Building the future

The Provincial Grand Charity has recently supported an application for assistance from the students at the Hodgkinson Brickwork Academy based at the Ilkeston Campus of the Derby College.

The Academy has been established to assist with the serious skills shortage within the construction industry. Set up by W. Bro Ian Hodgkinson, a member of Cantelupe Lodge 8247 and Derbyshire based brickwork contractor, the courses available provide training on practical brickwork skills and theory studies for young school leavers which then enables them to achieve the NVQ level 2/3 standard.

£500 has been granted by the Provincial Grand Charity to assist with the expenses incurred by the unpaid students, some of which travel up to twenty miles using various forms of public transport just to attend the College.

The photograph shows the students with the Academy’s founder, W. Bro Ian Hodgkinson together with the Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Charity Steward during a recent visit.

£40,000 donated to ‘WellChild’ by the Freemasons Grand Charity

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity has donated £ 40,000 to the WellChild Charity who provide specialist highly trained nurses caring for very sick children who have complex heath issues.  The Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham has a specialist unit providing an intake for very sick children suffering from the most serious and complex heath problems.  It serves Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire.  The QMC unit is fortunate to have a specialist children’s nurse, funded by the charity, who provides care and practical support to sick children and their families both in and out of the hospital.

Further information can be found on the web site

The photograph shows W. Bros Michael Hitchcock, Roger Garrett and Bruce Goodman, Provincial Grand Charity Stewards for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire, presenting the cheque on behalf of the Freemasons’ Grand Charity to Rachel, the QMC’s specialist children’s nurse.

Team Derbyshire Freemasons raise £770 for men’s health

A team of eight Derbyshire Freemasons have raised £770 for men’s health charity, the Movember Foundation, by growing a moustache during the month of Movember – sorry November. The team was lead by Movember veteran Bro. Pete Walklate of Hartington Lodge No. 1085. “Team Derbyshire Freemasons” (see the team page on the Movember website) wish to thank everyone who donated, encouraged, ridiculed their upper lip growth and generally supported them. Perhaps next year the team will grow as well as the upper lips. Most have now removed their moustache (mine went at 12.01 on 1st December) but the evidence is still there for all to see on the website.

LEMBA donates to local branch of Parkinson’s UK

Long Eaton Masonic Benevolent Association (LEMBA) have been pleased to respond to a request for funding from the Long Eaton and District Branch of Parkinson’s UK. In 2013 LEMBA and Provincial Grand Charity donated £1,000 to enable an exercise group to be set up. Meeting for one hour every Friday, the group hires a small room for carers to give them a break from their partners and to employ the services of a neuro-physiotherapist who leads the group with a dedicated exercise plan. The group is so successful that a second exercise group is now planned.

With funds running low LEMBA was asked to consider further funding and has been pleased to donate £250. Derbyshire Provincial Grand Charity has been pleased to match our donation. The photograph shows W Bro. Bob Wheat presenting the two cheques at one of the group’s recent meetings to Sue Brown, a fund raiser for the group and herself living with the illness.

St Oswald Lodge & Provincial Grand Charity provide a defibrillator for Ashbourne

St Oswald Lodge No. 850, supported by the Provincial Grand Charity, has funded the provision of Ashbourne’s fifth life-saving defibrillator machines to be mounted in a public place in the town.

The machine is mounted on the outside wall of Ashbourne Masonic Hall, also home to Betty’s Tea Room. It is used to restart the heart after a cardiac arrest and is fully automated. It can be used by anyone, whether or not they have had training in first aid.

The project was initiated by W Bro. Tony Higton and supported by the Lodge, who raised half of the £2,000 needed within one week. The Provincial Grand Charity made a £500 grant towards the cost and W Bro. Richard Oldfield donated the final sum needed.

The Provincial Grand Charity is a big supporter of public access defibrillators and has already supported the provision of machines in Stanton in the Peak, Ilkeston and other Derbyshire towns.

Okeover Lodge No. 1324 recently made three grants of £200 each to local community causes sponsored by members of the Lodge.

Amber Community First Responders

Amber Community First Responders is an eighteen strong group trained by East Midlands Ambulance Service to attend life threatening 999 calls. First Responders are required to provide their own kits which include Defibrillator, Oxygen and uniform. Currently half the group are trained and they have now received eight responder kits on indefinite loan from East Midlands Ambulance Service. The £200 will go towards providing further kits for the group. The photograph shows the Master of Okeover Lodge, W Bro. Philip Mulchinock, accompanied by the Charity Steward, W Bro. Edward Foulds, presenting the cheque to W Bro. Cliff Hall, whose daughter Sarah is a member of the group.

