MARK MASTER MASONS DONATE £11000 TO WILLOW WOOD HOSPICE ASHTON
The cheque presentation took place in the beautiful gardens surrounding Willow Wood Hospice, with a gathering of seven brethren in attendance representing those Mark Lodges who had chosen Willow Wood to be the recipient of the £1000 sum from each of eleven Lodges within the locality.
The £11000 donation, which is part of a Major Capital Grant of £1.25m to over 250 hospices in England, Wales, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, recognises the contribution made by HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to the service of the Crown and the life of the nation
The Masters who attended the presentation were John Pearson Manchester Keystone Lodge 745, Peter Lambert, Semper Paratus Lodge 852, Terence Bailey, Salford Lodge 994, Vic Murphy, Lodge of Good Report 1309, Paul Holt Mossley Lodge 1381 and Robert Summers Skelmersdale Lodge 141. David Thompson the Assistant Provincial Grand Master commented on the source of the funding and the reason why it had been nominated to Willow Wood Hospice, saying that the Mark Benevolent Fund is the official charity of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons, the third largest branch of Freemasonry with over 35,000 members worldwide. H.R.H. Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO, has been the President of the Mark Benevolent Fund for over 40 years and that it had distributed over £28 million in grants since it came into existence in 1868.
We learnt that the Hospice was built in 1999 and had a long history of fundraising and support from the local community. It saw its very first patient on the 5th May 1999, and in 2019 the Hospice celebrated its 20th anniversary. Lynne Fothergill the communications Officer stated that without the 635 volunteers who do everything from gardening, cleaning, office work and everything in between the hospice couldn’t function as it does. Amazingly three volunteers have been with the hospice for over 25 years and the volunteer receptionists had saved the hospice over £17000 last year alone.
It was a damp day, but it didn’t spoil the spirit of the visit and we even had time to take a tour of the gardens.