Hereford Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre, established in 2011, has historically worked with women who have suffered rape or sexual abuse - however in May 2013 the centre secured funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner to extended the service to include men

Within the last year the centre has received 29 referrals for men, and the charity aims to raise an additional £22,400 per year to extend the counselling service to provide them with free, confidential and non-judgemental counselling sessions. Herefordshire Freemasons presented £800 to Lesley Caldicott, Independent Sexual Violence Advisor for Herefordshire, as their first ever donation to this charity, to support this counselling process.

Lesley emphasised the importance of such support to the local Freemasons present at the presentation, by stating that there is no other organisation in Herefordshire that offers men specialist counselling free of charge for rape and sexual abuse.

The annual pantomime presented at Brookfield School and Specialist College, Hereford, has received the support of Herefordshire Freemasons with a donation of over £700

The school, which provides specialist educational needs for over sixty Herefordshire youngsters, has received such support on three occasions, much to the approval and wishes of the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire masons.

This year’s pantomime Treasure Island was organised through the national charity Happy Days by Anna Collum a senior member of the teaching staff at the school. The production was attended by the visiting Freemasons, David Bowen, Allan Lloyd, and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward.

David Bowen was delighted to be able to visit the school, and remarked how well the pupils responded to the professionally presented pantomime performed by the visiting theatre company Magic of Theatre. He remarked that the performance truly proved magical for the pupils who obviously greatly enjoyed the production, and promised that he and his fellow Freemasons would continue to fully support such local charities.

The Freemasons' Grand Charity supported this charity with a donation of £20,000 in 2011.

provides specialist educational needs 

Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, said that it was a wonderful experience to be with the young children of the Hereford Deaf Children's Society during a most enjoyable musical afternoon led by Real Impact Music

With a donation of £500 to enable 25 children to attend a pantomime at The Courtyard later in the year, Herefordshire Freemasons are continuing to support this worthy local charity.

The Society’s Chairperson Tracy Caddick-Rudd, together with the assistance of a large number of volunteers, has recently organised Hereford Deaf Children Society visits to York, Weston-super-Mare and Disneyland Paris, much to the delight of up to 100 children who were involved.

Tracy emphasised that the only way to maintain such participation among the children was to receive the continued support of charitable organisations such as the Freemasons.

Also in attendance at the presentation was David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Herefordshire.

Meeting volunteers at the Newton Farm Community Association in Hereford to support their charitable work over Christmas and the New Year, local Freemasons greatly appreciated the level of commitment evident

Rev David Bowen, who had ministered to the people of this part of the city in the past, welcomed the opportunity to revisit Newton Farm and once again see how the community centre continues to positively assist in bringing the people of local neighbourhoods together.

Financial support was presented by Rev Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, to Audrey Pask, the long standing vice chair of Newton Farm Community Centre. This support was identified as help towards the cost of 50 Christmas Hampers being distributed, and the children’s presents received in Santa’s grotto thanks to Richard Johnson, chairman of the centre.

David Bowen, who was accompanied by the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles, expressed gratitude to the people of Newton Farm for the warmth of their welcome, and the privilege of being able to support such a worthy local enterprise. He praised the dedication of all involved in the non profit making charity with special reference to the 24 volunteers, and looked forward to the forthcoming planned renovation of the immediate area.

According to the Haven’s manager, Frankie Devereux, the 'hugely successful' Breast Cancer Awareness Month in Hereford, 'culminated in a most welcomed and substantial donation of £5,800.00 from the Freemasons'

Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, in presenting this latest donation, spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken at the Haven in Hereford. He emphasised the continued support of Freemasons, being fully aware that the success of the Haven’s work depended entirely upon charitable giving. Herefordshire Province of Freemasons has been a Guardian of the Haven since 2011.

