The Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire

Charity and Welfare

The Cheshire Freemasons Charity (CFC) was re-launched by the Provincial Grand Master at the Craft AGM in October 2018 and it has been very active ever since with fund raising activities and supporting both masonic and non-masonic causes.

We enjoy a very close working arrangement with the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), based in London, which supports the Province of Cheshire by making numerous grants in addition to those made by the CFC.

The Teddies for Loving Care Appeal continues to be very popular and the team makes sure that all of the Accident & Emergency Departments throughout the Province always have a stock of Teddies to comfort any children in their care who may be suffering great distress.

The PSA Prostate Cancer Screening project, which last year saw a significant increase in men, including many members of the public, being tested will undoubtedly save lives and will be continued each year in all of the Areas of the Province

Welfare arrangements in the Province are headed up by a dedicated team of Visiting Volunteers throughout the five Areas of the Province. The Provincial team interacts with the Area Almoners, assisting them with more local cases, and with the Masonic Charitable Foundation, as many of the grants paid in Cheshire now come that source.

The team also has regular contact with the RMBI homes in Llandudno, Eccles and Liverpool where a number of Cheshire members now reside and which are all supported by Cheshire Freemasons’ Charity.

New developments include a pilot exercise with Age UK on Later Life Goals and a working arrangement with Dementia UK to raise awareness of this ever-increasing condition.

Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire

Grant Celebrations 2020

Cheshire Freemasons give £1million in support of good causes

On 7th December, the Head of the Cheshire Freemasons, Stephen Blank, welcomed a number of local dignitaries, charity representatives and voluntary workers to an ‘online’ Grant Celebration Evening to share how organisations have benefited from £1Million donated by Cheshire Freemasons over the past 12 months and the difference they have been able to make as they put the monies to good use.

The event, which would normally be held at a central venue in Cheshire, moved online this year, but it was still very well attended by many members and numerous recipients of charitable grants – National Charities, Hospices, charities and good causes.

Stephen started the evening by expressing his thanks to the Cheshire Freemasons for their generosity, who despite there being very few meetings they were able to attend, have still found creative ways to raise funds for the benefit of others. He also thanked the many organisations who work so hard and do such amazing work day in and day out. After Stephens introduction, attendees including the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, The Lord Mayor of Chester, The Dean of Chester Cathedral and members, were pleased to see some of the charities deliver a pre-recorded video of thanks to showcase the great work they have been able to undertake, thanks in part to the charitable donations from the Freemasons. Feedback following the meeting was that the audience were very interested to hear from so many organisations as they shared their amazing stories.

Freemasons are not a charity themselves and do not collect money from the public, but every Lodge makes collections from its members for charitable use and this soon adds up, there being approx. 4,000 Cheshire Freemasons. Some of the funds go directly to charities, some to local charitable organisations and some to the Freemasons national charity, which then gives money to both national and international good causes.

Annually, Freemasons give around £48 million to charities and good which puts Freemasonry into the top 10 of grant making organisations in the UK.  

 

Charity

Freemasonry and Charity

For Freemasons, there are four important values that help define their path through life: Integrity, Friendship, Respect and Charity. In today’s world filled with uncertainty, these principles ring as true as they have at any point in the organisation’s history.

Integrity: Building good people

Freemasons are focused on building themselves as people of integrity and membership provides the structure to help achieve that goal.

Friendship: Building together

Freemasonry provides the common foundation for friendships between members, many of which will last for life.

Respect: Building unity

Freemasonry brings people together irrespective of their race, religion or any other perceived differences that can divide us as a society.

Charity: Building compassion

Kindness and charitable giving are deeply ingrained within the principles of Freemasonry and the organisation provides the structure for members to make positive contributions to their communities and various causes.

It is therefore, no surprise to find that from its earliest foundations Freemasonry supported those in need, primarily orphans, the sick and the elderly. Over the last three hundred years the charitable support provided by Freemasons has ever expanded with local, national and international charities receiving regular financial assistance.