St Andrew’s Church Swanwick

The £200 will go to support essential maintenance of the church building, the total cost of which is likely to exceed £25,000.

St Matthew’s Church Pentrich

The £200 will go towards the cost of laying a path to provide access to new toilet facilities at the church, and will allow the church to play a greater part in the social life of the village.

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity donates £600,000 to hospices

The Freemasons’ Grand Charity continues to support hospices with a total donation of £600,000 in 2015. 245 adult and children’s hospices across England and Wales have received funding, to provide essential services to those affected by terminal or life limiting illness.  Among those to receive assistance are Dorothy House Hospice in Wiltshire, Hope House Children’s Hospice in Shropshire and Marie Curie Hospice, Cardiff and the Vale in South Wales.  Since 1984, nearly £12 million has been donated to hospices’ services by The Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Derbyshire Freemasons assist relief efforts on the Islands of Vanuatu

In March 2015 Cyclone Pam carved a path of destruction through the southern Pacific Islands of Vanuatu in one of the worst natural disasters experienced in that part of the world.  Derbyshire Freemasons assist relief efforts on the Islands of Vanuatu

The cyclone closely followed a volcanic eruption and earthquake, all with the space of three weeks.  The devastation on the Islands was immense with sixteen inhabitants loosing their lives.

Lodge of Discovery No. 8737, an English Constitution Lodge based on the Islands, mounted a world wide appeal to provide aid to the victims.  The Freemasons of Derbyshire, via the Provincial Grand Charity, donated £1,000 to the appeal.

One of the projects completed by the appeal is the building of a new library for Suango School.  Click here for a newsletter from Lodge of Discovery providing further details.

Erewash Lodge Garden Party donation to Treetops Hospice Care

The Worshipful Master of Erewash Lodge, Alan Clough, and his wife, Maria, recently held a Garden Party at their home, which was attended by members of Erewash Lodge, Rutland Lodge and friends. Guests enjoyed a glass of champagne and a a traditional Old English cream tea provided by Maria. The garden party raised £905 from a tombolla and donations. W Bro. Clough later presented the money raised to Mary Rose, Community & Events Fundraiser (East), for Treetops Hospice Care.

The Grand Charity donates £864,000

On 8th October 2015 The Freemasons’ Grand Charity announced it had approved grants totalling £864,000 to be donated to 53 charities. 28 charities will receive grants totalling £797,000 as part of the Major Grants Scheme in support of Medical Research, Youth Opportunities, Vulnerable People and Religious Buildings. 25 charities will receive a total of £67,000 as part of the Minor Grants Scheme, to help cover their core costs.

For more information click here.

Special Friends Belper

The Chairman of the Provincial Grand Charity, W Bro. Peter Hodcroft, recently visited “Special Friends Belper”, a group set up by a local Mum, Lucy Sarna, to provide friendship and support to children with additional need and their parents or carers. Peter was present to see at first hand the work the group does, the Freemasons’ Fund (a fund we have created within Foundation Derbyshire) having donated £919 to their work.  He also took 36 teddy bears for the children, which were given to the children in goody bags as part of the group’s first birthday celebrations.

While the children play the adults can talk. Lucy says that it is not a place to go to moan about your problems but rather somewhere to be with people who understand because they are experiencing the same problems as well. The group  celebrated its first birthday with a party. Lucy says:

“The sensory party took place yesterday afternoon and I can’t tell you how wonderful it felt to watch all our diverse and fantastic children having such a great time together as well as the Mums and Dads having so much to share and in common. It was a really relaxed and happy occasion for families who normally run a mile from attending family events!

“The children absolutely loved their party bags containing natural bath colours, a flashing ball and their very own soft teddy bear (provided by the Freemasons).”

Lucy also forwarded some quotes from adults who attended the party:

“Thank you for a lovely party .. it was good to see some Daddies chatting and all the kiddies did well too. I don’t know where I would be without Special Friends… the support here cannot be measured.”

“I can say hand on heart if this group wasn’t here I would be back in a deep cocktail of depression/grieving/denial and can say I know now I won’t get in that place again as there is always someone on the end of the phone, on here or free for a coffee to off load to. Thanks goes out to everyone part of the SF family…”

“What a wonderful group to be a part of, well done everyone for being awesome, high-fives all round!!!”

“It really was a lovely day. I can honestly say that I have met some special/friends for life friends. Great bunch of people. X”

“I’m so glad to be a part of such an amazing group and love to help out, really enjoyed today xx”

Lodge of St John donates to Help For Homeless Veterans

Dale Bywater, Master of The Lodge of St. John 8070 in Belper, has presented Tom Wood of Help For Homeless Veterans with a cheque for £500 on behalf of his Lodge. 

