Somerset Freemasons

Freemasonry - Supporting National and Local Charities

The initiation ceremony forcibly impresses on a candidate's mind the life changing effects that charity can have. Freemasons are constantly reminded that they should be charitable in word and deed, not just to their brother freemasons but to all mankind.
Freemasons support four main Masonic Charities in addition to supporting many local charities and good causes. In the past five years Lodges in Somerset have donated £500,000 to local charities.

2014 Somerset Floods

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Gordano Lodge donate £1,000 to worthy causes

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At a recent Sunday Lunch held at the Clevedon Masonic Hall on November 20th, the Worshipful Master of Gordano Lodge 6244 Brian Clayton, together with W Bro Kevin Dean (ADC) and Bro Peter Donoghue (SW) were pleased to present cheques to the value of £500 each to representatives from “Alzheimers U.K.” and “The Penny Brohn Cancer Care Centre” in Pill.

W.Bro. Richards

Somerset Farmers raise £2,000 for Breathability Charity

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The Somerset Farmers Lodge raised £2000 which enabled them to buy essential equipment for the Breathability charity.
This organisation supports people with lung and breathing problems with a medically approved exercise class, which is all run by volunteers.

The pictures show the equipment and the people involved.

W.Bro.Norman Crang WM 2nd right, on his right Mrs. Anne Warnes who assisted him with catering for the fund raising events.
Charity Steward Nick Male 2nd left. The other ladies are Jenny Woolmington(Chairman) and Pauline Rendell (Treasurer) of Breathability, and far right, Amanda Davies, daughter of Norman Crang who assisted in organising the fundraising.

Report by David Burke

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Breathability is a charity, established in 2004, that aids people with breathing and lung problems. The group aims to help sufferers lead as full a life as possible and provide social activities.

The group was set up by a local doctor who identified a gap in provision for suffers of breathing problems. Patients can attend exercise sessions run by the NHS but these only last six weeks and many people will have to live with their condition for the rest of their lives.
Members are referred to Breathability by hospitals and the C.O.P.D service after they have completed the short course offered by the NHS. Local doctors and surgeries also refer patients.

The group has approximately sixty members between the ages of 26 and over 60. Approximately fifty of these have a disability.

The group run exercise classes for sufferers to help improve their fitness levels and increase their confidence in coping with their disease or disability. The group also provides long term support and advice.
The group charges £2 per session for the exercise classes but require extra funding to cover the cost of hiring the hall and also to replace pieces of old equipment. The hall hire is expensive for the group, as they additionally require storage facilities for all the exercise equipment.
The service provided by Breathability is supported by the Respiratory Department and members have recorded startling improvements due to the regular exercise. Recently, a patient joined the group on permanent oxygen in a wheelchair and after twelve months was able to walk unaided and only using oxygen occasionally.

Somerset Masonic Charities and local Lodge support

  • Somerset Masonic Charities

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    The Somerset Masonic Charities (SMC) is the body which administers funds on behalf of the Province of Somerset to voluntary organisation within Somerset. The Management Committee of SMC has placed an Application Form on this website which will enable and assist any prospective organisations seeking funding.
    Full Details of July 2014 donations in PDF format
    Summary of £6300 donations made by SMC in April 2014
    Summary of £10500 donations made by SMC in January 2014
    Full details of January 2014 donations in PDF format
    Summary of £6500 donations made by SMC in November 2013
    Full details of November 2013 donations in PDF format
    Summary of £4,325 donations made by SMC in July 2013
    List of grants made by SMC between 2009 and 2013.
  • The Royston House Fund

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    This fund was set up with the specific purpose to help aged and distressed Masons and local people in the North East Somerset Area. The obligations specifically state that Grants will be “...restricted to requests received from individuals, charities or projects delivering relief in the North East Somerset area .. (and) .. any grants .. shall be for the benefit of distressed elderly people (Masonic or non-Masonic) or projects/charities doing work related thereto. The fund is administered by the SMC, applications for assistance should be made using the SMC Application Form.
  • The Legacy Match Funding Scheme

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    The Scheme was established following the receipt of a generous legacy of £50,000, which it is planned to allocate over a five-year period from 2011 to 2015.
    Lodges are invited to apply for Match Funding Grants, of up to £1,000 each, to match donations from Lodges to worthy local causes which benefit disadvantaged people in Somerset. Grants approved under the Scheme will be forwarded to Lodges to enable them to make joint presentations of their Lodge and Legacy Match Funding cheques on an appropriate date or occasion. It is hoped that the Scheme will demonstrate and publicise to Somerset Freemasons the advantages of leaving a Legacy to the Somerset Masonic Charities.
    Applications will be considered Quarterly, and Lodges may submit no more than one application per annum; written applications should be sent to the Provincial Grand Charity Steward by 31st March, 30th June, 30th September or 31st December in any year.
    Applications in writing, should give details of the donation being made by the Lodge and contain brief information about the local charity / cause / project being supported. Only new donations are eligible (i.e. retrospective applications will not be considered).
    Further information about Legacies, or advice about applications under the Match Funding Scheme, is available from:
    David Maddern
    Provincial Grand Charity Steward.
  • Giving by local Lodges

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    Every year Lodges in the county support Charities in their local area, reports of recent donations can be read on the News page of this website. Supported local charities may be small local charities or branches of much larger charities working locally. To give some idea the Provincial Charity steward has collected details on some of the donations made by lodges in Somerset over the past five years.
  • The Somerset Community Foundation

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    Somerset Community Foundation is part of a national network of Community Foundations, charities dedicated to strengthening local communities, tackling disadvantage and transforming people’s lives.
    They make a difference by connecting donors with effective local charities and voluntary organisations that make a genuine and lasting impact on the lives of local people.
    Community Foundations have been active in the UK since the 1980’s and the national network has grown to cover the whole of the UK. Somerset Community Foundation was set up in 2002.
    They currently manage over 50 separate charitable funds set up by individuals, business and trusts, providing a flexible and professional 'donor service' to help donors achieve their specific charitable goals within Somerset. Around 90% of their regular grant-making is sourced through these funds. They are also building a major endowment fund – currently £3.4m – so that they can provide sustainable community support to meet the changing needs of the future.
    The Somerset Masonic Charities Grassroots Fund was established in the Foundation’s endowment following the receipt of a generous legacy of over £32,000, and an anonymous donation of £50,000 which also attracted a tax refund under the Gift Aid Scheme. The combined value of these donations and tax refund was then 'match funded' through the Government's 'Grassroots Scheme' to create a new Endowment Fund of just under £200,000, yielding several thousand pounds every year for local causes.
    Under the terms of the Government's Grassroots Scheme the Fund is owned, invested and managed by Somerset Community Foundation. They receive funding applications from groups and projects supporting disadvantaged and vulnerable people in the community. After screening and assessing applications through its own Grants Committee it refers suitable applications to the Somerset Masonic Charities Management Committee at our quarterly meeting and we have the final say of which projects will be supported from our funds.
    Invariably our contribution is combined with other funds under the Foundation’s management. This arrangement means that not only do we fund projects that we would not otherwise reach, but our contribution helps lever other funds in. Grant recipients are made aware of where their grant has come from, and we work closely with the Foundation to visit groups and see their work for ourselves.
    Donations may be added to the fund. Visit Somerset Community Foundation web site.