Help for St Michael’s

In a visit to St Michael’s Hospice Hereford, the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, met patient and Past Master of Delphis Lodge, No. 7769, Colin Tudor and his wife Gill. 

Colin had for some time been a fundraiser for the Macmillan Renton Unit and St Michael’s Hospice. Following a period of chemotherapy treatment, Colin walked across mid-Wales for these charitable concerns.

While he was there, David Bowen, accompanied by Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, presented the hospice with a £3,343 donation from the Grand Charity.

Over the years, the Province of Herefordshire has presented some £70,000 to the hospice, helping towards the current £3.2 million refurbishment.

During one of many visits to St Michael’s Hospice in Hereford, RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, was recently given the most welcome opportunity of meeting and greeting hospice patient Colin Tudor and his wife Gill.

Colin, past Master of Delphis Lodge No. 7769, had for some time been a valiant and resolute supporter and fundraiser for the Macmillan Renton Unit and St Michael’s Hospice: following a period of chemotherapy treatment, Colin walked across Mid Wales for such charitable concerns.

David Bowen, accompanied by VW Bro Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, presented Ruth Denison Fundraising Manager and Paddy Nugent Community Fundraising Manager, with the annual donation awarded to the Hospice by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

This year the award was for £3,343. Since 1984 The Freemasons' Grand Charity has donated rising £12m to the 245 adult and children’s hospices in England and Wales.

The Province of Herefordshire has also presented approximately £70,000 to St Michael’s Hospice over the years, and this support will be recognised within the £3.2m refurbishment of the original hospice buildings due to be completed within the next three months.

The Rev David Bowen pledged the continued support of Herefordshire Freemasons to the dedicated care the hospice provides, which is so highly valued by the local community. David Bowen had been Chaplain to the hospice in the past, and truly appreciated the work undertaken at St Michael’s.

The presentation took place in the new £8m In-Patients’ Unit – the most advanced and highly specified in the country. David Bowen emphasised how important it was to be able to show a continued commitment to the outstanding work of the hospice.

Charity focuses on the financial impact of cancer

Breast cancer support charity The Haven has received £30,000 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity. The donation will help to maintain and expand its welfare, benefits and money advice service, which is currently available at the London Haven centre or via a telephone service. 

This centralised financial assistance from the Grand Charity is in keeping with the support given to the Hereford Haven centre in the past by Freemasons on a local level. Speaking about the donation, Laura Chapman, Chief Executive of the Grand Charity, said: 

‘When people think about cancer, they don’t think about the financial impact it can have. This service will help patients focus on what really matters without the worry of how they will manage their money. We are so glad to be able to support those experiencing breast cancer in such an incredibly practical way.’ 

Herefordshire PGM the Rev David Bowen and Deputy PGM Mike Roff represented Freemasons county-wide at Hereford Haven, where they met centre manager Frankie Devereux. 

Published in The Grand Charity

£30,000 has been donated to the Haven Breast Cancer Support Centre UK by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity

The donation has been awarded so as to maintain and expand the Welfare Benefits and Money Advice service available at Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford.

Such central financial assistance is in keeping with the local support given to the Hereford Haven over the past years by Herefordshire masons.

RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, accompanied by VW Bro Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, represented Freemasons county wide at Hereford Haven, where they met the Centre Manager Frankie Devereux.

Rev David Bowen spoke highly of the truly supportive work undertaken by the Haven Centre, which is free at source, and entirely dependent on charitable giving.

David Bowen was pleased by the news that a new Haven centre will open on the Worcestershire Royal site in October, and was delighted to hear about the Haven’s Healing Garden to be seen at Chelsea Flower Show in May of this year. 

Loraine Coleman, Co-ordinator and Project Manager of Herefordshire Heartstart, was recently welcomed into the masonic temple at Kyrle Street, Hereford, and presented with a cheque for £1,000 by the brethren of Palladian Lodge No. 120

Denis Cox, Worshipful Master of this oldest Herefordshire masonic lodge, in personally presenting the donation, emphasised how important it was for the brethren of Palladian to maintain the policy of Herefordshire Province in robustly supporting local charities.

Loraine Coleman, Herefordshire born and bred, described how this donation would greatly help her to continue supporting school staff in the county by training schoolchildren, in the classroom environment, to deliver Heartstart – 'how to save a life'.