An ex-Army Veteran himself, Dale has chosen H4HV as his Charity of Choice during his tenure as Master of his Lodge and said he was ‘delighted to be able to help such a worthy cause’. The money was raised on his Installation Night and at a Ladies’ Lunch via a raffle.

More details of the H4HV Charity can be found here.

Vulcan Lodge No. 4382 – assists Alfreton Park Community Special School

Alfreton Park Community Special School caters for children affected by Autism and very severe learning difficulties. The members of Vulcan Lodge 4382 have donated £500 towards the cost of purchase for sensory lighting to be installed within the new swimming pool at the School. In turn and following an application to the Provincial Grand Charity of Derbyshire the amount doubled when it was was fully match funded.

Tutbury Castle Lodge No.2630 – Donation to Bank House – 14thAugust 2015

Bank House is a self funding charitable organisation for those in South Derbyshire who suffer distress / mental health or bereavement issues. Clients attend Bank House voluntarily for immediate help. When appropriate they may be referred by local hospital or G.P. Surgeries.Bank House

Tutbury Castle Lodge made a donation of £250, which The Derbyshire Provincial Grand Charity has kindly matched. On Friday, 14th August, the Worshipful Master of Tutbury Castle Lodge, WBro. Bernard Taylor, and other brethren attended Bank House to present the cheques.Bank House presentation

Bank House were most grateful and have written to the Lodge to thank the brethren for their kindness.

The photographs show (1) part of Bank House (2) The WM of Tutbury Castle Lodge, Bro. Bernard Taylor, together with Bros. Richard Clarke and Steven Twigg, making the presentation to the Service Manager, Denise Shillabeer, and her deputy, Jon.

St Werburga Lodge No. 4147 – White Table Evening – 29th May 2015

This year, the Master, WBro Lakhbir S Bola (Dave), made this annual event a charity night to raise money for The Holbrook Centre for Autism in Holbrook, near Belper.

The evening was attended by Laura Russell, Head of Department of the Holbrook School for Autism, WBro Mick Hitchcock, Provincial Grand Charity Steward, wives and friends of our lodge and a number of non-Masonic guests (with wives and children). This was also the first time the Provincial Grand Master, RWBro Steven Varley, had attended St Werburga, his own Lodge, since his installation on 1st April.

Initially guests were invited in to the main temple for short talks on Masonic Charities by WBros Mick Knifton and Mick Hitchcock. After this the guests were welcomed to the dining room for the evening meal and entertainment.


Laura Russell from the Holbrook School for Autism explained that the children use the school’s sensory room to help them relax so they can learn in a calm environment. She explained that a lot of the equipment was broken and requires replacing urgently. The School has two sensory bubble tubes which are currently out of order for the forseable future. So some of the money raised on this occasion will go towards replacing these which cost £450 each.

The entertainment for the night was provided by WBro Ted Harrison who provided a comedy act which kept everyone amused.

The night ended with a raffle and an auction, with prizes donated by Derby County Football Club, Slice of India Restaurant and brethren from St Werburga Lodge.

The night raised a total of £839.12 which was made from the raffle, auction, donations from members who could not attend, the offertery and £300 donated from St Werburga Lodge.

It was a fantastic night of Masons and non Masons getting together to have an enjoyable evening and raise money for an excellent cause to help a local special needs school.

The Worshipful Master of St Werburga Lodge will be attending the School shortly to visit the children, see where the money will be spent and to hand the remainder of the balance to Holbrook school.

Flyfishers’ Lodge No 9347 – Fly Fishing Day for Children with Special Needs – 11th May 2015

On 11th May, Flyfishers Lodge No 9347, under the umbrella of the Masonic Fishing Charity (MTSFC), entertained 20 children & carers from The Alfreton Park Community Special School.  The children were treIMG_1742ated to a day’s fly-fishing at The Yeaveley Estate near Ashbourne, with all of them playing and landing some very fine rainbow trout. Mr Stuart Lees of Ashbourne provided one of his Bouncing Castles free of charge, which added to the enjoyment of the children. Hot barbecue food and a cold buffet lunch was provided by the brethren and their wives. This was followed by presentations of certificates and medals by the Provincial Grand Master, Steven Varley. A most enjoyable day for all!

Bro Peter Mitchell of Flyfisher’s Lodge is the Derbyshire branch representative of the MTSFC.  He stated,IMG_1511 “It’s the most enjoyable & rewarding day of our social calendar and we look forward to it every year!”

Our Past Provincial Grand Master, Graham Rudd, has become the Patron of Flyfishers Lodge Children’s Day, having given his valued support over many years.

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