In attendance at the presentation, undertaking his first official duty, was Edward Lord, the newly appointed National Director of Fundraising and Development for the Breast Cancer Havens in Hereford, Leeds and London. As a senior mason himself, he welcomed the support given by both local Freemasons and The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. He praised Herefordshire Masons for the continued support received over recent years.

This year’s annual masonic donation to the Haven included specific giving from Royal Edward Lodge No. 892, Palladian Lodge No. 120 and Delphis Lodge No. 7769 in Herefordshire, and the Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association. This local support was match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

A suitable horse

Riding for the Disabled Centre at Holme Lacy, Hereford, is searching for a suitable new horse. The previous occupant of the now empty stable was Gypsy, a horse sponsored by the Freemasons of Herefordshire

Freemasons wish to continue their two decade support of the centre, and recently donated £2,600 towards the purchase of a replacement horse. The original horse they sponsored was aptly named Mason.

The annual minimum cost of maintenance for each of the 13 horses stabled at Hereford RDA is £1,500. Like all centres, Hereford RDA depends on local financial and physical support in order to provide the much appreciated quality service of compassion and care.

The centre provides 250 sessions per week for their disabled clients. One such client is Nick Jones, now aged 35, who first attended the centre at Holme Lacy when aged six: he is now an Ambassador, voluntarily representing the centre at all public occasions.

The newly appointed manager, Lisa Millman, who has been at the centre for the past 21 years, warmly welcomed the Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire the Rev David Bowen, and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward David Knowles. Lisa emphasised that as a charity, volunteers as well as financial donations are required. She is to contact the fifteen masonic lodges in Herefordshire seeking such physical support.

Rev David Bowen expressed how the quality of life of the individuals who attended the centre would diminish should the centre become non-viable – for some clients the visit to Hereford RDA was their only 'outdoor' activity. He promised continued support on behalf of Herefordshire Freemasons. The most recent donation had been match funded by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

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.

 

With some 12,000 adults annually using the service provided by the charity Herefordshire Vision Links, Freemasons are again giving support to this worthy cause

David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, in presenting a donation to John Eden, Chief Executive of HVL, stated how pleased Herefordshire masons were to be able to assist the only independent charity providing help and support to blind and partially sighted people in the local area. With its open door policy, a monthly magazine, resource centre facility, home visiting and social networks, the service is proving of significant benefit to the local community.

At the presentation, representatives of the Freemasons were encouraged to be informed that HVL is focusing emphasis on user led activities so as to increase a sense of ownership among its cliental.

Open door policy for CLOSE HOUSE in Hereford 

According to its 2012 Annual Report, Close House: 'exists to help young people aged 13–24 in Herefordshire, mostly through leisure time activities, to develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacity that they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society.'

Approaching its 10th year, 300 young people and rising use the facilities annually. The manager, Ben Lea, who nine years ago was Hereford’s first voluntary youth worker, states that: '2012 has been an epic year' of achievements and self-belief among the young people involved.

The wearing of I AM EPIC wristbands and t-shirts by the young people has led to increased confidence, self-regard and positivity, as readily perceived by David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward representing Herefordshire Freemasons on a visit to Close House.

Herefordshire masons are doing everything they can to support the work undertaken at Close House, and a donation has recently been presented, see above.

Confidential, compassionate, ethical, affordable

Such is the message from the Marches Counselling Service (MCS) based at 57 St Owen Street, Hereford. Formed as a not-for-profit registered charity in March 2011, Jennifer French, Clinical Director, states that the service provides high quality, professional, confidential counselling for adults in Herefordshire and the Welsh Marches, who feel that talking therapy might help overcome personal distress.

Herefordshire Freemasons are supporting this service, especially the pilot scheme aimed at increasing outreach activities in the more rural areas. The masons are also trying to increase public awareness of the counselling service provided by MCS, particularly among the elderly and their carers.

David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Herefordshire, in presenting a donation to Jennifer French, emphasised the importance of supporting local people, helping them to regain or hold on to a sense of health and well-being, when difficulties threaten to overwhelm them.

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