The Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) has funded two men to attend the Nihon Dutch Shensho Judo tournament in Eindhoven, Holland

Shaun Banks and Sean McKellar competed against individuals worldwide in a tournament for those with learning difficulties.

They are both members of Stokenchurch Judo Club and have competed in many competitions in the past. At 52, Sean McKellar was the oldest in the group and had to compete in four challenging contests before emerging victorious with a gold medal.

Shaun Banks also competed in four contests and managed to beat an impressive challenger who was much bigger than him. He gained a bronze medal.

Jean Cleere, who organised the funding and accompanied the group to the event, thanked the BMCF for the contribution which facilitated the two competitors success.

The Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) have donated £4,000 to the Puzzle Centre in Middle Claydon to enable them to purchase desks and seating for their Outreach Team, as well as nursery furniture and materials for their Picture Exchange Communications System (PECS)

The Puzzle Centre is a charity which promotes and delivers early intervention for young children with Autism or communication difficulties and provides training and outreach to families and practitioners across the UK.

Materials purchased with the grant will help to make picture cards and emotion fobs which allow non-verbal children to express themselves and for parents and teachers to give simple instructions.

Sarah Dolder, from The Puzzle Centre, thanked the BMCF for the donation and included comments from parents whose child had benefitted and progressed due to the use of the PECS system and the interventions of the centre.

Padbury Village Hall has received a grant of £3,480 from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF), which enabled the installation of new secondary double glazing to the Victorian building

Mike Long, a Buckinghamshire Freemason, proposed the grant as the hall is on a road which is experiencing much-increased traffic and noise due to new housing developments nearby. In addition, the windows were large and draughty, and with this being a listed building it would be difficult and very costly to replace them entirely. 

The hall is much used by community groups of all ages for a variety of purposes ranging from art and dancing classes, social clubs for the elderly as well as weddings and funerals.

In thanking the BMCF, the Hall’s Committee pointed out the threefold advantages of the secondary glazing in that the hall would be quieter, warmer and heating costs would be reduced. These benefits would be experienced by all hall users who they were sure will also be most appreciative.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have supported the Head2Head Theatre Charity with a grant of £500 to allow them to put on a performance of ‘Toad on the Road’ in Aylesbury

Head2Head Theatre is a volunteer-led charity which was founded in 2006 to provide multi-sensory theatre for children with disabilities that can be enjoyed with their parents and siblings. During performances, the audience move around with the actors discovering scenes and characters from the story.

The shows are full of songs, signing, and sensory moments allowing participants to enjoy, assimilate and comprehend at their own levels.

During the two day visit to Aylesbury, Rebecca Bailey, a pupil at Pebble Brook School, was able to rehearse and perform with the cast in front of a packed audience, many of whom appreciated the opportunity for their disabled child and other siblings to have a stimulating experience together.

The £500 grant comes from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £1,000 to buy new strips and footballs for the Waterhall Stars under 11 football team

George Watt and Sue Redband from Waterhall Stars attended a Buckinghamshire masonic cheque presentation event held in Aylesbury to report on the effect the donation had made to the junior football team.

The team, which draws its young players from a deprived area of Milton Keynes, were in need of a new strip which the grant from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Foundation (BMCF) has now allowed them to buy.

At the event, George explained to the audience the remarkable rise in morale experienced by the team, which culminated in cup success at the end of the season with the MKDDL Unde r11 Group winner’s trophy.

It was time for tea when Buckinghamshire Freemason Andrew Hough visited Buckingham Youth Centre to see the new kitchen and flooring which was installed courtesy of a grant of £2,000 from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund

The centre had previously suffered a burst pipe which had flooded several rooms and damaged the kitchen facilities beyond repair causing it to have to close temporarily.

Andrew was welcomed by Katie Cleminson, Deputy Youth Club Leader, and John Barnett, Director and Trustee, who gave him a tour of the centre and showed how the Buckinghamshire Freemasons donation had helped.

The Youth Centre is an award-winning charity which provides a safe place for young people between the ages of 11- 19 to socialise, play sports and learn new skills. It also provides work experience, Duke of Edinburgh placements and training and mentoring for young leaders.

The centre is used by a variety of groups including Young Carers and Clearly Speaking and the new kitchen facilities mean that the teaching of cooking skills to young people with Autism and Aspergers can continue.

