Devonshire Freemasons Give £24,000 to support local charities

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Devon Freemasons to Donate £24,000 support to 15 Local Charities & Organisations

Every Spring and Autumn Freemasons from all around Devon meet to support local organisations who require financial assistance, among which are children’s charities, schools, youth centres and locally based charities including hospices, hospital services and cancer charities.

The money is raised through the 'WAKE FUND', a trust conceived by William Alexander Kneel, the Devonshire Provincial Grand Master from 1970 to 1984, the late owner of Kneels laundry & dry cleaners (now Johnsons). Since the idea was initiated, the fund has grown through the continued generosity of Devonshire Freemasons and wise investments. Today it stands at £2.3 million from which the trustees distribute the income generated, currently around £50,000 each year.

Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, Ian Kingsbury JP:

'We are so lucky that the county has this legacy to share to small Devon groups and charities who are put forward by their local Lodges. We’re still seeing the COVID legacy restricting donations to these groups and Charities, so It’s a chance for us to help'.

Reuben Ayres, Devonshire’s Charity Steward said:

'Since the first disbursement in 2001 nearly £900,000 has been given to over 960 worthy non-masonic organisations and charities throughout Devon, selected by members of the 131 Masonic lodges based throughout the county.'

This year on Friday 13th of May at 6.30pm at Exmouth Lodge, Ian Kingsbury the Provincial Grand Master of the Devonshire Freemasons presented cheques to the deserving causes. Covid restrictions having now been eased, it was lovely to see all the recipients receive their cheques in person.

The 15 Organisations who benefited this Spring are:

Whimple Victory Hall

Funds for general refurbishment and to help maintain facilities for this village From Primary Schools to Farmers groups, it’s the hub of the community. The Whimple Victory Hall was built to commemorate the first world and give a returning veteran a sense of community and to help with that they included a billiard table which is still in constant use but has only been re-clothed twice in 25 years, part of the money received is going to this. One regular gentleman who is suffering with Parkinsons and  plays there regularly, shakes badly until he is about to take a shot and then miraculously remains completely still during aiming and taking his shot. Sue Ayres, the Chair of the group said the balance on the grant would go to improve the Toilet facilities.

Esteem Team (Exmouth)

It is made up of a range of professionals who care about children's mental health. They want children to thrive and not just exist. To create a safe supported environment to allow them the chance to grow and reach their full potential. They are passionate about empowering, enabling and equipping children so that whatever bumps in the road they face they have their emotional strength, the coping strategies and the support network to succeed. Nominated by Sun Lodge (Exmouth).

Tarka Radio (Barnstaple)

A Hospital radio service based at the Ladywell Unit, North Devon District Hospital. Providing a friendly voice for those in Hospital. Nominated by St Nicholas Lodge (Ilfracombe).

Crediton Red Cross shop

Around the world, whenever a humanitarian crisis occurs, the Red Cross or Red Crescent is always one of the first organisations on the scene thanks to their kind band of volunteers. Nominated by The Unity Lodge Crediton.

The Alabaré Homes for Veterans

Alabaré's Homes for Veterans provide supported accommodation to British Armed Forces Veterans who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.They provide dedicated support to Veterans across the South of England: Wiltshire, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Devon, Dorset and Bristol. Plus North and South Wales. On any given night our Homes for Veterans are able to keep over 100 Veterans off the streets. Nominated by The Lord Roborough Lodge (Plymouth).

The Mid Devon Messenger

The local Talking Newspaper brings local news, information and entertainment to people with sight loss or chronic illness who find it difficult to read. The Messenger has a team of around 55 volunteers. Each week 8 volunteers gather at the recording Studio to edit, read, record, copy and dispatch the weekly recording of talking news, information and entertainment to listeners. Nominated by The Loyal Lodge of Industry (South Molton).

Croyde Surf Lifesaving Club

The Club’s message: You don't have to be an athlete to enjoy our sport, but by joining Croyde Surf Life Saving Club, you’ll get more confidence in and around the sea. You’ll make new friends and have fun. And (most importantly) you might even help to save someone's life one day. Nominated by Braunton Lodge.

Devon Lupus Support Group

In lupus the immune system produces far too many antibodies which, circulating through the bloodstream, cause reactions leading to inflammatory processes anywhere in the body. Working together, the Group offers support, sharing experiences, ideas and information. The main role is to support members through their activities, Facebook group and our quarterly magazine. Nominated by Excester Lodge (Exeter).

Memory Matters, Plymouth

To assist with the needs of those who are affected by Dementia. Working closely with like minded individuals and organisations in the South West to achieve the goal of ensuring that every person diagnosed with dementia, as well as those close to them, has access to the support they need to continue to lead a happy and fulfilled life, being 'Visible, valued and heard'. Nominated by Sir Walter Raleigh Lodge (Plymouth).

GBS Support Group 

Group B Streptococcus is the UK's most common cause of life-threatening infection in newborn babies, and of meningitis in babies under age 3 months. Nominated by The Lopes Lodge (Exeter).

Plymouth Children in Poverty Campaign

It was born out of a want and need for collaboration and encouragement of the private sector to work more closely with the public sector and charitable organisations – sharing responsibility to rid child poverty from the city. The Plymouth Fairness Commission report described a 'Tale of Two Cities' whereby a child’s life outcomes were wholly predictable depending on the ward they were born into. Today, some wards continue to experience children in poverty levels in excess of 35%. This cannot be right. Nominated by The Victory Lodge (Plymouth).

ISCA Academy, Exeter

Isca Academy prides itself on a tradition of being a true comprehensive school with students having a broad range of abilities and aspirations on entry. Beyond academic credentials, they firmly believe in the value of a rounded education which promotes creativity, resilience, self-belief and confidence; and pride themselves on exceptional extra-curricular, creative and outdoor education programmes.

East Devon Hospice

To give local People at the end of their lives the care, the dignity and the peace they deserve. Nominated by Perseverance Lodge (Sidmouth).

Men’s Shed Holsworthy

A network of Gentlemen ‘of a certain age’ to share interests and provide social contact. Some of the ‘Shedders’ live alone and during the recent gales they were phoned to confirm they were warm, had food and drink, and were generally safe. Also for the chat and contact if they couldn’t get about. Shed activities range from chatting, drinking the free tea and biscuits, and eating the free cake and cooked delicacies kindly donated by ‘Shedders’ wives,and to repairs and making things of the ‘Shedders’ choice. Nominated by Conciliation Lodge (Holsworthy).

Exmouth and District Allotment Association

Funding to build raised beds for wheelchair users and other disabled people who wish to be able to enjoy gardening and grow their own produce. They have 350 allotment plots and is the second largest in the country catering to over 480 people, the money they were given is going to adapt beds for use by the elderly and disabled growers. Nominated by Per Mare Per Terram Lodge (Exmouth).

Attached picture from John Smerdon of all the smiling faces having received their cheques.

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