Four Yorkshire hospices, whose fundraising activities have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, have received a financial boost from Leeds Freemasons. The members of Zetland Lodge, which meets in Castle Grove Masonic Hall, in Headingley, have given a total of £6,000 to them – the single biggest donation in its 150-year history. The hospices, who will each receive £1,500, are:
St Gemma’s Hospice, Moortown, Leeds
Sue Ryder Wheatfield’s Hospice, Headingley, Leeds
Saint Michael’s Hospice in Harrogate
Martin House Children’s Hospice, in Boston Spa, Wetherby
Zetland Lodge is one of circa 200 lodges in the Freemasons’ Province of Yorkshire West Riding, whose geographical area is based on the old West Riding and ranges from Sheffield in the South to Ripon in the North. Richard Knockton, Zetland Lodge Master, said: “During the ‘lockdown’, hospices have been unable to raise funds from their usual activities, including income generated via their charity shops. And more important, they are not aided by large amounts of Government funds. “With this being the case, the Lodge took the decision to support our local hospices from our ‘Relief Chest’ funds. “Albeit it is split between the four hospices above, this is probably the largest single donation that we have made from our Relief Chest, and I hope it goes some way in assisting them during this particularly difficult time.” Richard added: “Despite being unable to hold our Lodge meetings, we have not lost sight of our three founding principles, with charitable giving being at the centre of them. “This money has come from the pockets of our members, and I’m delighted that we are able to support the work of these four wonderful organisations, that are so valued by us all, in some small way.”
The donation from the Freemasons is to help the Trust with the cost of ensuring that all pupils, students and teachers have access to the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE) in the school and college setting.
Alexis Johnson, executive principal of Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “We are extremely grateful to the Hall Cross Lodge of the Freemasons for this very kind and much needed donation.
“We have been very lucky that a number of local and national companies donated visors and facemasks to the Trust to enable us to provide for a wider opening of school and college for our pupils and students.
“This donation means that we can now add additional wall mounted hand sanitising units in key locations throughout our building. This will be an extra health and safety measure in addition to those we already have in place giving extra piece of mind as we keep our core educational services going over the next few weeks and as we plan ahead to September.
“The Freemasons have supported Doncaster Deaf Trust on a number of occasions in the past and we remain thankful to them for their continued support.”
Doncaster Deaf Trust manages Little Learners Day Nursery, Doncaster School for the Deaf, Dickson House – Children’s Home, Communication Specialist College Doncaster and Specialist Employability Services.
Rob Jenkins from the Hall Cross Lodge of Freemasons said: “We are pleased to be able to help Doncaster Deaf Trust at this time. We know how important specialist education is to the children and families who access it.
“It is great to know that our donation will be put to good use to make sure that children and young people can continue with the education in a safe setting.”