On Saturday 7th October 2023, local charities gathered at Freemasons’ Hall in Leicester to promote the good work they do for our local communities. Also in attendance were members of the Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons, and the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur, and his predecessor, Lady Jennifer Gretton.
During the morning, The Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons’ Charity, the grant-making charity belonging to the members of the Province, pledged nearly £50,000 to eight local charities, all of whom were present to showcase the work they do. The Leicester Hospitals Charity received over £16,000 to assist with refurbishing the Children’s A&E Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary. The Leicester Hospitals Charity exists to support patients, their carers, and the NHS staff who look after them in Leicestershire, Rutland, and beyond.
The Read for Good Charity, who provide books and stories for children in hospital to comfort, distract, reassure and entertain during their stay, received a donation of £3,000 from The Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons’ Charity to assist with the running and purchase of brand-new books.
The Carers Centre also received £3,000 to assist with the extremely valuable support they provide to carers within the local community.
Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons have been a supporter of Rainbows for many years. The recent pledge is a further £20,000 over four years via Lifelites to help provide the invaluable service over the coming years. As the only children’s hospice in the East Midlands, Rainbows cares for hundreds of families every year who have a baby, child, or young person with a serious or terminal illness, meaning their lives will be shorter than most.
The LOROS Tree of Life initiative received a donation of £1,400 to help run the Overnight Response Service for a year to help care for people in their darkest hours. A specialist nurse, trained in end-of-life care, will be made available to patients and families for advice and support when needed most.
Also present were representatives from the Sue Young Cancer Support group, and LAMP, the Leicestershire Action for Mental Health Project, who will both be supported throughout November by the Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons.
The last presentation was by the Teddies for Loving Care initiative. For the last 21 years, local freemasons have provided nearly 30,000 teddy bears to local hospitals, with the aim of comforting children in A&E departments, helping to reduce the shock and distress of their experience through the gift of a cuddly teddy that they get to keep. This is part of a nationwide project, which to date have provided nearly three and a half million teddies to over 400 hospitals. Two of the key instigators of this project, Michael Turnbull and Gautam Bodiwala were in attendance along with a selection of Teddy Bears!
The Head of Leicestershire & Rutland Freemasons, Peter Kinder said, “To hear the magnificent work our local charity partners do, each day, is so heartwarming and humbling. Being able to support them with grants is one way we can express our gratitude for the support they give our local community”.