From the moment someone joins Freemasonry he is made aware of the importance of charity and the need to support and care of those who are less fortunate than ourselves. This is evidenced by the fact that the Freemasons of England and Wales have become one of the top ten grant-making Organisations in those countries.

The money for this charitable giving is provided by members  in a number of ways; a small portion of each members subscription is donated to the Masonic Charitable Foundation (the main central Masonic Charity); many members make a regular monthly donation; collections are made during lodge meeting; there may be a raffle, or similar, during the meal after a lodge meeting; and other specific fund raising events for Lodge members and their families are also held regularly.

We are one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing more than £48 million to deserving causes in 2018. Click here to find out more.

Below are some of the charities that have recently received support from Freemasons.

Click on the image above to view the latest figures from the MCF

Welfare

Teddies for Loving Care - TLC

Teddies for Loving Care, or TLC as it is more commonly known, is a charity set up some 16 years ago by a Freemason in Essex. On taking his wife to their local A&E Department for treatment, they both quickly realised the fear that children must go through when they have to be admitted into A&E, so they set about forming a charity to raise funds from Freemasons.

It soon gathered momentum throughout the country and is now well established in all Provinces. TLC is now able to provide Teddies to A&E Departments for the staff to give to distressed children where they feel the Teddies would relieve their stress.

To date, Cheshire Freemasons have donated more than 161,000 Teddies to the A&E Departments in all of the major hospitals throughout Cheshire.

TLC also provides Teddies to Clatterbridge Children’s Cancer Care Unit where they are given to children who are being treated for cancer.

RMBI Care Home

The Royal Masonic Institution (now RMBI Care Co) operates 17 care homes across England & Wales.  Caring has been their way of life since 1842 and they provide a home for over 1,000 people across England and Wales – while supporting many more.

Whether people need residential or nursing care, dementia support or limited sheltered accommodation, they are cared for professionally and kindly.

They treat people as individuals – and work together with everyone to design a care plan that meets their needs and allows them to experience wellbeing and meaningfulness.

Those members of the Masonic community who choose an RMBI Home have the security of knowing that they have a home for life, even if their financial circumstances change – as long as RMBI Care Co can still support their needs.

RMBI Care Co. is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation – a new charity for Freemasons, for families, for everyone. For more information, please visit https://www.rmbi.org.uk/

PSA Testing

The simple Prostate Specific Antigen blood test (PSA) was introduced to the members of the Province in 2015 as a trial programme and is administered by Leighton Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group, a charity concerned with men’s health.

A trial commenced in Area 2 but was very quickly taken up by the rest of the Province and has become an annual event across each of the five areas.

The number of members taking the test has grown substantially over the last 3 years and it has significantly raised their awareness in guarding themselves against Prostate Cancer.

The programme has now spread to other Masonic Provinces with a total of 12,000 members being tested to date, resulting in 750 members requiring further treatment and a further 500 being monitored.

Details of times and dates for the forthcoming year’s screening programmes can be obtained from your Area Chairman, Area Secretary or from ivor.henry@btinternet.com

Cheshire Freemasons’ Charity also supports Leighton Hospital Prostate Cancer Support Group.

On Tuesday 21st September 2021, Freemason Malcolm Cooke was honoured to have been invited to the opening of the new Maggie’s Centre at Clatterbridge at the Steve Morgan Foundation Building.  The original centre was housed in a series of 5 porta cabins adjacent to the Clatterbridge Cancer Care Hospital.  Designed as a temporary home to accommodate 3000 visitors a year, the centre in actual fact welcomed some 17,000 visitors a year, all affected in some way by cancer.

When Steve Morgan CBE had cause to visit the centre some while ago, he stated that the buildings were totally unsuitable and not fit for purpose.  He there and then pledged to build a new structure fit for the 21stCentury.  His charitable foundation, of which he is chairman, commissioned, designed and built the new magnificent structure.

