Yorkshire Freemasons have awarded four regional community groups with ‘major’ grants totalling £89.5k.
The financial donations, ranging in value from £11,000 to £30,000, have been donated by the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, via its Provincial Grand Master’s Fund.
Each year, this fund gives grants of around £200,000, which help a wide variety of organisations across the Province, including schools, hospices, youth organisations, sports clubs and hospitals.
Whilst ‘minor’ grants of up to £5,000 are awarded on a monthly basis, the major grants are given each Spring and announced ahead of the Province’s annual meeting held each May in Harrogate’s Royal Hall.
The four organisations to receive major grants this year are:
Focus4Hope, Brighouse, has been awarded £30,000 to enable it to purchase a 16-seater minibus with wheelchair access to replace ‘Hope’, their current mini-bus, which is old and becoming mechanically unreliable and is desperately in need of replacement.
John Jamieson and Hospital Schools’ Friends Group, Oakwood Leeds, has been given £28,000 to help establish an ‘Employment Park - Preparing Students to Work for the Future’. This will be built in the School’s Millennium Garden, to give students the opportunity to learn real skills in a safe environment.A garage, currently a storage space, will be turned into a workshop that will allow students to make commercial grade goods to sell.
St Chad’s Broomfield Cricket Club, Headingley,Leeds is to develop a new community pavilion and a grant of £20,000 will be used to purchase furniture, fixtures and fittings as well as contributing to the cost of mechanical, electrical and plumbing works.
Happy Wanderers Ambulance Organisation, Harrogate, provides free transport for disabled and elderly people in circumstances outside the scope of the NHS, providing community support for hospices and disability groups. A grant of £11,494 will pay for new garage doors to keep its two vehicles safe and secure.
Provincial Grand Master James H Newman, OBE, said: “Charitable giving is at the very heart of Freemasonry, and all the money that goes into this fund comes directly from the pockets of our members and their families.
“And thanks to their continued generosity, we have been able to support these four community organisations with major grants totalling almost £90,000.
“These four recipients, who have each been nominated by a local Lodge, richly deserve their grants. Like Freemasonry, these organisations play a valuable role within their communities, and I am delighted that our financial help means they can continue to do so.”
Based on the old West Riding, the Province, which has around 5,000 members meeting in some 180 Lodges, reaches from Sheffield in the South to Ripon in the North, Goole in the East to Waddington in the West.
Focus4Hope - Sponsored by Beaumont Lodge No 2035, Kirkburton
Focus4Hope is a Brighouse based charitable organisation, dedicated to providing help and support to people who need it most.
The focus is on supporting local homeless, vulnerable, elderly, and otherwise isolated and lonely individuals; more recently reacting to the needs of the community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Support is provided to individuals in crisis through referrals from a local primary care network and through other related organisations.
Having a great relationship with many local businesses and with supermarkets providing surplus food, the charity also delivers foodbank projects, ensuring families can access food and hygiene items and well as more long-term support.
‘Hope’, their minibus, is a crucial means of transporting donated food items to their community-hub food bank and then out to those who need it the most, as well as transporting teams of volunteers out onto the streets. Days out are arranged for the elderly, to combat isolation and loneliness.
This vehicle is old and becoming mechanically unreliable andis desperately in need of replacement.
The grant of £30,000 will enable the purchase of a replacement 16-seater mini-bus with wheelchair access.
Happy Wanderers Ambulance Organisation - Sponsored by Spa Lodge No 7609, Harrogate
The charity provides free transport for disabled and elderly people in circumstances outside the scope of the NHS, providing community support for hospices and disability groups. They operate two vehicles from premises in Harrogate and provide community support for hospices and disability groups. Volunteer drivers help people in a wide range of situations. The main focus being on taking groups of people on outings to local attractions, shopping expeditions, trips to the seaside and to church.
They also occasionally help individuals, who are unable to access other means of transport to allow them to visit family or friends for special events or, exceptionally, to attend hospital or surgery for medical appointments.
The doors to their garage premises are old, insecure and not safe for use and the grant of £11,495 will purchase and fit replacement doors which are secure and safe.
John Jamieson and Hospital Schools’ Friends Group - Sponsored by Lodge of Dawn No 6511, Leeds
The East Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre (SILC), Oakwood, Leeds, is one of the largest specialist settings in the North of England Picture.
The John Jamieson school accommodates pupils, aged from 2 to 19 years, with severe, profound and complex needs, including hearing, autism spectrum disorder and other significant health conditions where medical support is required from the nursing team. They deliver innovative and creative learning and help pupils to achieve their maximum potential. The Friends Group, a registered charity, help fund specialist equipment and learning opportunities to further enhance the education and wellbeing of the children and young people, their families and the wider community.
The grant of £28,000 will be used to establish an ‘Employment Park - Preparing Students to Work for the Future’ This will be built in the School’s Millennium Garden, to give students the opportunity to learn real skills in a safe environment.A garage, currently a storage space, will be turned into a workshop that allows students to make commercial grade goods to sell.
St Chad’s Broomfield Cricket Club - Sponsored by Lodge of Dawn No 6511, Leeds
Following a merger between St Chad’s Cricket Club and Headingley Broomfield Cricket Club in 1979, this village club, in an inner-city environment, is run by local community volunteers, serving the residents of Headingley and beyond.
The Club comprises of 20 senior and junior teams. With a new women and girl's section, and juniors starting from 5 years old, the Club provide cricket for those who have not had the opportunity in the past.
They have an ‘outreach’ programme to schools and other organisations in the Hyde Park, Woodhouse, and other inner-city areas, with the intention of increasing South-Asian and other ethnic representation from its present 30+% level.
The Cricket Club Committee has published a five-year Development Plan to improve the quality of all playing and non-playing facilities and develop a community space for public use.Following consultations and a community survey, the initial focus is to build a new pavilion.
The pavilion will improve the lives of local people and bring them together, by providing a community space, which they can use for social and community activities.
The grant of £20,000 will purchase furniture, fixtures and fittings as well as contributing to the cost of mechanical, electrical and plumbing works.