Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Read Easy Solihull - Masonic Charitable Foundation Grant

Read Easy UK is a volunteer organisation that recruits and trains volunteers to teach adults with low reading skills to read on a one-to-one basis. By helping people to tackle their reading difficulties, it is hoped that they will also grow in confidence and self-esteem, become more independent, move on to other forms of education and improve their employment opportunities.

Read Easy Solihull is an affiliated member of Read Easy UK, and is supported by literacy specialists both regionally and nationally. Established as a group in November 2016, Read Easy Solihull have just completed their first year, which has been very successful. They have a committee of 6 volunteers who work with a Co-ordinator who is responsible for recruiting coaches and arranging their training. The Co-ordinator also deals with reader referrals and with the support of a Literacy Specialist, pairs the readers with the trained coaches and regularly monitors their progress.

In their first year, the funding received enabled the group to train 10 coaches, and provide 9 readers with resources to start their reading journeys. At present, 7 coaches are actively paired with 8 readers all at various stages of progress. The grant of £2500 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation will enable the group to train further volunteers – it costs £50 to train a volunteer coach and approximately £140 to help one adult to learn to read.   The aim is to have 18-20 coaches and readers paired in the first half of this year, and in the second half of the year, they anticipate taking on 10 more coaches and a second Co-ordinator to manage them with another 10 readers.   A challenging aim but for this group, led by an enthusiastic Chair, committed Co-ordinator and Coaches and a supportive management committee, it is highly achievable with sufficient funding.

The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association has added to the donation by the MCF, and it is understood that the Province of Worcestershire are also supporting the group.

The MCF certificate of funding was presented to Mrs Deborah Chard (Co-Ordinator) and Mrs Lynn Wilson (Chair) in the centre, receiving the certificate outside the Solihull Central Library from John Hayward, Charity Steward for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. The Library is where much of the tuition takes place.

Grant Presentation

A reading group is shown below receiving training in the Solihull Library in the centre of the town.

 Reading Group

 

The Solihull group and the charity as a whole is finding there is a huge level of interest in the program offered throughout the West Midlands area.   Interest has also been shown in Worcestershire and Staffordshire for a similar group development.   Read Easy UK is a recently established charity which is finding a great deal of demand for its services in many areas of the UK. The group’s website is here which will also link to the Read Easy UK website.

JBH

Eye Believe Succeeds - with our help

Eye Believe

On Saturday 24th March, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital completed a three year project to create a more welcoming and relaxing waiting & play area for the children attending the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Ophthalmology department.   This has been a major development, which has been funded by supporters of the hospital raising £312,000 to transform the area.

BCHThe Hospital’s Eye Department is home to a team of specialists who see over 10,000 children and young people with various conditions each year, travelling from across the UK, as far as Devon and Scotland. The refurbishment will make a huge difference for over 500 children who visit the Eye Department every week for treatment.  The Eye Department’s waiting area was very out-dated, hot and overcrowded.  Little patients can become upset and agitated whilst they wait, which means they are less likely to cooperate with the doctors and nurses when they are examined.

The new waiting & play area is 50% larger, providing more comfortable seating, space to park buggies and an exciting new play area with interactive toys suitable for children with visual impairments. This will make a world of difference to children and their families during their visit to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Eye Department.

Many Warwickshire Lodges and the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association have contributed to the funding of this splendid new area, which has similar sensory play equipment to the Children’s Hospices in Warwickshire, provided by Lifelites, which we also similarly support.  A very worthwhile visit, and shows just what benefits can be achieved from our funding. More information on Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity available here.

JBH

 

£150,000 donated to charities throughout the province of Warwickshire

Following on from the excitement of the Tercentenary celebrations, the Province of Warwickshire held another celebration to mark this year’s donations of £150,000 to 150 non-Masonic charities based or operating in Warwickshire. The larger sums have been distributed at a luncheon to which the major recipients were invited.   In addition to those at the luncheon, over 100 further charities will have received sums ranging from £250 to £1000. An amount has been kept in reserve so that urgent requests during the year can be met. Trustees of the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association evaluate the financial situation on an annual basis and allocate an amount depending on Lodge donations and investment income for the year. Donations are subsequently made to registered charities which operate primarily within the area covered by the Province of Warwickshire. The process is managed on behalf of the Trustees by W Bro John Hayward, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward assisted by W Bro John Harris, the Provincial Grand Almoner.

