Northumberland Freemasons have helped to banish the lockdown blues for local charities with donations totalling almost £160,000 in 2020.
In the latest series of donations totalling £80,000, the largest single donation of £20,000 was given to The Hextol Foundation in Hexham where a new crew van will help the charity carry out its work in the community.
Kevin Stannard representing Northumberland Freemasons explained that each year, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Northumberland through the Richard Henry Holmes Masonic Benevolent Fund donates around £80,000 twice each year to local charities to boost worthwhile and deserving projects throughout Northumberland, Newcastle and North Tyneside.
“Freemasonry and charity go hand in hand and these good causes are very close to our hearts. We like to see local charities create a positive impact on their communities and if we can help by purchasing equipment or funding projects then we are delighted to help.”
The Hextol Foundation was formed in 2007 and provides real working opportunities for people with learning disabilities and mental health conditions which otherwise would limit their ability to obtain regular, supported and purposeful work.
Chief Executive Bruce Howorth was delighted with the £20,000 pledge from the Freemasons:
“Much of our work is done within Hexham but for some aspects of our service such as the gardening team and our handy person service, we need to transport people to various sites throughout the area. The van will enable us to do this and increase our reach in the community as well as helping us to spread our services to more people too.
“We are incredibly grateful to Northumberland Freemasons for this generous donation which will assist us in our work to help people gain self-confidence, a sense of worth and structure in their lives.”
Other charities and good causes benefiting from donations included the St Michaels clock tower appeal in Alnwick, the Newcastle United Foundation and the Voices of Hope Choir.
Freemasons buildings in the Province of Northumberland can be found in:
Alnwick, Amble, Ashington, Bedlington, Bellingham, Berwick, Blyth, Byker, Cramlington, Haltwhistle, Hexham, Mickley, Morpeth, Newbiggin, Jesmond, Newcastle, North Shields, Seahouses, Seaton Delaval, Shiremoor, Throckley, Wallsend, Whitley Bay and Wylam.