Charity Report - October 2023
This month we have made two donations;
First, we donated £200 to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity. Many of you will know that Brother Richard Lewis has done an extensive range of work as the Park Street Liaison Officer for the GWAAC. Our donation is to support the work he is still undertaking.
The Second donation is for a ‘Grand’ and it is towards the Bristol Children's Hospital’s Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal. Our Children’s Hospital is one of the leaders in research into the Care and Treatment of Children; without your generous donations we would be unable to support these worthy causes.
This is also an opportunity to thank all those members who have generously supported the raffles held during the after-meetings following recent Mark Lodge meetings. These contributions really help to boost the funds enabling donations to be made to our chosen charities.
Charity Report - August 2023
This month we have continued to support the most needy in our community with Donations of £250 to each of the Keynsham Food Bank, The North Bristol Food Bank and the Fishponds Baby Bank.
We have also donated an additional £250 to Bro Richard Waldrom who is representing Team UK at the Invictus Games in Germany; this is to purchase a set of Race Wheels which will decrease weight and increase reliability. He is riding in the Cycle Road Race and the Cycle Time Trial.
One of our Brethren has recommended the Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue Charity (see below) as a worthy cause for a donation, and we have donated £500 towards essential equipment.
A outline of the ASSAR Charity:
Avon and Somerset Search and Rescue (ASSAR) is a charity consisting of over 80 volunteers, dedicated to saving lives for almost 50 years.
The team covers approximately 1800 sq miles and work closely with the police and other emergency services.
Due to their specialist training and expertise, the ASSAR team are regularly requested to support the police and ambulance service in rescuing injured people from difficult terrain, and searching for missing people, many of whom are particularly vulnerable and at their lowest ebb.
ASSAR has developed many search techniques and are highly trained in climbing, water rescue and first aid. The team have members from across society, all giving their time to train and deploy to operational incidents.
The charity relies on donations to train and equip team members, provide much needed rescue equipment and maintain the required vehicles to reach difficult areas.
Background to the ASSAR:
Cliff Rescue cover of Avon was originally provided by the Police as the City and Council of Bristol Police Force Rocks Rescue Unit. Approximately 1981, Police Rocks Rescue Unit was disbanded & its duties were absorbed into the role of the Avon Rocks Rescue Team (ARRT), which was formed in 1976 and was working in parallel at the time; this organisation was made up mainly of climbing instructors working for local government.
No cliff rescue cover was in place for this area and it was opening to a wider climbing audience; Lord Bath (Longleat Estates) was being advised to prohibit climbing in the Gorge due to difficulty of recovery and liability. An agreement was reached whereby the climbers would form a rescue team to provide this cover and climbing would continue to be permitted. The Cheddar Gorge Cliff Rescue Team (CGCRT) was consequently formed in 1977
Both teams continued in parallel and over time, the membership became common to both teams, this required a needless duplication of roles etc, circa 1990 ARRT and CGCRT merged to create Avon and Somerset Cliff Rescue team.
By 1997, the Police recognised that ASCRT had capabilities beyond just Cliff and this resulted in them requesting that the group develop the capability to react to the additional requirement of Search & Rescue. With an increase in service demand, an increase in manpower resulted in the inclusion of the Mendip Hill volunteer rangers. Consequently the ASCRT was re-modelled and in response to Avon & Somerset Police request was in November 2006 re-named Avon & Somerset Search & Rescue as it was felt this more accurately represented the teams main role. In 2000 Search Management capabilities were introduced to further enhance their operational capabilities.
The team currently have over 80 members, 50 of which are active 24 hours a day 365 days a year to help rescue people in the Avon & Somerset and surrounding areas, helping the local authorities save lives. They are also mobilised in support of other teams nationally, with trained and competent personnel fulfilling Technical, water margin, search, search management and major incident management.
Charity Report - March 2023
Donations made during the month:
We have donated £152 to the Macmillan Cancer Support Charity. This was the result of a raffle held at the first John Platts Lodge meeting and was requested by the first Advancee Brother Richard Birkwood who has had significant nursing support from the Charity during his treatment.
The following acknowledgement has been received from Macmillan Nurses;
“Thank you to everyone at John Platts Mark Lodge Mark Masons for your very kind donation of £152.00 to Macmillan Cancer Support. Your generosity and support will allow us to help everyone with cancer live life as fully as they can, providing physical, financial and emotional support. We really appreciate your support.”
RAF Bomb Disposal Memorial
We have Donated £200 towards the RAF Bomb Disposal Memorial Fund. This was another suggestion by one of our Brethren who was a member of the squad for more than 10 years. He is now an Explosives Subject Matter Expert who is a consultant and occasionally assists with associated projects.
The foodbanks continue to struggle to keep our citizens fed and supplied with other essentials, so our donations are greatly received. We have donated £500 to both the Keynsham and North Bristol Food banks.
St. Peter’s Hospice
We have also kept up our support of the St. Peter’s Hospice with a £500 donation.
Tour de Bristol
The annual PGM led tour over the South Gloucestershire ‘Alps’ to the ‘Anchor’ Pub Oldbury on Severn is scheduled to take place in June, on a date yet to be agreed. We are always happy to have additional riders to join our Peloton or non-cyclists to lunch with us. We are also very grateful for the donations from all our members in support of this very special Charity. Please let me know if you wish to join us as a cyclist or for lunch.
Mark and RAM Lodges
I would like to extend my thanks to the members of those Lodges that supported the Christmas appeal with donations to the Bristol MBF, it has allowed us to continue to support those less fortunate than ourselves.
The following acknowledgement has been received from Dorothy House Hospice;
“Thank you for the Funeral Donation from the Baldwyn Mark Lodge in memory of David Powell. This is a wonderful acknowledgement of how much he meant to you all.”
