Charity – one of our four values…
The values of Freemasonry are based on friendship, charity, integrity, and respect. 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 ones within the county of Bedfordshire.
Teddies for Loving Care
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 and, as at September 2020, over 29,000 have been handed out.
The initiative is to help make emergency visits to hospital less traumatic for young patients, helping them to relax, which can make it easier to administer medical treatment.
Teddy bears under this scheme have been supplied to the Luton & Dunstable and Bedford Hospitals since December 2002.
Upcoming Charity Events
Due to the measures taken to protect the population against COVID-19, all Freemasonry and associated events are suspended until further notice.
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 July 2019 through to June 2020 they gave away almost £6,285 spread across six applications. At the March 2020 meeting they heard six applications of which they gave one grant totalling £3,935 to MAGPAS Air Ambulance.
As well as the applications they also make annual awards to two organisations, the first is Bedfordshire University where the Martin Foss Award is presented to a student at the Graduation Ceremony for the School of Healthcare Practise. The second is the Luton Town FC Community Trust whereby the Trustees make a donation to the Annual Cubs and Beavers Football Tournament which is held in May on the Luton Town Football Club pitch.
Lodges also make a very valuable contribution to Charities and individuals and in the twelve months ending 30 June 2020 they donated the following amounts:
- The Grand Charity – £26,317
- Provincial Grand Charity – £3,882
- Friends of Prince Michael of Kent Court – £240
- Teddies for Loving Care – £8,950
- The PGM’S Scout Appeal – £101,169
- Keech Hospice – £1,500
- Bedford Day Hospice – £400
- Sue Ryder Moggerhanger – £2,870
- Lodge Widows – £5,640
- Other non masonic Charities – £41,167