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.
Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £2,000 to buy a number of picnic benches in the Millennium Wood, which is located in Swanbourne Park
The money has come from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) and means that the area has now been transformed, having being previously overgrown, into an attractive spot for all to enjoy.
During the summer, a picnic and music event was held in the Millennium Wood, which was opened by The Hon Mrs Betsy Duncan Smith who thanked Buckinghamshire Freemasons for their donation.
The Chilterns MS Centre in Wendover has been providing advice and care for multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers and their families for over 30 years
But the centre needed a specialist wheelchair-adapted exercise bike, which requires a physiotherapist to supervise users.
Buckingham’s Grenville Lodge, No. 1787, donated £2,500, while the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF) matched the lodge donation. Together, the funds covered the full cost of the bike.
The BMCF’s Steve Smirthwaite met the centre’s chief executive, Robert Breakwell; head of physiotherapy, Chris Beach; and Peter Cella, who receives weekly treatment there, to see the new bike in action.
The right response
The Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund has donated the cost of a volunteer emergency kit to Community First Responders, an emergency service that is often first on the scene of an incident. At £1,500 each, the kits contain equipment that is necessary for emergency life-saving action and trauma treatment.
Marc Lister, community liaison and training officer for South Central Ambulance Service, said, ‘Currently there are over 60 new volunteers in our area so there is a need for more volunteer emergency kits, and these require funding.’