Devon Freemasons donate to charity Devon Link-Up which works in Ottery

PUBLISHED: 18:00 18 September 2018

Chair of Devon Link-Up's trustees, Julie Gilpin, left; Abbie, a member of the group, and Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury. Picture; Contributed

Chair of Devon Link-Up's trustees, Julie Gilpin, left; Abbie, a member of the group, and Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury. Picture; Contributed

Contributed

Money will help Devon Link-Up’s work supporting people with learning difficulties

Members of Devon Link-Up with chair of trustees Julie Gilpin and Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury. Picture: ContributedMembers of Devon Link-Up with chair of trustees Julie Gilpin and Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury. Picture: Contributed

A charity supporting people with autism and learning difficulties, which works in several towns including Ottery St Mary, has benefited from a £3,500 grant from the Devon Freemasons.

Devon Link-Up runs ‘Speaking Up’ groups which meet monthly to enable members to talk about issues affecting their daily lives, such as work, friends, health, housing and politics.

The organisation helps to ensure that their views are represented in consultations, and works with other bodies including Healthwatch Devon and the police. It has also given funding to Devon-based Stop Abuse For Everyone to help it develop specialist services for women with learning disabilities who experienced domestic abuse.

Devon Link-Up also arranges outings and social activities suggested by members, including art, music, cinema and games of skittles.

Chair of Devon Link-Up's trustees, Julie Gilpin, left; Abbie, a member of the group, and Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury. Picture; ContributedChair of Devon Link-Up's trustees, Julie Gilpin, left; Abbie, a member of the group, and Provincial Grand Master Ian Kingsbury. Picture; Contributed

The Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, Ian Kingsbury JP, went to meet the Devon Link-Up committee and members of the groups they aim to help and support, to present a certificate to commemorate the association between the two organisations.

He said: “The need to support an organisation that supports people with learning disabilities to have a voice is of paramount importance, and has a natural blend with the morals and disciplines which are at the roots of Freemasonry.”

Julie Gilpin, chair of the trustees of Devon Link-Up, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to the Devon Freemasons. As a small charity we are dependent on the support that we receive from donors. The money given so generously by the Freemasons will be used to ensure that adults with a learning disability continue to have a representative voice and are able to influence matters that impact on their lives.”

Every year the Devon Freemasons donate large sums of money to charities and other good causes in the county. This year they will have given a total of around £350,000 to dozens of organisations, including schools, youth services, and hospitals. The Devon Air Ambulance gets around £4,000 a year and Devon’s hospices around £15,000. Sports clubs, village halls and Crimestoppers have also benefited from the money raised by the Devon Freemasons.

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