Charitable Activity and Charity Events
Charity – one of our four values…
The values of Freemasonry are based on integrity, friendship, respect and charity. Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole – by both charitable giving and voluntary efforts and works as individuals. The United Grand Lodge of England supports many national and international charities.
Within the Provincial Grand Lodge of Bedfordshire, our efforts are focussed mainly on smaller local charities within the county of Bedfordshire.
Support for our Local Hospitals
The Province’s two hospitals, at Luton and Bedford, have long been the focus of fundraising efforts by Bedfordshire lodges.One of our key local charities is Teddies for Loving Care. Children attending the Accident & Emergency Department at the Luton & Dunstable and Bedford Hospitals can now have a cuddle with their own teddy bear to help soothe and comfort them whilst they receive emergency treatment. The teddy bears are a gift from the Freemasons of Bedfordshire.
In July we celebrated 20 years of the TLC scheme in Bedfordshire which happily coincided with the Provincial Grand Master presenting the 30,000th Bedfordshire TLC Bear to Bedford A&E Staff. In addition to delivering bears we have resumed our regular Easter Egg and Christmas Treats runs. These deliveries are usually well supported by the BEDA Chapter of the Widow’s Sons, whose presence on these trips is very popular with the Hospitals and makes every visit a memorable event.
Martin Rowe Theatre Tickets
Martin Rowe theatre tickets are available at special prices, and every booking includes a donation to our 2026 Festival. Have a look at the Events Calendar to book.
The Trustees of the Provincial Charity Fund meet four times a year and hear circa twenty applications a year from charities and organisations. During the year 2021-22 the Fund has donated an impressive £24,710.89 to 14 different Appeals.
As well as the applications they also make an annual awards to Bedfordshire University where the Martin Foss Award is presented to a student at the Graduation Ceremony for the School of Healthcare Practise.
Lodges also make a very valuable contribution to Charities and individuals and in the twelve months ending 30 June 2022 they donated the following amounts:
- The Grand Charity – £25,497.50
- Provincial Grand Charity – £4,020
- Friends of Prince Michael of Kent Court – £390
- Teddies for Loving Care – £649
- Keech Hospice – £1,610
- Sue Ryder Moggerhanger – £1,500
- Lodge Widows – £6,855
- Lodge Brethren – £1,705
- Masonic Salmon & Trout Fishing – £716
- MCF2026 Festival – £35,152
- Other non masonic Charities – £26,301
The Province continues to support Bedfordshire Foodbanks through these difficult times by donating directly – through the Provincial Charity Fund – to 5 Foodbanks whose distribution covers the whole Province. Donations made in the current year are:
- £1000 – Leighton Linslade Helpers
- £1000 – Luton Foodbank
- £1,000 – The Trussell Trust (Dunstable)
- £1,000 – The Trussell Trust (Bedford)
- £1,000 – The Need Project (Central Bedfordshire)
Bedfordshire is covered by East Anglian Air Ambulance and Magpas, and both receive regular funding. In July 2022 the Trustees of the Provincial Charity fund agreed to further support Magpas. An announcement will be made in September 2022 – watch the website for details.
Support for Bedfordshire from the Masonic Charitable Foundation
The Festival system is at the core of national Masonic Charitable giving. Funds raised across the country by Provinces in Festival are used to support Provincial Charities in return. In the last year Bedfordshire Charites have been the beneficiary of direct Grants from the MCF to the tune of £76, 813.