It’s the journey  that matters

Via Rolls-Royce, camper van, horse and cart, speedboat and tandem bicycle, Lifelites chief executive Simone Enefer-Doy travelled 2,500 miles in two weeks to raise the profile of this hard-working charity

Providing life-changing assistive technology, Lifelites helps the 10,000 children and young people in hospices across the British Isles live their short lives to the full. On 25 May 2018, the charity’s chief executive, Simone Enefer-Doy, set off on an epic road, air and river trip to spread the word and raise funds.

The 2,500-mile challenge, called Lift for Lifelites, was to take in 47 famous landmarks in England and Wales in just 14 days. For each leg of the journey, Simone received a lift from Provincial supporters in an eclectic mix of transportation. After setting an initial target of raising £50,000 for Lifelites, the total now stands at over £104,000. Simone says she has been astounded at the support and generosity she encountered as she travelled around the country. 

‘Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that so many people would come out to meet me on my journey and support my challenge. We have received a terrific welcome wherever we have gone, and it really spurred me on to continue whenever I felt myself flagging. I would like to thank everyone – drivers, donors and venues – for helping to make Lift for Lifelites happen. We couldn’t have done it without you.’

If you’d like Lifelites to come to one of your Provincial meetings to make a presentation about Simone’s adventure and how the charity will use the money, please get in touch via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0207 440 4200.

Published in Lifelites
Tuesday, 11 September 2018 00:00

Masons pack a punch at Alnwick  boxing club

A boxing club in Alnwick, Northumberland, has purchased essential equipment following a £1,500 gift from local masons via the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund

Northumberland PGM Ian Craigs presented the cheque, while members of Coquetdale Lodge, No. 5122, who had originally appealed to the fund for a donation for the club, were also present.

The masons were shown around the club’s facilities and tried some of the equipment, with the weigh-in machine proving popular.

A nautical charity that operates from Berwick to Hartlepool has received a new boat to assist in training its members and helping the community from Northumberland Freemasons

The Northumbria Unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) received a new rigid inflatable boat aptly named 'Northumberland Freemason' at Newcastle’s Quayside after a £15,000 donation from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland.

A delegation of Freemasons came to watch the naming ceremony which included the Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland Ian Craigs, who christened the vessel with an appropriate bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale; right in sight of the iconic Tyne Bridge. 

The organisation aims are to keep the UK’s maritime tradition alive by training and delivering practical seamanship and engineering skills.

Angela Carrington, Head of Unit for the Maritime Volunteer Service, said: 'This is a very generous gift to our charity from the Freemasons that will benefit our members and the community too. We will be using the boat on all of the region’s rivers so she will be a common sight from the Tweed to the Tees.

'She’s a very manoeuvrable craft making her ideal to train people in seamanship and boat handling skills. In turn, we will pass on these skills to help at community events all across the region. We are very grateful and will sail her with pride.'

Provincial Grand Master Ian Craigs said: 'All of our trustees agreed that this was a very worthwhile donation as the vessel is being used on the region’s waterways doing sterling community work. We are proud to be associated with MVS Northumbria and look forward to hearing more about the 'Northumberland Freemasons' good work.'

Lifelites Chief Executive Simone Enefer-Doy has left Freemasons' Hall to kick-start her 2,500 mile journey to 47 famous landmarks to raise awareness of Lifelites and £50,000 for the charity

Dubbed 'A Lift for Lifelites', Simone will see Freemasons in nearly every Province in England and Wales and will be stopping at landmarks such as Hadrian’s Wall, Angel of the North and Bletchley Park in vehicles including a classic Rolls Royce, a camper van, a four seater plane, an E Type Jaguar and even a zip wire.

Simone said: 'With the help of Freemasons and their vehicles around the country, I’m on a mission to raise the profile of our work and raise more funds to reach more children whose lives could be transformed by the technology we can provide.'

We'll be updating this page regularly, including images, as Simone continues on her epic quest.

