The precepts of Freemasonry teach us to practice charity and to care for the Community as a whole.
There is no doubt that this has been given in ample measure to the most needy in the Province, through the involvement of various agencies with which the Province of Middlesex has engaged.[Apart from the magnificent sum raised in the 2020 Festival for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys,] the endeavours of Middlesex Freemasons has provided much relief and support during the pandemic period to a number of good causes.
Each cause has addressed critical areas in supporting the elderly, the hungry, the homeless, and those who have needed care provided by the National Health Service. They are all of equal measure.
The Province has supported 11 Foodbanks with monetary sums of £1,000 each including:
Hillingdon, Ealing, Brent, Feltham, Harrow, Enfield, Richmond, the Salvation Army foodbanks in Hayes and Teddington as well as Yiewsley and West Drayton and the Sufra foodbank.
This has been financially and practically supported by Lodges, Chapters and individual Freemasons within the Province.
National Health Service –
5 Hospitals within the Province had grants of £1,000 each.
These were: Ashford and St Peter’s Hospital, Central and North West London, Harefield and Royal Brompton, West Middlesex and Hillingdon Hospitals.
Once again, these awards were supported by donations made by individual Lodges and Chapters.
The COVID-19 recovery wards at the Hillingdon and West Middlesex Hospitals were also provided with Samsung Galaxy Tablets, funded with the help of a grant from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, to enable patients to communicate with their families who were unable to visit them due to the restrictions.
It was a Middlesex Freemason, working as a volunteer for an organisation providing surgical scrubs to surgeries and hospitals, who co-ordinated the collection of over 800 metres of fabric that was donated to ensure a supply of these surgical washables for the hospital staff.
This developed into the supply of pyjamas for children’s wards and was an initiative warmly received.
The media team dubbed him the “Middlesex Rag Man”, a name which hopefully still has a resonance in the Province.
Homeless Charities –
Organisations providing assistance to the homeless were also given huge support with generous grants of £10,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) going to the following:
Shelter, Hayes, Hope for Southall street homeless, Hayes Salvation Army, Spear, Centre Point, Spelthorne Rentstart, SWAT (a Sikh Charity), SAFRA, Trinity Homeless, and Homeless Action based in Barnet.
Each individual charity provides a level of relief and expertise for their “clients”.
Mental Health Charities –
The Province of Middlesex has made donations of £2,000 to each of five charities which have had reciprocal amounts donated by the MCF:
MIND at Enfield, Harrow and Richmond, Rethink, and Arts for Life Project based in Pinner.
Prince Michael of Kent Court –
The RMBI care home at Prince Michael of Kent Court at Watford has also received much needed support for both the residents and staff by individual gifts from Lodges and Chapters within the Province.
Middlesex Freemasons have every reason to be pleased and proud of their achievements this year. The pandemic was unexpected and the response has most certainly been magnificent both in terms of practical and financial assistance. The work goes on, however, with the kitchen still open at the Uxbridge Masonic Centre with a remit to provide nourishing meals to the needy until at least the end of the year.
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