Several local dignitaries and celebrities attended the opening including Lady Redmond MBE the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire and Councillor Jeff Green Deputy Mayor of Wirral.

Malcolm, who is a Deputy Charity Steward, represented the Cheshire Freemasons Charity (CFC) which has given great support to Maggie’s Centres at Clatterbridge and Christie’s, Manchester, having donated many thousands of pounds over the years.   He was thanked for the continuing support given by Cheshire Freemasons by Dame Laura Lee, CEO and co-founder of Maggie’s and Kathy Wright the Head of Centre at Clatterbridge stating that the support given is appreciated so much and its’ value should not be underestimated.

L2R is Steve Morgan CBE, Kathy Wright Head of Centre Clatterbridge, Malcolm Cooke, Dame Laura Lee CEO Maggie’s outside the new Steve Morgan Foundation Building.

Cheshire Freemasons Charity have made numerous donations and enhanced fundings to Maggie’s Centres.  Malcolm is a member of Phoenix Lodge which meets in Birkenhead which has for many years championed and supported Maggie’s at Clatterbridge, and indeed Phoenix Lodge took the lead and organised a Virtual Coastal Walk by other local Freemasons in February this year which raised a total of £13,500 after enhancement from CFC.  Malcolm thanked all three for their hospitality and promised to continue the Freemasons support in the future.

South Cheshire Masonic Golf Society

The Societies main form of fund raising comes from the competitive golf days it organises at some of the best golf courses in Cheshire, Wirral, North Wales and Shropshire. 

The members are encouraged to invite guests and membership comes from both Freemasons and non-masons. The SCMGS are always looking  to expand the current membership and you don’t have to be a fantastic player, just someone who likes the game and the social side that goes with it. 

For more information email Noel Martin at scmgsec@gmail.com

George's Trike

I attach a pic of George, this is the first time he has been able to sit in his chair, his inaugural journey will be on a nice day asap when this trike will be attached to his fathers bicycle, the family now have the ability to take George out and enjoy the scenery, parks, mountain trails etc..

 

To all who have donated, played in an SCMGS event, donated, sponsored, paid £10 subs but not played, been a past member who no longer enters the events, who has been able to promote the work we do in lodges and those lodges who have so kindly and generously donated to the SCMGS, to the Cheshire Freemasons Charity who we work with, and to all involved past and present.

 

You have changed the life of this boy, as with other recipients, you have given them happiness and an ability to enjoy life as best they can. The parents and siblings cannot thank you enough for the help which eases the burden of a child who suffers for no fault of their own.

It is from me and the SCMGS members to thank you all for your donations in whatever form they take.

 

It has been sad to lose many of our core members over the last few years but we hope new generations will maintain the charitable attributes the SCMGS stands for and the achievements they have made.

52 Weeks - 52 Charities

Over the past 12 months, Cheshire Freemasons have given more than £1million to local and national good causes. Did you know that across England, Freemasons give more than £48m in charitable donations each year? Freemasons long standing commitment to Charitable giving is not widely publicised yet it is at the heart of what we do. In 2020, to help raise the profile of just some of the organisations we have been able to support, we ran a social media campaign called #52weeks52charities to showcase the great work they have been able to do thanks to the funding provided. The charities are truly amazing. As part of the social media campaign, each week we highlighted one of the many organisations who received a donation. To find out more about how Cheshire Freemasons are enabling charities to make a real difference, please see below. We hope you find the stories interesting.

If you want to find out more about Cheshire Freemasons and what we do, please click here.

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Charity Website Links

The Provincial Grand Lodge of Cheshire

Ashcroft House, 36 Clay Lane, Timperley, Altrincham, Cheshire WA15 7AB
Tel : 0161 980 6090 | Email : webenquiries@cheshiremasons.co.uk

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