Day 14 – Thursday 7 June

That's a wrap! Simone completed her 14 day challenge and finished in style on ThamesJet speedboat with guests including United Grand Lodge of England Chief Executive Dr David Staples. Her fundraising currently stands at over £103,000.

Day 13 – Wednesday 6 June

It's the penultimate day, starting with a trip to Bedfordshire at the Shuttleworth Collection. The next stop was Silverstone racetrack in Northamptonshire, which included completing a lap in a Jaguar, before driving this to Bletchley Park in Buckinghamshire. The last trip was to the home, studios and gardens of former artist Henry Moore in Hertfordshire.

Day 12 – Tuesday 5 June

Day 12 took in journeys across Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. The first stop was Gordon Boswell Romany Museum in Lincolnshire before using two vehicles, a Hudson Straight Six Touring Sedan and a Range Rover, to Bressington Steam and Gardens in Norfolk. There was still time to grab lunch at Bury St Edmunds Abbey in Suffolk before a BMW took Simone to her final stop in Cambridgeshire, which included a punt on the River Cam.

Day 11 – Monday 4 June

Simone crammed in four locations to start the week, with a wide variety of vehicles used. The day started in Yorkshire Sculpture Park before driving a 1977 Bentley to the National Tramway Museum in Derbyshire. It was from here that Simone then picked up a DeLorean to take her to Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire before completing the day by driving a gold Rolls-Royce to Victoria Park in Leicestershire.

Day 10 – Sunday 3 June

The week concludes with trips to Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire and East Riding, as well as the news that Simone had already hit her £50,000 target. Trips included the Millennium Bridge in Northumberland, the Angel of the North and a scenic drive across the Yorkshire Moors to Bolton Castle.

Day 9 – Saturday 2 June

Day nine saw visits to the Provinces of West Lancashire and Cumberland and Westmorland, with landmarks including Hadrian’s Wall in Cumbria and transport provided by a horse and cart.

Day 8 – Friday 1 June

Two Rolls-Royces helped provide the transport on day nine, with Simone starting at the Avoncroft Museum in Worcestershire, driving down to New Place in Warwickshire and then to the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. There was still time to conclude the day by visiting Manchester Cathedral in East Lancashire.

Day 7 – Thursday 31 May

At the halfway point, Simone made trips to Cheshire, Shropshire and Herefordshire – starting out at the Georgian Hall Dunham Massey, then heading to the RAF Museum Cosford in a custom built Rewaco Bike and finally, to Arthur’s Stone.

Day 6 – Wednesday 30 May

Day six was solely focused in North Wales where Simone took on the challenge of the fastest zip wire in the world. This was then followed by making the journey to Chester in a six month old blue McLaren Spider and flanked by the Widows’ Sons motorcyclists and Blood Bike volunteers.

Day 5 – Tuesday 29 May

Day five was a journey across the borders for Simone as she ventured to Oxfordshire before heading west to Monmouthshire and continued to South Wales and West Wales. Landmarks included Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, Caerleon Amphitheatre in Newport, the Donald Gordon theatre in Cardiff and ending the day in the county town of Carmarthen to meet the Provincial Grand Lodge of West Wales.

Day 4 – Monday 28 May

Simone began day four by driving an Aston Martin DB9 to the Grand Pier in Weston-super-Mare with help from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset. A 1928 MG Riley saloon then took Simone to her next port of call, Clifton Suspension Bridge where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bristol had a 1966 Austin Mini Cooper waiting to take her to Caen Hill Locks. It was here that Simone met representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Wiltshire, before the final stop of the day saw her clock up the miles to Shaw House in Berkshire to be greeted by members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Berkshire.

Day 3 – Sunday 27 May

Day three involved journeys to Dorset, Devon and Cornwall. It started with a visit to Lulworth Cove in Dorset to be met by members from the Provincial Grand Lodge in a yellow camper van and to receive a donation of £2,000. Simone then ventured to Buckfast Abbey to receive a donation of £5,000 from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire before departing in a classic Rover to head to Lanhydrock House and Garden in Cornwall, where she received another donation of £1,750.

