Globe and Laurel Lodge 4657

Globe and Laurel


Masonic News and Initiatives



UGLE

Quarterly magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, featuring freemasons' news, interviews, and features. Free to view online alongside exclusive content.
Published Sat, 27 Nov 2021 02:24:32 +0000

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Security Officer for the Facilities Department

Security Officer

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Security Officer for the Facilities Department

The duties and responsibilities will be many and varied, but will be to assist in the provision of a high quality security service for the building and a high quality building support service for the users of the building.

Duties include:

  • To ensure the safety and the security of members, staff, tenants, and visitors and guest at Freemasons’ Hall.
  • To maintain accurate records, both in note books and as official incident reports, including any incident reporting software, and to take appropriate action to handle and contain incidents sensitively.
  • To respond to all alarm activations including fire, access control, intruder and panic alarms and assist in the effective evacuation of the building in any emergency.
  • To provide a high profile security operation and presence for the building in the Front Hall, at an entrance or by patrolling at specified intervals the clock points both within the building and around the perimeter of the outside of the building.
  • To ensure rooms and doors are locked/unlocked according to the UGLE agreed policies.
  • To issue and recover security passes for visitors.
  • To give advice and directions to visitors to the building.
  • To develop and maintain good working relationships with members, tenants and other UGLE departments and teams and to explain clearly the Security and Health & Safety regulations they need to understand, and provide them with information on security they require, so as to ensure their continuing support, understanding and assistance.
  • To develop and maintain good working relationships with external authorities (including emergency services) to ensure their continuing support, understanding and assistance.
  • To check and record items and deliveries leaving the building.
  • To receive mail, but to carefully examine suspicious, unusual envelopes, packages or parcels, advising relevant Line Manager accordingly and contacting the relevant authority as required.
  • To undertake random baggage searches as required.
  • To handle telephone calls to the building outside the normal hours of operation of the switchboard.
  • To collect and log any items of lost property.
  • To turn off the lights in all rooms which are not being used.
  • To ensure that all pertinent administrative systems are maintained.
  • To render First Aid treatment/advice as necessary, and keep up-to-date with training.
  • To carry out any other associated duties as required.
  • To use a two–way radio and be available for call-out in an emergency.
  • To report anything suspicious or any unusual behaviour to relevant Line Manager.
  • To understand and follow Security Standing Orders and Assignment Instructions.
  • To act in such a way as to ensure the health and safety and welfare of oneself and others.
  • To be smartly dressed in the required uniform and to wear other security clothes as required.

Essential:

A current SIA Manned Guarding Licence/Door Supervision

A current SIA CCTV Licence

5 year verifiable work record

Ability to work in a team and independently with a professional approach which generates credibility and confidence in others

The ability, tact and diplomacy to deal with people including our client, the client’s staff and visitors in all circumstances including emergencies and other times of stress

Flexibility and self-motivation with good organisation skills, ability to work with little direct supervision and to prioritise tasks if necessary on a daily basis

Excellent communication skills – both verbal and written

Ability to listen to problems and to explain clearly actions to be taken

An excellent level of physical fitness to be able to perform patrol and emergency response duties efficiently and effectively

A consistently smart appearance in the uniform provided and required by UGLE

Ability to be vigilant at all times and notice details of what is happening

Knowledge of the job and safe working practices (HASAW)

Desirable:

Minimum of 3 years relevant experience

Previous experience of working in a historic or listed building and/or a private members environment

Qualified First Aider

Salary:

Competitive salary and terms package applies.

Hours:

The successful applicant will work a 35 hour week; however you will be required to work on a rotating shift pattern.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay
Director of HR
United Grand Lodge of England
Freemasons’ Hall
60 Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5AZ

Or via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CV’s received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business (5pm) on Tuesday 12th October 2021.


Published Tue, 28 Sep 2021 10:17:49 +0100

Deputy Grand Master's address - September 2021

08 September 2021

An address from the Deputy Grand Master Jonathan Spence

Brethren, I am delighted to see so many of you here today as we continue to move towards a more normal rhythm in our meetings. We all very much hope that things will continue to improve as more and more of our Lodge and Chapter meetings are able to take place and our members return to a fuller enjoyment of their Freemasonry.

Having stated what I am sure we all hope may be the case, none of us is in any doubt that there is a continuing level of uncertainty on how things will develop with COVID-19 over the next few weeks and months, There will undoubtedly be a few alarms along the way, but as we move from a pandemic situation to one where we have an endemic infection in the population, we need to adjust and adapt our responses especially in our Lodges and Chapters. I mention both Lodges and Chapters as what I am about to say will surely apply to both the Craft and the Royal Arch.

A significant number of Lodges and Chapters have already met and more will do so over the next few weeks. I am sure you will all experience, as I have, that individuals respond differently to the current situation. Some of our members in meetings will just carry on as normal but others will wish to wear a mask or sit at more of a distance from others than before and I am sure there will be other responses. It is vitally important for every member of a Lodge or Chapter to feel comfortable in a meeting and we should all be entirely supportive of the choices individual members make to be able to attend. The important thing is for everyone to want to attend, be supported to do so and to be engaged with their Freemasonry. We should also be understanding of those members who may not yet feel able to attend a meeting in person and ensure they are very much supported in their continued membership. Such an approach will very much live up to our values.

As you will realise from the numerous communications over recent months, a great deal of work has been done over the last year or so in developing and enhancing our approach, both in engaging with existing members and in attracting new members. I would like to thank all those who have been involved in this work, particularly the Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand Masters, as it is only with their support, encouragement, and sound advice that we have been able to make as much progress as we have in these trying times.

Brethren, I think we all appreciate it is every bit as important to engage with those who are already members as it is to attract new members. It is you, our members, through your enthusiasm, who are the best advertisement and ambassadors for Freemasonry. One has only to think of the extraordinary levels of engagement in our communities by our members, particularly in recent times, to realise how critical this is for any organisation that wishes to thrive.

Very shortly an up-dated Member’s Pathway will be rolled out across the Provinces and individual Lodges and you have all seen the material sent in preparation for this. This is an exciting development and enhancement to what we have done over the last three years or so and has been warmly welcomed by Provincial Grand Masters and Provincial Membership Teams. I am sure it will be equally well received in Lodges.

Brethren, as you will also be aware, we are going to launch towards the end of September a National Digital Marketing Campaign, which is a first for us. This campaign will be promoted under the auspices of, “Why Freemasonry?”, with short, memorable sentences which try to capture the essence of Freemasonry. This builds on the Mission Statement published with the Annual Report in April.

Creating “Why Freemasonry?”, in other words why become a Freemason and why remain a Freemason, was not as straightforward a task as some might imagine. We all have our own, individual reasons why we became a freemason and the different aspects that strike a chord within us to maintain our interest and enthusiasm. I am sure we will all do as much as we can to ensure this campaign is a great success. It is essential all new members, whether arising from this national campaign or through existing ways of joining, are properly looked after and welcomed into their Lodges and Freemasonry more widely and, most importantly, remain engaged with Freemasonry for many years to come. This is a responsibility for all members of a Lodge, not just the Lodge Membership Team.

And while on the subject of the Lodge Membership Team and in particular the Lodge Membership Officer, as you all know a number of changes to the Rules in the Book of Constitutions have been introduced over the last year. One of these was the creation of the office of Membership Officer, both at Lodge level and at Metropolitan, Provincial and District Grand Lodge level. What you may not realise is that the jewel for the Lodge Officer is available exclusively from the Shop on the first floor of Freemasons’ Hall, and I hope those of you who have not yet seen it may wish to inspect it before you leave the building today and, perhaps, even buy one for your own Lodge if you wish.

Brethren, I was recently discussing the nature of Freemasonry with one of my friends aged in their mid-thirties, and we concluded that one of the strengths of the organisation is that it is truly inter-generational in its membership. This, together with Freemasonry being a rare facilitator for us all to meet others from different backgrounds, religions and races who we might otherwise not get a chance to meet and enjoy their friendship and company, is something of which we must never lose sight.
Notwithstanding the tragedies, difficulties, and challenges of the last eighteen months Brethren we have a rare opportunity to ensure Freemasonry thrives. I am clear we should not aspire to return just to the status quo prevailing before the pandemic, that would be a failure of imagination on all our parts.

We must aim to be better and stronger than we were before with strong member engagement, thriving Lodges and Chapters with every member engaged and looking forward with anticipation to the next meeting and a convivial meal afterwards. Our aim must be to become an organisation with members who continue to act with confidence. This is the raison d’etre of both the up-dated Member’s Pathway and the National Digital Marketing Campaign. I would like to express my gratitude to all the members of the Working Parties who have contributed to these two important developments.

I believe every single member can and should be able to contribute to ensuring Freemasonry thrives, both as individuals and within our respective Lodges. With your support we will succeed. I very much hope we will all grasp this opportunity as we come out of the pandemic with unbridled enthusiasm to ensure Freemasonry under the United Grand Lodge of England thrives over the years to come.

