South Wales Freemasons have donated £55,000 for a new Brecon Beacons mountain rescue vehicle

The Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team (CBMRT) is an organisation made up from volunteers, which provides an essential life-saving rescue service. It responds to ‘999 emergencies’ 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in any weather, and covers a vast area of southern Wales, which includes central section of the Brecon Beacons, the south Wales valley’s and the cities of Cardiff and Newport. The CBMRT solely relies on donations from members of the public to carry out is operations.

After a disastrous fire to the CBMRT headquarters, which destroyed it’s base along with equipment and rescue vehicles, South Wales Freemasons came to the rescue. Through its Masonic Benevolent Fund (MBF), which provides grants to assist organisations outside of Freemasonry, a ‘state-of-the-art’ rescue vehicle, the £55,000 Isuzu D-Max Utah – converted by Pickup Systems Burnley – was presented to CBMRT at the South Wales Provincial Grand Lodge meeting. 

The Isuzu is a ‘first response’ emergency vehicle with the ‘call sign’ Mobile 1. It has search operations capability, it can traverse flood water with a high-level exhaust and is readily identifiable with Mountain Rescue colours and blue lights to support urgent responses. 

Penny Brockman, CBMRT Foundation Team Member, said: 'On behalf of CBMRT I would like to say a huge thank you to the Freemasons of South Wales for their extremely generous donation. Mobile 1 will be an invaluable asset and will be used in rescues across south, mid and west Wales, and undoubtedly will contribute to saving many lives in the area.'

Since the hand over to the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, operations have included a missing person callout in Cardiff, rescue of two people in a waterfall location, assisting with the rescue of an off-road motorcyclist, a further waterfall callout to a walker with serious injuries and saving a young boy missing on a South Wales mountain.

Patrick Pattison, of the MBF, said: 'On behalf of the Freemasons of South Wales and the Masonic Benevolent Fund we are delighted to help the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team with the purchase of the new vehicle, and we are glad that this donation is immediately helping to save lives in the Principality.'

Local communities are set to benefit following a surprise £50,000 donation to Brecon Hospital from Brecon Freemasons, in the Province of South Wales

The generous donation was made at the Brecon Freemasons’ Festive Board, which took place at the Castle Hotel in Brecon, to mark 300 years since the formation of the Premier Grand Lodge.

Professor Vivienne Harpwood, Chair of Powys Teaching Health Board, receiving the donation on behalf of the hospital, said: 'I am so grateful and humbled by this generous donation from Brecon Freemasons. We knew in advance that the Freemasons wished to make a donation to Brecon War Memorial Hospital, but the size of the donation was very much under wraps until the cheque was presented to us.

'This will make an amazing difference, and we look forward to working with the Brecon Freemasons to use this donation for the benefit of local communities.'

Graham Richards, Charity Steward of Brecknock Lodge No. 651, presented the cheque saying: 'The highlight of our Tercentenary celebrations was the presentation of a cheque for £50,000 for the benefit of the Brecon War Memorial Hospital in appreciation and a recognition of the services and care given to Freemasons and their families and indeed to the whole community of Brecon & District.'

The Tercentenary has been an opportunity for fundraising and charitable works across the UK. John Ingham, Worshipful Master of the Brecknock Lodge, said: 'The first lodge in the UK was established in 1717, and here in Brecon our first recorded meeting was in 1764 with the Brecknock Lodge meeting in its current form since 1855. What better way to mark this momentous occasion than by upholding one of the main tenets of our organisation, the support of charity.

'Over £70,000 was donated to good causes and I would like to thank all Lodge members for their support.'

Donations by Brecon Freemasons included £5,000 to Wales Air Ambulance, £200 to Calan Domestic Violence Services and £15,000 shared between the following 15 local and international charities:

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