Donations have recently been received from the Provinces of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, Surrey, Shropshire and the Mark Province of Cumberland and Westmorland. Lodges and individuals have also given generously.
Some have even participated in fundraising events such as marathons, mountain runs, and, for Ivor Macklin from Kent, a freezing February swim around Boscombe Pier. The captains of Chobham Golf Club have also run a whole year of fundraising activities for the charity.
As well as donating and raising money, many Freemasons volunteer at the hospices to help maintain the Lifelites equipment and to ensure that care staff are trained to use it. They also organise additional fundraising for their local Lifelites project, enabling the charity’s support to continue.
Lifelites chief executive, Simone Enefer- Doy, said: ‘The support from Freemasons is very important to us and helps Lifelites make a world of difference to the lives of children in hospices. Our volunteers are local Freemasons and are a shining example of the good work that masons do for local communities around the country.’
Lifelites (Charity No. 1115655) is a separate but subsidiary charity of the RMTGB. If you would like to donate to, or help support your local Lifelites project, please call 0207 440 4200 or visit www.lifelites.org for more information.
The Duke spoke to everyone present and saw the work of the province in its ‘Freemasonry in the Community’ projects, particularly the iHelp youth competition and the Rock Ride 1,500-mile charity bicycle ride from Gibraltar to Stowe School.
The former project has involved heats of young groups in Buckinghamshire competing for prize-money worth £13,500 to show the positive side of young people, while the latter project has raised around £70,000 so far, including funds for several non-masonic charities - the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association (SSAFA), the Royal British Legion, Air Ambulance and the Pace Centre, Aylesbury, who provide an education for life through programmes which incorporate all daily living activities and address the needs of the whole child. In addition, the Rock Ride also raised £22,000 for the province’s RMTGB 2010 festival.
The continuing support the RMTGB provides to young people is only possible due to the donations that are often inspired by the imaginative fundraising activities of Freemasons.
This summer has witnessed prime examples of such imagination, with three incredible journeys being made to raise money for the RMTGB.
To mark the launch of the 2016 Festival, John Donoghue from the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight cycled over 500 miles to deliver Festival details to every masonic centre in the Province.
After four days of cycling, John said: ‘I thought it would be an eye-catching way to highlight the Festival and hope it marks the start of a successful period of fundraising for the RMTGB.’
John had previously donated a kidney to his daughter, making his journey even more remarkable. He is hoping his endeavours will raise in excess of £20,000 towards the Festival Appeal.
Manuel Mouzo and his son Sebastian walked the El Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain. Manuel, from Rochester in East Kent, said: ‘I had always wanted to make this spectacular journey and raising money for the RMTGB made the experience even more enjoyable.’
Their twenty-six-day journey has so far raised £1,000.
Buckinghamshire Freemasons organised the Rock Ride, a 1,500 mile cycle ride from Gibraltar to Stowe School. Nine cyclists took part in the journey which lasted fourteen days and involved climbs totalling twice the height of Mount Everest. As well as helping a number of other charities, the Rock Ride has so far raised over £22,000 for the 2010 Festival in support of the RMTGB.
Les Hutchinson, RMTGB Chief executive, commented: ‘These remarkable fundraising journeys show the charitable nature of Freemasonry at its very best. I am extremely grateful to everyone who raises funds for the RMTGB. We rely heavily on these important initiatives to support our lifechanging work, particularly during these difficult times.’
Go to www.rmtgb.org for further information about the work of the RMTGB and fundraising.