Good Hope Hospital Charity and Heartlands Hospital Charity are aiming to raise £150,000 for brand new state-of-the-art incubators for the Neonatal Units across the two sites that will help treat the tiniest of lives at the hospital. Warwickshire Freemasons have stepped up and pledged £40,000 to buy two of these lifesaving systems

Every year, over 11,000 babies are born at Heartlands Hospital and Good Hope Hospital. Over 1,000 of those babies will be born too poorly or too soon and need the support of the Neonatal Unit.

The Neonatal Units treat babies who are born as early as 23 weeks of gestation and can weigh as little as one pound. These babies will be born before their vital organs have developed such as their brain, lungs and even skin.

The hospital charity has launched a fundraising appeal to bring seven state-of-the-art incubators to the hospital’s Neonatal Units across Heartlands Hospital and Good Hope Hospital to help staff provide the best possible care for the hospitals most tiny patients.

These incubators will not only make it easier for staff to treat babies in a more comfortable way, they will also provide lifesaving therapeutic hypothermia which helps reduce the likelihood of brain injury to premature babies by cooling. Currently, babies who need this type of treatment may have to be transferred to another hospital, causing more distress to families.

As well as providing a lifeline for premature babies the new incubators have a number of additional benefits to staff and families. These are:

  • The incubators are sound proof and can help the baby get the rest they need on a loud busy unit, as well as having special covers to block out the light and protect the baby’s delicate eyes.
  • Nurses and doctors can also weigh the baby inside the incubator, to save the trauma to the baby of having to be constantly moved and disturbed.
  • It has the ability to be lowered (even down to toddler level). This means mums who have had C-Sections will be able to access their baby with ease and little discomfort.
  • The roof lifts off, this means doctors and nurses can gain crucial access to baby – this is especially helpful during procedures.
  • It has an inbuilt IPad/IPhone docking station so that parents can record themselves reading a story, their heartbeats or play music to help baby feel more comfortable.
  • Finally it has heaters which create a wall when the side of the incubator opens. This means parents can be more hands on without worrying about baby being cold.

The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association will be supporting these two local hospitals in this vital work, by purchasing two life support machine/incubators. This will enable critically ill babies to remain close to home so that parents can spend as much time as possible bonding with their new baby, making the most of the time they have together.

Laura Power, Fundraising Manager at Good Hope Hospital Charity, said: ‘A huge thank you to the Warwickshire Freemasons for pledging £40,000 for the brand new incubators the Neontal Units across Good Hope and Heartlands.

‘The brand new incubators will improve the care of tiny babies born in the hospitals and will prevent them having to be transferred to another hospital for their care and treatment.’

Each incubator costs £20,000 and the WMCA is asking each lodge to consider using one of its charity appeals to help raise the funds. A roll of honour showing the name and number of each lodge, which has contributed, will be displayed in the Neo Natal unit at each hospital. This is an urgent appeal as babies need help to live right now.

The Provincial Grand Master for Warwickshire David Macey, who visited the Neo Natal Unit at Heartlands Hospital on 25th October 2019, said: ‘The work undertaken on the Neo Natal Unit is both outstanding and futuristic. It was a real privilege to meet the staff and witness their total dedication to their tiny patients and their families.

‘As the head of Freemasonry in Warwickshire, I am extremely proud of the generosity shown by our members which will enable premature babies to remain close to their families at such a critical time in their lives. I am sure that the two incubators we have donated, when combined with the skill of the staff on the wards, will give all the babies a strong fighting chance.’

HARIS’S STORY

Haris was born at 24 weeks and three days, weighing just 1lbs 10oz and was cared for on the Neonatal Unit for the first 94 days of his life. His mum, Ellie said: ‘The unit saved our son’s life. We were very lucky and appreciate everything that the staff did for Haris.’

The pictures below show Haris when he was born and how he looks now as an energetic and healthy one year old. Neonatal babies will almost always need the assistance of a specialist incubator to help monitor progress, keep babies away from infection and help with their respiratory. The money provided by the Warwickshire Freemasons will provide incubators to help babies just like Haris.

Read baby Haris’s full story here to see how important our support is for premature babies and their families.

As part of its Centenary celebrations, Norfolk Installed Masters Lodge No. 3905 was honoured to receive one of only four official presentations of this year's Prestonian Lecture - Freemasonry and The Great War by Mike Karn

Mike gave an outstanding presentation which he had tailored for the evening to be particularly specific to the Province of Norfolk. His wonderful presentation was enjoyed by a packed house and followed by a particularly vibrant and enjoyable Festive Board.

Mike was in the company of the Lodge’s Master and his Wardens, who also happen to be the Provincial Grand Master for Norfolk Stephen Allen, Deputy Provincial Grand Master Charles Hall and Assistant Provincial Grand Master Michael Gooderson.