Mark 200 Club
It is timely to give a gentle reminder to those of you who have yet to sign up to this year’s 200 Club. The first draw of the year will take place during the ‘After-meeting’ of the PGL on May 20th. Please contact the Provincial Grand Charity Steward in the usual manner if you decide to subscribe.
New Provincial Mark Tokens
We have introduced a Province of Bristol Mark token. These are held by the Provincial Treasurer, W. Bro Stephen Simmons. And are £5 each.
Charity Report - February 2023
With the worsening situation being faced by a lot of the citizens in our region, we have continued to support the Food Banks and Baby Bank.
£250 has been donated to both the North Bristol and Keynsham Food Banks, and £250 to the Bristol Baby Bank.
Following the devastating Earthquakes in Turkey and North Syria we have added £1,000 to the Mark Emergency Relief Chest.
Brethren, would you consider setting up a monthly donation into the Bristol MBF?
We have a core of Brethren who keep the fund topped up, but if more of us were to donate £5 per month i.e. £60 per year we could spread our Charitable donations that bit further. I appreciate that most of you are supporting your Craft Lodge Charities, and it is magnificent the support that our local communities receive from that direction, we are a much smaller charitable unit but we are making a difference to the Charities we support.
I would also take this opportunity to remind you of the ‘200’ Club; the first Draw will be held after the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge on Saturday 20th May 2023, £20 per number with three draws per year.
W Bro. Brian Hamley
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
Bristol Mark '200 Club' 2023
The ‘200 Club’ is now available to subscribe for numbers. There will again be Draws on three occasions, each draw will have three prizes of £100, £50 & £25.
The 2023 draws will take place at the following After-meetings: first draw at the Dunckerley Installation meeting on Tuesday 11th April 2023; second draw at the Provincial Grand Lodge meeting on Saturday 20th May 2023; and third draw at the Brunswick Installation meeting on Monday 13th November 2023.
I encourage as many of you who can, to subscribe towards the ‘200 Club’, as it contributes substantially towards our Charity Funds and of course, you stand a chance of winning.
Again, the numbers are £20 each.
Charity Report - December 2022
A big thank you to those of you who donated towards the Christmas appeal. We were able to donate £250 each to the local Food Banks at North Bristol and Keynsham.
The Food banks are reporting many more families requiring assistance, so our donations are received with grateful thanks and used immediately.
Charity Report - November 2022
We continue to support the local foodbanks with further donations of £500 to the Keynsham and North Bristol and South Gloucestershire Foodbanks.
We also donated £500 to the Bristol BabyBank operating in Fishponds, all of which have helped these Charities to continue to support greater numbers of desperate families.
We held the third draw at the Baldwyn November meeting, the prize winners were;
1st Prize - W Bro Brian Hamley
2nd Prize - W Bro Roger Unwin
3rd Prize - Bro Nigel Bacon
We will open the 2023, 200 Club for subscriptions in January.
TOUR DE BRISTOL CHEQUE PRESENTATION
The Provincial Grand Master for Bristol, Rt. W. Bro. Stephen Rawlings accompanied by his Deputy, W. Bro. Michael Huggins and Charity Steward, W. Bro. Brian Hamley, recently attended the St. Peter’s Hospice in Brentry Bristol.
The purpose was to meet Trust Officer, Rosalind Fursland and Events Fund-Raising Manager, Hayley Ali to present a cheque for £2,594; the total sponsorship amount raised from the Third Annual Bristol Mark sponsored cycle ride.
The ride was again led by our PGM Rt W. Bro. Stephen Rawlings, through the glorious Gloucestershire countryside to the small village of Oldbury on Severn, where lunch was taken in The ‘Anchor’ Pub. After a suitable rest, participants returned to the Gloucestershire base where tea and biscuits were available.
Rt W Bro Stephen’s claim that the wind always blows into his face is a fallacy, as he always leads from position 6 of the 6-man peloton! And therefore slipstreams the whole way.
During our visit, we were invited to inspect and try out, the ‘Tip and Space’ wheelchairs purchased with the surplus money arising from our contribution that had been made towards a specially adapted vehicle bought earlier this year. These chairs enable the patients to be transported to the local hospitals/home with the minimum of disturbance or discomfort as the patient can sit upright or recline nearly flat. The chairs are suitable for tall, short or heavy patients as our selection of ‘test pilots’ illustrates!
Our latest donation will probably be used to help start the Hospice’s outreach program. This will make full use of the vehicles previously funded by Bristol Craft and Bristol Mark, as well as the Tip and Space wheelchairs bought specifically from our Mark donations.
Rt W Bro Steve took full advantage of the opportunity to relax into one of the new wheelchairs and could easily have ‘nodded-off’.
Charity Report - October 2022
The Provincial Grand Master led our Tour de Bristol cycle ride in September. The total raised was £2,594 - this figure includes the Gift Aid from most of our donations. A huge thank you for your support.
This month we have donated £500 each, to the North Bristol and the Keynsham Food Banks. Having spoken to representatives of both Charities I understand that there is continuing and growing need for our support, so as a Province we will continue to provide support. I recently attended a fund raiser for the Wotton under Edge Food Bank, one statement astounded me – In October 2021 they supplied over 300 meals, this year during the same period they supplied nearly 600 meals!
At this Festive period, may I call on your continued generosity to support a Christmas Appeal, with all proceeds going towards the Food Banks, and hopefully this will help those less fortunate than most of us, to get through the winter.
There might be some of you who are finding these times difficult, please remember the MBF is set up to help you. The funds in our account are there because of your donations, if help is needed, please contact our Provincial Grand Almoner, all in complete confidence.
