It was nice to be greeted by Kathryn Willett, Corporate and Community Lead Fundraiser, for the Bolton Hospice, who introduced herself to VWBro David H Thompson, PGJO, APGM, WBro Trevor Thomas the Worshipful Master of FW Broadbent Lodge No 1132 and Stewart Poulsom the Worshipful Master of Quatuor Legati Lodge No 1165.
Unfortunately, the Masters of the following lodges were unable to be with us for the presentation but expressed their delight they were able to prefer Bolton Hospice with their donations. St Johns Lodge Ti, East Lancashire Provincial Grand Officers Lodge No 990 and Supera Moras Lodge No 1042.
Kathryn was delighted to receive the donation from the Mark Benevolent Fund for £5000 on behalf of the hospice who need £5 million per year to fund its expenses. Bolton Hospice has 16 private en-suite rooms for those who need care within the hospice. Their accommodation is comfortable and homely, and every room has direct access to their beautiful gardens.
It is a common misconception that a hospice is just a place where people go to die. Hospice care is so much more than providing end of life care, before patients reach the end stage of their illness they’ll need palliative care – and that’s what Bolton Hospice specialize in. Palliative care can stabilize symptoms and manage pain, helping a person to live well and create new memories with their loved ones. They will also support patients and families with emotional, spiritual and social needs too and care for them as a whole person, not just their illness or symptoms. Surprisingly between 30%-40% of their inpatients return home after receiving palliative care in the inpatient unit.
A conducted tour of the recently built Wellbeing hub was most enlightening and informative. With its own reception area, conservatory which looks out onto the well-kept gardens, canteen and dining area, and a creation room for patients to be creative with picture boxes and the opportunity to promote their artistic talents. It also provides a drop-in support service with various specialist facilities for those who have a life-limiting illness or ‘terminal’ diagnosis. These services include symptom management, legal advice & benefits clinics, outpatient clinics, and wellbeing sessions such as mindfulness and yoga.
The Mark Benevolent Fund has invited every Mark Lodge within England and Wales to nominate a hospice within their Province to receive a donation of £1000 in recognition of a lifetime of service and dedication to the Crown and the nation by his HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, making an overall total of £1.25 million.
The MBF 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. The Fund came into existence in 1868 and has disbursed many millions to individual petitioners and over £28m in grants to charities and worthy causes within the wider community.