Brethren, thank you.


Published Fri, 10 Sep 2021 17:04:25 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks Receptionist

This position has now closed

RECEPTIONIST 

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Receptionist for the Facilities department.

This role acts as first point of contact for visitors of Freemasons’ Hall by greeting, welcoming and directing them appropriately.

Duties:

This person must be able to:

  • Deliver excellent customer service at all times
  • Give advice and directions to visitors to the building
  • Deal with all enquiries in a professional and courteous manner in person, on the telephone or via e-mail
  • Handle telephone calls to the building outside the normal hours of operation of the switchboard
  • Fulfil all reasonable requests from visitors to ensure their satisfaction and safety
  • Assist in keeping the Front of House reception area clean and tidy at all times
  • Maintain security by following procedures; monitoring logbook and issuing/recovering visitor badges
  • Receive mail and carefully examine suspicious, unusual envelopes, packages or parcels, advising relevant Line Manager accordingly and contacting the relevant authority as required
  • Collect and log any items of lost property
  • Ensure that all pertinent administrative systems are maintained
  • Operate Helpdesk as directed
  • Maintain personal knowledge by completing internal/external training
  • Adhere to United Grand Lodge of England’s policies and procedures
  • Be involved and contribute at team meetings
  • Carry out any other associated duties as required by the Director of Facilities/Facilities Manager
  • Use a two-way radio

Must have skills:

  • Excellent telephone manner
  • Excellent verbal and written communication ability
  • Positive attitude
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Friendly and professional
  • Ability to deal appropriately and effectively in a variety of situations

 Salary:

Competitive salary and benefits package:

  • BUPA private medical cover
  • Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12% with length of service)
  • Life Assurance
  • Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days with length of service)
  • Interest free season ticket loan
  • Gym membership (subsidised)
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Flexible working

Hours:

The successful applicant will work Monday to Friday (35 hours per week)

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CV’s received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Friday 3 September 2021.


Published Fri, 27 Aug 2021 11:47:43 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Web Content Manager and Product Owner

This position has now closed

WEB CONTENT MANAGER AND PRODUCT OWNER

The United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Web Content & Product Owner to optimise the UGLE websites to meet the objectives of the organisation. You will be responsible for maintaining and developing the website vision and strategy, to develop your product roadmap along with creating an exciting schedule of digital content to further improve web traffic and user engagement.

As Product Owner, you will be responsible for collecting, analysing, and responding to feedback: you’ll constantly evaluate if your solutions have achieved the organisation’s goals through quantitative and qualitative measures. You will define product level KPIs, gather detailed requirements and build the user stories driving new website features, functionality and highly engaging content, working closely with our digital agency to deliver the technical implementations.​

Ideally you will have had some experience of Agile working practices as you will organise and prioritise the product backlog to best achieve product goals and mission. Working closely with UGLE digital agencies and in-house resource to ensure the requirements are fully understood and the development stays on track. You will also work with the development team to refine and improve the development process to increase development efficiency/velocity.

 

Duties:

  • Plan and prioritise product feature backlog and development for the website(s).
  • Help define product vision, roadmap and growth opportunities.
  • Assess value, develop business cases, and prioritise features and user stories to ensure work focuses on those with maximum value that are aligned with product and organisational strategy.
  • Develop a deep understanding of our existing members and potential new prospects and their interactions with our website(s) by tracking events in both the app and the website; and analyse our customer journey data to optimise the usability of our websites.
  • Maintain and update web content and image files including writing unique content on CMS system for desktop and
  • Serve as an SEO expert, advising teams in other departments on current and future SEO trends and best Apply knowledge and best keywords to enable great performance.
  • Develop and manage email campaigns to maximise driving traffic to online and
  • Uses analytics to make site improvements, support initiatives and measure the effectiveness of web and digital
  • Developing, writing, posting and maintaining content for main UGLE
  • Collaborate effectively with IT and other key stakeholder departments. Ensure all functions of the system effectively work with all other applications, operating systems and/or legacy
  • Lead cross-platform digital marketing projects for the organisation around events, publications and other key
  • Work with the Communications and Marketing Director to ensure good practice and create content across all digital mediums.
  • Maintain a website content calendar, covering organisational blogs, external articles, events, and UGLE announcements.
  • Act as editorial tone of voice across UGLE websites, upholding standards of quality and
  • Managing a running list of landing pages that need to be built, fixed, or
  • Prioritise work requests in an organised and timely
  • Tracking website performance using Google
  • Keep up-to-date with new trends to ensure the continuing enhancements of UGLE
  • Organise your own workload, making strategic decisions on prioritisation of projects and small change requests to ensure strategic and tactical priorities are
  • Drive effective implementation of change for all projects assigned to the websites, by translating the requirements of the business and agreeing implementation schedules, managing changes, ensuring quality is maintained and contingency planning is accounted
  • Be responsible for management of technical issues impacting UGLE platforms by liaising with key stakeholders, including the ICT department and key partners to ensure rapid resolution without negative impact for either the public, members or key

Must have skills:

  • You will be someone with excellent verbal and written communication skills, enabling you to work with colleagues co-operatively and collaboratively in the team and across the organisation. You will have the ability to work closely with the existing team and key partners to deliver a creative social media strategy that engages UGLE’s members and members of the public by showcasing the benefits of Freemasonry across its websites and
  • You will have a flexible approach both to the type of work undertaken and working hours, as required, to meet team objectives and ultimately customer needs, taking ownership and responsibility for work and performance. You will demonstrate a positive ‘can do’ attitude and excellent work ethic. In addition, you will be able to demonstrate resilience and present yourself in a professional manner at all
  • The role will also develop and execute the strategy for email marketing activities including designing and managing external marketing campaigns, email personalisation, testing and measurement.
  • Achieving measurable success in implementing major responsibilities and key tasks to agreed timescales, budgets and
  • At all times working within organisational procedures and supporting the activities and requirements of the Board, Senior Management and other departments at UGLE.
  • Demonstrating visible activity, creativity, effort and commitment toward the achievement of
  • Retaining confidential information as it is required to be retained and refraining from creating, participating in rumour and innuendo detrimental to the focus, direction and objectives of the

Salary:

Salary £40,000 and benefits package:

BUPA private medical cover

Pension (3.5% employee and 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%)
 Free Life Assurance

Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days) Interest free season ticket loan

Gym membership (subsidised) Employee Assistance Programme Flexible working

Hours: 

This is a full time role so the successful applicant will work Monday to Friday 35 hours per week. Two of these days must be in the office.

Application details:

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business (5pm) on Tuesday 31 August 2021.


Published Wed, 18 Aug 2021 09:01:49 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks Bar Staff (Fixed Term Contract – 12 months)

This position has now closed

BAR STAFF (FIXED TERM CONTRACT - 12 MONTHS)

A fantastic opportunity has arisen at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden London. Home to the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall is a grade II* listed, art deco masterpiece, the centre of English Freemasonry, and hosts the Museum of Freemasonry and the Library.  In 2019 there were 40,000 visitors to the Museum and Library, 120,000 visits by member for meetings and 50,000 guests attending private events.  The Open House London weekend in Sept 2019 attracted nearly 9,000 visitors over 2 days.

We are opening our first café and bar on the premises and are seeking experienced Bar Staff. The Café and Bar at Freemasons’ Hall will serve both the membership and the public and we have ambitions to grow the business to its maximum extent.

Job Brief

The successful candidates will report directly to the Café/Bar Manager on an initial 12 month fixed term contract. The whole operation must present a friendly and welcoming environment in which staff, volunteers, members and customers alike feel comfortable and receive excellent customer service. Guidance will be given from Senior Management.  We are searching for engaging and courteous Bar Staff who are passionate about beverage preparation. Duties will include greeting, serving and looking after customers. You will also maintain a clean and well-stocked workspace and dining area, update displays, and continuously expand your knowledge of beverage quality controls, preparation methods, and presentation.

To succeed you should be committed to providing customers with excellent service. You should be positive, friendly, engaging, knowledgeable, and polite.

Duties

  • Preparing and serving drinks
  • Cleaning and sanitising work areas, utensils and equipment and seating areas.
  • Properly handle and maintain all equipment
  • Describing menu items and suggesting products to customers
  • Respond to orders, questions, concerns and complaints in a polite and efficient manner
  • Ordering, receiving and distributing stock supplies
  • Receiving and processing customer payments
  • Observe relevant health and safety standards

*This job description is not exhaustive and is liable to review following discussion with the successful candidate.

 Must have skills 

  • Great communication
  • Warm, friendly and engaging personality
  • Strong customer service skills and knowledge
  • High level of attention-to-detail
  • Good level of literacy and numeracy
  • Enthusiasm to develop your skills and knowledge
  • Adaptable to change and willing to embrace new ideas and processes
  • Ability to work unsupervised and deliver quality work
  • Positive and approachable manner
  • A passion for hospitality and enjoy helping people to have a great time
  • Team player

Salary and Benefits

£20,000 (subject to experience) gross per annum.