The new kitchen also makes the centre more attractive to a wide variety of user groups which will ensure the important work of the centre will continue to be supported.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £1,898 to Harry’s Rainbow, a Milton Keynes-based charity which supports siblings and parents who have suffered a child bereavement, to buy two much-needed laptop computers

The grant, which comes through the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF), will provide new laptops which will allow more efficient assistance to bereaved children and allow them to continue to provide assistance to families experiencing these very challenging circumstances.

This small charity provides a wide range of assistance including memory boxes and monthly Rainbow Group meetings, which allows bereaved children to meet and talk with others in similar circumstances.

The meetings help to bolster self-esteem and help children realise it is ok to smile and have fun. Harry’s Rainbow also provides free caravan holidays and trips with the aim of helping families to create some new happy memories.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £3,980 to the new Milton Keynes Cancer Centre, which will help provide all the furnishings and equipment for one of the single rooms

The donation comes via the BMCF (Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund), with the Cancer Centre due to admit its first patients in December 2019.

Buckinghamshire’s Assistant Provincial Grand Master Phil Blacklaw and BMCF representative Andrew Hough met with MK Hospital Trust fundraiser Paul Strong at the new Cancer Centre to see how work is progressing.

The new centre will provide treatment and a wide variety of support and information services for patients. The centre will also include a dedicated haematology-oncology ward for 24 in-patients including 16 single rooms with ensuite facilities. The centre will also allow a 22% increase in outpatient capacity and a 20% increase in haematology-oncology day cases.

The new facility will mean that far fewer patients will need to make difficult journeys to other hospitals and that their treatment and recovery will be in a state of the art centre, which has the capacity to allow patients dignity and privacy at a very difficult time.

Paul Strong, MK Hospital Trust fundraiser, commented: ‘We are extremely grateful for this donation from BMCF, which will pay for the furnishing and equipping of one of the single rooms on the in-patient ward. Also, just as importantly, having the backing of such a well-respected local organisation as the BMCF will help us to attract further support in the Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire area.’

The Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) awarded £3,200 for the purchase of a trailer for Alfriston School's minibus to enable them to provide invaluable experiences for their girls to learn to face personal challenges in unfamiliar and testing environments

Mike Clanfield, Buckinghamshire's Provincial Charity Steward, went to the school in Beaconsfield to meet the teachers and girls that will be using it.

Alfriston School is a special school for girls with learning difficulties and their main aim is to help their girls to gain the confidence and skills needed to be able to enjoy and participate in life as contributing adults. 

Alfriston School's Headteacher Jinna Male commented: 'This trailer is being used to take our girls out of their home environments on expeditions and trips.

'Some of our girls are learning to ride a bike, and we have taken the mountain bikes out to the woods to give them an exciting and inspiring setting in which to learn. Others have been on residential adventurous trips such as the New Forest, where the trailer has been used to take the large and expansive equipment needed. 

'Our older girls are practicing for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and the trailer is much needed in taking their camping and other kit needed to support this. Our curriculum can now include a wider and more varied programme of adventurous and outdoor activities that will develop their personal attributes such as resilience, perseverance and co-operation to equip them for life beyond Alfriston.'

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £1,300 to the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust, which will be used to purchase a fully computerised ‘Modes’ system to enable them to document and record exhibits preserved in Buckingham Old Gaol Museum

Andrew Hough, Buckinghamshire’s Masonic Charitable Foundation representative, presented the donation from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund to Lt Col Simon Wilkinson, Chairman of the Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust, who also received a further donation from Mark Buckland of Grenville Lodge No. 1787.

The grant will allow the trust to meet Arts Council Accreditation requirements and enable those interested in stored items to access them and increase knowledge and accessibility for the public.

The Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust exists to preserve and perpetuate the traditions of the former County Regiments raised in Buckinghamshire, including the Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry/ Hussars, The Royal Bucks (King’s Own) Militia, The Buckinghamshire Battalions and other auxiliary military forces. It does this to contribute to the understanding and appreciation of their role in the cultural heritage of the county.

It is interesting to note that Buckinghamshire’s first Provincial Grand Master, the 3rd Lord Carrington, was Colonel of The Royal Bucks Kings Own Militia from 1881 to 1886. In fact, Carrington Lodge No. 2421 is named after him.

The Masonic Centre in Buckingham was part of the Royal Bucks Hussars headquarters and is still decorated with 19th century Royal Bucks Hussars musicians’ swords.

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