Helping to Keep Local Emergencies Mobile in Durham

Sunday, 01 May 2011
A project launched in 2008 culminated last December when Durham Provincial Grand Master Eric Heaviside presented The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) with the third of three Ground Response Vehicles to complement the services fleet of three helicopters.
In summer 2008, Durham Province was selected by the Freemasons’ Grand Charity to trial a match-funding scheme of up to £5,000 for a local charity.
In only a few months, lodges and individual masons throughout the province raised £10,000 in excess of the £5 million target, which was made up to £20,000 by the Grand Charity.
During the 2008 Provincial meeting, GNAAS members attended and expressed their wish to purchase a road vehicle, to be equipped similar to the GNAAS aircraft for use by the medical air crew when technical or weather conditions prevented the helicopter taking off .
A new vehicle was out of reach, but when a six-month old Skoda VRS Octavia Cleveland police traffic car became available, it was purchased and rebranded with the GNAAS logo – as well as a square and compass logo ‘Donated by Freemasons’ on the rear windows.
A further appeal by Durham Mark Provincial Grand Master Peter Croft to the Mark Masons Fund of Benevolence resulted in them purchasing outright a second vehicle.
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