Sophie Countess of Wessex pays return visit to the Hereford Haven
Haven is a charity which provides emotional and physical support to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The Countess of Wessex called the Hereford Haven a 'fantastic organisation', and thanked all the fundraisers gathered for giving their time and backing to the charity for which she is an active supporter.
While visiting the Haven Centre in St Owen Street, she met and greeted the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master of Herefordshire. She thanked him and his fellow Freemasons for their substantial and continued support of Hereford Haven. The Herefordshire Province is an official Guardian of the Hereford Haven. Earlier in the year The Freemasons' Grand Charity donated £30,000 to Breast Haven Cancer UK.
The Rev David Bowen, in conversation with Frankie Devereux, Manager of the Hereford Haven, said how pleased Freemasons were to be able to contribute to the work of the Haven, through the Grand Charity, the Province of Herefordshire and its individual lodges. He hoped that such support would be maintained well into the foreseeable future.
2020 vision in Herefordshire
The Province of Herefordshire has officially launched its 2020 Festival Appeal by presenting an initial donation of £45,000 to the Masonic Samaritan Fund. Herefordshire Provincial Grand Master the Rev David Bowen opened the appeal at the Provincial Grand Lodge in June.
MSF President Willie Shackell received the donation from the Province and offered his sincere thanks for such a generous contribution towards the Fund’s work. He said, ‘Your generosity will make a tremendous difference to so many people waiting to receive the treatment and care they need to live healthy and independent lives.’
£5k in donations PER YEAR to breast cancer support centre
In 2011, the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for the Province of Herefordshire, initiated the desire among Freemasons to become a Guardian of the Haven Breast Cancer Centre in Hereford. As such, this assured and supplemented the long standing local masonic support for the Haven with a guaranteed annual donation of £1,000. Over the last decade, the average donation by local Freemasons to the centre has been upwards of £5,000 per year.
Through the pages of the Hereford Times, the Rev Bowen has now issued a challenge to other organisations within the county of Herefordshire, to join the Province in becoming Guardians of the Haven in support of the latest Haven appeal to raise £30,000 to pay for an additional qualified nurse, as public demand for the service has recently increased by 51%.
Frankie Devereux, Manager of the Hereford Haven said that the £30,000 will be set against the £270,000 a year that it takes to run the centre, and with no government funding, the Haven is entirely dependent on charity and its future network of Guardians, Trusts and community fundraisers.
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.
RW Bros Tim Henderson-Ross, the Rev David Bowen and Robert Vaughan presented Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager at Strensham air ambulance base, with a combined donation of £12,000 as part of Grand Charity's support to all 22 rescue services in England and Wales – financial support which since 2007 has totalled nearly £2m.
The country’s air ambulance service, without either government or National Lottery funding, relies on such voluntary donations to operate its critical role. Annie Newell, in her final year as Fundraising Manager, expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and generous support given to the charity by Freemasons over many years. Michelle McCracken will be taking over Annie’s responsibilities in September.
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.
An invited tour of the extensive new £8 million build at St Michael’s Hospice on the last day of 2014 by Herefordshire Freemasons, reflected the extent of appreciation for their committed support
In the presence of Ruth Denison, Fundraising Manager at the hospice, the RW Bro the Rev David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, accompanied by fellow Freemasons, was informed that the new building would be the most advanced and highly specified in the country.
The new facilities, including the imaginative and highly technical five clusters of four bedded areas for in-patients, representing a significant increase in capacity, will enable the hospice to sustain its excellent national reputation.
The visiting local Freemasons were also told that the projected £3.2 million refurbishment of the thirty-year-old part of the existing hospice will take place during the coming twelve months, thus completing a challenging period of development.
The Rev David Bowen presented a donation of £2,804 on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity – since 1984, the charity has donated more than £11 million to hospices in England and Wales – and David Hudson, Worshipful Master of Coningsby Lodge presented an additional £500 on behalf of the members.
Speaking about the donations, David Bowen said: 'Freemasons in Herefordshire are pleased that The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has continued to provide this vital funding for our local hospice. The care, compassion and support the hospice provides to the community is outstanding and we are delighted that we are able to show our continuing dedication to their cause.'
Herefordshire Freemasons, family and friends of Hereford Cathedral, accompanied The Dean of Hereford, The Very Reverend Michael Tavinor, in celebration of the completion of the refurbishment of the old fountain in the Cathedral Cloister
Simon Hudson, stone mason at the cathedral, undertook the work using Forest of Dean stone. The new fountain surround reflects the stylised ball flower design as seen on the cathedral tower.
Relatives and friends of the late Reverend Philip Barrett vicar choral at Hereford, and of the late Tony Hunter-Choat past Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge in Hereford, sponsored the work.
During the service of celebration held in the Cathedral Cloister, The Dean praised the community spirit and dedication of those named: he read extracts from Reverend Barrett’s 1993 Barchester: English Cathedral Life in the 19th Century, which became and remains a standard reference work, and was supported by readings by RW Bro The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire, and by Reverend Canon Dr Maureen Palmer.
The present Worshipful Master of Palladian Lodge, W Bro Denis Cox, stated that the project had been initiated by W Bro Tony Hunter-Choat to commemorate the 250th Anniversary of the foundation of Herefordshire’s oldest masonic lodge: the brethren of Palladian Lodge donated £1,000 accordingly, thus maintaining the strong link with the cathedral evident through the ages. Mrs Linda Hunter-Choat, and daughters Sarah and Felicity, were in attendance at the celebration.
Masons praised by Countess of Wessex
Herefordshire mason Allan Lloyd and his wife Angela represented the Provincial Grand Master and the Province at a celebration of giving for the Haven Breast Cancer Support charity. The ceremony was held at Frogmore House, Windsor, in the company of the Countess of Wessex (right), an active supporter of the three Haven centres in London, Leeds and Hereford.
Herefordshire PGM The Rev David Bowen initiated the present level of support, which has qualified the Province to become a Guardian of The Haven. In her presentation, the Countess commented on the long-standing support of Freemasons, with an acknowledgement of the patronage of the Province of Herefordshire.
The three Provincial Grand Masters for Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire collectively presented a combined donation of £12,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance from their national charity, The Freemasons’ Grand Charity
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has been a regular supporter of air ambulance charities in recent years, donating over £1.5 million since 2007 to the twenty-two rescue services.
Air ambulances, without either government or National Lottery funding, rely on voluntary donations to operate. Support from grant-makers like the Freemasons means that doctors and paramedics reach patients in emergency situations as quickly as possible – saving lives in the process. This is especially true for rural areas. Annie Newell, Fundraising Manager for Midlands Air Ambulance expressed her sincere gratitude for the continued commitment and sustained level of generous support of the Freemasons.
Speaking about the donation, the Right Worshipful Brother The Reverend David Bowen, Provincial Grand Master for Herefordshire said: 'We are delighted to be able to show our support for Midlands Air Ambulance once again. Charitable giving is central to Freemasons as evident that in 2012 the Province of Herefordshire donated £54,000 to Midlands Air Ambulance as a result of a designated three year campaign of support. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity works on behalf of all Freemasons in England and Wales, donating millions of pounds to worthy causes every year.'
It is with a continued sense of pride within the three Provinces of Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire, that the logo of the masonic square and compass is displayed on the tail fins of the distinctly coloured red and yellow Midlands Air Ambulance based at Strensham, Worcestershire, off the M5.
Photograph taken at Strensham during the presentation of £12,000, with staff of Midlands Air Ambulance who over the years have become close acquaintances of the Freemasons present.