Initial fixed term contract – 12 months (potential for extension)

Plus the following benefits package: 

BUPA private medical cover

Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%) 

Life Assurance

Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days)  

Interest free season ticket loan 

Gym membership (subsidised)

Employee Assistance Programme 

Flexible working 

Hours

The successful applicant will work five days a week 14.00pm – 23.00pm (40 hours per week) to include a one hour lunch break. This will include working some evenings, weekends and holidays.

Application details

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk 

CV’s received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is 5.00pm on Tuesday 10th August 2021.


Published Tue, 03 Aug 2021 15:04:10 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is seeking to appoint a Director of Finance

This position has now closed

DIRECTOR OF FINANCE

UGLE was founded in 1717 and is an unincorporated association.  It is the representative body of Freemasonry in England, Wales and the Channel Islands.  This membership organisation is the largest secular, fraternal and charitable body in the UK with some 200,000 members.

UGLE is head quartered in Covent Garden, London and employs some 100 people.  The Director of Finance will be part of the Senior Management Team reporting to the Chief Executive and managing a team of 6.  No prior knowledge of Freemasonry is required to fulfil this position.  The role is anticipated to be 3 or 4 days per week.

 

ROLE TO INCLUDE

  • Managing operation, outputs and performance of finance team and providing them with guidance and leadership.
  • Ensuring UGLE maintains, presents and reports true and fair financial information.
  • Presentation of timely management accounts.
  • Driving annual budgetary and forecasting processes
  • Long term financial and tax planning
  • Liaising with other users of the building
  • Integrating finance with other departments and overseeing membership billing.
  • Monitoring VAT and evaluating VAT status.
  • Compliance with all applicable statutory and regulatory frameworks.
  • Managing audit processes and relationships.

 

ESSENTIAL SKILLS

  • Qualified accountant (ICAEW, CIMA, ACCA) with at least 5 years management experience
  • Excellent interpersonal, written and oral communications skills
  • Discretion and confidentiality to facilitate trusted relationships
  • Excellent management and prioritisation skills
  • Analytical and constructive approach
  • FRS 102 reporting
  • IT Literate with knowledge of financial software
  • Knowledge of VAT
  • Team player
  • Flexibility and adaptability

 

USEFUL SKILLS

  • Treasury/cash management
  • Familiarity with membership organisation
  • Knowledge of personal payment banking options
  • Charity sector knowledge
  • Listed building experience
  • Cost recharging and occupational leases
  • PAYE audit experience
  • Risk Management
  • Imaginative and strategic thinker
  • Effective cost management and good negotiator

 

SALARY

Competitive salary and terms package applies

 

HOURS

Part-time – 3 or 4 days per week (21 or 28 hours per week). Flexibility available


APPLICATION DETAILS

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay

Director of HR

United Grand Lodge of England

Freemasons’ Hall

60 Great Queen Street

London  WC2B 5AZ

Or via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CV’s received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is Friday 16th July 2021.


Published Tue, 06 Jul 2021 12:36:19 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks Records Assistant

This position has now closed

RECORDS ASSISTANT (6 month FTC)

 

A fantastic opportunity has arisen at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden London. Home to the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall is a grade II* listed, art deco masterpiece, the centre of English Freemasonry, and hosts the Museum of Freemasonry and the Library.  In 2019 there were 40,000 visitors to the Museum and Library, 120,000 visits by member for meetings and 50,000 guests attending private events.  The Open House London weekend in Sept 2019 attracted nearly 9,000 visitors over 2 days.

United Grand Lodge of England seeks a Records Assistant for the Legal Department on a 6 month Fixed Term Contract.

This role will contribute to the effective records management of the organisation reporting to the Records Manager.

Purpose of the role and key objectives

  • Processing backlogs of paper records.
  • Improving and enhancing existing listings and records storage
  • Participating in the digitisation process (in-house and outsourced)
  • Participating in other records management tasks

Main Duties

  • Sorting, listing, packaging and shelving records
  • Labelling shelves, boxes and records
  • Recording locations of records
  • Keeping an audit trail of record transactions
  • Auditing records
  • Light cleaning of documents and the removal and replacement of staples, paper clips and other items that may damage records
  • Uploading lists of records to the records management system
  • Uploading records to the records management system
  • Indexing records in the records management system
  • Improving and enhancing existing listings and records storage
  • Digitising records in-house
  • Carrying out quality checks on digitised images

 Must have skills

  • Educated to university level degree or equivalent
  • Working in an administrative support function and experience of working with administrative records
  • An interest in archives and records management
  • Recognises the value and importance of records
  • Recognises the importance of following processes and the importance of audit trail
  • Maintains security and confidentiality
  • Methodical and organised
  • High level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • Excellent IT skills
  • Excellent practical skills with the ability to produce logical and clear solutions to problems
  • Effective team working skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work efficiently and to organise, plan and prioritise to meet deadlines and to make the best use of resources
  • Adaptable to change and willing to embrace new ideas and processes
  • Ability to work unsupervised and deliver quality work
  • Ability to demonstrate initiative and work flexibly
  • Ability to carry out manual handling tasks
  • Ability to work at height

 Salary and Benefits

Salary £30,000 (subject to experience) gross per annum plus the following benefits package:

BUPA private medical cover

Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%) 

Life Assurance

Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days)  

Interest free season ticket loan 

Gym membership (subsidised)

Employee Assistance Programme 

Flexible working 

Hours

The successful applicant will work Monday to Friday (35 hours per week)

 Application details

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CV’s received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is close of business on Thursday 8th July 2021.  


Published Thu, 24 Jun 2021 15:47:19 +0100

Freemasons’ Hall to host performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

Freemasons’ Hall to host performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons

The Belmont Ensemble and Trafalgar Sinfonia will be presenting performances of Vivaldi's masterpiece The Four Seasons by candlelight at Freemasons’ Hall.

The concerts will take place on 19 June, 24 July, 28 August and 6 November, with performances at 5pm and 7:30pm and will include musical gems by Bach, Handel and Pachelbel.

The Grand Temple at Freemasons’ Hall, in the heart of Covent Garden, will host the combined group of some of London's finest musicians. The June 19th concert will be the first opportunity for these gifted musicians to perform together since the start of the pandemic and the performances are set to be a joyous celebration of music-making for the musicians and audience alike.

While enjoying the concert, the audience will be able to experience the splendour of the Grand Temple, including the majestic organ with its ornate pipes as well as the stunning mosaics that surround the ceiling.  Built in the center of the splendid art deco Freemasons’ Hall, which was designed as a pentagon to suit the irregular space in which it is located, the Grand Temple is rich with multi-coloured details of blue, gold and white.

The concerts will each last one hour and will be held under Stage 3 Covid-safe conditions, in line with current government regulations. Tickets are available online at Feverup.com and will also be available on the door from one hour before each concert.

Dr David Staples, chief executive of the United Grand Lodge of England, commented: 'Vivaldi was one of the foremost composers of his time.  It is an honour to welcome the Belmont Ensemble and Trafalgar Sinfonia to perform with us as we open up our iconic building and the magnificent spaces within to more and more public events. The return of concerts like this brings a hope of better times to the hearts of the British people.  We hope the concert will bring world-class music and a little normality to the many people feeling isolated and lonely, whilst also giving the audience an opportunity to take in some of the stunning architecture of our headquarters here in London.'


Published Mon, 21 Jun 2021 09:33:12 +0100

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

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.

The 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.

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.


Published Thu, 10 Jun 2021 10:17:20 +0100

United Grand Lodge of England seeks Bar Staff

United Grand Lodge of England seeks Bar Staff

This position has now closed

Bar Staff (Fixed Term Contract – 12 months)

A fantastic opportunity has arisen at Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden London. Home to the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons’ Hall is a grade II* listed, art deco masterpiece, the centre of English Freemasonry, and hosts the Museum of Freemasonry and the Library.  In 2019 there were 40,000 visitors to the Museum and Library, 120,000 visits by member for meetings and 50,000 guests attending private events.  The Open House London weekend in Sept 2019 attracted nearly 9,000 visitors over 2 days.

We are opening our first café and bar on the premises and are seeking experienced Bar Staff. The Café and Bar at Freemasons’ Hall will serve both the membership and the public and we have ambitions to grow the business to its maximum extent.

Job Brief

The successful candidates will report directly to the Café/Bar Manager on an initial 12 month fixed term contract. The whole operation must present a friendly and welcoming environment in which staff, volunteers, members and customers alike feel comfortable and receive excellent customer service. Guidance will be given from Senior Management.  We are searching for engaging and courteous Bar Staff who are passionate about beverage preparation. Duties will include greeting, serving and looking after customers. You will also maintain a clean and well-stocked workspace and dining area, update displays, and continuously expand your knowledge of beverage quality controls, preparation methods, and presentation.

