East Kent Freemasons have donated £4,000 to the Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance service

As an independent charity, they strive to save lives by providing the best possible medical care every minute of the day, every day of the year, which means every donation they receive is vital. Last year alone, they were called out to help over 2,000 people in life-threatening conditions.

On 30th October 2018, the Provincial Grand Master of East Kent, Neil Johnstone, presented a cheque to the Kent Surrey Sussex Air Ambulance service at Rochester Airport for £4,000. The grant was donated by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and has brought the total Masonic support given to the Air Ambulance Service to over £4 million since 2007, supporting over 22 Air Ambulances across England and Wales.

Presenting the cheque to the Air Ambulance crew, Neil said: ‘Words will never truly describe the life changing differences that you make to the people of our local communities who call upon your services. I am certain that many people today are grateful to you and we are glad that we can help to support the service now and in the future.’

The grant from the MCF was co-ordinated through the main charity for the Masonic Province of East Kent, the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons' Charity. Supporting Neil from the charity were the CEO Peter Rhodes, Chairman Pat Thomas, and the Head of Charities for East Kent, Mark Bassant.

A new external defibrillator for Sutton Valence

Parishioners in Sutton Valence, Kent, received a belated Christmas present this week in the form of an Automatic External Defibrillator which has been installed outside their village hall in North Street

Each year over 100,000 people in the UK suffer sudden cardiac arrest in a public space. Their chances of survival are increased by up to 50% if a defibrillator is used promptly.

Modern defibrillators are completely automatic and can safely be used by members of the public without previous training. A recent handover demonstration was attended by representatives of the Women’s Institute, a local Dancing Society, Football Teams, Sutton Valence Gardening Association, Flower Arranging and Fine Arts Societies all of whom use either the Village Hall or the adjacent Sports Field. As well as familiarising themselves with the defibrillator, delegates were able to try Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on specially designed mannequins.

This defibrillator has been provided as part of a community partnership between Suffolk-based charity the Community Heartbeat Trust, who provided technical expertise and training, Sutton Valence Parish Council, who will be responsible for ongoing maintenance, and East Kent Freemasons, who provided the funding as part of their celebrations for the 300th Anniversary of the founding of the Premier Grand Lodge.

Speaking at a recent handover ceremony, Eve Poulter, Chair of Sutton Valence Parish Council, said: ‘I would like to thank all those who have made this possible. The generosity of our local Freemasons and the support of the Community Heartbeat Trust mean that our parishioners can use our facilities confident in the knowledge that should a problem arise, the most up to date and effective equipment is on hand.’

Bill Laidler, speaking on behalf of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity, said: ‘We are delighted to be able to support such a worthwhile and important community project. We hope that this partnership will become a model for others in the coming years.’

Community Heartbeat has so far provided over 3,000 public access defibrillators.

If a friend or member of your family is suddenly taken ill in a public space, phone 999. If appropriate, the Ambulance Service will guide you to your nearest defibrillator.

There’s nothing like a bit of fun and games to keep people entertained and that’s exactly what happened at the 2017 Cornwallis It’s A Knockout Competition

Sponsored by the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity and supported by the KM Charity team, the event was held as part of the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary celebrations and to help raise £20,000 for Macmillan Nurses.

The head of East Kent Freemasons, Provincial Grand Master Geoffrey Dearing, opened the event at the Aylesford Bulls Rugby Club on Sunday 4th June, where over 200 people took part in the challenge. They made up a total of 21 teams as they ran, slid and tumbled their way across a number of activities including inflatable obstacles and dragon racing – all in the name of charity!

Over a thousand spectators were also present to cheer on the teams before Cornwallis Charity Trustee, Past Assistant Provincial Grand Master Nick Waller, presented the trophy to the winning team from the Spirit of Rugby Lodge.

John Grumbridge, Chairman of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, commented: ‘What a fantastic day seeing all sorts of teams having so much fun in doing something that will ultimately help others. I am sure that one or two people will be aching, but the fundraising achievements will have been greatly worthwhile.’

Please scroll through the gallery at the top to view some of the action from the competition

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