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East Sussex Lodges support St Micheal's Hospice

People in the Hastings and St Leonards on Sea part of East Sussex will soon see a brand new four wheel drive St Michael’s Hospice car carrying out home visits in their area, thanks to the generosity of lodges from the masonic centres at Battle, Bexhill, Burwash, Rye and St Leonards. The lodges have been donating to fund the Dacia Duster vehicle since August last year and it was delivered to the hospice this week (4th Feb).

The distinctive vehicle, fully marked with the ‘Sussex Masonic Giving’ livery, similar to one donated to St Wilfrid’s Hospice Eastbourne in July last year, will enable the Hospice Home Service to more easily access their patients homes which in some cases are in very difficult to access, rural locations.

The money raised the East Sussex lodges has been matched by the Sussex Masonic Charity Foundation CIO.

Although no official presentation was able to take place due to the pandemic restrictions. A representative from the Hospice expressed their appreciation and said “St.Michaels Hospice are once again extremely grateful for the local Freemason’s continued support and this new vehicle will be a valuable asset for the Hospice”.

Sussex Freemasons £10,000 support for domestic violence charity

The Covid-19 lockdown and subsequent restrictions have seen increased numbers of domestic abuse across the country. In the first four weeks of lockdown in the UK, 16 women and girls were killed in suspected domestic homicides — more than triple the number from the same period in 2019 and In December combined call and web chat volumes for sexual violence helplines were over 200% above the pre pandemic baseline.

As Nicola Nicola Davies the Fundraising & Communications Manager for RISE, the Brighton based charity charity that supports people affected by domestic abuse and violence, notes ‘The last few months have been the most challenging in our charity’s history – we have coped with a sharp increase in the demand for our services at a time when major fundraising events have been cancelled’.

Recognising those additional pressures; and the increase in demand for services; the Sussex Masonic Charitable Foundation CIO has supported the charity with a grant of almost £10,000.

Foundation Chairman Michael Harris said “The work that RISE does in providing support during a time of personal crisis is ever more vital during these difficult times and I’m delighted that Sussex Freemasons are able to actively support their important work”.    

Commenting on the grant Nicola said ‘RISE would like to wholeheartedly thank Sussex Freemasons for such a generous donation, which will be spent on our essential work helping people rebuild their lives after domestic abuse’.

RISE volunteers wearing t-shirts with slogans that domestic abuse survivors came up with to illustrate the support they received from RISE.

A roof over their heads

Through the Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons’ charity, in partnership with Sussex Freemasons, has awarded its first round of grants to charities that are supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

This first round focuses on organisations supporting people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, and has seen 30 charities awarded grants totalling £843,384.

The Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund raised over £1 million in donations from Freemasons, their family and friends, with all donations doubled by the MCF to help make a greater impact.

Thanks to Freemasonry’s generosity, many homeless and vulnerably-housed people will now be safe, healthy and supported throughout the pandemic and beyond.

The second round of funding through the Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund will focus on charities supporting unpaid carers. An estimated 4.5 million people became unpaid carers as a result of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 13.6 million – however there was no additional financial support for people providing unpaid care to loved ones throughout the pandemic. Freemasonry, through our grants, will be instrumental in funding projects designed to support unpaid carers as the COVID-19 crisis continues to negatively impact their lives.

Sussex Freemasons to support special ‘NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day’

A special day dedicated to the NHS, Social Care and those that work on the frontline is to be celebrated across England and Wales on the 5th July, the anniversary of the creation of the NHS.

The event, the brainchild of Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, a Pageantmaster who has 38 years of experience of organising national and international events, including those linked with Royal Jubilees and other historic occasions, will focus upon a day of thanks to the NHS and of remembrance for all those who have lost their lives due to COVID-1, in particular those who were NHS workers.

A commemorative flag has been designed to be flown on the day, and countrywide events of celebration and commemoration will begin with the raising of the flag, by Freemasons, at 10am. Masonic Centres and Lodges across Sussex are being encouraged to take part and hold their own local events.

Commenting on the initiative Maurice Adams, Deputy Head of Sussex Freemasons, said “Sussex Freemasons will be proud to show our support for all front-line staff that give so much 24 hours a day, seven days a week without any thought of their own safety. It’s important that we appreciate and recognise not only those who show such incredible care, compassion, and commitment but also those who sadly have lost their lives in the service of their communities. Sussex Freemasons look forward to playing a full part in the celebrations planned for later this year”.

Throughout the pandemic Freemasons in Sussex have been actively supporting Hospitals, Care Homes and Hospices.

Over 12,000 face visors have been made available across East and West Sussex to a range of deaf societies, charities and care workers who make home visits, and 50 Samsung Galaxy Android Tablets provided to acute hospitals and hospices to enable bed-dependent hospital patients receiving treatment for COVID-19 to stay in touch with their families.

Through the Sussex Masonic Charitable Foundation CIO, Sussex Freemasons have purchased mobile phones for hospital staff in Brighton and Haywards Heath, delivered hand sanitiser to Sussex Hospices, supported free vehicle sanitisation for front line workers in the Hastings area, funded medical equipment that will help staff to care for Covid-19 patients who suffer cardiac arrest at the Chichester and the Worthing Hospitals, and donated £30,000 to directly support NHS staff working in St Richards in Chichester, Worthing Hospital, the Royal Sussex County in Brighton, the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath, the Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings.

Local Lodges and members have provided support ranging from 3D printing face visors and donating PPE, through providing hand cream for nurses, to buying and delivering bulk supplies of disposable bottles of water and straws to the Conquest Hospital A&E Department and the local Ambulance Station. Making it easier for staff wearing PPE to take refreshment.

The NHS Social Care and Frontline Workers website, with full details of the events planned for the day, can be found at:

https://www.nhsfrontlineday.org/

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