The financial donations – which ranged in value from £9,000 to £30,500 – were presented at the Freemasons’ Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s annual meeting held at Harrogate’s Royal Hall.
Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP), which provides a help at home service with practical tasks such as gardening, decorating and odd jobs to older and vulnerable people in Harrogate and Knaresborough, was given £11,000 to replace the current old van with a second hand long wheelbase van, to provide a more efficient service
Representatives from all five organisations were presented with their cheques by the fraternity’s Provincial Grand Master, David S Pratt, at the event attended by Freemasons from Yorkshire’s four counties and beyond.
The others who received grants were:
- The Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT), based at the University of Bradford, was given £30,500 to purchase a cell sorting machine for use by the immunotherapy group to understand how current drugs can be integrated with immunotherapy. The ICT is a multidisciplinary team of researchers in cancer drug, target and biomarker discovery with the aim to develop new treatments.
- Sheffield Churches Council for Community Care, which was given £25,500 to buy a vehicle to transport people and goods to improve and expand service to the community
- £14,000 went to Harley Village Mission Rooms Trust, in Rotherham, which is undertaking a major project to transform an existing building into a facility for use by the whole community, The money will go towards fitting out a new kitchen with units and appliances.
Yorkshire Lions Wheelchair Rugby Team, which is part of SPINE – the Yorkshire Regional Spinal Injury Centre at Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, was given £9,000 to buy two wheelchair rugby chairs for use by young players suffering from cerebral palsy.
Provincial Grand Master David S Pratt, said:
It was my absolute honour to be able to present these five different, yet equally deserving, organisations with their grants, at our Provincial Grand Lodge annual meeting in Harrogate.
This money was all raised thanks to Freemasons from throughout our Province, and I am extremely grateful to them for their generosity and continued support of charity.
This year alone we will give £200,000 to a wide range of charities, clubs, societies, hospitals and hospices.
Charity has, as always has been, at the heart of Freemasonry, and it will continue to be so for as long as our ancient and honourable institution exists.
Karen Weaver, Chief Executive Officer of Harrogate and Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service, said:
We’re delighted to accept this most generous grant of £11,000 from the region’s Freemasons. Now Stan the Van can finally be retired gracefully and a newer younger model recruited to support our vital Help at Home Service for older and vulnerable people.
Over the past year the team has carried out over 355 jobs, from changing a light-bulb to large garden clearances or decorating a whole house.
Sweeping leaves, changing lightbulbs and fitting handrails all help to prevent falls, with essential decorating and gardening jobs creating a more pleasant home environment.
Our two vans are our workhorses without which we couldn’t continue, so this grant is a real boost in a very tough climate for fundraising. We were honoured to be just one of five organisations selected from across Yorkshire.