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Freemasons deliver huge boost for children’s hospices

Devonshire Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury and assistant Charles Yelland present cheque

Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) has received thousands of pounds in grants from Freemasons in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.

Provincial Grand Lodges in the three counties chose to give £4,130 to support the charity’s three hospices – Little Bridge House in North Devon, Charlton Farm near Bristol, and Little Harbour in St Austell.

The money from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) was presented to CHSW, Chief Executive and Co-founder Eddie Farwell at Little Bridge house on Monday morning by Devonshire Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury, who was accompanied by Charles Yelland, one of his assistants 

Mr Kingsbury said local Freemasons were honoured to support the vital care the hospices offer children with life-limiting conditions and their families, right across the South West.

“These children’s hospices do so much to stand with local families going through the most difficult of times and we are so grateful to have them on our doorsteps,” he said.

It is of huge comfort to know that they are there for us all should we ever need them, and we hope this recent grant will help support that work.

The MCF grants were just three of 227 given to hospices around the country from Freemasons. In total £600,000 will be donated to hospices all over England and Wales this year.

Contributions from Freemasons to hospices have exceeded £15 million in England and Wales since 1984, and the Devonshire Freemasons, as well as the 131 Devonshire Lodges, have been major supporters of CHSW and NDH for many years.

Accepting the cheque on behalf of CHSW, Mr Farwell said the generous grant would help CHSW continue to provide vital support to families facing unimaginable challenges. 

He said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for their continued and generous support of Children’s Hospice South West.

"The grant will help us continue to provide respite for the whole family, including a sibling service for brothers and sisters, emergency support, end-of-life care, and a bereavement service for as long as it is needed.”

Mr Yelland also presented CHSW with teddy bears that can be given to children receiving support at the hospice. The Teddies for Loving Care (TLC), funded with donations from Freemasons, have a heart-shaped nose and are designed to help bring some comfort to poorly children or those with a poorly family member. To date, more than 65,000 have been given to children in hospitals and hospices in Devon, while three million have been distributed country-wide.