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Connaught Lodge donate a further £1,350 to two more charities.

Connaught Freemasons donate a further £1,350 to two more charities.

In appreciation of the care given to two Connaught Freemasons, the charities Blind Veterans UK and Dorothy House Hospice received donations during a special presentation evening on Friday 24 November. 

Sarah Barnes, a Community Support Worker with Blind Veterans UK explained the work of the charity and how they give life changing assistance after sight loss. Although mainly giving help at home the charity also has two residential centres for assessments, respite care and where veterans can meet each other and find mutual support. Bro. Rod Hartnell, who has been a member of Connaught Lodge for 49 years and is a Royal Navy veteran who saw action in the Falklands. He lost his sight several years ago and is very grateful the invaluable support Sarah has given him from the very first day he contacted the charity.  

Sarah Barnes from Blind Veterans UK with Connaught Master Alastair Slade

This was followed by Paul Hewitt, a Volunteer with Dorothy House who spoke about the formation and the work of the Hospice for patients, their families and carers, and that the majority of patients receive palliative care at home.  Paul and his wife Bernie are two of the one thousand volunteers working for the Hospice in many different capacities, all with the aim of fundraising to supplement the income from the NHS. Margaret Gould, widow of Bro. Gerald Gould, a long serving and highly respected member of the Lodge who was cared for by the Hospice before his death back in the summer, gave a very moving tribute for all the help and support the Hospice had given.

W. Bro Steve Collins, Assistant Provincial Charity Steward gave an interesting presentation about the charitable work of Freemasonry in Somerset, and the work of the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Part of Steve’s role is to recognise the work of individual Freemasons Lodges in Somerset for their generosity in donating to their local charities, by adding to those donations from the Provincial Charity Fund. 

Margaret Gould, Alastair Slade, Paul Hewitt, Steve Collins 

The evening concluded with Worshipful Master Alastair Slade presenting £600 to Blind Veterans UK that included a personal donation from W. Bro Brian Parry, and £500 to Dorothey House, following which W. Bro Steve was presented a further £125 to each of the charities on behalf of Somerset Masonic Charities.   

Chris James

Connaught Lodge Charity Steward

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