Charity Report - August & September 2022
Throughout the summer we continued to support our local worthy causes. We have directed our donations towards the Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital and local Food Banks that are struggling with the increased demand on their resources.
The Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital have ‘Trollies’ of crafting materials funded by the MMH MBF. We continue to donate to this worthy cause to ensure that the ‘trollies’ are full of the necessary craft materials to help occupy the young patients.
We are in the process of sponsoring an MBF grant application of £23,000, which would be used to supply educational materials for the children, to enable the Charity to continue their education whilst in the Hospital.
The West Yorkshire Mark Provincial MBF Festival
As our Province is too small to hold our own Festival in aid of the Mark Benevolent Fund, we support which ever Province happens to be holding a Festival. This year we have donated £1000 to the Province of West Yorkshire. The following letter has been received as a token of thanks:
"Dear W. Bro Brian
I have just received from V.W. Bro Ian Wolstencroft, confirmation of a wonderful donation to the West Yorkshire MBF Festival 2023 of £1,000. May I ask you to pass on the sincere thanks of R. W. Bro James Steggles, our Festival Committee and myself to R. W. Bro Stephen Rawlings and all the Brethren of Bristol Province of Mark Master Masons.
The support of Mark Masonry for the Mark Benevolent Fund and Provincial Festivals never ceases to amaze me and your sentiment in supporting each Festival Province is thankfully received.
Sincerely and Fraternally
Richard B Puttrell
Chairman of the Festival Committee"
St Nicholas Food Bank, Pennywell Road
Our PGM Rt W Bro Stephen Rawlings presented a cheque for £500, as a donation to the St. Nicholas of Tolentino Food Bank. This is one of the Food Banks supported by the "Sponsor-A-Pallet & Fill-A-Trolley" Food Fund that was set
up in June 2020 by W Bro Chris Cook and W Bro Mike Whitworth, the Bristol Craft Charity Steward.
A donation of £500 was also made to the North Bristol Food Bank, and a letter of thanks was received. Unfortunately, as they are so busy and short of volunteers they could not find time for us to make a formal cheque presentation.
‘Tour de Bristol’
Once again, our gallant PGM Rt W Bro Stephen Rawlings led a cohort of Bristol Mark Masters through the beautiful lanes of Gloucestershire to raise funds for St Peters Hospice. At Oldbury on Severn the Peloton took refuge from the glorious sunshine at the Anchor pub. Suitable high calorie refreshments were consumed to refuel the riders for the return trip to Michaelwood. A most pleasant day was had by all, especially as the forecast was for light drizzle.
The final amount raise has not yet been calculated but is in excess of £1000.
Tour De Bristol - And Another Bit
We finally have a confirmed date for the Sponsored Cycle Ride in aid of St. Peter’s Hospice. We will assemble at Michaelwood on Sunday 4th September 2022.
After ‘servicing our bikes’ and ‘tightening our Lycra’, we will set off on the gruelling cross county route to the Anchor at Oldbury on Severn. After completing the 12 miles we will take a well-deserved rest, with lunch and ‘liquid’ intake.
Our return journey will be taken at a less frantic pace as we climb the moderate hill (referred to as the Pyrenees during our last outing) but in reality, rising just 30 feet over 100 yards.
If you are able to join us for this Provincial Charity event please let me know. We are looking for cyclists but would also welcome ‘non cyclists’ to join us for lunch.
Also we hope that you might sponsor the riders; and a big thank you to those Brethren who have already donated to the cause.
This month we are also donating £500 to the Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital. These funds will be used to replace the craft materials on the trollies supplied by MMH MBF.
W Bro Brian Hamley, Mark Provincial Charity Steward
Charity Report - June 2022
During June, we have donated £500 to the St. Peter’s Hospice in anticipation of our Sponsored Ride that has been postponed until September. We now hope to hold our annual bike ride from Michaelwood to The Anchor at Oldbury-on-Severn and back, on either Sunday 4th or 11th of September. Additional riders to join the gentle ride would be welcome.
We also joined with the Baily Lodge in supporting the ‘Hope for Tomorrow’ Charity. We donated £500 while Baily Lodge donated £1000, which was match funded by the Bristol Mason's Charity. Our DPGM W. Bro Michael Huggins attended the charity’s new base in Stonehouse to present the cheque.
‘Hope for Tomorrow’ provides and maintains fully equipped mobile cancer care units that can visit local communities to enable patients to receive treatment in their own community, rather than the need to attend a hospital.
Now that we are into our summer recess, if there is a Charity that you could recommend that we support, please contact Brian Hamley, Provincial Charity Steward
Charity Report - April 2022
Tour d' Bristol Tour Delayed
Please note that the Bike ride in support of St. Peter’s Hospice is delayed until June, a new date will be announced soon. We are still happy to accept more riders, so please sort out your ‘Bone Shakers and Penny Farthings’ for a gentle bike ride through the Gloucestershire lanes.
We have made a £500 pound donation to the Mark Benevolent Fund’s Ukrainian Emergency Appeal. The Fund is assisting our Mark Brethren in Romania to care for Ukrainian refugees who are fleeing from the Russian onslaught.
Tour d' Bristol - Sponsored Bike Ride
in Aid of
St Peter's Hospice
It is that time of year when we call for you to consider riding a cycle to the aid of St. Peter’s Hospice.
We are looking for those of you who are able to cycle approximately 22 miles at a very gentle pace along a quiet route from Michaelwood to ‘The Anchor’ at Oldbury on Severn and back.