In 2018, the Leicestershire & Rutland Light Blue Club successfully bid to host the 2019 New & Young Masons Clubs Conference. Beating competition from other clubs throughout the country, the Light Blue Club’s winning theme of 'Building Bonds’ was the foundation for months of hard work, culminating in the conference that was held at Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester on 28th September 2019

The New & Young Masons Club (NYMC) was created to bring together all of the Light Blue Clubs from around the country, to share ideas and best practices and to ensure their continued success. Representatives from 31 of these clubs descended on Freemasons’ Hall, Leicester, to enjoy an action packed and informative day, with friends, acquaintances, new members and a great line up of speakers.

After welcoming their guests, a tour was conducted by our Light Blue Club members of the magnificent building we have at London Road, culminating in a talk in the Holmes Lodge Room by Richard Barnett and a viewing of their museum.

By 10am, the 100 seats in the magnificent Holmes Lodge Room were filled as their Light Blue Club Chairman Bob Reay opened the conference. Bob gave a welcoming speech and introduced the Provincial Grand Master for Leicestershire & Rutland David Hagger, who thanked everyone for attending and introduced the day’s guest speakers. Next to take to the stage was the President of the Light Blue Club, Peter Kinder, who gave an insight into the origins of the Light Blue Club, along with his thoughts and aims for the day.

Samuel Harris of the Light Blue Club then took great pleasure in introducing the next two sets of speakers, with whom he had been liaising to secure their time for a ground breaking set of presentations. First to the stage was the Grand Master of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons, Christine Chapman, to give an insight into the history and background to Women’s Freemasonry in England.

There are two Grand Lodges of Women Freemasons in England, and the second presenter was Elaine Malone, Deputy Grand Secretary, accompanied by Mia Cameron-Dungey, from the Order of Women Freemasons. This presentation was very well received and gave the audience a better understanding of where the Order originated from, as well as an insight into their future plans.

The first ‘Break out session’, with the theme entitled The Foundation Stone, involved a move downstairs to the Oliver Dining Room, which was set up by the superb team at Devonshire Place. The round table discussions proved to be a huge success, with energy and enthusiasm for understanding what it is our New & Young Masons Clubs need to be successful.

After lunch, the team from Solomon, David Pratt, Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire, West Riding, together with Dr. Craig Johnson and Ken Wootton, gave a valuable insight into the Learning & Development programme.

Breakout sessions two and three, ‘Raising a Superstructure’ and ‘Building Bonds’ were equally a success, with great feedback from all participants as the attendees worked towards sharing ideas and developing a mission statement.

Then in the Holmes Lodge Room. Focusing on the Future of Freemasonry and how we can all help to achieve this bright future, David conducted a captivating presentation, which was followed by a question and answer session before the day's proceedings were brought to a close. To round off an exhausting yet captivating day was Mitch Merrick-Thirlway, the Administrator of the NYMC, as it was down to him to announce the winners who would host the conference to held in 2022. And the winners were, the Fleet House Light Blues Club from the Province of Hertfordshire.

After such a superb day, of learning, listening, education, and sharing of ideas, many of the attendees stayed on to enjoy the hospitality of the Wyggeston Lodge No. 3448 to complete the day.

David Hagger said: ‘I would like to thank all of the organisers and members of our Light Blue Club for what has been an excellent day. I would also like to thank all of our guests and speakers for their valuable time and also to all of the members from up and down the country for their energy and enthusiasm. You are the future of Freemasonry and today has demonstrated what a bright future we have.’

Published in Initiatives & Clubs

During a royal visit to Bristol, UGLE's Grand Master, The Duke of Kent, accompanied by Lord Lieutenant for the City and County of Bristol, Peaches Golding OBE, the High Sheriff of Bristol, Charles Wyld, and the Lord Mayor of Bristol, Councillor Jos Clark, were given a detailed tour around Freemasons' Hall by the Provincial Grand Master Jonathan Davis and Deputy Provincial Grand Master Richard Lewis

On arriving at Lodge Room 1, they were greeted by a packed room of Bristol Freemasons and their partners. The Grand Master was then given a tour of the Grade II listed building, which has been the home of Bristol Freemasons for over 150 years.

He then received a short talk on the history of the Province of Bristol and afterwards was introduced to members who are involved in different projects, which include working with local charities s in the community.

After a light lunch served in one of the Dining Rooms, the Grand Master was invited to sign the visitors book before departing by car for his next appointment at Bristol Cathedral.

Staffordshire’s Provincial Grand Master John Lockley endorsed and launched a unique advertising campaign to support the Masonic Charitable Foundation and the work they do to help communities throughout England and Wales with donations to local charities

A large advert has been placed on the side of an articulated trailer owned by local Freemason Danny Poole who runs a specialist chilled food distribution and transport business based in Stoke on Trent.

