Every spring and autumn Freemasons from all around Devon meet to support local organisations who require financial assistance, among which are children’s charities, schools, youth centres and locally based charities including hospices, hospital services and cancer charities.

The money is raised through the “Wake Fund”, a trust conceived by William Alexander Kneel, the Devonshire Provincial Grand Master from 1970 to 1984, the late owner of Kneels laundry and dry cleaners (now Johnsons).

Since the initiative began, the fund has grown through the continued generosity of Devonshire Freemasons and wise investments. Today it stands at £2.3 million from which the trustees distribute the income generated, currently around £50,000 each year.

Anthony Eldred, Devonshire Freemasons Charity Steward, said: “Since the first disbursement in 2001, over £970,000 has been given by the Devon Freemasons Wake Fund to charities and other worthy causes throughout Devon, selected by the 122 Masonic lodges within the county. Over 1,000 charities and organisations have benefited since it started. Charity and service to our communities are fundamental principles.

Nicholas Ball, the Provincial Grand Master for the Devonshire Freemasons, presented cheques to 19 local good causes amounting to £24,000.”

He said: “The two Wake evenings per year are always so special and bring us much closer to the public. This again did not disappoint. There are some wonderful kind people working for the charities who do so much to make our communities a better place to live.

“Their stories make us as Freemasons feel truly humble and we are delighted to continue our support for them. The Freemasons of Devonshire should be very proud of this fund and of the efforts of the Provincial Benevolent committee.”

Locally, Devon DocBike received £1,250.

They deliver critical care to patients involved in a motorbike accident. Biker education is part of what they do visiting bike nights and events.

They were nominated by Hauley Lodge no 797 Dartmouth,

The DocBike charity combines a highly qualified (consultant-level) doctor or critical care paramedic with two wheels to reduce deaths and serious injuries on our roads due to motorcycle collisions.

Wherever possible, this doctor or paramedic also works on the local air ambulance. It is part of their everyday job, to treat and save the most severely injured and sick patients and help them to reach the hospital alive.

When motorcyclists are involved in a collision, often the injuries are catastrophic, and no amount of medical care can save a person’s life.

This is why a lot of the DocBike charity’s time is invested in preventing motorcyclists from being in a collision in the first place.

For more information log on to: https://docbike.co.uk/devon/