Day 2 – Saturday 26 May

Simone took to the sky for day two, meeting a representative from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Hampshire and Isle of Wight who drove her to Southampton to board a flight to Jersey, to meet members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Guernsey and Alderney.

Day 1 – Friday 25 May

Simone has begun her challenge, leaving in a taxi escorted by a fleet of Widows Sons motorcyclists. This is the start of her 14 day road trip with a difference, using a variety of unusual and extraordinary forms of transport.

The next destination for Friday was Richmond Park where Simone was met by representatives from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Middlesex after arriving in a Porsche 550 Spyder. Further destinations included Guildford Cathedral, where Simone was met by a Noddy car, and Brighton Royal Pavilion, where the Provincial Grand Lodge of Sussex made a donation of £5,000.

Lifelites has a package of their magical technology at every children’s hospice across the British Isles and their work is entirely funded by donations. Through the journey they are seeking to raise £50,000 – that’s the cost of one of their projects for four years.

You can sponsor Simone by clicking here

Published in Lifelites

At a celebration dinner to mark the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, Northumberland Freemasons gave away £300,000 to local charities

Provincial Grand Master of Northumberland Ian Craigs hosted the event at St James’ Park where almost 800 Freemasons, their families and special guests from North East charities celebrated the Tercentenary. Special guest of the evening was Pro Grand Master Peter Geoffrey Lowndes.

Although the evening was filled with entertainment, good food and distinguished guests, it was the charitable side of Freemasonry that stole the show.

Ian Craigs explained that the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland has given away £300,000 to local charities this year to boost worthwhile and deserving projects throughout the region. There are 27 lodge meeting places across North Tyneside, Newcastle and Northumberland and the donations all went to local good causes.

Ian Craigs commented: ‘We’ve tried to donate money to charities close to each lodge building so that we can really make a positive impact on local projects and causes near to where Masonry takes place.

‘Our donations, which were all chosen by our members, will go a long way towards helping the charities concerned carry on their sterling work. This is one of the main things that Freemasons do and often we give without telling anyone. This year, we celebrate our 300th year and we’d like everyone to know how we help their local community.’

Charities benefiting from donations included the Hextol Foundation, Mustard Tree Trust and Percy Hedley Foundation who were each granted £10,000.

Others included the Berwick & District Cancer Support Group, Mind Active Charity and Leading Link who were each given £5,000 on the night.

Leading Link’s manager Julie Greener said: ‘This is a very generous donation that will help us to give valuable skills to the young people of Northumberland. At the moment, we are working on a mentoring scheme that is helping vulnerable young people in the more rural parts of the county. We are very grateful to Northumberland Freemasons for the opportunity to carry on with our work.’

In addition to the 33 charities who attended the celebration event, a further 45 will receive cheques for the good work they do to help the people of Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Freemasons have given £50,000 to the Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF) at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to provide support for the families of children with life-threatening heart problems

Treatment can last for months and can be an enormous strain for families. A specialist support worker, Jan O’Donell, has been recruited and trained by the fund, in conjunction with St Oswald’s Hospice.

She will work with parents and siblings, as well as being available for hospital staff who inevitably sometimes struggle with the emotional impact of their jobs.

The masonic grant includes £45,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, with a further £5,000 donated by the Northumberland and Durham Red Cross of Constantine Freemasons’ Care of Children Fund.

Published in Freemasonry Cares

Five Leicestershire and Rutland Freemasons have been selected to play in an international charity rugby match between English and Scottish Freemasons

The match is to be held on Saturday 23rd May 2015 at Gateshead Fell Rugby Ground where Bros Andrew ‘Jock’ Keenan, Joseph Maxim, Andrew Rathbone, and Michael ‘Spike’ Forster, all from Enderby Lodge No. 5061, together with Bro David Shepherd from St Wilfrid’s Lodge No. 8350, aim to assist in retaining the trophy for England.

They have already made the trip to Newcastle in April for a training camp and are now ready to take part in the big match. The event will be concluded by a black tie ball at the Marriot Hotel, Gateshead which includes a four-course dinner and live entertainment.

