Given that prostate cancer has become the number one cancer in men with 1 in 8 men being diagnosed with the disease, it may seem common sense that all men over the age of 50 should undergo a prostate examination to make sure all is well
Surprisingly this is not the case, which prompted Jyoti Shah, consultant urological surgeon for Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation, to launch an initiative called Inspire Health – Fighting Prostate Cancer based at Queen’s Hospital, Burton. The idea is to go out to the community and provide screening services to men in a more comfortable atmosphere, in the hope that this encourages as many men as possible to get checked for this male cancer.
When Michael Hitchcock, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Derbyshire, heard about this initiative he realised that this was an opportunity to encourage members of the province to get on board. With this in mind, and with the co-operation of Inspire Health, Michael took the idea to members within Derbyshire and was quickly inundated with people wanting to take part.
Over 350 members of the Derbyshire province have signed up for the examination, with the first ones being held at the ground of Burton Albion Football Club. In fact, so popular has the initiative been that four masonic halls have needed to be used as venues in the province.
Michael was both surprised and delighted with the response, commenting: 'I think it’s fabulous that Burton Football Club are so keen to raise awareness of prostate cancer and we are extremely pleased to be working with them, as well as being able to make a donation in order to support their ongoing work within our communities.
'We are constantly making charitable donations within our local communities and providing skills and time to further enhance our charitable work. We shall be donating some money to the Fighting Prostate Cancer Campaign to support the ongoing work they do in the community against this very common male cancer.'
Jyoti Shah added: “It is fantastic - the project is growing and it is a really positive message going out to the community. It has already been a phenomenal success in the take up of appointments with Freemasons.”
For more details of the Fighting Prostate Cancer scheme, please click here.
iSight Cornwall has received a significant donation of £15,000 via the Masonic Charitable Foundation Grant Awards
iSight Cornwall, who are based in Newham, Truro, were presented with a £15,000 Community Award from the Freemasons of Cornwall following a successful public vote organised with the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Community Awards are a major part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations.
iSight Cornwall was one of six self-funded charities who were recently nominated by the Cornish Freemasons with everyone encouraged to vote, including family members, friends and the general public, the public vote deciding the level of Award each charity would receive. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing three million pounds to 300 charities across the country, with awards ranging from £4,000 to £25,000.
It is estimated that there are some 22,000 people living with sight loss in Cornwall, a figure that is expected to grow to 32,000 over the next 15 years. Founded in 1856, iSight Cornwall is the only charity in the county dedicated to supporting people with sight loss to lead active and independent lives.
Terri Rosnau-Ward, Chief Executive of iSight Cornwall, said: ‘We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone that took the time to vote for us, we really appreciate your support. This award will help us to extend our Community Development service so that we can reach even more people living with sight loss across Cornwall and to give them the support and advice they need. We would especially like to thank the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cornwall for nominating us for these amazing MCF Awards.’
Mike Pritchard, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward for the Province of Cornwall, commented: ‘The response we’ve received to the MCF Awards, nationally, has been outstanding, but especially so here in Cornwall. The support for the six self-funded charities nominated has also been immense and shows how much local charities mean to the Cornish communities. I feel extremely proud to have been invited to present this award and see for myself what an incredible charity iSight Cornwall is.
'The support and equipment available to visually sight impaired people is staggering, I’ve seriously had my eyes opened to some very special equipment that I didn’t realise even existed, but clearly is essential to so many.’
The Provincial Grand Master for Cornwall Stephen Pearn added: ‘To have met so many wonderful Cornish charities in the last few years is a truly remarkable and emotional experience. The welcome, together with the extra special tour I received at iSight Cornwal,l has been extremely special and a day I will remember for a long time to come.
'To present £15,000 to this special charity fills me with joy knowing what a difference this will make for them and it’s so well deserved. The support all the charities have received in these MCF Awards has been staggering and I sincerely wish to thank everyone – especially the Cornish public for their support.’
To find out more about iSight Cornwall’s services please click here.
The exceptional record of Jersey Freemasons’ charitable giving was acknowledged when the Province won the Jersey Evening Post Pride of Jersey Award for Fundraiser of the year 2017
Every year the public of Jersey vote on 12 diverse award categories recognising neighbourliness, inspirational leadership, voluntary activity, community involvement and fundraising.
Jersey Freemasons were nominated by Mrs Marteen McCloat who wrote that each year they carry out considerable charitable works, without much noise or fuss. Along with numerous other organisations, charities and individuals, the Province completed an initial assessment and were shortlisted for the public vote.
The awards ceremony was held at St John’s Manor on 23rd September with the Province represented by Deputy Provincial Grand Master VW Bro Graham Spence together with the Provincial Grand Charity Steward W Bro Colin Le Cornu. Needless to say, both were astounded when the judges announced that of the three finalists in their category, it was the Province of Jersey that took the top honour.
Along with a magnificent trophy, the Province was awarded a prize of £1,000 kindly donated by award sponsors The Marketing Bureau. The prize money has been donated equally between the TLC Appeal for Jersey’s General Hospital and Mont a L’Abbe School to help maintain their sensory garden, which was donated by Jersey Freemasons in 2013.
Deputy PGM VW Bro Graham Spence and W Bro Colin Le Cornu collected the award alongside event hosts ex-England football star Graeme Le Saux and singer/songwriter Nerina Pallot.
The grant, which comes from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, is funded by Freemasons and their families across England and Wales.
A cheque presentation was held at the charity’s Redhill base, followed by a presentation from Director of Operations, Leigh Curtis, about how their continuing support has made such a difference.
The life-saving charity operates throughout the South East covering an area of 3,500 square miles and a population of 4.5million people. So far this year, their crews have been called to more than 600 missions, helping the most critically ill and injured people in the region.
During 2017, Freemasons around the country will be presenting 20 regional air ambulance charities with grants totalling £180,000.
Lynne Harris, Director of Income Generation for the charity, said: 'We are so grateful to Surrey Freemasons for their continuing generosity. Without support like this, we simply would not be able to continue our life-saving work.'
David Olliver, Provincial Grand Charity Steward of Surrey Freemasons, said: 'We are so pleased to continue supporting the great work of the Kent, Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance. Supporting the work they carry out in our communities every day is something to be proud of.'
Red Cross support at home
Herefordshire Freemasons have again given support to the British Red Cross and their proven Support at Home Service. This scheme provides short-term care and support in the home for predominantly older people after an accident, illness, or stay in hospital, giving them confidence to continue their daily lives.
In presenting the donation to Mike Crowe, Service Development Manager for Herefordshire Red Cross, W Bro David Knowles, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, was taken on a tour of the relatively new premises in Harrow Road, Plough Lane. He praised the staff and volunteers for the notable number of local people supported by this service at home.
David Knowles was also impressed by the other wide range of services available from the loan of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, to door-to-door transport and therapeutic care.
Judith Topping, one of the Support at Home Service Co-ordinators, mentioned the important role played by the Herefordshire Village Warden scheme in association with the British Red Cross. By introducing people to a friendly, knowledgeable and independent village warden, welcome assistance is provided from within their own local community to the benefit of all concerned.
David Knowles emphasised the commitment of Herefordshire Freemasons in supporting such local charity projects as the British Red Cross Support at Home Service.