This giant trailer is decorated in specially commissioned MCF colours and branding and has been launched on the roads of the UK and Europe – in particular England, France, Germany and Belgium.

The idea was generated by Danny and his wife Jackie. Danny approached the Staffordshire MCF Representative Andrew Tomblin and generously offered a trailer for decoration in full MCF colours to carry the masonic message of Charity For All across the country and into Europe.  These trailers never stand still and rather like aircraft are out there somewhere constantly working and being seen by all.

Andrew took the idea and discussed the plan with the MCF marketing department team, which resulted in the creation of the new artwork designed to carry the Masonic message across the entire length of the trailer and the rear doors. The vehicle is breathtakingly large and very eye catching and will take Freemasonry’s caring message far and wide.

John Lockley said: ‘Many thanks to Danny and Jackie for their great idea and for allowing the use of this magnificent vehicle to help Staffordshire Freemasons promote the Masonic Charitable Foundation, nationally and internationally.’

Funds given by Freemasons to help victims of Wainfleet’s summertime flooding are being used to good effect in and around the town

So far more than £55,000 has been given to 61 families whose homes were inundated when the River Steeping burst its banks. 

The funds were made of up £25,000 each from the Province of Lincolnshire, The Mark Benevolent Fund, and the Masonic Charitable Foundation, topped up with donations from other Provinces which had also experienced flooding, and understood the need for a sustained response.

And on a Lincolnshire Day visit to the Coronation Hall in the village, the Provincial Grand Master for Lincolnshire Dave Wheeler said he was confident the funds were being given to the right people in the right way.

At the ‘sharp end’ of delivery is Sue Fortune, Joint CEO of the Lincolnshire Community Foundation which is managing and co-ordinating the appeal funding. She has met many of the families face to face and said: 'Phase 1 involved giving £500 to each home which the water had got in to. Phase2 started at the beginning of September, and is offering up to £1,000 to alleviate specific hardship.'

The money is not being divided equally, says Sue, but is being distributed equitably. 'Some people need the money more than others, and some haven’t asked for financial support on the basis they believe others are worse off and need the money more,' she said.

Sue said a face-to-face approach had been made available to support those affected, rather than leaving it to online applications. 'As well as needing money, people needed to have someone they could talk to; to feel someone cared. That, and having the Coronation Hall to go to where people could access various support agencies, have been a fundamental part of the success of the recovery process.'

Sue freely shared her mobile phone number with the families, resulting in calls as early and 7.30am and as late as 9pm.  She also spent a considerable time at the Coronation Hall in the town, which became a ‘flood hub’; a focal point for residents. Those calls and meetings yielded some tough stories, such as the couple who were due to exchange contracts for a house sale the day after the floods and families who lost everything. “We listened to all the stories, and responded equitably,' she said.

Face-to-face meetings also helped signpost the villagers to people with specialist knowledge who were able to get things done. A grants panel was formed, with Sue as mediator, to offer financial support to help bring Wainfleet back to, as close as possible, to the way it was before the flood. Sue’s fellow Joint CEO James Murphy added: 'There was naturally a significant degree of emotional distress. Being here in person provided the reassurance of proactivity; that there was a person they could talk to.'

After meeting Sue, James, and the residents at a Lincolnshire Day get-together in Coronation Hall Dave Wheeler said: 'We have been so reassured that the money we have donated has gone absolutely to the right people and the right places. The process we have heard of today is fantastic. All of Lincolnshire’s Freemasons can feel as proud as I do of what’s been achieved with our financial help. I am in awe of the work that’s been done here since the flooding; it’s superb.'

80 members from Cambridgeshire and its neighbouring Provinces attended an Emergency Meeting of the Cambridgeshire Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge No. 9927 on 19th September for a unique event within the history of the Province – their Provincial Grand Master William Dastur was the Candidate for Initiation

The acting officers for the ceremony at Freemasons’ Hall in Cambridge were members of 10 out of the Province's 30 lodges, who had made the highest bids to participate.

A very enjoyable evening saw the acting officers (and the Initiate) perform an impeccable ceremony and raise a total of well over £2,500 for Cambridgeshire's Festival 2023, in aid of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Through the generosity of Lincolnshire’s Freemasons, the Masonic Charitable Foundation has been able to support Age UK Lindsey with a donation of £63,000

The life-changing donation is part of a £1 million project called Later Life Goals, launched nationwide to support the charity’s work in reaching out to enhance the lives of many hundreds of lonely and vulnerable older people.

In Lincolnshire this year alone that translates to one-to-one intervention on behalf of 262 people undergoing major transitions in their lives such as bereavement, serious health diagnosis, or a partner moving to a care home.

Age UK Lindsey works across East and West Lindsey and North Lincolnshire, helping to make later life a fulfilling and enjoyable experience by providing a range of direct services, advice, and domestic support. This can include help to access benefits, liaising with care agencies, or simply a weekly befriending visit.

