Freemasons from across the West Country have made a very special £29,000 donation to Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) in memory of HRH Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.
A total of 29 Mark lodges from across the region each nominated a local CHSW hospice to receive a share of a £1.3million wider grant from the Mark Benevolent Fund, the official charity of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. Money was distributed to more than 250 hospices across England and Wales to celebrate the life of the Duke, himself a Freemason, who died in April.
Cheques were presented to CHSW’s three hospices this week by representatives of Mark Master Masons of Devonshire, Cornwall, Somerset and Gloucester and Herefordshire.
Little Harbour in Cornwall received £12,000; Little Bridge House in North Devon received £11,000; and Charlton Farm near Bristol received £6,000.
Presenting a cheque to CHSW co-founder and Chief Executive Eddie Farwell at Little Bridge House, Peter Balsom, Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the members of the Province have chosen to support CHSW. We are all aware of the toll that the pandemic has taken on charities across the country and hope that this small gift will go some way to help enhance patient care and provide improved facilities for those in need and their families.”
CHSW, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, supports more than 500 families across the South West. The charity provides respite, emergency, end-of-life and bereavement care and support for the whole family. It has adapted its care during the pandemic to ensure Covid-safe support wherever and whenever families need it, including for the first time ever, in families’ own homes.
Mr Farwell said the generous funding would help the charity continue to provide vital support to families facing unimaginable challenges.
He said: “As you can imagine, 2020/21 has been a year like no other in the now 30-year history of Children’s Hospice South West.
It has been a year of extreme change, with challenges beyond comparison.
"We have worked tirelessly to ensure that those families facing the already unimaginable difficulties of caring for a child or children with a life-limiting condition, could still receive the care and support they needed more than ever.
“Sadly, due to the extreme vulnerability of the children and families in our care, many are continuing to shield, so this funding is vital in helping us to maintain and further develop our community based care services which we now view as a permanent addition to the more traditional ‘in-house’ care that we had always offered.
“We really can’t thank the Freemasonry movement enough for their incredible support for Children’s Hospice South West.”