDAS, said: ‘This donation will help us provide events that members of the community can enjoy in a safe space; we are very grateful for this generous donation.’
In November 2006, John Donoghue of St Aldhelm’s Lodge No.2559 in Dorset was admitted to Guy’s Hospital, where he donated a kidney to his daughter Tara. For John, it was a life-changing experience seeing first-hand the suffering of so many young people. Since then, John has participated in many fundraising ventures. Last year it was Freemasonry and the RMBI in particular that benefited.
John and his friend Trevor Woodford set off on their touring bikes from Gibraltar to Poole, a formidable distance of 1,500 miles. John raised funds for the 2014 RMBI Dorset Festival and Trevor for Cancer Research UK. The final total was more than £3,000 – approximately £2 per mile. The RMBI encourages everyone within the Festival to think of ways to raise money and is committed to offering as much support to all fundraisers as it can. When it comes to fundraising, John’s motto is very clear: ‘I believe that it’s an honour to be a mason and it’s our duty to try and make a difference to those less fortunate than ourselves.’