Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons have generously donated nearly £61,000 to 26 charities supporting local communities in many areas including health-related charities.
The charities all gathered at an event at Freemasons’ Hall in Leicester to receive their donations from the Provincial Grand Master, David Hagger, and the Grand Superintendent of the Royal Arch Masons, Noel Manby, on behalf of Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons.
They included Leicester-based Mia Moos Foundation, which provides holidays for children with cancer, receiving a donation of £1,200 from the Leicestershire and Rutland Masonic Charity Association.
Mia Moos was set up in 2016 by Chris Phipps after this daughter Mia was diagnosed with leukaemia at 21-months-old. Chris said: 'Three weeks ago we managed to purchase a static caravan at Butlins so families with children on oncology wards can apply to us for a weekend or week away free of charge with full access to Butlins. They can get a break from their hospital treatment on the east coast for some sea and sand and time away with their families.'
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, who are committed to eradicating type 1 diabetes which affects 29,000 children in the UK, received a donation of £600 from Holmes Chapter No. 4656.
Members of the Morley Lodge No. 8320 donated £1,300 to the Leicestershire Autistic Society, which provides support, information and advice to families and professionals dealing with Autism in Leicestershire, Leicester City and Rutland. It is volunteer led organisation, where the vast majority of their volunteers are parents or carers of someone with Autism spectrum disorder.
Linda Hardcastle from Leicestershire Autistic Society said: 'We do provide a play scheme in the summer holidays for children with very severe autism. We used to get grants for this from the city and county council but we don’t anymore, so the money for this has to be raised. Thank you very much to the Freemasons for this donation which will be so helpful in funding this scheme.'
Provincial Grand Master David Hagger said: 'Freemasonry is now one of the largest charitable givers in the UK, and we are thrilled to be able to support charities working in our local communities.'