The ride will have three stages; first we will ride to the Pub, secondly, we will rest and recuperate with a lunch and possibly some liquid to rehydrate, and thirdly we will cycle back to Michaelwood, where tea, coffee and biscuits will await us.
This is a very ‘flat’ route; whilst there are some inclines, they are not worthy of the word ‘hill’.
Please support the Provincial Grand Master Rt. W. Bro Stephen Rawlings who I understand is in training to lead us again.
Please confirm your involvement by email to the usual address - email@example.com
If you are otherwise occupied or do not consider yourself capable of the ride, you could consider joining us for lunch.
We will of course hope that you will consider continuing to support St. Peter’s Hospice by sponsoring those of us who will be wearing the Lycra!
Donations can be made via the Bristol MBF account, or to one of our team of riders.
W Bro. Brian Hamley
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
Charity Report - February 2022
This month our Province presented a Blood Bike to the ‘Freewheelers’ Charity based at Brislington. The Bike was funded by the Mark Masons Hall, Masonic Benevolent Fund. The Provincial Grand Master, Rt W Bro Stephen Rawlings made the formal presentation to the Charity’s Chairperson Mel Rowbottom and the Secretary Ian Joseph at their premises at Brislington. The presentation had been delayed by Covid restrictions, and as a result, the bike had already ‘clocked up’ over 20,000 miles. Our Province is proud that many of those miles will have been ridden by Brother Richard McGill who is a member of Goodwin Lodge of Mark Master Masons, and one of the Freewheelers volunteers.
Caring in Bristol
On Thursday 17th February, Mr Luke Mitchell of the ‘Caring in Bristol’ Charity visited Freemasons’ Hall Park Street to receive a £500 donation from the PGM Rt W Bro Stephen Rawlings. Our donation was very gratefully received by the charity, which does a lot of very necessary work for the Homeless members of our community.
The 1st 200 Club Draw for 2022 will be held during the after meeting of the Provincial Grand Lodge on Saturday 21st May at Freemasons’ Hall, Park Street. Please remember to renew your subscription.
Happy New Year!
Brethren, I hope you and yours have had a safe, Happy Christmas and I wish you all a
Prosperous and Healthy New Year
2021 Christmas Appeal
This resulted in a donation of £500 to the Bristol Baby Bank Network. The PGM Rt. W. Bro. Stephen Rawlings is pictured below presenting the cheque to Sarah Sutton the Bristol Branch Manager.
Tour de Bristol
Brethren, on the weekend of 7th and 8th May, we hope to continue our support of St. Peter’s Hospice by having another bike ride, similar to last year. It will be approximately 24 miles in length, travelling through quiet Gloucestershire country lanes without significant hills, and will include a pause for lunch at The Anchor, Oldbury on Severn.
I hope we can increase our numbers this year and make it a Mark Social trip. Please let me know if you are willing to participate.
Mark 200 Club
Brethren, the 2022 ‘200 club’ is now open for subscriptions. The charge will again be £20 for each number, with 3 draws throughout the year. Each draw will offer prizes of £100, £50 and £25.
W. Bro Brian Hamley – Provincial Charity Steward
Charity Report - November 2021
2022 – ‘200 Club’
Brethren, I will open the ‘200 club’ for 2022 in January. Several participants have suggested payment to the club by Standing Order. Consequently, I invite you to consider setting up a Standing Order with your bank for an annual subscription.
If you are able, please do so via Online Banking. Alternatively, I have a Mandate form for you to complete and send to your bank.
Paying by BACS / Cheques / Cash will still be an option.
Bristol Ensemble Preludes
Brethren, we have received a letter from the Preludes Project Director, expressing their gratitude for our donation, that will enable 5 Clarinets to be purchased. These will be used by children in the Knowle West and Lawrence Hill areas.
We have also received an invitation to attend a concert by the children who are supported by this Charity. It will be held at St. Mary Redcliffe Church on 31st March 2022 at 1 pm. If you would like to attend this concert, please let me know and I will secure tickets for you; the closing date for applications is 28th January 2022. I understand the PGM, Rt W Bro Stephen Rawlings will be attending.
Southmead Hospital Charity
On Wednesday 24th November the PGM, Rt W Bro Stephen Rawlings and I met with the Southmead Hospital Charities organiser Ian Riddle to present the £500 Cheque for the Speech and Language Therapy Service.
Exciting Challenges in 2022!!
Brethren we will again be taking part in the challenge of the ‘Tour de Bristol’ in support of St. Peter’s Hospice. I am looking for cyclists to support the PGM on a gentle ride of approximately 45K, along the quiet Gloucestershire lanes to the Anchor Inn at Oldbury on Severn for lunch. Then after a suitable rest, we will return to our starting point.
This will be on Saturday 7th or Sunday 8th May. Please put this date in your diary and let me know if you are willing to participate.
There is also the opportunity of supporting Southmead Hospital by taking part in a sponsored Abseil from the roof of the New Brunel building. This will take place during September, probably Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th; the date will be confirmed next year.
Please let me know if you are interested in joining my wife and I on the roof of the building, in order to take the shortest route to the ground. (Please note I have not said the quickest route)
W Bro Brian Hamley, Provincial Charity Steward
Charity Report - October 2021
2022 – ‘200 Club’
Brethren, I will open the ‘200 club’ for 2022 in January. Several participants have suggested payment to the club by Standing Order. Consequently, I invite you to consider setting up a Standing Order with your bank for an annual subscription. If you are able, please do so via Online Banking, alternatively, I have a Mandate form for you to complete and send to your bank. Paying by BACS / Cheques / Cash will be still an option.
