Devonshire Freemasons help to improve lives in Plymouth

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Devon and Somerset Freemasons have given £13,000 to help improve the lives of those in need in Plymouth

During this time of increased pressure on services and charities, the Devonshire Freemasons have tried to support as many good causes as possible, one of those selected is Improving Lives Plymouth and a grant of £8000 was given to them this week by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and the Freemasons of Devonshire when Peter Keaty and Reuben Ayres  met with Jeremy Prichard, Chair of Trustees at Improving Lives Plymouth. When he heard about the project, David Medlock, Provincial Grand Master for Somerset immediately added another £5000 from the David Medlock Family Trust to make a donation totalling £13,000.

Improving Lives Plymouth (ILP) is providing essential services to support many vulnerable people in the community as COVID-19 takes its toll. They are part of the Caring for Plymouth initiative led by the City Council and involving charities and community organisations, providing support to the most vulnerable in and around the Plymouth area.

They provide a wide variety of services including deliveries to the vulnerable, welfare checks, support when making welfare benefit claims, carers assessments & reviews, information & advice support, advice and equipment for people of all ages with concerns about sight or hearing. ILP also have a hub supporting veterans and their families at Ernest English House in the city.  

Improving Lives Plymouth have supported their community since 1907 and throughout that time have always relied on charitable donations to fund their support of those in need. Currently, due to the pandemic, much of the fundraising has become very difficult. Running the Charity, with most of the team are working from home and keeping essential services running can cost up to £2000 per week to give the support required.

The grant from Devonshire and Somerset Freemasons came through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons' Charity, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales and the David Medlock Family Trust.

In response to the extraordinary need created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Freemasonry is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.

Peter Keaty, Assistant Provincial Grand Master and Reuben Ayres, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of the Devonshire Freemasons both spoke of their delight in being able to support such a worthy cause, and said that in this period of increased isolation, it is essential to be even more aware of vulnerable people's need for care and contact with the outside world and thanks to the work of Improving Lives Plymouth they could see this happening.

Jeremy Prichard said in reply, ‘On behalf of everyone at ILP, the charity’s members and beneficiaries, I would like to thank Devonshire and Somerset Freemasons for their kind and generous support. Such recognition for the amazing efforts of the staff and volunteers during the past extraordinary few months is very much appreciated. Rest assured this donation will help us to continue providing invaluable and practical help to vulnerable people at risk during this challenging time.’ 

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