To succeed you should be committed to providing customers with excellent service. You should be positive, friendly, engaging, knowledgeable, and polite.

Duties

  • Preparing and serving drinks
  • Cleaning and sanitising work areas, utensils and equipment and seating areas.
  • Properly handle and maintain all equipment
  • Describing menu items and suggesting products to customers
  • Respond to orders, questions, concerns and complaints in a polite and efficient manner
  • Ordering, receiving and distributing stock supplies
  • Receiving and processing customer payments
  • Observe relevant health and safety standards

*This job description is not exhaustive and is liable to review following discussion with the successful candidate.

Must have skills

  • Great communication
  • Warm, friendly and engaging personality
  • Strong customer service skills and knowledge
  • High level of attention-to-detail
  • Good level of literacy and numeracy
  • Enthusiasm to develop your skills and knowledge
  • Adaptable to change and willing to embrace new ideas and processes
  • Ability to work unsupervised and deliver quality work
  • Positive and approachable manner
  • A passion for hospitality and enjoy helping people to have a great time
  • Team player

Salary and Benefits

£20,000 (subject to experience) gross per annum.

Initial fixed term contract – 12 months (potential for extension)

Plus the following benefits package: 

BUPA private medical cover
Pension (3.5% employee & 9% employer contributions – increasing to 12%) 
Life Assurance
Holiday (25 days increasing to 30 days)  
Interest free season ticket loan 
Gym membership (subsidised)
Employee Assistance Programme 
Flexible working 

Hours

The successful applicant will work five days a week 14.00pm – 23.00pm (40 hours per week) to include a one hour lunch break. This will include working some evenings, weekends and holidays.

Application details

To apply please send your CV and covering letter to:

Elizabeth Gay - Director of HR - United Grand Lodge of England via email to egay@ugle.org.uk

CVs received without a covering letter will not be considered.

Closing date for applications is Friday 18th June 2021.


Published Thu, 10 Jun 2021 10:08:48 +0100

More News

Quarterly magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, featuring freemasons' news, interviews, and features. Free to view online alongside exclusive content.
Published Sat, 27 Nov 2021 02:24:33 +0000

Essex Freemasons helping to improve mental health in Harlow

Children’s mental health charity Place2Be has launched additional support for both children and parents at six schools in Harlow, thanks to a £25,000 grant from Essex Freemasons, donated via the Masonic Charitable Foundation

Parents across six schools in Harlow will now have access to a dedicated Place2Be Family Practitioner, who will be on hand to support with any concerns they have about their child’s behaviour or wellbeing. The Family Practitioner will work alongside parents to support and strengthen their confidence and parenting skills. This, in turn will reap benefits for the mental health and wellbeing of the children.

This builds on the existing work of Place2Be, which already delivers mental health support to children and young people in schools facing a whole range of issues, including anxiety, stress, low mood, bereavement and even self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Place2Be has been working with schools in Harlow for many years, providing permanent staff to work with teaching professionals to provide support and counselling for young people. The service continued during Covid via online Zoom and phone sessions and was said to be 'a lifeline by many parents' during lockdown.

It’s also a service which has been welcomed by Harlow schools. James Hollinsley, Executive Head of Longwood Primary Academy in Paringdon Road, explained: 'In 2015, this was a failing school with large number of children with additional wellbeing needs. Four years later we were described as the happiest primary school in the UK'.

'While our team made considerable changes to improve and turn around the school, I cannot underestimate the support we have received from Place2Be who have helped to change the lives of many children with mental health issues. The service is a fundamental part of all of our NET Academies schools'.

Kate Armstrong-Taylor, Area Manager for Place2Be added: 'Based on our experience of working with schools in Essex and across the UK, we understand the vital role that parents and carers play in building their children’s resilience. With the support of the Family Practitioner, parents can improve their own confidence and strengthen family relationships, all of which will ultimately have a positive impact on their children’s wellbeing. This grant from Essex Freemasons will enable us to continue to develop our work in Harlow, supporting even more families through the work of the Family Practitioner'.

'This is very much a community project helping vulnerable children and parents', said Paul Tarrant, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons. 'With 8,000 members, many of whom live and work in the Harlow area, we are very much part of that same community which is why we have been delighted to help such a fantastic charity'.


Published Wed, 24 Nov 2021 17:09:43 +0000

The Root, Heart and Marrow of Masonry

Abbots Hall Chapter No. 6205 is back in business. It was Consecrated in December 1948, the year when the cheese ration was cut but the milk ration was increased from 2½ to 3½ pints per week. Hugh Gaitskell, the Fuel Minister, rationed motorists to 90 miles per month and a dock workers strike caused the meat ration to be decreased to 6d (2½ new pence) a week for both fresh and tinned meat. The Government declared a state of emergency deploying the Army to control and operate the docks and the National Health Service was born

Moving on 73 years, an Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals, David Wilson, was delighted to be at Upminster Masonic Hall on Tuesday 16th November 2021 when 27 Companions of Abbots Hall Chapter held their first Convocation in almost two years. Whilst the Agenda was mainly administration based the unspoken item was to get back together, honour their late departed Companions and enjoy meeting once again followed by a sumptuous Chapter Banquet to put back on some of the pounds lost during lockdown.

David Wilson said 'The meeting typified what our Fraternity is about. Coming together as friends, enjoying each other’s company, renewing friendships, giving to good causes and parting with smiles and handshakes'.

A ballot proved in favour of two joining members including Bob Baldwin, a Provincial Assistant Grand Director of Ceremonies, who was immediately appointed Director of Ceremonies. A Supreme Grand Chapter Certificate was presented by David to the Chapter’s newest Exaltee who had been waiting two years to receive it. He will find plenty of inspiration from his fellow Companions including John Helliar, a Past Assistant Grand Sojourner, A New Chapter For An Essex Mason (essexroyalarch.org.uk) and Assistants to the Provincial Grand Principals John Crudgington and Bruce Mapson.

In addition to everyone enjoying themselves there is a profound focus on Charity among the Companions having raised £6,933 for the Essex 2022 Festival for which David Wilson was delighted to present a Platinum Certificate to the Chapter and commented 'This is an outstanding achievement as the Chapter has continued to support the Festival as well as local Charities and the Companions are donating through their Lodges as well'.

Abbots Hall Chapter is fortunate in having an exemplary Charity Steward who leads from the front. Frank Sharp, also a Past Assistant Grand Sojourner, helped set up the Yvonne Jean Stewart Charitable Trust (YJS) which has raised in the region of £500,000 to help the British Lung Foundation, the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity and the Saint Francis Hospice. Although these days Frank is no longer involved with the YJS, he raises around £10,000 each year, thanks to the generosity of mainly Essex Brethren, selling unwanted Masonic items online for the Saint Francis and Farleigh Hospices.

Frank Sharp thoroughly enjoys the whole Royal Arch ceremony. He explained: 'Its colour, its story line, the interaction between the First Principal and the Principal Sojourner and the fact that the three Principals work together as a team is what makes it to me the highlight of pure ancient Freemasonry'. Frank summed up by saying that he could not be as succinct as Laurence Dermott, the Grand Secretary of the Antient’s Grand Lodge, who described the Royal Arch in the 1750s as the 'Root, heart and marrow of Masonry'.


Published Tue, 23 Nov 2021 19:05:16 +0000

Essex Freemasons fund new mini bus to help carers in south Essex

A new mini bus, fully equipped to help transport vulnerable people across south Essex to allow them to access vital day care services and to give their carers, many of whom are young children, some much needed rest, has been delivered to a Benfleet based charity with the support of funding from Essex Freemasons

Carers Choices, set up to improve the quality of care and support for people in Essex through provision of respite solutions, has received £16,000 from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, which was further match funded by another £16,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemason own charity, enabling them to buy the bus outright. It has now joined the fleet of mini buses used every day to bring vulnerable adults and people with learning difficulties to their Centre in Kiln Road, behind the Castle Point Borough Council offices, where they can be looked after by trained professionals.

Paul Ramsden, Chief Executive of Carers Choices, explained: 'Our buses are essential tools to transport our clients to and from our centres, which means that we can free up more time for their carers. We also support Young Carers who are children under 18 looking after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or drug or alcohol problem. This might be a parent, grandparent or sibling. They frequently do extra jobs in and around the home such as cooking, cleaning or helping someone get dressed and move around and this is where we can help with training, building confidence and helping to provide these young carers with the skills they need'.

'We were delighted to be able to find the £32,000 needed to fund the new mini bus', said Paul Tarrant, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, 'it will clearly make quite a difference across south Essex helping dozens of families'.

'I have also been impressed with the incredible range of work Carers Choices provides for vulnerable adults and children. It is certainly the kind of community charity that our members in Essex like to support'.

