Freemasonry in the community – Hospice Cheque Presentations by local Freemasons
For the past 30 years the Freemasons’ Grand Charity has supported hospices across England and Wales by donating more than £11 million.
As part of this year’s donation of £600,000 six hospices in the Province of East Kent received £18,785 between:
Demelza (Kent): £3,073
Ellenorlions (Adult): £3,160
Heart of Kent Hospice: £2,540
Pilgrims Hospice Canterbury: £3,304
Pilgrims Hospice Thanet: £3,304
Pilgrims Hospice Ashford: £3,404
Support is crucial for ensuring a continued high quality service in hospices and every year Freemasons all over the country work together to provide funding for hospice services.
The Provincial Grand Charity Steward, Worshipful Brother Wayne Smith said: “Following the ethos of the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity, we wanted to go beyond just sending a cheque. Freemasons are an integral part of our communities so we should try to do things a little differently. When we receive an application for a Grant we encourage members of the local Lodges, to make contact with the Petitioner and ascertain what help is required. This helps us to establish a connection with that local need and personal contact means that we can see the outcomes of the grants we make and see what the money has been spent on.“
So it was that representatives from over 30 Lodges and Chapters from Gravesend, Maidstone, Sittingbourne and Sheerness sent Brethren to the first three events and for these local ambassadors to make the presentations.
At each event the hospices gave the Brethren a talk on how the donations will be spent together with a tour of the facilities, seeing the equipment that the donations of Freemasons have helped to buy. At Demelza hospice the Brethren were also shown a DVD made by the children of their experiences at the hospice ‘adding life to days when days cannot be added to lives’.
Importantly the events also gave the Brethren and hospices the chance to talk about forthcoming projects in their areas and where Masonic assistance, both financial and resource-based, can give that hospice more substantial support. Examples discussed included: providing skills such as proof-reading, stewarding of events and also initiatives to train both volunteers and the highly-skilled nursing staff.
After the presentations Wayne said: “The care, compassion and support hospices provide to our local communities is outstanding and we are delighted that we are able to show our continuing dedication to their cause.”