FREEMASONRY IN THE COMMUNITY
Looking back at the contribution Berkshire Freemasons have made across the local community in the past year.
The Provinces of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, together with the MCF, make a meaningful donation to THAMES HOSPICE
In July 2019, Thames Hospice received donations totalling £60,000 from Charities associated with the Provinces of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire and the main masonic Charity, The MCF. This collaborative venture enabled Freemasons to make a significant contribution to help the local communities centred on East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire.
This is the first time a collaborative approach has been tried and, the work put in by the trustees of the Berkshire Masonic Charity and the Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund, together with the MCF, has paid off in spades. Quite literally! as seen by John Clark PGM of Buckinghamshire with Debbie Raven CEO of Thames Hospice and Anthony Howlett-Bolton PGM of Berkshire on the construction site of the new hospice wielding a variation on masonic working tools.
Thames Hospice opened in 1987 but is now longer able to keep up with the increasing number of people who need their care and services. As well as the increase in number, the charity is dealing with more complex and challenging medical conditions and, as a result the decision was taken to build a larger facility. In 2017, planning permission was given to construct a new state of the art facility on land donated to the charity near Bray Lake. In patient rooms will increase from 17 to 28 and there will be more dedicated space to treat out patients, provide therapeutic and social activates to support patients.
This new Thames Hospice will open in 2020. The donations will help towards the build of two dedicated rooms in the new £22million hospice currently under construction by Bray Lake near Maidenhead. These two rooms will be quiet areas for reflection and remembering loved ones as well as offering help and advice to families.
After the presentation, ceremony Debbie Raven, gave an outline of how Thames Hospice is developing and some of its future plans. Once the new building is complete, there will be a permanent reminder of the contributions that the Freemasons of the two Provinces have made and she commented:
“I cannot thank the Freemasons enough for their generous support towards our new Hospice. The donation comes on top of several others from their Charitable Funds and the incredible support they have given over many years. It will make a significant difference to our patients and their families.”
Together with Debbie, both PGMs acknowledge the cooperation and support given to this collaborative donation by the MCF and the continuing work they do in supporting the Hospice movement in England Wales.
The contributions from the two provinces came via their respective charities. In Berkshire, the Berkshire Masonic Charity, has been established to make donations to individuals and organisations based in the Province. One of its key objectives is to support any charitable trust or organisation that may directly or indirectly benefit all or some of the inhabitants, or visitors to, the Province. To date, it has made donations in excess of £1 million.
In a similar fashion, The Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund, which was established in 1991, makes charitable donations to non-masonic organisations that work either within the province and provide benefit to inhabitants of the Province. Since inception, the charity has made donations in excess of £1.5 million to charities within Buckinghamshire.