Pictured left to right: Paul Ramsden Chief Executive Carers Choices and Paul Tarrant, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons


Published Sat, 20 Nov 2021 17:11:46 +0000

Foundation’s Down Syndrome Football Team Gives Emily Chance To Be Part Of Newcastle United Family With Help From Northumberland Freemasons

A passionate United supporter, Emily, 18, began searching for inclusive opportunities to play football and found DS Active – free, accessible football sessions for young people living with Down Syndrome

Part of the Foundation’s Football For All disability programmes, DS Active welcomes children, teenagers and young adults to weekly sessions overseen by dedicated football development coaches working within the official charity arm of Newcastle United.

Emily’s family were thrilled to find DS Active running in Blaydon, just three miles away from their home, and knew it would be Emily’s chance to build her self-confidence, introduce her to new people and help maintain an active lifestyle through the sport she loves. Caroline, Emily’ sister, said: 'Emily absolutely loves football, so to find a team such as the Foundation’s DS Active team for her to play in was amazing'.

'Emily has never taken part in any type of group event before outside of school and she was very nervous to start with, but she has come out of her shell and loves every minute of it. Emily has always struggled to make friends, especially with her own age group so its very heart-warming to see her make new connections and friendships. She also loves being part of a team'.

'For her to be keeping healthy and exercising doing something she loves is great. And it’s also helping with her reflex skills and her coordination as well – she does have hypermobility, so it is helping a lot with that also'. She added: 'Emily’s especially excited to be a part of the Newcastle United family as she loves watching them play on the television at home'.

Emily said: 'I love going to football and I like scoring goals and seeing my new friends'.

DS Active sessions currently run every Tuesday from Blaydon Youth and Community Centre and are among a number of free disability football clubs for children and teenagers offered by the Foundation. The Foundation’s disability programmes rely on donations from generous organisations with a shared goal of creating fully inclusive communities. A portion of the DS Active team programme is funded by the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland, with this sum matched by the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Stuart Cairns, Provincial Grand Secretary for the Freemasons in Northumberland, said: 'It was a unanimous agreement among our trustees to apply funding from our Benevolent Fund to support Newcastle United Foundation and specifically to sponsor their Down Syndrome Football Club.

'We are thrilled to see the terrific support and service that the Foundation gives to the local community, and our Masonic Charitable Foundation in London agreed to match our grant to award a total of £10,000. Freemasons Northumberland sincerely hope this funding helps to provide a fun and inclusive opportunity for the region’s young people to enjoy sport, making friends and staying active'.


Published Sat, 20 Nov 2021 16:06:57 +0000

Brothers-in-Arms

During the English Civil War, Royalist Generals Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George Lisle fought bravely whilst enduring hardship and famine in the three-month siege of Colchester.  Following surrender to the Roundheads they were executed in 1648 by a firing squad at Colchester Castle and laid to rest in St Giles Church which is now Colchester’s Masonic Centre where Lucas and Lisle Lodge No. 8456 meets

The Essex Freemasons were approached with a special request from The Queensman Lodge No. 2694, which meets at Freemason’s Hall in Great Queen Street, the London Headquarters of the United Grand Lodge of England. Based on the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment which includes the former Queen’s and Hampshire’s Regiments, in 2018 over 1,000 watched Johnson Beharry VC and Daniel Keighran VC undergo their joint Initiation into Freemasonry.

With a waiting list of new members to Initiate, the Queensman Lodge asked Lucas and Lyle Lodge if they could perform the Third Degree, also known as the Ceremony of Raising, for Reece Snowball to be made a Master Mason in this historical building where the two Royalist generals lay buried in the vault.

At the regular meeting of the Lucas and Lisle Lodge the Worshipful Master, Michael Lappage, invited the current Master of Queensman Lodge, James Burgoyne to perform the Ceremony with the help of Queensman members Paul Dove, Ian “Chelsea” Hall and Nick Savin together with Dave Barrett and Eric Sigsworth, who are also members of Claudius Lodge No. 8700 which also meets at St Giles, as is James Burgoyne.

The Ceremony held on Friday 12th November 2021 was described by one visitor as 'A ‘Festival of Freemasonry’ with an outstanding performance by the Queensman Lodge members and complemented with the equally word-perfect and sincerely delivered 'Traditional History' by Tony Flint, the Secretary of Lucas and Lisle Lodge'.

Tony Flint said 'Reece Snowball was overwhelmed with happiness on the day and that ‘candidate-experience’ is one of the reasons why we work so hard. It was one of those fantastic evenings that do not come along often enough'.

The Lucas and Lisle members also voted to donate £2,500 from their Lodge Relief Chest to the Essex Freemasons 2022 Festival to achieve Patron status. The Festival has already raised over £4.5 million for the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) with six months still to go. The MCF is the Freemasons’ Charity which gave over £51 million to other Charities and good causes in the Community in 2020 alone. 

Having a good time with a focus on charity together with its other core values of integrity and respect is what Freemasonry is all about.  As the photograph shows, after having taken his Third Degree in Freemasonry at the resting place of the two famous Royalist soldiers, Reece Snowball, the new Master Mason of Queensman Lodge No. 2694, joined his fellow Freemasons as 'Brothers-in-Arms'.


Published Sat, 20 Nov 2021 09:23:43 +0000

Band of Brothers Join Holy Cross Lodge in Northumberland

Back in 2018 Holy Cross Lodge No.3679, which meets at Wallsend Masonic Hall, gained a new member, via United Grand Lodge of England's 'Pathway Programme'

Ty-Roll Findlay, a 47-year-old, ex-military officer, had been researching Freemasonry for many years after leaving the forces and had found that he had more time on his hand. He subsequently approached the Pathway Programme for further information and was finally introduced to Holy Cross Lodge.

Ty joined the Queens Own Yeomanry, as a cadet in 1989, prior to joining the Parachute Regiment in 1990 passing P Coy, the famous test for airborne soldiers, in 1991. He served with both 4 Para (V) and 1 Para where he saw active service with a tour of East Tyrone N.I. in 1997, during their famously volatile marching season. In 1998 he conducted a 6 week jungle warfare course in Belize, Central America, leaving the Parachute regiment shortly after and taking a break from active service until 2014, when he joined a local reserve unit 52 (five-two) Company, Military intelligence.

He made contact with Norman West, via another member of Military Intelligence. who was and still is a Mason, after he noticed Ty's screensaver was the Knights Templar picture and provided him with an email address, which eventually found its way to Norman and Holy Cross Lodge. Ty is currently a Corporal in the Queens Own Yeomanry, a reserve light cavalry regiment based in Fenham Barracks, where he currently works in a recruiting role by day, and a section commander when on exercise or active service.

Holy Cross Lodge was delighted to welcome Ty when he was initiated in October 2018, and enjoyed initiating his son, Brandon, into the Lodge in November this year when Ty took part in the ceremony as the Inner Guard. Ty's brother, Flint, is now also due to join the Lodge in January next year, along with a long standing family friend, John Watson, which the Lodge is looking forward to with great anticipation.


Published Wed, 17 Nov 2021 07:55:18 +0000

Essex Freemasons helping PICC Pals make medical history

A group of 15 Southend based volunteers are helping to make medical history from a simple idea that has turned into a cottage industry and a potential life saver for patients at hospitals and medical centres across the country

They call themselves PICC Pals, a dedicated team of ‘sewing bees’, packers and delivery drivers producing a very special range of armbands for people aged from two upwards. The bands are designed for patients who have to wear a PICC (a Peripherally inserted central catheter), which covers the catheter helping to protect it from accidental knocks or similar trauma. Such has been the success of PICC Pals in just nine months, that they were in danger of running out of funds until Essex Freemasons stepped in with a £1,000 grant which will keep the charity continue its work for at least the next year. The money from the Freemasons Shoeburyness Royal Arch Chapter and the Essex Freemasons Community Fund will cover the cost of materials and meet demand from hospitals as far away as Sheffield and Exeter.

For those still unsure what a PICC is – it’s a Peripherally inserted central catheter - a thin, flexible tube that is inserted into a vein in the upper arm and guided (threaded) into a large vein above the right side of the heart called the superior vena cava. It is used to give intravenous fluids, blood transfusions, chemotherapy, and other drugs. It is widely used by the NHS to treat a wide range of different conditions from cancer to diabetes. PICC Pals was launched by Nikki McCarthy, herself a cancer patient. She quickly worked out that the cotton tube supplied by the NHS did not protect a catheter that well and rapidly became soiled and unusable – so she created her own armband cover.

'We sourced our own materials and designed them so they would appeal to the user – bright colours for children, plain designs for men and fashionable designs for women', said Nikki. 'Friends soon heard about the scheme and in just a few weeks they were producing more bands and we had turned into a cottage industry'.

