Official Plaques acknowledging the generosity of Cheshire Masons in donating cuddly teddy bears are being unveiled across Cheshire, the latest Plaque was unveiled on Wednesday 4th April at Warrington General Hospital.
Mel Pickup CEO of the Warrington & Halton Hospitals NHS Trust welcomed Warrington’s Deputy Mayor Karen Mundry, Kevin Poynton Assistant Provincial Grand Master of West Lancashire, Stephen Blank Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire and Ron Evans Provincial TLC Appeal Officer plus other Masonic representatives from the Provinces of West Lancashire and Cheshire to the Paediatric A & E Department for the unveiling ceremony.
Mel said, “I am delighted to acknowledge the generosity of the Freemasons of Cheshire for their donation of nearly 6,000 TLC Teddies to Warrington Hospital over the past 14 years, the teddies are a valuable tool to the staff by bringing comfort to children in distress”.
Kevin Poynton an Assistant Provincial Grand Master for the Province of West Lancashire welcomed Stephen Blank the Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire’s 5,000 Freemasons to the Masonic Province of West Lancashire. Stephen explained that he had been invited to Warrington by the Grand Master of West Lancashire Tony Harrison because Masonic Boundaries are not exactly the same as Geographical ones and that Kevin was his Minder.
L->R Kevin Poynton, Stephen Blank, Karen Mundry and Mel Pickup with TLC Teddies
Stephen then unveiled the plaque recording the generosity of Cheshire Freemasons saying” last Year was the 300th Anniversary of Freemasonry in England & Wales and that English Freemasonry had donated over £30 Million, £17 Million to Masonic Charities, yes we do look after our Members who may be in distress and £16 Million to non Masonic Charities such as Hospices, Medical Research, Air Ambulances and indeed the TLC Teddy Bear Appeal.” He then went on to say ” The TLC Appeal was an initiative started in Essex around 1999 , the first Teddies being donated in 2002, Cheshire took up the Appeal in 2004 and has donated over 139,000 Teddies to Hospitals in Cheshire. In 2004 West Lancashire Masons were in what is known as ‘In Festival’ raising huge sums of money for Charity and it was agreed that Cheshire would assist its Masonic neighbour by raising the money from Members personal donations and provide Warrington Hospital with TLC Bears .”
Warrington’s Deputy Mayor Karen Mundry said “A big thank you to the Freemasons for the TCL Teddy Bear appeal for children in hospital. It is a wonderful idea and helps children in hospital to feel comforted when they need it most.
L->R Stephen Blank, Karen Mundry, Kevin Poynton and Ron Evans with a TLC Teddy
L-)R-George Scholes, Kevin-Poynton, Stephen Blank, Karen Mundry, Jenna Elbourn and Mel Pickup