It was considered that this financial support would assist at least 4,000 Herefordshire schoolchildren to continue to learn such vital life saving skills.

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.

Freemasons warmly welcomed by Herefordshire Samaritans

While it is appreciated that members from individual masonic Lodges have supported Herefordshire Samaritans in the past, the recent £500 donation to refurbish the organisation’s vehicle, was the first support given by the central Herefordshire Masonic Charity Association

In the words of Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, this assistance should be maintained in the light of the invaluable work undertaken by the Samaritans, as exemplified by the 18,835 contacts made to the local branch in 2013. David Bowen was impressed by the fact that Herefordshire Samaritans was a self funded charity with no paid employees, everyone involved being a volunteer.

Dorian Lower, Branch Director of Herefordshire Samaritans situated in Berrington Street, warmly welcomed the Freemasons who attended with David Bowen, namely Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Allan Lloyd and David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward. He expressed his great appreciation for such support and hoped that the link with between the local Freemasons and Herefordshire Samaritans Group would continue and prosper.

Ledbury’s recently formed Marie Curie Cancer Care Fundraising Group has been supported by Freemasons with a donation of £1,500

The donation was awarded by local masons from Eastnor Lodge No. 751 of Ledbury and Vaga Lodge No. 3146 of Hereford, with an additional £500 from The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Bruce Foster, Chairman of the Ledbury Fundraising Marie Curie Group which was formed in March 2012, emphasised that such financial help would be ring-fenced to support Herefordshire Marie Curie nurses in their care of the terminally ill.

His group of ten local members raised £8,000 during their first year, and hope to exceed this total during this current twelve months. He emphasised that, 'Our Marie Curie fundraising charity group in Ledbury genuinely welcomes this significant support of the Freemasons.'

Presenting the cheques at the Feathers Hotel, Mike Roff, Deputy Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire, expressed the significance not only of the charitable giving by local Freemasons, but also that of the London based Grand Charity, specifically awarded to support local charities in the shire counties such as Herefordshire.

Financial support for Air Ambulance throughout England and Wales has been maintained again this year by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity, taking the total awarded over the last five years to £1 million

Flying over 20,000 'mercy' missions every year, this vital national emergency service relies entirely on such voluntary donations and public fundraising.

Meeting at the Midlands Air Ambulance base at Strensham, which operates the service for Gloucestershire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the Welsh border, Herefordshire Freemasons were able to make a further donation on behalf of the Grand Charity. The contribution from local Freemasons, in addition to that from the Grand Charity, has totalled £54,000 over the past four years.

Such continued support has been acknowledged by the display of the masonic square and compass logo and the words 'Supported by Freemasons' on the distinctive red and yellow air ambulance helicopter.

The Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, the Rev David Bowen, and Mike Roff, Deputy ProvGM in charge, on their first visit to Strensham, were 'hugely impressed with the commitment and dedication of the Air Ambulance staff', and discussed at length the operational side of the service with helicopter pilot Tim Hutchins.

Michelle McCracken, a member of the fundraising team who organised the visit, expressed the gratitude of Midlands Air Ambulance to all Freemasons for their generous support.

Twelve unemployed young people who completed The Prince’s Trust Get into Woodlands programme were presented with certificates of achievement at the Duchy of Cornwall’s Herefordshire Estate. Senior Herefordshire Freemasons were invited to attend the presentation.

The Prince’s Trust Programme Executives, Paul Beesley and Rachel Edwards, emphasised that Get into Woodlands gives unemployed young people aged between 16 and 25 confidence, motivation and skills in forestry. The young people gained the qualifications they need to work in forestry, as well practical experience in coppicing, horse logging, tree planting and harvesting.

This programme, linked with Hereford College of Technology and Holme Lacy College, is sponsored by MVision Private Equity, with additional financial support provided by Herefordshire Freemasons.

Last year the Trust supported over 5,000 young people across the West Midlands, helping to give them the skills and confidence to find a job. Three in four young people supported by the youth charity move into work, education or training. Following the programme, participants are given six months support to help them into employment or further training.

The senior Herefordshire Freemasons attending the presentation, Rodney Smallwood and Mike Roff, welcomed meeting all participants, especially Kelly Hallworth who was a participant on last year’s programme and is now a full-time member of The Prince’s Trust team at Dewsall.

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