News

15th June 2021

NHS, Social Care & Frontline Workers’ Day on 5th July 2021

Suffolk Freemasons are playing their part in NHS, Social Care & Frontline Workers’ Day to celebrate all those who have worked so tirelessly to help our country through the Coronavirus crisis, and who continue to support some of the most vulnerable people in society. Organised nationally by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, NHS, Social Care & Frontline Workers’ Day takes place on 5th July this year, with events throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, the Isle of Man.

We have organised various events across the county in Bury St. Edmunds, Diss, Felixstowe, Framlingham, Halesworth, Ipswich, Lowestoft, Saxmundham, Stowmarket, Southwold, Sudbury and Woodbridge.

Bob Lee, Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk Freemasons commented: “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to pay tribute to all the local doctors, nurses, care workers and other frontline staff who played such a key role in saving lives and keeping essential services going when Covid-19 struck our country. Their commitment and sense of duty was an inspiration to everyone and this is our chance to say a huge thank you to every single one of them.”

The NHS, Social Care & Frontline Workers’ Day was conceived and organised by Pageantmaster Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, who has organised national and royal events for 40 years, including key aspects of Her Majesty The Queen’s Golden and Diamond Jubilee celebrations and 90th Birthday Beacons celebration. Bruno said: “July 5th 1948 was an historic moment in our country’s history. It was the day our pioneering National Health Service (NHS) was born, bringing free healthcare to everyone. We have treasured it ever since, but never more so since March 2020 when the Coronavirus pandemic gripped the UK and utterly changed all our lives. “We were suddenly at war with a ruthless, invisible enemy and on the front line were our NHS doctors, nurses and paramedics, plus platoons of critical workers keeping our shops open and stocked, our streets safe and our essential services running. “Now we have the chance to show our gratitude to all NHS and frontline staff with what I believe will be an annual day of thanks, and remembrance of those who lost their lives because of this dreadful disease.”

National Schedule:
10am Raising and Displaying the NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day Flag.
11 am Two-minute silence and playing of The Last Post and Reveille.
1pm The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of the NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers*
1pm Street, Garden and Village Parties, and Parties at Home.
4pm Afternoon Tea.
8pm Clapping our Heroes and the Ringing of Church Bells 73 times to represent each year of the existence of the NHS.

More information on NHS, Social Care & Frontline Workers’ Day can be found at www.nhsfrontlineday.org

 

 

8th June 2021

Suffolk Freemasons to become strategic partner of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

    

More than 30,000 young people with disabilities and special educational needs will be able to take part in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, thanks to a grant of £300,000 from Freemasons. 

Suffolk Freemasons have become a strategic partner of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE), funding a new national programme to upskill its team and volunteers. The programme will also help enrol more schools and clubs, to ensure all young people have access to DofETo make it possible, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons’ charity, have teamed up to enable the charity to reach at least 30,000 young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by 2024. The ambition is to increase the number of centres, such as schools and youth groups, offering DofE to young people with SEND and train hundreds of Leaders – trained individuals supporting groups of young people through their DofE journeys.  

At least 15,000 young people will achieve a DofE Award sponsored by the 200,000-strong UGLE, to support The Duke of Edinburgh's AwardThe programme has been designed to make DofE participation possible for students with diverse difficulties and disabilities. It will help the students to build crucial personal life skills, develop employability skills and become more independent, and aims tooffer students the same experiences available to their peers in mainstream education.

The impact of achieving a DofE Award is remarkable and will be life-changing for young people with physical or learning difficulties, who are often excluded from adventurous activities due to a lack of accessible equipment, facilities, trained support staff and funding. The programme aims to increase the opportunities for young people with special needs, as well as increasing the number of specialist Leaders by providing bespoke training to adults supervising young people with special needs. The aim is to have 240 more adults trained to support young people with SEND by 2024. The initiative also includes a plan to offer support to new delivery partners that work with young people with SEND, to encourage them to offer the DofE.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, who founded the DofE in 1956, was himself a Freemason, having been introduced to Freemasonry in 1952 at the age of 31 by his father-in-law King George VI. Throughout his 99 years, he was associated with some 992 charities, either as president, patron or honorary member.

Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, said: “Prince Philip was well known for his charity work, having been involved with numerous organisations. At UGLE, we looked for a project that would honour Prince Philip's memory. Helping young people with special educational needs and becoming a strategic partner of The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is therefore a great honour for us. "Helping the DofE was an easy decision as Freemasonry's core values are charity, integrity, respect and friendship,” he added.

Caroline Glen, Director of Fundraising, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for their generous grant, which will give many thousands of young people with disabilities and special educational needs the chance to take part in the DofE and gain its life-changing benefits. This is a wonderful and very practical way to continue The Duke’s amazing legacy and to spread the benefits of the DofE further than ever before.” 

As well as the late Duke of Edinburgh, the Freemasons can also count other Royal Family members among their number, including HRH The Duke of Kent, who is the longest-serving Grand Master of the UGLE.

Livia Ferreira, public relations manager, United Grand Lodge of England. Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

24th May 2021

Emergency food for Indian families during pandemic funded by Freemasons

Photograph shows women from Odisha state receiving an emergency food parcel

Families and children experiencing severe poverty in India during the COVID-19 pandemic will be receiving vital emergency support thanks to a grant of £50,000 from Freemasons to Plan International UK. The £50,000 grant is enough to provide an expected 1,700 emergency food parcels for some of the most vulnerable families whose livelihoods have been affected during the pandemic. Health services across India have been overwhelmed by the latest wave of coronavirus, and Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding with Plan International to support them by providing essential items, and training.

Hospitals across the country are reporting record-breaking daily case numbers, with oxygen for ventilators running scarce. A deadly transmission rate means disaster is unfolding for children, families, and communities. On Thursday 6th May 2021, there were more than 414,000 new confirmed cases as well as over 3,800 deaths. Sadly the country’s death toll is still dramatically climbing. In early May, India’s daily Covid-19 death toll accounted for half the total reported cases in the world according to the WHO. Five states account for over half of India’s COVID-19 cases: Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

Deaths have been concentrated in urban areas, especially Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Punjab. Millions of families have already exhausted their savings during a five-month lockdown across the country. Livelihoods and jobs have been lost, and families all over India are struggling to afford necessities like food, and the hygiene materials they need to stay safe. The collapse of savings coupled with food shortages mean thousands and thousands of children, especially girls, are going hungry.

Suffolk Freemasons contributed to the grant, from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales. Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said: “We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow Plan International to reach families and young children in those parts of India hardest hit by the virus. It’s critical that we act now to provide this support to those most at risk”.

Rick Orme, Provincial Charity Steward said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Plan International with their relief effort in India. This is a desperate situation and Plan International and the other organisations responding on the ground need all the help and support we can offer.” 

 

About the Masonic Charitable Foundation The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people. The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief.  In total, MCF support helps to improve the lives of thousands of people every year in England, Wales and internationally. As well as providing grants to charities, the MCF supports Freemasons and their families with a financial, health or family need.

Visit www.mcf.org.uk