Buckinghamshire’s Assistant Grand Master Philip Blacklaw has visited The Princes Centre following the pledge of £4,000 towards the cost of a new kitchen, on behalf of BMCF (Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund)

In 2012, the centre at Princes Risborough was due to close before a community-led ‘Social Enterprise’ was established to take over the running of the centre and save it from closure.

In the years since, it has turned from a loss-making facility into a sustainable award-winning centre of excellence. Last year, the centre took on Bourne End Day Care Centre which was also faced with closure and together they provide day care for 140 clients including those with dementia, mental health issues, learning difficulties and the frail elderly.

Both centres provide award-winning care to vulnerable members of society, as well as enabling much needed respite for their full-time carers.

Members of Carrington Lodge No. 2421 in Buckinghamshire have supported the centres with both practical and financial assistance over the years.

As a special surprise on the 7th birthday of the centres, it was announced that they had been awarded The Queens Award for Voluntary Service.

Buckinghamshire’s Assistant Provincial Grand Master Phil Blacklaw joined up with the Winslow Rotary Club and the Lions Club of Winslow at St Laurence Church in Winslow to give a presentation to members of the local community

The event was organised by Reverend Lightbown to give an overview of the good work the three groups are involved with. Neil Smith of Winslow Rotary club was first up, followed by Tony Morley of the Winslow Lions.

Phil Blacklaw was last to speak, pointing out that all three organisations had similar charitable objectives and that they could all collaborate more in the future.

Phil then went on to present the work Buckinghamshire Freemasonry is involved with including charitable funding and community acitivies.

Afterwards they sat down together to discuss for a productive chat on how they could help each other.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £1,000 to buy new strips and footballs for the Waterhall Stars under 11 football team

George Watt and Sue Redband from Waterhall Stars attended a Buckinghamshire masonic cheque presentation event held in Aylesbury to report on the effect the donation had made to the junior football team.

The team, which draws its young players from a deprived area of Milton Keynes, were in need of a new strip which the grant from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Foundation (BMCF) has now allowed them to buy.

At the event, George explained to the audience the remarkable rise in morale experienced by the team, which culminated in cup success at the end of the season with the MKDDL Unde r11 Group winner’s trophy.

It was time for tea when Buckinghamshire Freemason Andrew Hough visited Buckingham Youth Centre to see the new kitchen and flooring which was installed courtesy of a grant of £2,000 from the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund

The centre had previously suffered a burst pipe which had flooded several rooms and damaged the kitchen facilities beyond repair causing it to have to close temporarily.

Andrew was welcomed by Katie Cleminson, Deputy Youth Club Leader, and John Barnett, Director and Trustee, who gave him a tour of the centre and showed how the Buckinghamshire Freemasons donation had helped.

The Youth Centre is an award-winning charity which provides a safe place for young people between the ages of 11- 19 to socialise, play sports and learn new skills. It also provides work experience, Duke of Edinburgh placements and training and mentoring for young leaders.

The centre is used by a variety of groups including Young Carers and Clearly Speaking and the new kitchen facilities mean that the teaching of cooking skills to young people with Autism and Aspergers can continue.

The new kitchen also makes the centre more attractive to a wide variety of user groups which will ensure the important work of the centre will continue to be supported.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £1,898 to Harry’s Rainbow, a Milton Keynes-based charity which supports siblings and parents who have suffered a child bereavement, to buy two much-needed laptop computers

The grant, which comes through the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund (BMCF), will provide new laptops which will allow more efficient assistance to bereaved children and allow them to continue to provide assistance to families experiencing these very challenging circumstances.

This small charity provides a wide range of assistance including memory boxes and monthly Rainbow Group meetings, which allows bereaved children to meet and talk with others in similar circumstances.

The meetings help to bolster self-esteem and help children realise it is ok to smile and have fun. Harry’s Rainbow also provides free caravan holidays and trips with the aim of helping families to create some new happy memories.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons have donated £3,980 to the new Milton Keynes Cancer Centre, which will help provide all the furnishings and equipment for one of the single rooms

The donation comes via the BMCF (Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund), with the Cancer Centre due to admit its first patients in December 2019.

Buckinghamshire’s Assistant Provincial Grand Master Phil Blacklaw and BMCF representative Andrew Hough met with MK Hospital Trust fundraiser Paul Strong at the new Cancer Centre to see how work is progressing.

The new centre will provide treatment and a wide variety of support and information services for patients. The centre will also include a dedicated haematology-oncology ward for 24 in-patients including 16 single rooms with ensuite facilities. The centre will also allow a 22% increase in outpatient capacity and a 20% increase in haematology-oncology day cases.

