Charities across the region have benefitted from a series of community awards granted by the Devonshire Freemasons.
Eight Devon charities, including Erme Valley Riding for the Disabled based in Ugborough, and Jeremiah’s Journey in Plymouth, were presented with their awards following an unprecedented public vote of 178,801 votes across England and Wales. A total of £79,000 was awarded in Devon alone.
The community awards are a major part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing £3m to 300 charities across the country, with the public vote deciding on the range of awards from £4,000 to £25,000.
The Masonic Trust Foundation is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people. The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief.
The charities were presented with their awards at a ceremony by the provincial grand master Ian Kingsbury from Devonshire Freemasons on behalf on the Masonic Charitable Foundation on Tuesday, September 12, at the Mount Edgecumbe Masonic Hall in Plymouth.
The £3m fund is being administered by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which obtains all of its funding from Freemasons, their families and friends. It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country.
Ian Kingsbury said: “we are delighted to be able to celebrate three hundred years of Freemasonry by helping eight excellent local charities.
“We’ve been active in charity work for all that time, but this is the first occasion we’ve asked the public to help us decide how to spend our money. We are very pleased that so many people from Devonshire took part.”