On the 24th July at the Grange in Derby, the Provincial Grand Lodge of Derbyshire Freemasons were again hosting their community awards ceremony and dinner. The evening was organised to present awards to those groups within the community who try to make a difference by supporting others.
All 75 Derbyshire Freemasons Lodges were invited to submit the name of groups local to their area whom they considered to be worthy of receiving an award.
After deliberation by the Provincial Grand Charity, groups were chosen to represent the various areas of Derbyshire and those winners were present on the night to receive their award and a cheque for £1000.
All of the charities nominated do important and often vital work within and for their communities, so those not chosen to be present on the evening each received a cheque for £250.
The task of presenting the Derbyshire Freemasonry Community Awards and the cheques for £1000 each fell to the Provincial Grand Master for Derbyshire, Steven Varley, and the Chairman of the Provincial Grand Charity, Graham Sisson.
Having received their awards, a representative from each Charity explained what it meant to them to receive the donations and how it would help them continue their excellent work. The Freemasons donate large amounts of money every year, nationally they donate around £33 million pounds to good causes but there was no doubt that the Masons present on this particular evening having been given the chance to meet the representatives of the various Charities were struck by how the money they give helps people facing real difficulties.
“ We have been supported by the Masons before, in fact they’ve done so much for the clients in Erewash – its fantastic what you guys do and how you help our clients”
Derbyshire Disability Employment Services.
“Good morning Graham, my name is Sue and I am the Unit Manager at Lacemaker Court. I just wanted to thank you for the generosity and hospitality you and your fellow members have shown to both the unit and my staff. The four ladies who attended the presentation had a delightful night and were overwhelmed by how welcome they were made to feel. The donation will be used to enhance an area in our garden and transform it into a beach area for the clients to enjoy. The clients in our care all suffer from a dementia type illness the majority are in the latter stages of the illness. Therefore they would be unable to make the journey to the seaside but do have fond memories of past visits. This project will bring so much pleasure to the clients, so once again I thank you for helping us to make this happen. The door is always open to your members and yourself if you are ever in the area pop in and have a cup of tea with us” Sue
I am writing on behalf of my fellow Trustees, volunteers and members of the Society to offer our heart-felt thanks to all the Freemasons of Derbyshire for their extremely generous award to our charity and for inviting a group of us to be your guests at the Awards Ceremony which took place at the Grange Banqueting Suite last evening. As a charitable trust which is just sustainable, receives no grants from local authorities and is reliant on the 7,500 visitors per year who pay a small entrance fee to enter, (and enjoy the Museum's architecturally fascinating building and collection of 9,000 artifacts, acquired over 60 years) your unexpected award will make a considerable difference and help us implement projects that would otherwise have been beyond our immediate financial reach.
I would be very much obliged if you would ensure that our thanks are passed to the Provincial Grand Master, RW Bro Steven Varley and all those Freemasons who helped make last night's Awards ceremony such a friendly, inviting, professional and above all, memorable experience.
Adrian Wills M.B.E., Vice Chair of Trustees Bakewell and District Historical Society
"On behalf of Scropton Riding for the Disabled I would like to thank you for your generous cheque for £ 1,000 towards helping with our disabled riding lessons. Without support such as yours, we simply could not offer the range of disabled activities we do. Myself and two volunteers from our Centre attended the awards ceremony last night and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The welcome we received could not have been warmer, to match the very warm evening weather. I hope we made clear in our acceptance speech and personally to the Bretby Lodge Freemasons who nominated us who were on our table, just how grateful we are for the donation. This letter is to say thank you again, and also to thank you for inviting us to such lovely evening"
Mark Hopwell Charity Manager – Scropton Riding for the Disabled.
The following were the Charities present on the evening and receiving awards :
Amber Valley Alliance, ( nominated by Royal Alfred Lodge, Alfreton )
Alderwasley Hall School Trust, ( nominated by Bradelei Lodge, Belper )
Chesterfield Samaritans, ( nominated by Cavendish Lodge Chesterfield )
Nenna Kind Cancer Support, ( nominated by Cavendish Lodge Chesterfield, and The Lodge of Repose, Derby )
The Macular Society, ( nominated by Arboretum Lodge and The Lodge of Repose – both from Derby )
The War Memorial Village Derby, ( nominated by United Services Lodge Derby )
Derby Mountain Rescue Team, ( nominated by Mentor Lodge Derby and St. Oswald’s Lodge Ashbourne )
The Greenaway Project, ( nominated by Derwent Lodge Wirksworth, and Arkwright Lodge Belper
Bakewell and District Historical Society, ( nominated by Dorothy Vernon Lodge Bakewell )
Lacemaker Court, ( nominated by Fairfield Lodge Long Eaton )
Derbyshire Disability Employment Service, ( nominated by Cornucopia Lodge Ilkeston )
Helen Atkin Riding for the Disabled, ( nominated by High Peak Lodge Buxton )
Furness Vale Community Centre, ( nominated by Connal Wilson Lodge New Mills )
Annabel’s Angels, ( nominated by Tutbury Castle Lodge Burton on Trent )
Scropton Riding for the Disabled, ( nominated by Bretby Lodge Burton on Trent )