Community spirit is alive and kicking after a generous donation from Surrey Freemasons helped The Meath Epilepsy Charity overcome mindless vandalism
Amidst all the trouble and anxiety in the world, on 23 March 2020, intruders broke into The Meath Epilepsy Charity centre in Godalming and wrote off, badly damaged or stole virtually all of their cars and minibuses. The Meath provides support for 82 extremely vulnerable residents who need to get to vital hospital and other medical appointments. The vandalism and theft creates serious travel challenges compounded by the Covid-19 restrictions faced by everyone where public transport is no longer an option.
The Meath’s Tania Cantoni said: 'Those vehicles are essential to take residents to vital medical appointments, some in London and on the South Coast and many have to travel in mini buses or large cars because of the equipment that is carried. We will ensure that no resident misses any appointments and will be working to replace all vehicles as soon as possible but we all know it can be lengthy (especially at the moment) and expensive.'
The vehicles were all bought through donations by generous supporters. The Meath are working closely with the police who are determined to find the criminals and bring them to justice.
The kind donation from the Surrey Freemasons will be used to get vehicles repaired and back on the road and paying for temporary replacements.
Tania added: 'I must say we are feeling battered by everything that is happening and this really was the last thing we needed for our poor residents who are suffering enough due to Covid-19 and restricted activities and outings. So thanks to the help of supporters and friends such as Surrey Freemasons their lives will be a lot more fun.'
Surrey Freemasons had already established a wonderful partnership with The Meath. In 2017, to celebrate 300 years of Freemasonry, the Masonic Charitable Foundation held a public vote to decide how to donate £3,000,000 as Community Awards across England and Wales. The Meath Epilepsy Charity were among eight local charities nominated by the public to be recipients of a share of the Community Awards totaling £80,000 awarded to Surrey Charities.
The Meath are pathfinders in Surrey Freemasons’ beekeeping initiative BeeMasonry. Steven Norris, their Charity Lead explained: “Surrey Beemasonry is a wonderful initiative designed for Surrey Freemasons to engage with their favourite local charities and good causes. We work within our local communities, providing training, education, volunteering and fundraising opportunities. It helps charities achieve their local environment ambitions and supports their beneficiaries through educating children and providing mindfulness for people suffering with stress, the benefits are endless.”
Following the mindless act of vandalism a crowdfunding page to raise money for the The Meath has been set up here for those wishing to make a donation.
Tania said: 'On a positive note, we would like to thank everyone that is offering financial and other support to The Meath in these unprecedented times. It is very much appreciated. We remain convinced here at this wonderful charity that the good in the local and global community outweighs the bad.'
Ian Chandler, the Head of Surrey Freemasons, is calling for the whole community to ensure no one feels alone even if they are physically self-isolating.