Bristol Ensemble Preludes
On discovering that he was £100 richer, as a result of the 200 Club, Rt. W. Bro Stephen Rawlings immediately insisted that it would be included in the funding of 4 clarinets for the children of Knowle West school, a donation we had been discussing previously. This is a project that introduces school children living in the less well-off areas of Bristol to music and gives them the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. We have donated £500 to the Charity.
Southmead Hospital Charity
On the recommendation of one of our members, I contacted the Southmead Hospital Charity with regards to supporting the Speech and Language Therapy Unit at Southmead Hospital.
This unit has been trialling a software application called ‘React2’, which has enabled the patients in hyper acute stroke to have continuing therapy via an iPad, not just in a hospital environment but at home after discharge.
The main reason for this application is to encourage an enhance speech with clinically designed interactive exercises that can be set and monitored by the speech and language therapist via the application.
React2 can be utilized by many users;
· Communication disorders,
· Aphasia after stroke or brain injury
· Learning & language difficulties,
· Down’s syndrome
£500 has been donated from the Relief Chest Fund.
W Bro Brian Hamley
Provincial Grand Charity Steward
Presentation of MBF Donation Cheque
Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
With Covid restrictions easing, the PGM for the Mark Province of Bristol was finally able make the official presentation of the donation of £56,213 from the Mark Benevolent Fund which allowed the purchase of three LUCAS CPR machines and three C-MAC video larygoscopes to provide up-to-date kit for the helicopter and critical care cars.
The LUCAS is a mechanical CPR machine which provides standardised, mechanical chest compressions to preserve the life of someone whose heart has stopped. This frees up the clinicians to assess, stabilise and treat the patient and enables them to be transported more safely to hospital. The GWAAC crew go to more cardiac arrests than any other emergency, almost a third of all call-outs in 2020 were to someone in cardiac arrest. These new pieces of equipment are, therefore, a vital part in saving lives.
The C-MAC video laryngoscope helps the doctors and paramedics safely and quickly to insert a breathing tube into someone who is critically ill. The clear picture on the screen means the tube is much more likely to be successfully inserted, even with a difficult airway in a challenging environment. The grant was approved just prior to the start of the Covid 19 pandemic and so the equipment has been in service since then and has been used on many occasions.
Following the presentation, we were treated to a tour of the facility and had a real insight into the continuous training that is essential for the Doctors and Paramedics. The Charity also has three fully equipped emergency response cars which are available to respond when the location near the casualty is unsuitable for the helicopter to land or for night-time use when the Helicopter is not flown. Almost at the end of our tour we witnessed the Helicopter setting off for yet another emergency.
The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity requires approximately £4.2 million per year to operate and is one of the busiest in the country often called on to assist in the surrounding areas as well as its own local region.
A fantastic Charity and the Mark Benevolent Fund was delighted to help them in their work.
Major Grant Donation of £7,000 to
St. Peter's Hospice
On Tuesday the 27th July, R.W. Brother Stephen Rawlings, the Provincial Grand Master for Bristol, was delighted to present a cheque for £7,000 to St. Peter’s Hospice. The donation, which is part of a Major Capital Grant of £1.3m to over 250 hospices in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, recognises the contribution made by HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh to the service of the Crown and the life of the nation.
The £1.3 m was allocated by the Mark Benevolent Fund so that each Mark Lodge in the country could donate £1,000 to a Hospice. The seven Mark Lodges in Bristol chose St. Peters, the local hospice, and one that has helped and supported many of our members and families in their most difficult times.
The Provincial Grand Master for Bristol said, “I was very pleased to be able to present the cheque to them. They were absolutely delighted and sent their thanks to all the members of the Province and the Mark Benevolent Fund for this very generous donation. All hospices have suffered during the Covid pandemic, particularly from the loss of income from shop closures. The donation will be a great help to them as they begin their recovery, and we hope that this small gift will go some way to help enhance patient care and provide improved facilities for those in need and their families.”
Chloe Milloy of St Peter’s Hospice welcomed the donation saying, “The hospice is delighted to receive this donation, which will help us to care for those in need across the City and we are so grateful for all the help we receive from the Mark Masons of Bristol and the Mark Benevolent Fund”
Tour de Bristol Cycle Ride in Aid of
St Peter's Hospice
At the Mark Executive Zoom meeting in May our very active Provincial Charity Steward, W.Bro. Brian Hamley, told us all that we would be cycling in the ‘Tour de Bristol’ to raise money for St. Peter’s Hospice. I say told because that was the way it came across to us! He went on to tell us that it was only 40 kilometres which was pretty easy cycling. There was then considerable searching for excuses of why we couldn’t possibly do it on that particular day, all of which were totally ignored by Brian.
So, on Sunday the 27th June those of us who hadn’t been clever enough to think up believable excuses assembled at Brian’s house in deepest Gloucestershire, kitted out in as close as we could get to cycling gear. One of us who hadn’t been on a bike for thirteen years was pretty nervous about the whole thing but putting on a brave face! We set off at 10.30am to cycle through the quiet lanes, with one very scary half mile on the A38, down to Oldbury-on-Severn and the Anchor Pub where we took on some suitable refreshment before, feeling now a little more confident, we set off for the twenty kilometres back to Brian’s.
The confidence was short lived as most of the return trip was not only uphill but also whichever way we turned the wind was in our faces. The last couple of kilometres felt like an eternity to some of us but amazingly we all arrived, on our bikes for the whole journey, back at Brian’s gate.
Feeling incredible relief and surprise at having actually made it I proceeded to dismount and discovered that my right leg had had enough and wasn’t prepared to hold me up for a moment longer. The collapse of man and bike was met with huge hilarity by the other riders, who were all very relieved that it hadn’t happened to them! Fortunately, no one had a camera handy so the poor elderly Provincial Grand Master got away without the embarrassment of a picture on the website.