Service Manager Sue White said demand for the services they were able to provide continued to flood in: ‘We have an average of 200 new referrals for our information and advice service every month, and 30 new requests for our befriending help on top of that. Our services are always up to capacity, and so many callers have nowhere else to go.

‘We can’t thank you enough for this donation; it will help us to sustain our services to people who otherwise might have no help at all.”

Dave Wheeler, Lincolnshire’s Provincial Grand Master, said: ’The work of Age UK Lindsey is vital for so many people in rural Lincolnshire. I’d urge brethren to volunteer to help with the befriending service. It involves an hour week of a chat over a cup of tea, but it can be a lifeline for someone.'

To find out more, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DONALD'S STORY

‘Donald’ isn’t the real name of the man in this story, but the story itself is all too real. Donald and his landlord wanted his story to be shared to show how Age UK Lindsey, with the support of Lincolnshire’s Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation, had turned his life around.

Serious financial problems, and the worry they brought, were making Donald ill. He wasn’t sleeping and he couldn’t see a way around his difficulties.

Eviction was a very real threat, but his landlord, (let’s call him John), didn’t want it to come to that. He told us: ‘Donald is in his 70s, and relies on his state pension and a relatively modest housing benefit award. His financial situation was causing him distress and anxiety.’

John contacted Age UK Lindsey, at which point volunteer Pam Cox entered the story. John said: ‘Donald and I met her two or three times, and she was instrumental in getting him a higher level of attendance allowance and improved pension credit, which allowed him not only to clear his rent arrears, but made him £150 a week better off.’

Pam, who volunteered to help Age UK for six months almost ten years ago, and has never left, said there was as much as £1m in unclaimed benefits in the system. ‘But the application process can be very difficult,’ she said. ‘Even if you understand the system, and how to fill in forms, it can take as long as two hours to complete one application, and that can be a barrier to people applying.’

John said: ‘I really cannot stress enough just how magnificent the work of Age UK Lindsey has been.  I’m full of admiration for the organisation, and Pam Cox in particular. It’s an excellent organisation, and its work can’t be commended highly enough.’

Donald, given such vital support, is now very happy with this life. The anxiety has gone, and with a smile on his face he was able to say: ‘I’ve just been to see the doctor. He says I’m 400% better than I was. I’m cheerful again.’

Warwickshire Freemasons have been busy over the past months fundraising to present a £10,000 donation to the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts

On 13 December 2018, the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Kent, in his capacity as President of the Scout Association, formally opened the new jetties at the Headquarters of the 2nd Warwick Sea Scouts in St Nicholas Park, Warwick, on the River Avon.

On a chilly but sunny day, the jetties were opened with all due pomp and ceremony and afterwards, the Provincial Grand Master of Warwickshire Freemasons David Macey presented a cheque for £1,000 to Janette Eslick, New HQ Fundraiser, towards the next phase of the ‘Building a Future’ project.

This event inspired local Freemasons Steven Price and Peter Round from Alderson House to go to new lengths to support such a valuable and valued organisation in the local community. Steve had long wanted to establish a community fund at Alderson House to support local charities and enhance their profile in the community. This seemed the ideal opportunity to do so. 

They agreed a nominal target of raising £2,000 for the Sea Scouts and the Province of Warwickshire agreed to match whatever was raised. The Provincial Grand Master also undertook to take the project to London in the hope that the United Grand Lodge of England would match fund and make the donation really worthwhile.

In the past six months, the Freemasons at Alderson House raised just short of £3,200 and as promised the Provincial Grand Master took it to London and they agreed match funding.  Finally, the Province of Warwickshire not only match funded the total but enhanced it to a round £10,000.

The cheque for £10,000 was presented to the Sea Scouts by David Macey, at Alderson House on 22 of September where it was received with very grateful thanks.

As part of the Tercentenary celebrations back in 2017, Norfolk Freemasons decided to create a single source containing a definitive written historical record of all their lodges

To that end a small committee was formed with the aim of gathering together and compiling all available histories into a single document. The overriding brief being that the histories included must have been produced by and for the Lodges – their own histories, in their own words.

The resultant three-volume history of their individual lodges provides a comprehensive overview of Freemasonry in Norfolk and includes all available material to 31st December 2018.

Ahead of Grand Lodge Quarterly Communications in September, the Provincial Grand Master for Norfolk Stephen Allen, together with other members of the Norfolk Provincial Executive and two members of Norfolk Blues, their group for newly joined Norfolk Freemasons, were pleased to present a copy of the Compiled History of Norfolk Lodges to Martin Cherry, Librarian at the Museum of Freemasonry, at Freemasons' Hall.

Martin Cherry said: 'It was a real pleasure to meet Stephen and his team to receive this fantastic record of Norfolk Freemasonry into the Museum collection.'

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