Provincial News

Somerset Freemasons, the DofE and students from The Mendip School

On Wednesday 27th September 2023, four Somerset Freemasons hiked 7 miles with Teachers, Students and DofE leader between Wells and Shepton Mallet.

SEN (Special Educational Need) Students from The Mendip School, Shepton Mallet hiked as part of their Bronze and Silver Award.

DofE Somerset are now including Somerset Freemason activities of Cycling and or Hiking as part of their ‘Training Activity’ which forms part of their individual programme.

Somerset Freemasons provided all hikers with T shirts which were proudly worn by all. Students in particular enjoyed the T shirts and see the shirts as part of their DofE journey and will wear them with pride socially and on future DofE events, truly a legacy shirt.

The Hike started outside Wells Cathedral, then headed out to the ‘East Mendip Way’ following the route to Shepton Mallet, navigated by the students themselves, ably assisted by Brothers Craig Harding and David Robbins. Brother Simon Turner and Steve Collings had great chats with students, Teachers and DofE leaders along the way, explaining the support and partnership with DofE and Freemasons in Somerset, which recently donated £10k to the Somerset Bursary Fund.  The hike took in the recently opened stretch of the Strawberry Line walking through ‘Windsor Hill’ Tunnel.

This fund is a lifeline to several students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to take part.  It is clear from the 3 events this year, as Somerset Freemasons, we are making a terrific difference to youngsters starting out in life and supporting the great work the DofE Team continue to do across Somerset.

On returning to The Mendip school after the 4-hour hike, refreshments were kindly put on by The School for all participants in the ‘Greenfield Café’.  This on site café is open tl the general public and is also used to train students. 

Following the welcomed food and drinks, DofE Leader Carol Authers presented Bronze and Silver awards to many of the students.  Their excitement and smiling proud faces truly not only made the day, but our fantastic partnership with the DofE, which was started many years ago and maintained by Brother Ben Batley.

The overwhelming highlight of the hike was the interaction between the Teachers and SEN Students, truly magnificent, the teachers are the real heroes, giving the students a great foundation to start out in society.

Here’s a montage the hike…

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