£5k in donations PER YEAR to breast cancer support centre
In 2011, the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, initiated the desire among Freemasons to become a Guardian of the Haven Breast Cancer Centre in Hereford. As such, this assured and supplemented the long standing local masonic support for the Haven with a guaranteed annual donation of £1,000. Over the last decade, the average donation by local Freemasons to the centre has been upwards of £5,000 per year.
Through the pages of the Hereford Times, the Rev Bowen has now issued a challenge to other organisations within the county of Herefordshire, to join the Province in becoming Guardians of the Haven in support of the latest Haven appeal to raise £30,000 to pay for an additional qualified nurse, as public demand for the service has recently increased by 51%.
Frankie Devereux, Manager of the Hereford Haven said that the £30,000 will be set against the £270,000 a year that it takes to run the centre, and with no government funding, the Haven is entirely dependent on charity and its future network of Guardians, Trusts and community fundraisers.
Masons praised by Countess of Wessex
Herefordshire mason Allan Lloyd and his wife Angela represented the Provincial Grand Master and the Province at a celebration of giving for the Haven Breast Cancer Support charity. The ceremony was held at Frogmore House, Windsor, in the company of the Countess of Wessex (right), an active supporter of the three Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford.
Herefordshire PGM The Rev David Bowen initiated the present level of support, which has qualified the Province to become a Guardian of The Haven. In her presentation, the Countess commented on the long-standing support of Freemasons, with an acknowledgement of the patronage of the Province of Herefordshire.
The Cobalt medical charity, now approaching its 50th anniversary, supports patients with cancer across Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire
At present, the charity is working with Wye Valley NHS Trust to set up a state of the art Breast Cancer Digital Screening and Biopsy Assessment Centre at Hereford County Hospital. With sufficient funding this project could be realised by the end of the current year.
Mel Bolton, Service Delivery Manager at Hereford Hospital, recently met with representatives of Herefordshire Freemasons, who are continuing in their support of the Cobalt Appeal, and toured the designated hospital area which will accommodate the new facilities. They were accompanied by Sian Syddall, Community Fundraiser for Herefordshire Cobalt Appeal.
In presenting the latest donation, the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, Rev David Bowen, praised the work of the charity and the financial support given to the Cobalt Unit by the people of the county. He was pleased to be informed that the realisation of this latest project would make it unnecessary for patients to travel to Bromsgrove and Cheltenham to access these services.
Sian Syddall said: 'One in eight women in Herefordshire will be affected by breast cancer at some stage in their lifetime. We want to ensure that all women across the county have access to the best possible screening and follow-up, close to home and loved ones. New digital breast screening equipment for the county will undoubtedly play a vital role in the detection of breast cancer and help to save more lives. On behalf of the women in Herefordshire we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Herefordshire Freemasons for their generous support of our important local appeal.'
The Provincial Grand Master wishes to place on record the invaluable contribution made by fellow Freemason, Allan Lloyd together with his wife Angela, who have campaigned for the past decade for the provision of comprehensive cancer treatment at Hereford Hospital, of which access to digital mammography is an integral part.
A further development to be initiated by the Cobalt Charity will be the provision of a Mobile Digital Mammogram Unit serving the five market towns in the county.
The recently registered charity appeal “Robocap”, aimed at providing a `da Vinci’ surgical system which uses the latest state-of-the-art robotic technology treatment for prostate cancer, was officially launched at the delightful Herefordshire setting of How Caple Court. The event was organised by Fundraiser Howard Pitts, with a number of Herefordshire Masons in attendance.
The Chairman of the appeal, Les Kinmond, introduced the three Consultant Urologists of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire - Graham Sole, Biral Patel and Aloysius Okeke. They spoke with enthusiasm and commitment about this most advanced form of key hole surgery which offers surgeons superior 3D HD imagining and magnification, great precision and optimal performance of minimally invasive surgery, and reduced incidence of complications.
Such robotic assisted surgery is the fastest growing treatment for prostate cancer, a system which could also be developed for surgical work on the kidney and bladder.
35,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year in England and Wales. 800 local operations are carried out annually in the 3CCN area of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and south Worcestershire.
Cllr Olwyn Barnett, Chairman Herefordshire Council, issued a rallying call to all Herefordshire Town Mayors elect, to support this major appeal. Cllr Brian Wilcox Mayor elect for Hereford city, had already indicated his wish to make Robocap his official charity during his term of office.
VW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, welcomed the opportunity given to local Freemasons to be in the vanguard of this public appeal.
Allan Lloyd, campaigning for access to radiotherapy cancer treatment at Hereford, supported the opinion that such robotic surgery was “the biggest development in surgery over the last 50 years and of immeasurable benefit “.
The initial target of £400,000 would allow delivery and installation of the unit. The full cost of the robotic system is £1.6 million. It is probable that the site for this advanced form of surgery would be Cheltenham.