Therefore, on Tuesday the 27th July four of the mad cyclists and one very able support driver attended St Peter’s Hospice to present a cheque for the money raised by the cycle ride.
We had all been collecting sponsorship from members of the Province, from Family and from friends but were amazed as the money kept rolling in. With the help of you all and the incredible generosity of two very special sponsors we were delighted to present the Hospice with a cheque for the incredible sum of £10,000.
We couldn’t believe the total and the Hospice were amazed at the amount. Although I am sure that Hayley Ali accepting the cheque from us was also amazed at how the motley crew of ancient old men before her had managed to get through those forty kilometres.
Hayley, on behalf of St. Peter’s, thanked the team and the Mark Masons of Bristol for their magnificent support
Charity Report - June 2021
June has been a busy time for the Province, we have supported the Bristol Baby Bank with a cheque for £500. A reminder that if you have Childrens Toys or clothes please contact Sarah Sutton on 07909 574379, she will advise you of what items are needed.
Tour de Bristol
On Sunday 27th June, our PGM, RW Bro Stephen Rawlings led a team of Six riders and one back up driver on a cycle ride through the Gloucestershire countryside to a place of refreshment.
Unfortunately, the only facility available on our route was the Anchor Pub in Oldbury on Severn. After a restful Lunch of delicious Fish Pie or Ham, Eggs and Chips (other choices were available) accompanied by glasses of local Ale, we resumed our journey. The return ride was a reality check, the wind was always in our faces no matter what direction we traveled. We arrived back at base in good heart, and health.
Our route was 40K and we averaged 12.5MPH, which for 4 Brethren who had not cycled for a considerable time was a great achievement.
I must thank those Brethren, friends and family who have financially supported our efforts, to date the ride has collected £3450, most of which will benefit from the addition of Gift Aid.
Charity Report - April 2021
Firstly, allow me to register my disappointment, that both major grant applications submitted to the MMH MBF have been unsuccessful. Both the St. Peter’s Hospice and the Matthew Tree Project had applied for grants to purchase Panel vans to help with their transport requirements.
However, I must then register my delight, that the MMH MBF have announced that each Mark Lodge in the country will be able to nominate a Hospice for a donation of £1000. This is a Memorial to HRH The Prince Phillip. Further details will follow shortly.
We have this month supported both The St. Peter’s Hospice, and the ‘Hope for Tomorrow’ Charity that brings Mobile Care Units to treat patients with cancer at their homes, with a donation of £500. Please see the link : https://hopefortomorrow.org.uk
On Sunday 27th June, our PGM R.W. Bro Stephen Rawlings accompanied by The Provincial Secretary, The Provincial Director of Ceremonies, The Deputy Provincial Secretary, and the Provincial Charity Steward will take part in the ‘Tour de Bristol’ in support of The St. Peter’s Hospice fund raiser. We are looking for willing cyclists to escort our P.G.M. on an approx. 20 miles sponsored ride.
We will travel at a gentle pace and stop for lunch at The Anchor, Oldbury on Severn. We will leave from my home near Michaelwood Services on the M5 and ride via quiet country roads to the refreshment stop. This is ‘rolling’ countryside so there are a few hills but none of ‘Tour de France’ magnitude. All types of bikes can be used including electric assisted. There will be a ‘breakdown’ recovery service if needed for riders as well as bikes!!
If you are unable to join the ride, could I request your support by sponsoring our PGM with a donation to The Bristol MBF, Ref Bike.
We will be remembering members of our Mark community, including W. Bro David Hake, Bro Bryan Fox, W Bro Ray Stone’s wife Margaret - all who were cared for by the Hospice.
Please see contact details below.
Our 200 club is gently growing, but I would like to encourage more of our Brethren to subscribe to the scheme as a method of being involved in the support of worthy causes in our area. Now that we have had the first draw, the subscription will be £15 per number and will qualify for the two remaining draws. Please see contact details below.
If you are suffering financially help is available through our Almoner for small amounts and through the MBF for more serious situations, in each case please contact,
W Bro Reginald Bleaden – firstname.lastname@example.org
W Bro Brian Hamley Provincial Charity Steward. email@example.com
Charity Report - March 2021
200 Club Draw
On Saturday 13th March 2021 we held the first of this year’s 200 Club Draw during the informal Provincial zoom meeting, the lucky winners were;
W Bro Alan Dunn - £100,
W Bro Robert Bates - £50
Brother Nicholas Sheldon – £25
We have been talking to a member of the Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital with a view to supporting the Bristol Play assistants with additional equipment to augment the trollies of sensory and craft equipment supplied by the MMH MBF and have donated £500 to the Hospital.
East Lancaster 2021 MBF Festival
"Dear Brother Brian
On behalf of the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master and the Festival Chairman, may I take this opportunity to thank you, and all the Bristol Mark Masons, for your very generous donation of £500.00 towards the East Lancashire Mark 2021 Festival appeal on behalf of the Mark Benevolent Fund it is very much appreciated.
Please can you extend our special thanks to R.W.Bro Stephen Rawlings for thinking about our Festival.
With fraternal best wishes,
David J.Rainsbury P.G.Stwd.RAMGR.
Treasurer, Mark 2021 Festival Committee"
We are sponsoring Major Capital Grant applications being completed by the Matthew Tree project and the St. Peter’s Hospice for specialized Vans. St. Peter’s Hospice have submitted their application.
Our 200 club is gently growing, but I would like to encourage more of our Brethren to subscribe to the scheme as a method of being involved in the support of worthy causes in our area. Now that we have had the first draw (see above) the subscription will be £15 per number and will qualify for the two remaining draws.