The international match was originally conceived by W Bro Horner of the Province of Northumberland after they challenged the Durham Masonic Rugby Football Club to a game of rugby, partly for a bit of fun but also to raise money for the charities supported by the Northumberland team. 

This is the second time these teams have played each other, and Scotland are keen to avenge last August’s defeat by the English at Murrayfield. The matches are keenly fought, and are celebrated afterwards in the spirit of true masonic friendship.

Ewan’s Disneyland dream comes true

A trip to Disneyland in Paris for 15-year-old Ewan Barry has been arranged by Northumberland masons. Ewan has a life-limiting condition called Friedreich’s ataxia, which progressively attacks every muscle in the body. With a number of related conditions, Ewan is confined to a wheelchair and is losing his eyesight. 

A charity event was held at South Shields – arranged by Jeff Parkin, Ewan’s father and Master of Ionic Lodge, No. 6344 – to help finance the visit for him and his family. Lodge Almoner Tony George obtained a grant of £4,000 from the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund, with the remaining £1,000 needed for the trip raised at the charity evening. 

Friday, 12 October 2012 12:01

Clash of the Titans Raises £2,000

The inaugural Province of Northumberland versus the Province of Durham charity rugby match, the Northumberland Masonic Rugby Club (Wok Smugglers), in support of the year-long campaign for Byker Masonic Hall's 2012 two chosen charities, are pleased to advise that through their combined efforts the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund and the Teenage Cancer Trust are looking healthier to the tune of £2,000.

Over a year in the planning, the long-awaited rugby match took place at Ryton Rugby Club on Saturday 30 June 2012, rearranged from the original venue at Novocastrians Rugby Club due to storms of biblical proportions hitting the North East of England two days previously.

Both teams were presented to W Bro David Lillie who represented the Province of Northumberland, with W Bro George Clark being in attendance on behalf of the Province of Durham. The game itself ended in a fine victory for the Northumberland representatives, who ran out 62 – 10 winners.

Man of the match awards chosen by the rival teams gained approval by a healthy crowd of 150 or so hardy souls. Durham’s number 2, Adam Hill, and Northumberland’s 19, Dan O’Sullivan, received the respective accolades. O’Sullivan’s staggering haul of four tries and four conversions totalling 28 points marked him out as the superior player on the pitch. Credit should go to the mascots and ball boys for the day, Ethan White, Ethan Lavender and Mason Miller, who ensured a flowing game never flagged. A special mention should go to referee Alan Dickinson for officiating a game of novices with little knowledge of the game rules.

The after match celebrations were held at Byker Masonic Hall, where a well attended evening saw an emotional presentation of the Alice Gingell Memorial Trophy to Captain Mick Prior and Vice Captain Frazer Hill by the Gingell family.

The evening raised even more money for the charities by those very generous attendees, where players, wives and partners enjoyed a magnificent evening of fun and entertainment to round off the day.

Another story to come out of the match was when W Bro Andrew Smith's son Peter put his weight behind the event. Peter Smith had carried the Olympic torch through Prudhoe on Saturday 16th June and brought the torch along on the day. Peter agreed to have his photo taken of the torch with those who attended in exchange for a donation towards the Evening Chronicle Sunshine Fund. Peter was keen to help this worthy charity as he has been a recipient of their efforts in the past. He raised £120 which will be added to the ongoing campaign.

Wednesday, 01 December 2010 15:33

University Lodge Goal For Alan Shearer

Following their support in 2009 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and their decision to support it again in 2010, Achilles University Lodge, No. 4078, in the Province of Northumberland made good their promise. Sunil Khanna and Shammi Nair, acting on behalf of Master Gursharan Sarang, met former England and Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer, patron of the Bobby Robson Foundation, to present the cheque for £2,608.    

The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation focuses on the clinical trials of cancer drugs and treatments and has already equipped a trials unit at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. It has also funded a specialist research nurse and doctor. The Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre offers patients from across north-east England, North Yorkshire and Cumbria access to early trials and potential new treatments.

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