Masons provide £11,000 donation to children's hospice

Mark Master Masons help CHSW

Members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Devonshire, (from left) Paul Howard-Baker, Malcolm Coppard, Brian Martin and Peter Balsom present the cheque to CHSW co-founder and Chief Executive Eddie Farwell and area fundraiser Ruth Morgan at Little Bridge House - Credit: CHSW

Sidmouth Freemasons have joined colleagues across Devon to make a special £11,000 donation to Children’s Hospice South West’s Little Bridge House children’s hospice near Barnstaple in memory of the Duke of Edinburgh. 

Eleven Mark lodges, including the lodge in Sidmouth, each nominated the hospice to receive a share of a £1.3million wider grant from the Mark Benevolent Fund, the official charity of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. Money was distributed to more than 250 hospices across England and Wales, including CHSW’s other hospices in Cornwall and North Somerset, to celebrate the life of the Duke, himself a Freemason, who died in April. 

The total donated to CHSW from Mark Master Masons of Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Gloucester and Herefordshire was £29,000, funding that will help the charity continue to provide vital support to families facing unimaginable challenges. 

Presenting a cheque to CHSW co-founder and chief executive Eddie Farwell at Little Bridge House, Peter Balsom, Provincial Grand Master for Devonshire, said: “We are absolutely delighted that the members of the Province have chosen to support CHSW. 

“We are all aware of the toll that the pandemic has taken on charities across the country and hope that this small gift will go some way to help enhance patient care and provide improved facilities for those in need and their families.” 

CHSW, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, supports more than 500 families across the South West. The charity provides respite, emergency, end-of-life and bereavement care and support for the whole family. It has adapted its care during the pandemic to ensure Covid-safe support wherever and whenever families need it, including for the first time ever, in families’ own homes. 

Mr Farwell said: “It has been a year of extreme change, with challenges beyond comparison, as we have worked tirelessly to ensure that those families facing the already unimaginable difficulties of caring for a child or children with a life-limiting condition, could still receive the care and support they needed more than ever. 

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“Sadly, due to the extreme vulnerability of the children and families in our care, many are continuing to shield, so this funding is vital in helping us to maintain and further develop our community-based care services which we now view as a permanent addition to the more traditional ‘in-house’ care that we had always offered.” 

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