'The NHS approved the design and packaging and these are now supplied free of charge and with demand growing by the day I cannot tell you how grateful we are for the money from Essex Freemasons. It will keep us going for nearly two years'.

In just nine months PICC Pals have produced more than 4,000 armbands. The collection of covers has increased to include a lighter weight summer range, children’s and teenage covers and special occasion covers. 

PICC Pals are currently producing a Christmas range and have made special covers for weddings. One of the best additional effects of this work is that the nursing teams, without exception, have reported that they enjoy having something positive and novel to discuss with their patients, and something that can swiftly calm what is a very emotional and scary experience.  

David Wilson, representing Essex Freemasons, commented: 'This is clearly a fantastic venture and we are delighted that we can help. This was first drawn to our attention by members of Shoeburyness Chapter and once we learned what PICC Pals were doing were delighted to make a grant possible'. The Essex Freemasons Community Fund won the Pride of Essex ‘Team Pride of 2020’ Award for its supply of equipment to help frontline workers and volunteers in Essex during the pandemic.

Thousands of patients have PICCs inserted each year which is why the Southend Group will just continue to expand.


Published Tue, 16 Nov 2021 21:51:23 +0000

Lincolnshire Festival gets £50,000 boost to mark reaching milestone pledge

To mark the landmark of the 500th Lincolnshire Freemason having signed up to a regular giving pledge in support of the #Lincs2025 Festival, the Trustees of the Province's Old Provincial Benevolent fund have added £50,000 to the running total

Saying that this was a very welcome injection of funds, Festival Chairman Jez Hyland, hoped it would spur others into making the same commitment. He said: 'I appreciate that whilst some members might feel reluctant to attend meetings, these have nevertheless started again. I hope that will give a renewed focus to our Freemasonry, and the good that can be done through the Masonic Charitable Foundation by donating to the Festival. Support for Freemasons and the wider community is needed now more than ever, and the outcomes we are able to achieve through our financial support are remarkable. Imagine the support for thousands of people made possible because of Festival donations. That’s something to be really proud of'.

Jez added that the Old Benevolent Fund existed to support Freemasons and their families, so the Trustees had insisted that the Masonic Charitable Foundation should ring-fence their £50,000 donation and ensure it was used exclusively for that purpose.


Published Mon, 15 Nov 2021 10:56:26 +0000

Lincolnshire signs Armed Forces Covenant

Lincolnshire's Freemasons have signed the Armed Forces Covenant in recognition of the high regard in which we hold for the armed forces – a tangible demonstration of a continued commitment to those who serve

The landmark document was signed by Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler on behalf of Lincolnshire Freemasons, and on behalf of the Ministry of Defence by Maj. Mitch Pegg, CO of 4 (Lincolnshire) Company, 3rd Battalion of the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Dave Wheeler said: 'Our Lodges, through the centuries, have always had a close relationship with those who serve in the armed forces. Servicemen have found that our values of integrity, friendship, respect and charity are a natural fit with their own, and many ex-servicemen comment that the camaraderie they find in a lodge is second only to what they have experienced whilst serving. It is also true to say the experiences and friendships they form help a much wider cross-section of society to better understand the military; its ethos and its purpose'.

'I am delighted to have formally recognised, in this document, the relationship that has always existed between our great institutions'. 

Could Lincolnshire have a Forces Lodge? Not out of the question; visit the website members’ area and read Dave Wheeler’s Craft Lodge address to the Provincial meeting for a tantalising hint...


Published Mon, 15 Nov 2021 10:51:08 +0000

Bacon makes everything better, say those at Lincolnshire's first Members' Pathway Seminar

Almost 50 representatives from Lodges in the eastern part of Lincolnshire have converged on Louth's new Masonic Centre for the first in a series of Members’ Pathway Seminars that will eventually include all of the Province's 75 Lodges

The event kicked off with a round of very welcome bacon sandwiches before opening on the business of the day, which was to help Lodges prepare to receive an influx of candidates in the right manner, using the new look Members' Pathway.

As the first such event it represented for Lincolnshire the start of the best five years Freemasonry will have, predicted Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler. He said it had taken what we had done as an organisation during the pandemic to make people realise the force for good represented by Freemasonry.

He said: 'Our credit in society has gone through the roof. Interviews and press articles haven't mentioned funny handshakes or trouser legs, and the perception of us has changed; we have lots of people who want to join'. Their ranks are being swelled by great numbers of unsponsored candidates, coming forward through a digital marketing campaign run by UGLE.

The Members' Pathway is designed to help them through the process, and to make sure that, when the right people have been identified, they are treated in a way that makes them realise they've made the right choice, and that Freemasonry has much to offer. Said Dave: 'We need to be supportive and welcoming'.

First point of contact for Lincolnshire's unsponsored candidates is Provincial Membership Officer Mike Clay, who is handed three or four referrals from the digital marketing campaign every day. He rings them all, and in a conversation establishes if they’d be right for Freemasonry, and if it's right for them. They're not all a match, and he explains that straight away to those that aren't. Those that are get referrals to the right part of the Province for Lodges to follow up.

Said Mike: 'It’s really important that we get feedback from Lodges about the people we introduce to them. That's the only way we can know with any accuracy how effective this work is being', adding that it was important to get it right; these potential new candidates were the future of Freemasonry.

Dates and locations of future presentations will be published in due course.


Published Mon, 15 Nov 2021 10:43:00 +0000

Freemasonry Cares

Quarterly magazine of the United Grand Lodge of England, featuring freemasons' news, interviews, and features. Free to view online alongside exclusive content.
Published Sat, 27 Nov 2021 02:24:33 +0000

Freemason Tom Jones donates nearly £4,000 to Lifelites

Tom Jones has donated nearly £4,000 to Lifelites to help fund donations of special iPads for children’s hospices across the British Isles

This generous donation will support Lifelites to donate 10 special iPads that come with drop proof covers and are packed full of special apps that help life-limited and disabled children to communicate and play.

Tom Jones chose Lifelites as one of twenty charities he wanted to support this year. Having a large and very close family, including eight grandchildren, Tom told Lifelites that children’s charities have always been especially dear to his heart. He first heard of Lifelites five years ago while he was a master of the Rugby Bastion Lodge, whose PGM at the time had chosen Lifelites as their charity. Since then he has been a supporter in his own right, and when seeing an online post earlier this year about the special Lifelites iPads, he knew he wanted to donate to give more children access to this magical technology.

Like many, due to the pandemic, Tom says that he has learned a new appreciation for technology and how it can help us all to communicate. Having previously never used Zoom before he said that it had been a huge help to him in keeping in contact both with his family and also with his fellow Freemasons.

But for many life-limited and disabled children, this technology has always been vital in enabling them to communicate in ways they may not have been able to before. This was a large part of why Tom wanted to donate in particular to help fund Lifelites iPads, one of the most popular pieces of Lifelites donated technologies.

Lifelites empowers 10,000 life-limited and disabled children and young people in hospices by providing them with opportunities to benefit from the power of assistive and inclusive technologies to learn, to be creative, to communicate and to take control. There is a Lifelites project for children using every baby and children’s hospice service across the British Isles. The hospices do not pay a penny towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs around £50,000 over four years.


Published Fri, 24 Sep 2021 09:06:19 +0100

It’s up, up and away for one RMBI Care Co. Home Connaught Court resident


Published Wed, 11 Aug 2021 10:51:44 +0100

Residents at RMBI Care Co. Homes enjoy out-of-home activities once again

Residents at RMBI Care Co. Homes have been able to enjoy short trips in their local areas, following the latest guidance from the government

The recent changes mean that care home residents can now participate in low-risk, out-of-home visits without having to self-isolate on their return to the care homes.

One of these Homes is Cadogan Court, in Exeter, where residents were delighted to be able to enjoy a short trip to the local garden centre. Staff have worked tirelessly to ensure residents continue to exercise and keep active in the Home and in their gardens and outdoor spaces. However, this is the first time they have been able to safely leave the grounds and enjoy an activity outside the care home. To ensure their health and safety, residents were accompanied by staff members, kept social distance and remained outside at all times, in line with the government’s current roadmap out of lockdown. 

The residents, who are members of Cadogan Court’s Gardening Club, travelled via the Home’s mini bus to visit the garden centre, where they had a good look around and selected many plants to put in the Home’s garden and greenhouse; roses, clematis, strawberries and even tomatoes were among their choices. On the way back to the care home, the mini bus was full of laughter and chatter.

One of the residents on the trip was 93 year old Pat Johns. She said: 'It was a lovely afternoon at the garden centre. I thoroughly enjoyed seeing a bit more of the world again! It seemed like such a treat.'

For resident Janet Wigmore, aged 100, it was a chance to remember her own garden as she chose dahlias and said: 'I used to grow a lot of dahlias in my own garden. It is lovely to have them again.'

The Gardening Club are already planning their next trip with help from Cadogan Court’s Activities team. One of the options they are considering is an open park in the local area.