W Bro Brian Hamley
Provincial Charity Steward
Charity Report - February 2021
Firstly, let me thank those of you who have supported the Mark 200 Club, we have had a good response, but would welcome more subscriptions before our first draw in March.
This month we have supported the Bristol Baby Bank Network with a donation of £500. The creation of the Baby Bank Network was to help alleviate child poverty and to support families at what is a time of financial and emotional stress, it also helps to reduce the waste by recycling nursery products.
Please see https://www.babybanknetwork.com for more information.
We have also supported the Keynsham Food Bank with a donation of £500 and have supplied them with guidelines to complete a Capital Grant Application from MMH-MBF.
Some interesting links:
MMH – MBF Annual review 2020 of the Charitable donation made by MMH - Bristol is well represented.
‘Freemasonry@86’ is a weekly newsletter from Mark Masons Hall in which News of Mark Masons and the Allied Degrees is reported weekly.
And of course, for the Mark Degree in Bristol www.bristolmark.org
Sincerely and Fraternally
W. Bro. Brian Hamley
Provincial Charity Steward
Charity Report - January 2021
It has come to the notice of both the Provincial Almoner and myself that some of you are suffering financially from the COVID-19 Pandemic. There is help available through our Provincial MBF as well as through the Mark Mason’s Hall MBF. The help available is money that ‘WE’ have donated for such a crisis, please do not feel embarrassed to call for help it will be totally confidential. In the first instance please contact your Lodge Almoner or the Provincial Almoner, W Bro Reginald Bleaden - firstname.lastname@example.org
I ask those of us who can donate, without detriment to themselves to do so, and to consider the relief you can be giving to a Brother.
Please consider either donating directly, or by subscribing to the 200 Club by renewing your numbers or joining for the first time.
For such a small Province I can proudly report that we have been able to support many Local Charities and Worthy Causes during the past year, and I must thank you for the response to the Christmas appeal allowing us to support various Food Banks.
I am pleased to report that one of our Brethren has donated directly to the Young Carers Support Group and supplied a Gift Aid declaration which increased the donation from £500 to £625.
We have also donated £500 to the Children’s Hospice South West and are assisting the Hospice with a future application to the MBF for a Capital Grant.
Applications to the MBF Capital Grants are also being composed by the Matthew Tree Trust, and The St. Peter’s Hospice for the supply of specific Vans.
For you who are considering joining the Tour de Bristol, please note the date has changed to the weekend of 26th-27th June 2021, please use this link to register Tour de Bristol - St Peter's Hospice, and list Bristol Mark as your group.
Sincerely and Fraternally
Bro Brian Hamley, Provincial Charity Steward
As well as receiving an MBF Grant of £4,500 which "will enable the charity to develop this vital support media for children in deprived areas of the City who have suffered a lack of educational input during the Coronavirus pandemic" our friends at Preludes have also been fortunate that Penny Rawlings, Manager of Preludes, The Bristol Ensemble, has been chosen by The National Lottery Promotions Unit as one of 13 individuals from around the British Isles to be rewarded for their contribution to the ARTS throughout the difficult times of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Preludes the Educational arm of the Bristol Ensemble works in areas of Bristol that are experiencing high levels of economic disadvantage and aims to put music at the heart of every child’s education. Manager Penny Rawlings is one of a group of dedicated music professionals, who bring enjoyment, confidence, coordination, speech and language skills into children’s education.
Some of the children have special needs and can easily feel like failures because they can’t do as much academic work. They can do the music, it’s a special place where they can be equal. Music is a great leveller; we make sure that everyone can achieve in music and not just those who are perhaps more academic. The teachers love our music lessons because we are able to level groups up and make sure that those children who are not succeeding in other areas can succeed in music.”
Forced to curtail their activities due to lockdown, the group made an incredible number of videos to send to schools using the music teachers who usually taught them. The videos were also put on school on-line platforms for children at home where they have internet. In some schools they were also able to continue teaching some vulnerable children – and in addition, there were 45 online recitals with freelance Bristol Ensemble players. Prelude was very fortunate to receive funding from the Mark Benevolent Fund to support the creation of these videos during lockdown.
“There can be a lot of vulnerable children in our groups, so if they're not going to school, they might not eat that day or access education. For us, it was trying to keep some of those more vulnerable kids going and giving them something to look forward to,” she says. "We put in a lot of sessions of music for these children, largely in Knowle West and Lawrence Weston, but we had kids coming from other schools coming in as well. We were providing quite a service.”
After creating two amazing videos dedicated to the Covid-19 pandemic, one of which is a comic take on the Lockdown experience and the other the Barber Adagio, Penny says the group’s latest plan is to reproduce The Lark Ascending, a work by Vaughan Williams from exactly 100 years ago. The first performance was held in Shirehampton Village Hall, Bristol in 1920 and it’s a wonderful piece of music to introduce to children.
R. W. Bro. Philip Patrick
Charity Report - October 2020
Brethren, with the sad passing of R.W.Bro. Phil Patrick and to signify the deep respect The Mark Province has for him, a donation of £100 has been made to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity
Tour de Bristol Sponsored Cycle Ride
This month after a successfully Sponsored cycle ride in aid of the St. Peter’s Hospice, we have been able to donate £1380, which when Gift Aid is added the total amount will be approximately £1700.
North West Bristol Food Bank
We have received a cheque payable to the NW Bristol Foodbank from a member of our province. Last week he was donating food to the foodbank, and during a conversation with one of the volunteers he was told how desperate they were for donations of all kinds. He has made out a cheque for £1000 plus a gift aid declaration which will increase the amount to £1250 and sent it to me to me so the donation might be presented by our Bristol MBF.