Charity Dinner

A full summary of the donations has been published on the Provincial website, and will be updated periodically as further donations are made.   Donations are grouped by: Hospices, Hospitals, Rescue Services and Air Ambulances; Aged, Children & Youth; Community; Religious; Medical Welfare; Disabled; Sports & Recreation; Armed & Ex-Services; Hearing & Visual Impairments; Medical Research. These are the categories recommended by the Charity Commission.

Nominations for future donations to registered Warwickshire charities should be forwarded to John Hayward in the Charity Office at the Yenton Assembly Rooms.

WMCF Presentation

Pictured are representatives from some of the larger recipient charities, who received their cheques at the lunch, hosted by the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro David Macey, at the Tally Ho Conference Centre. After congratulating the representatives of the charities present, the Provincial Grand Master thanked all concerned with the organization and administration surrounding both the event and the donations. The Provincial Grand Master continued to explain the publicity recently surrounding Masonry, and mentioned the “Enough is Enough” initiative which had been triggered by the United Grand Lodge of England, following various derogatory and inaccurate press releases. The PGM has already been interviewed by a number of local radio stations to explain the current stance, and he asked all of the charities present to do all they could to help publicise the good that Freemasonry does throughout the country.

Mr Richard Green, representing St Mary’s Hospice, thanked the Province of Warwickshire for their tremendous support, on behalf of all the charity representatives.

Lifelites

Ms Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of the Lifelites Charity, also thanked the organization for their generosity, and presented the Provincial Grand Master with a framed certificate in thanks for the assistance given to Lifelites, and officially recognizing their role as a 2018 Sponsor of Lifelites.

The opportunity was also taken to present certificates from the Masonic Charitable Association, for donations which had already been received directly by the Children’s Hospices within the Province of Warwickshire. The certificates were presented at the invitation of the Provincial Grand Master by W Bro Chris Grove, who is a member of the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s Masonic Support Committee. All of the recipients at the luncheon are shown below with the representatives of the hospices with their certificates. The Hospice donations for a total amount of £450,000, being the annual donation by the Masonic Charitable Foundation grants to Children’s Hospices across the country.

Masonic Charitable Foundation – Impact Report

Impact Report

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) has produced an Impact Report, summarising what has been achieved since the formation of the charity in April 2016. The report highlights what has been done, and also plans for the future, and may be accessed here.

JBH

Birmingham Children’s Hospital & Lodge of Service Above Self

The Birmingham Children’s Hospital has benefited to the extent of £2,500, by the generosity of the Lodge of Service above Self No 9421, and in particular by the efforts of W Bro Pinder Talafair, the Lodge’s remarkable Charity Steward.   He has been supported greatly by W Bro Martin Burton M.B.E., PProvJGW, and the other members of the Lodge.

The sum of £2,500 was raised chiefly at a community fund raising event held in a Sports Pavilion in Handsworth in September 2017. The money was raised for the Oncology Ward at the Children’s Hospital Birmingham. Organised by W Bro Pinder Talafair under the banner of “Lodge of Service Above Self “, the event was supported by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Birmingham Councillor Mike Leddy, with great support from Lodge members and the Indian Community.

Amongst the star prizes were Boxing gloves autographed by Sir Henry Cooper and donated by the WM, W Bro Martin Burton, M B E, and an Afternoon Tea with the Lord Mayor, donated by the Deputy Lord Mayor. There were many other Auction and Raffle prizes obtained by W Bro Talafair from the Community and his own remarkable resources.

Apart from fund raising, the evening included a lavish Indian banquet and live music provided by an Indian Violinist. A thoroughly enjoyable evening which amply demonstrated Masonic involvement and activities in the community.

W Bro Martin Burton, received his MBE in recognition of over 20 years as a chairman of the Lord Mayor’s charity, which donates funds raised in Birmingham & the West Midlands as nominated by successive Lord Mayors in office.   In that capacity, he was able to secure the attendance of the Lord Mayor, Councillor Anne Underwood, who is pictured below with Louise McCathie, Director of Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. On the left is W Bro Martin Burton, M B E, and on the right W Bro Pinder Talafair.

Cheque Presentation

Whilst at the hospital, the group met staff at the Oncology Ward, which will benefit from the Lodge’s efforts.

Visit to the ward

It was pleasing to see again, the “100 Heroes” balloon on the wall in the reception area, which the Province was awarded for three years running, to mark the donations to the hospital as part of the “Famous Five” initiative. A further donation to be made shortly, will (we hope) ensure the status for at least a further year,

JBH

Red balloon

 

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The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
Yenton Assembly Rooms
73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarwickshirePGL

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Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.