In February 2020, the Provincial Grand Chapter of Warwickshire recognised the vital work of the Buddy Bag Foundation and formed an alliance to help the displaced children in their area. The relationship has grown over the past year and Warwickshire Royal Arch Masons have joined forces with the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire to extend the support that we can give to Buddy Bag
There are more than 3,000 children in the Birmingham and Warwickshire area who, through no fault of their own, are homeless and living in hostels, shelters or bed & breakfast accommodation. The pandemic has only added to the difficulties of many families who have lost their jobs and their homes.
Following the Christmas donations to provide gifts for these children, Andrew Staker proposed a plan to provide a little cheer at Easter. He has since led on an initiative to again partner with The Buddy Bag Foundation and also on this occasion Morrison’s Alvis store in Coventry to ensure that these children get a gift this Easter. Freemasons across the region have raised over £3,000 so far which, thanks to the generosity of Morrisons who have provided the eggs at a discounted price, has enable the Freemasons to buy 3,000 eggs to give to those children who really need our help.
The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire Freemasons, Philip Hall commented, 'Warwickshire Freemasons were first made aware that the region had over 3,000 homeless children, when we joined the Brum Wish Campaign, organised by the Birmingham Mail, which provided Christmas presents for these disadvantaged children.
'Since then we have made these children a priority and have donated a further £10,000, via the Birmingham Education Partnership, to help 120 children gain access to the internet for the next 6 months.
'Sending Easter Eggs to these children seemed a natural extension of our support just to let them know, in some small way, that Freemasons and their wider community do care about them at this difficult time.
'I would like to thank the manager and staff at Morrison’s Alvis store in Coventry, particularly their community organiser, Eddie Gormley for their fantastic support. Not only did they provide a discounted rate, but also delivered the Easter Eggs to us and made provision for customers of the store to donate an Egg when doing their shopping.
'We will be working with our charity partner, The Buddy Bag Foundation, to distribute the eggs in plenty of time for Easter.'