Home Manager Clare Walker, who also joined the trip to the garden centre, said: 'This activity has brought a lot of excitement to residents and staff. Now that they are able to meet their loved ones in person and enjoy out-of-home activities, we are very much looking forward to supporting our residents to reconnect with their local community and enjoy new activities.'

In March, Cadogan Court re-opened their doors to family visits in line with Government guidance. Prior to this, families were still able to meet their loved ones safely using the Home’s visitor pod which opened last year. Currently all visitors must undergo the necessary health and safety checks, including receiving a negative lateral flow test result and wearing PPE before entering a care home.

Cadogan Court, run by RMBI Care Co., is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Home is currently able to safely welcome new residents. For more information, please visit: http://www.rmbi.org.uk/


Published Mon, 21 Jun 2021 12:52:09 +0100

Staff at RMBI Care Co. Homes experience first-hand what it feels like to live with dementia

Staff at RMBI Care Co. Homes have reinforced their commitment to care for and support residents living with dementia. The Virtual Dementia Tour is arriving at the Homes across England and Wales to provide one-off dementia training sessions and strengthen the staff’s skills to support their residents living with dementia

One of these Homes is Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court, in Porthcawl. While on the bus, nurses and carers wore headsets, glasses and gloves to alter their perception and be transported into the sensory experience of people living with dementia, who are often trying to function in an environment that is difficult for them to connect to.

Afterwards, the staff attended a session where they shared their thoughts and brainstormed about how they can improve their support to the residents at Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court.

Mandy Kilpatrick-Evans, one of the Home’s Activities Coordinators, went on the Dementia Bus. She said: 'It was a humbling experience to find out what these people go through every day. I came off the bus and cried.” Asked about whether she recommends this experience, she said: “I think everyone should go on the Dementia Bus to develop more empathy and compassion for people living with dementia. It is an eye-opener!'

The training opportunity, provided by Training2care, was made possible following a donation from the Jubilee Masters Centenary Trust. Among other charitable activities, this organisation provides financial support for staff training for older people’s care. Russell Race, Chairman of the Trustees, said: 'The Trust had in mind to support RMBI Care Co. from its beginning. For us, the most important thing is that the staff receive the very best training, and we know the training of the Home’s staff in dementia care is specially relevant.'

Home Manager Alison Aberdeen thanked the Jubilee Masters Centenary Trust for this donation and said: 'To receive the recognition and the funding for this training demonstrates the commitment our organisation has to improving the lives of our residents living with this condition.'

Albert Edward Prince of Wales Court, run by RMBI Care Co., is part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Home is currently able to safely welcome new residents. For more information, please visit: http://www.rmbi.org.uk/


Published Mon, 21 Jun 2021 12:49:34 +0100

Residents at RMBI Care Co. Homes are reunited with their loved ones once again

Residents at RMBI Care Co. Homes were delighted to be able to meet their loved ones in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. The care homes have opened their doors to family visits, following new guidance from the government, which allows each Home resident to receive visits from one family member or loved one

One of the first residents to be reunited with a family member in person is Edna Staines from Lord Harris Court, in Berkshire. She said:

'It means so much to me to see my daughter in person once again and have her sit next to me. Thankfully, we’ve been able to see each other in the Home’s visitor pod during the pandemic, which has been great, but it means the world to me to be able to hold her hand again.'

Edna’s daughter, Helen, said:

'I have missed mum so much; it’s been an emotional experience being next to her in the same room and to hold her hand today. Staff at the Home have done a wonderful job in supporting mum to stay happy and healthy but it is such a special feeling to be with her again today finally.'

To ensure the health and safety of residents and staff at the Homes, each visitor must undertake a lateral flow test before entering the care home and receive a negative result for Covid-19, before meeting their loved one in person. They must also wear suitable personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes gloves, apron and a mask.

The care homes closed their doors to all but essential visitors before the first national lockdown last year to protect its residents and staff. Families have still been able to visit using the Homes’ Covid-secure visitor pods, which opened last summer.

Staff have worked tirelessly to ensure residents have had regular contact with their families by phone or video calls. However, this is the first time residents have been able to meet in the same room as their loved one without a physical partition.

Mark Lloyd, Managing Director at RMBI Care Co., said:

'We have been waiting for this moment for a long time and are overjoyed to be able to reunite our residents safely with their loved ones in person. Throughout the pandemic, our staff have gone above and beyond to support our residents to stay connected with their loved ones, which is vital for their wellbeing. We are so pleased to be moving in the right direction and are looking forward to opening our Home up to more visitors and larger gatherings when it is safe to do so.'


Published Tue, 16 Mar 2021 14:59:03 +0000

Join the Lifelites No Tech Day Challenge so children in hospice care can receive life-changing technology

The charity Lifelites, like so many charities across the UK, has seen a big impact to fundraising because of the cancellation of fundraising events due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The charity donates assistive technology for all life-limited and disabled children using children’s hospice services across the British Isles

In order to adapt to the current circumstances of isolation and social-distancing, the charity has launched an innovative fundraising challenge – the Lifelites No Tech Day Challenge.

Help life-limited and disabled children receive life-changing technology by taking part in the Lifelites No Tech Day Challenge on Sunday, 28 March 2021 on Sunday, 28 March 2021. Ask your friends and family to sponsor you and help raise funds so that life-limited and disabled children using hospice services can have access to life-changing technology. Your digital detox day of disconnecting from tech can help Lifelites raise the funds to help these children to connect with their loved ones through assistive technology.

Lifelites is particularly aware that the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people feeling overwhelmed by the sudden change of routine and isolation. Everyone is now getting a living insight into what it is like to be a life-limited and disabled child; unable to leave the house independently, or speak to people and socialise naturally, or even carry out all sorts of everyday activities that we usually take for granted. Of course, these are all the challenges that Lifelites is seeking to help these children overcome through the provision of our special technologies.

Simone Enefer-Doy, CEO of Lifelites, said, 'Throughout the pandemic, we have relied on technology now more than ever before to communicate with our loved ones, entertain ourselves, and stay connected with the world. Life-limited and disabled children have been more isolated due to the virus. Lifelites-donated technology enables these children to escape the confines of their conditions, communicate with their parents, play, and learn about the world around them.

'We decided that with the Lifelites No Tech Day Challenge on Sunday 28 March, everyone would get a taste of the isolation experienced by life-limited and disabled children: not being able to communicate, or entertain ourselves the way we used to. While we are fortunate enough to be able to go for walks, chat with our household, or take up hobbies, these children cannot play in the garden, read a book or paint like other children can. Life-limited and disabled children very often depend on assistive technology that Lifelites donates, to be able to communicate and play with their families.'

Join the sponsored challenge by visiting www.justgiving.com/team/LifelitesNoTechDay.

Lifelites donates and maintains assistive and inclusive technology for around 10,000 life-limited and disabled children using every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. This technology gives these children the opportunity to play, be creative, communicate and control something for themselves, for as long as it is possible.


Published Fri, 19 Feb 2021 13:32:01 +0000

Provincial Grand Mentor of the Brevity Lodge in Hampshire and Isle of Wight shares his personal story about why he became a Lifelites Gold Benefactor

John Donoghue of the Brevity Lodge in Hampshire and Isle of Wight is a Lifelites gold benefactor. Here is John’s moving story about why he decided to become a benefactor, and make a regular monthly gift to Lifelites

'When my oldest daughter was a child, she suffered with several health conditions and was on kidney dialysis. When she was 22 years old, it was discovered that her only chance of survival was to have a kidney transplant, and that the most likely match would be one of her siblings. Even though her brother and sister were only 15 and 17 years old at the time, we went ahead and had them tested to see if they would be a match. Sadly, both came back negative. It was then that I asked the doctor if I and my wife could be tested, and we were told that it was highly unlikely that we would match. We went ahead and had ourselves tested anyway, as this was the only chance our daughter had at survival; if neither of us matched, she would be given just six weeks to live.

'I will never forget the day that my wife and I received our test results back. Heartbreakingly, we heard first that my wife was a 0% match, so there was no way she could donate. Then the doctor told us, in total surprise himself, that against all of the odds, I was a complete match and could donate a kidney to save my daughter’s life. It was after spending time in the hospital and meeting families like mine, who were going through difficulties with their children’s health that I decided I had to stand up and do something important to help.

'I decided to become a Lifelites benefactor after Lifelites CEO Simone came and gave a talk at my Lodge. Having had first-hand experience of the unimaginable lives that some of these children lead, I felt it was my duty to help. In Freemasonry, we have four values; integrity, friendship, respect and charity. In my opinion, the value of charity embraces all of the finest things a person can be. For the children using hospice services, communication is so often their only hope and that’s what Lifelites gives them, through donating their amazing technology packages. It’s just priceless to see the smile of a child who can communicate with their family for the first time.