Thank you to all those who have so generously supported the Bristol Mark Benevolent Fund during the past year.
Charities generally, and particularly those that we have supported, have struggled, and continue to face hardship due the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the present circumstances we are all subject to calls for financial support from deserving and worthy Charities. I appreciate that it is not possible to respond positively to all such requests, and that it may well be the case that individual personal circumstances make it impossible to contribute. We must not feel guilty about this but keep in mind the tenets that we learn in Masonry and only give if we are able.
That being said, I hope that the Bristol Mark Province will again be able to make significant contributions to local Charity during the next 12 months, however, that aspiration will only be possible if members feel able to offer support and can afford to.
Please Brethren, if you are able to contribute, rest assured that whatever you give will be gratefully received by which ever cause we choose to support
Charity Report - August 2020
First let me thank those Brethren who continue to donate money to support those in need, and I would like to record a special Thank You to the Brethren of the Brunswick Mark Lodge for their generous donation of £400 to the Bristol MB.
This month we have supported three very deserving causes with each receiving £500.
St Peter’s Hospice
This charity has suffered a great loss of income through the closure of their Charity Shops, we have been instrumental in securing funding from the Mark Masters Hall to supply ‘Sneeze Screens’ to enable the shops to reopen. Our grant will assist with their cash flow.
The Matthew Tree Project
Well supported by our Craft Brothers with donations of Food Pallets, we have supplied £500 to help with the cost of transporting the food from the market to their clients in need.
Message from Mark Goodway CEO of the Matthew Tree Project
This is fantastic. Thank you so, so much. The demand continues to increase at an alarming rate now that so many people are losing their jobs so this will help considerably.
Yes, the bank details are the same.
Thank you for your support.
The Young Carer’s Support Unit for Bristol and South Gloucestershire
This organisation has suffered greatly from the restrictions as the carers have not been able to meet face to face with their supporters, our funds will help to provide the PPE that will allow meetings to happen.
Letters of Thanks
Charity Donations - June 2020
Brethren, we would like to thank those of you who have set up a standing order, or who have made a financial contribution to help others in their time of need.
The following donations have been made during June 2020;
Matthew Tree Project
In keeping with the Bristol Craft Charity donations, we have donated the cost of a food pallet - £325 to the Matthew Tree Project, our funds are to be used to help with the transport costs of delivering the fantastic grants from the Craft, apparently 15 pallets so far.
Bristol and S. Gloucester Young Carers Support
We have helped the Young Carers support group with a grant of £250 to cover an immediate need, and an application has been submitted to the MBF for a grant of £3000. This would contribute to the costs of additional IT requirements necessary to enable the support staff to keep in contact with the Carers.
North Bristol Food Bank
We have supported the North Bristol Food Bank with a donation of £300.
A number of email ‘Thank You’ messages have been received from all those that we have supported; the response from the Children’s Hospice - printed below, is a example of the need our funds are helping to overcome.
Thank You for Your Continued Support
St Peter's Hospice
"Thank you to Stephen Rawlings from The Mark Province of Bristol who visited the Hospice recently to provide us with vital face visors for our nurses. The Mark Province of Bristol have also supported us with a grant, allowing us to purchase specialist equipment for our shops which will allow us to re-open some of them and operate safely. The grant comes from the Mark Benevolent Fund at Mark Masons Hall."
St John's Ambulance
Our PGM delivering face shields for the key workers at St John's Ambulance - the Harry Crook Centre.
The Matthew Tree Project
Thanks to the recommendation of one of our Brethren, the Bristol Mark Province has donated £300 to the Matthew Tree Project.
We recommend that you visit their Website, where you will be able to understand the despair experienced by some people in the community and to appreciate the fantastic work done by this Project.
Bristol Craft Members also continue to support this Charity.
Bristol Mark Charitable Donations 2019 to 2020
During this year we have successfully sponsored a £56K grant from the MBF to the Great Western Air Ambulance Charity. The specialised equipment is on order from the manufacturers and will be officially presented when available.
We have donated a further £2,200 to local Childrens Charities as follows;
The Young Carers Support Centre for Bristol and South Gloucestershire
The PGM, DPGM and Charity Steward present a £400 cheque to Kara McKenzie the Young Carers Service Manager.
The Young Carers Service provides help and support to Children aged 8 to18, their families and professionals working with young carers in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.
We also presented a £400 cheque to Bethan Guest the Flamingo Chicks Volunteer Manage.
Flamingo Chicks is an inclusive community giving all children, including those with disabilities and illnesses such as cancer, the opportunity to enjoy dance and explore movement alongside friends.
The Baby Bank Network / Bristol
A further donation of £400 was presented to Sarah Sutton the Baby Bank Network Administration Manager.
Baby Bank Network was set up in Bristol in June 2015 to help alleviate child poverty and support families at what may be a time of financial and emotional stress, whilst reducing waste and promoting reuse of items.
The Bristol Children’s Charity
We were due to present a cheque for £500 to representatives of the Bristol Children’s Charity at Park Street on the 19th of March, but, with the current pandemic, under the guidance of UGLE directives this was cancelled, and a BACS payment has been made.
Preludes Bristol is another Childrens Charity we were to present with a £500 Cheque, we have instead posted the cheque.
Preludes is a bold and innovative music project that has been running successfully since 2009 in several school areas in Bristol experiencing high levels of disadvantage.
The aim is to put classical music at the heart of every child’s education and by doing so improve confidence, co-ordination, speech and language and benefit all areas of their learning.
For further information and for an insight into the work of these charities, we earnestly recommend viewing the webpages to see for yourselves some of the wonderful work carried out in our City.
We would like to thank all members of the Mark Province of Bristol for their support.