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3 Millionth 'Teddies For Loving Care' bear presented

The Three Millionth ‘Teddies For Loving Care’ bear has been presented at a hospital in Cambridgeshire.

The bears, paid for by #Freemasons, provide comfort and reassurance to children in hospitals in what can be a scary and unknown environment. The bears, beyond providing comfort, are also often used to demonstrate procedures, with doctors and nurses often showing children the procedures on the bear, before performing on children.
Since the start of the scheme in 2001, over 120,300 bears have been bought and distributed to hospitals across #Sussex.

Speaking as she received the three millionth bear, Jackie James a Play Specialist at the hospital,  said:

“The Teddies for Loving Care bears are very special to us in the Emergency Department and have a wonderful, positive impact on children who are receiving care. When a child first arrives at hospital not only are they feeling unwell but they may also be feeling scared and anxious. The little TLC teddies provide some comfort and really help make them feel at ease.

Dr David Staples, CEO of the United Grand Lodge of England, said: “I’m delighted to be able to present the three millionth ‘‘Teddy for Loving Care’. As a doctor, who regularly works with children in hospitals, I know how important these bears can be; both for the children who receive them and the staff who give them”.

Freemasons are supporting carers with advice, breaks and activities

Freemasons are leading a project to help up to 33,000 adult, young and parent carers, with donations of more than £715,000.

According to Carers UK, the number of carers grew exponentially during the pandemic, reaching more than 13 million. The helping hand from the Freemasons is supporting them with essential items, life skills, counselling, crisis support, activities and breaks.

Approximately 20,000 unpaid carers are receiving access to crucial support online, funded by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body of the Freemasons.

The UGLE is also working to protect young carers, who are under increasing pressure as they support family members during lockdown.

In particular, the Freemasons project is providing 870 young carers with respite through activities and breaks, while 760 young carers are being provided with essential items and life skills. Elsewhere, almost 100 schools are receiving assistance to identify hidden young carers and provide support.

In total, more than 1,800 young carers are receiving advice, support and information.

In addition to their support for young carers, the Freemasons are providing funding for crisis support, advice and information to almost 3,000 adult carers. Meanwhile, the project is also assisting 1,050 parent carers with advice and support.

Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, said: “These have been very difficult times for everyone and especially for carers. With the donations, we are helping with training, counselling, support, mental and physical health, as well as activities to reduce stress.

“We want to recognise the enormous contribution carers make to families and communities throughout the UK. They do their best because they want to make a difference and care deeply for their family members.”

Freemasons supporting over a million people with mental health issues

To help more than 1.4 million people experiencing mental health issues, Freemasons are donating more than £550,000 to help citizens across the UK.
 
Many people are reaching crisis point with their mental health due to the pandemic. According to NHS Prevalence Data 2020, one in six young people have a probable mental disorder, while the Young Minds Survey 2020 found 83% of young people said the pandemic had made their mental health worse.
 
To help the population exit the pandemic in a better state of mental health, the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales, are supporting various institutions, schools and universities. Among the institutions receiving support, the Freemasons are donating £125,000 to Young Minds to help them to support approximately 1.4 million young people. The goal is to increase Young Minds’ reach by 10% and help many more young people find the support they need, when they need it, and be able to take practical, actionable steps to improve their mental health.
The UGLE and the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s (MCF) – the Freemasons’ charity – donations will also help 100,000 children and young people across the UK to access information, support and guidance online.
 
During almost two years of the pandemic, Freemasons have donated millions of pounds to support people in need. They have donated many tonnes of food, tablets for hospitals, ambulances and PPE, as well as supporting carers, women’s refuges, care homes, hospitals, hospices and funds for NHS workers. In 2020, the Freemasons total charitable donations topped £51 million.
 
In addition, Freemasons also worked 18 million hours as volunteers in a range of different areas where there was a need, including driving vulnerable people to hospital, preparing meals, taking care of people at risk, organising care packages, as well as producing scrubs, PPE and hand sanitiser.
 
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, said: “The pandemic has been devastating and mental health is a very important topic to us and our members. During the pandemic, thousands of Freemasons supported people in their communities, preventing mental health problems and supporting many families. This issue must be one of our priorities and we are joining forces to keep the population safe and feeling well.

 

 

Sussex 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 the Freemasons.

Sussex 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 DofE.

To 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 Award.

The 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 to offer 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.

Christopher Moore, Head of Sussex Freemasons, commented “Sussex Freemasons have a proud history of supporting young people in our communities and we are delighted to continue that support to those young people with special educational needs and disabilities through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme”

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.”

The Freemasons work on average 18.5 million hours each year as volunteers in various areas, including driving vulnerable people to the hospital, preparing meals, taking care of people at risk, organising care packages, and producing scrubs, personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser.

They also donated more than £1m last year to the Covid-19 support effort, with the funds being used to help communities in various critical areas, including food banks, support for unpaid carers, PPE, supplies for hospitals and hospices, support for women’s refuges, and funds for NHS workers, ambulances and equipment.

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.

Freemasonry is one of the world’s largest and oldest non-religious and non-political fraternal and charitable organisations.

It is open to people from all walks of life, regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic position in society.

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