The new facility will mean that far fewer patients will need to make difficult journeys to other hospitals and that their treatment and recovery will be in a state of the art centre, which has the capacity to allow patients dignity and privacy at a very difficult time.

Paul Strong, MK Hospital Trust fundraiser, commented: ‘We are extremely grateful for this donation from BMCF, which will pay for the furnishing and equipping of one of the single rooms on the in-patient ward. Also, just as importantly, having the backing of such a well-respected local organisation as the BMCF will help us to attract further support in the Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire area.’

Buckinghamshire Freemason Professor Christopher B-Lynch has had his photo displayed in The National Gallery in recognition of his distinguished career in obstetric and gynaecological medicine at Milton Keynes University Hospital

The National Gallery website outlines his professional life:Christopher B-Lynch has saved the lives of countless women worldwide, after developing and publishing (1997) a surgical technique, known as the B-Lynch Brace suture, which can halt postpartum haemorrhaging without the intervention of pelvic surgery, thus also potentially preserving fertility. An obstetrician and gynaecological surgeon, B-Lynch was educated at Oxford and St Bartholomew’s Medical College, London, where he graduated in medicine in 1973.

‘Following various appointments at Bart’s, Paris and Oxford, he became chief assistant to the Queen’s gynaecologist (1981-3). In 1984, he was appointed Consultant to the Oxford region, based at Milton Keynes University Hospital (NHS Trust), and set up the department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology there. Lynch is also a Commissioner for the World Health Organisation for women’s health improvement in Africa, and after retiring from public medicine in 2010, he returned to his native Sierra Leone to teach medical students and doctors under the humanitarian organisation CapaCare. The President of Sierra Leone awarded him the GORSL (knighthood equivalent) for his work and charity internationally.’

Christopher is internationally renowned for his work in this discipline. He became a Freemason in 1983 when he joined London West Africa Lodge No. 5485 and Rahere Lodge No. 2546 in 1985, both in London, prior to becoming a member of St Giles Lodge No. 8555 in Buckinghamshire in 2016.

Rennie Grove Hospice Care have received a £800 donation from Buckinghamshire Freemasons

The grant comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and is part of a £600,000 grant made to 237 Hospices across England and Wales.

Buckinghamshire Freemason Peter Thomas (MCF Area Representative) presented the certificate to members of the Rennie Grove Hospice Care team, who are based in Tring.

Christine Goldsmith, Trust Fundraising Manager at the hospice, commented: ‘Thank you for the generous grant received from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

‘Your grant has enabled Rennie Grove Hospice Care to continue to support local people with life-limiting illnesses and their families across Herts and Bucks. This grant provides 32 hours of specialist care from a Rennie Grove Hospice at home nurse.’

To mark Ken Rayment’s 90th birthday on 28th February 2019, the Manor Class of Masonic Instruction members, both old and new, came along to celebrate his special day

Ken has been involved with the Manor Class of Masonic Instruction for 32 years and is the current Chairman.

Manor class is a weekly class of instruction at the Bletchley Masonic Centre, which is open to all Freemasons and assists them to learn and develop their emulation ritual. They practice a different degree ceremony each week. 

Although Ken is a member of Post Curam Otium No. 4921 in London, he resides in Buckinghamshire.

Alongside enjoying a birthday buffet, Ken was presented with a fine 15-year-old Malt Whiskey and an engraved glass to commemorate this milestone. Buckinghamshire Freemason Colin Milton also produced a framed certificate of thanks.

Ken's masonic knowledge knows no bounds, and he can usually answer the most obscure questions without even referring to his extremely well-worn and ritual book.

Heart of Bucks, the Community Foundation for Buckinghamshire, has been able to award a grant for £4,830 to Black Park Shed – thanks to a donation of £3,799 from the Buckinghamshire Masonic Grass Roots Fund

The Black Park Shed, which is located within the Black Park Country Park in Wexham, Buckinghamshire, is a newly established organisation which has been set up to meet the needs of those in the local area. It aims to combat the negative effects of isolation and loneliness on a person’s health and wellbeing.

Shed members are often retired or unemployed and welcome the opportunity to share experience, knowledge and skills in a safe and enjoyable environment. As well as the friendship and company, there is the opportunity to work on creative projects of benefit to both the individual and community.

The funding has helped them to create a meeting place that is fit for purpose and safe and, going forward, members will be able to raise funds by repairing items or making items for sale.

Les Stone,'Black Park Shed Treasurer commented: 'Black Park Shed are now able to plan for their future in a building which will be the heart of all our meetings and activities. We now have the opportunity to take in more members and grow over the coming years.

'Without this funding we could have struggled to get past the initial stages of establishing ourselves and may have even failed to get off the ground. We thank you for your support.'

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