'Giving £8 a month to become a Lifelites gold benefactor equates to just 26p a day, and would mean the world to some of the most vulnerable children in our society. As Lifelites was started as a Freemasons project, I believe it is our duty to ensure that this wonderful charity is fully supported by Freemasons all over the country. I would like to see each one of our 200,000 brothers across the British Isles pledge to change the lives of life-limited and disabled children, by signing up to become a Lifelites benefactor.'

Lifelites is the only charity that donates and maintains assistive technology for the 10,000 life-limited and disabled children using every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. The technology gives these children the opportunity to play with their brothers and sisters, be creative, communicate with their parents and control something for themselves, for as long as it is possible.

Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, we can all better understand how being isolated and disconnected from friends and family can make us feel. The pandemic means that the vulnerable children using hospice services are more isolated than ever, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. The technology that your support will help us to provide will enable them to learn, play, communicate and, most importantly, to express how they feel during this difficult and unsettling time.

If you would like to learn more about Lifelites or become a Lifelites bronze, silver, or gold benefactor, please visit lifelites.org/get-involved/become-a-lifelites-benefactor/ or contact Sam Davies at sdavies@lifelites.org.

 

Notes to Editor

Lifelites empowers 10,000 children and young people in hospices with life-limiting, life-threatening illnesses and disabling conditions by providing them with opportunities to benefit from the power of assistive and inclusive technologies to learn, to be creative, to communicate and to take control. There is a Lifelites project in every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. The hospices do not pay a penny towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs around £50,000 over four years.

www.lifelites.org

Charity Number: 1165791


Published Thu, 29 Oct 2020 17:08:34 +0000

Devonshire Freemasons help abuse victims stay safe with £3,270 grant

Survivors of abuse across the county will continue to receive the help they need, thanks to a grant of £3,270 from Devonshire Freemasons to the” SAFE” charity (Stop Abuse For Everyone)

Incidents of domestic abuse have risen considerably since the lockdown began, leading to SAFE’s finances coming under real strain. SAFE works in the community, in schools, with social services and from their SAFE hub in Exeter employing 12 staff and up to 40 volunteers to help survivors of abuse regain control of their lives.

Abuse can affect any or all the members of a household and helping to eradicate this traumatising, controlling behaviour is at the heart of what they do, centring on goals, strengths and needs of those effected and help them regain control of their lives.

SAFE are passionate about ending abuse both mental and physical and have been working towards this goal for over 40 years and give support to families and individuals throughout Devon. The charity hold courses and also give support on a one to one basis, whatever is needed to end the cycle of abuse for survivors and their families which can be so isolating and lonely for those effected.

The grant from Devonshire Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons' Charity, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

In response to the extraordinary need created by the coronavirus pandemic, Freemasonry is providing special funding of £2.75 million for projects helping those who are particularly affected by the virus. This extra money comes on top of the estimated £45 million given to charity every year by Freemasons.

Dr. Reuben Ayres, from Devonshire Freemasons, said: 'I’m very pleased we’ve been able to support the wonderful work of SAFE in our community. During the lockdown the problem of domestic abuse has become even worse, with survivors often trapped inside with their abuser. SAFE has never been more important.'

Lucy Skye of SAFE, replied by saying: 'We’re very grateful to the Devonshire Freemason for this generous donation. SAFE is a grassroots local charity and this money will help us to continue to deliver vital recovery services to children and their parents in all parts of Devon. It’s only by working together that we’ll succeed in achieving our aim of ending domestic abuse.'


Published Tue, 21 Jul 2020 11:24:13 +0100

Appeal by Lifelites patron and rock star Rick Wakeman helps life-limited children isolated in London

The 2019/20 seasonal appeal from the music star Rick Wakeman on behalf of the charity Lifelites has raised over £42,000 for life-limited and disabled children using hospice services

The Covid-19 pandemic has left many people feeling overwhelmed by the sudden change of routine and isolation. Everyone is now getting a living insight into what it is like to be a life-limited and disabled child; unable to leave the house independently, or speak to people and socialise naturally, or even carry out all sorts of everyday activities that we usually take for granted – and these are all the challenges that Lifelites is seeking to help these children overcome through the provision of their special technologies.

Lifelites donates and maintains assistive and inclusive technology for the 10,000 life-limited and disabled children using every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. This technology gives these children the opportunity to play, be creative, communicate and control something for themselves, for as long as it is possible.

The appeal, organised by London Freemasons, was sent to Freemason Lodges all over London late last year, and the charity was staggered by the response it received, raising £42,785. This is the fifth year of this festive appeal to London Freemasons for Lifelites, and the total now stands at a staggering £178,000 raised for Lifelites’ vital work.  

Lifelites Chief Executive, Simone Enefer-Doy, said: 'It has been astonishing how enthusiastic Freemasons across London are with their support for Lifelites. We’d like to thank everyone for their incredible generosity and give special thanks to Rick Wakeman for his commitment to supporting our work. The funds raised will help life-limited and disabled children across London to escape the confines of their conditions and do things they never thought possible. In such difficult times like these, it is brought home to us how every moment is precious for these children and their families and these funds will ensure they can make every second count.'

Rick Wakeman said: 'I am delighted to be a patron of this remarkable charity. It’s so wonderful to see children facing life-threatening challenges use technology in ways that many of us take for granted. As we all are isolated now, we understand the need for technology to communicate and socialise so much more. Lifelites gives them the opportunity to communicate and play in ways they aren’t able to otherwise – it’s simply magic.'

Would you like to find out more? If you have speaking opportunities at future Lodge meetings or events later in the year, the team can come and showcase their magical technology and speak about the impact it has on life-limited and disabled children using hospice services.

Alternatively, Lifelites are holding online video calls to introduce their technology and demonstrate the impact it has on life-limited and disabled children at every children’s hospice service across the British Isles. If this is something you’re interested in, please get in touch with Samuel Davies by emailing sdavies@lifelites.org


Published Wed, 03 Jun 2020 14:18:58 +0100

£500 donation helps Friendship at Home let the vulnerable know they're not forgotten

A £500 donation from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), The Freemasons’ Charity, is helping a Cleethorpes-based organisation to beat the lockdown misery for elderly and vulnerable people no longer able to meet

Friendship at Home offers a volunteer befriending service to older people in North East Lincolnshire who are lonely and isolated – but has had to modify the way it works as a result of the ongoing lockdown faced by its clients.

The value of the service is summed up by Sally, a 90-year-old user of the Friendship at Home service. She's really missing the Tuesday Club and lunch club session she regularly attended. In a tearful phone call she said: 'People don’t realise it’s not just the staying in; it’s the fact that I have no-one to call and nothing to do or look forward to. The days seem endless.

'That club was my weekly lifeline and the activities gave me something to look forward to. The phone calls I receive from the volunteers mean so much, as they ask not only about whether I have bread and milk but about my personal hobbies and interests and if I’d like anything picking up. I was really having a down day, and out of the blue there was a knock at the door. I opened it and there on the step was a beautifully wrapped parcel with a big puzzle, ‘Life Story’ Journal and bag of wool to knit for the Special Care Baby Unit. It was a great surprise which will keep me busy for a long time, and I’m doing something useful for those little babies. Thank you my friends at Friendship at Home; it truly is the right name for you.'

Doreen said: 'How kind to think that people are sending me this lovely present. I am 94 and I am on my own as all my family and friends have passed away. It is really kind of you to deliver something to keep my brain going as well as the shopping you have done for me.' Her thoughts were echoed by Iris, who said: 'Thank you so much for thinking of me. I will enjoy doing the word search and the crafts will keep me out of trouble. It just means a lot to know that I haven’t been forgotten.'

Friendship at Home Operational Manager Lyse Stephenson said: 'The £500 grant will make such a difference to our members as it enables them to take part in activities that they would usually be able to enjoy at our clubs and with their friends. By taking part in these activities it not only passes many solitary minutes, but communicates they have not been forgotten in these lonely times. We are seeing such a positive bearing on their mental health; thank you, Freemasons and the MCF.'

The Friendship at Home website says: 'It is recognised that loneliness can lead to depression and in turn, lack of confidence, low self-esteem and the withdrawal from social groups and activities.

'Our volunteer befrienders are there to offer company and friendship to those who are, primarily, living on their own. We at Friendship at Home work on a one-to-one basis, which means strong bonds are formed between the member and their befriender. The service ensures, through careful matching with our volunteers, that they have something in common – which is a foundation on which to build.

'The benefits of having someone to sit and talk to, share a trip to the garden centre, read a book or play a game of cards, can really make a difference to an older person’s wellbeing. We offer befriending either in the member’s own home, or in a residential home setting. It is apparent that although people are placed in residential care, some may still feel loneliness and isolation. We now have our volunteer befrienders who spend one-to-one time with those who need it in several care homes with in North East Lincolnshire.'

Names have been changed to protect the identity of those interviewed.


Published Mon, 18 May 2020 10:45:00 +0100
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