Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire Freemasons have raised over £30,000 to help a local homeless charity purchase a much-needed new van, to enable it to expand its work within the community
The 3 Pillars Feeding The Homeless Trust in Peterborough were presented with the keys to a brand new van by Max Bayes, the Provincial Grand Master of Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, on 11th April 2019, to be used across Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. This now allows the original van to be redeployed in Wellingborough to extend support to the homeless in that area.
The Trust has served the homeless community in Peterborough since 2016, offering a feeding station providing food, clothing, tents, sleeping bags and toiletries to those in need in the city. It can be found every Tuesday and Thursday at the rear of The Brewery Tap Pub, operating from the van in the car park.
Formed by local Freemasons Ged Dempsey and Mick Pescod, the charity has grown substantially with continued support from Freemasons, individuals and local businesses, and on any given night can be seen helping between 60 and 80 persons who have fallen on hard times.
It is so named `3 Pillars`, because like Freemasonry, it is built on the three principles of respect for others, charitable giving, and being true and honest to yourself and those in the community.
The work of the Trust epitomises these principles, as Co-Founder Ged Dempsey explains: ‘The charity illustrates the work of Freemasons within the community, with volunteers offering either their time as helpers or by making monetary or other donations of clothing, blankets or personal commodities that may be needed.
'Some of our volunteers are not Freemasons, but all work together for a common good and to benefit the wider public – the response has been overwhelming.’
However, the work of The Trust goes much further by liaising with other agencies such as the YMCA to help those who visit the feeding station to get off the streets and reintegrate again into society. Provincial Grand Master Max Bayes sees the work done here as vitally important, commenting: ‘You need to be able to `break the circle` from dependency, and to offer hope to people and a possible solution to their plight. It is vital any support must be a ‘hand up’ and not just a ‘hand out.’
The Trust have now helped to find accommodation for many distressed individuals, also providing bedding, kitchen utensils and equipment, and will make a donation to the YMCA to cover a short period of rent to help relieve the initial pressures associated with integration back into society.
More volunteers are always needed and The 3 Pillars Feeding the Homeless Trust can be contacted via their Facebook Page.