Thames Hospice has received donations totalling £60,000 from Freemasons based in the Thames Valley. The Provincial Grand Lodges of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire through their respective registered charities, The Berkshire Masonic Charity and The Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund, together with the central masonic charity, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (the MCF) have collaborated to enable this significant sum to be donated for the benefit of the community.
Thames Hospice, currently based on Hatch Lane in Windsor, will use the donation to help towards the build of two dedicated rooms in the new £22 million hospice currently under construction by Bray Lake. These will be quiet areas for reflection and remembering loved ones as well as offering help and advice.
Thames Hospice first opened in Windsor in 1987 but is now no longer able to keep up with the increasing number of people who need their care and services. As well as seeing more patients, the charity is also dealing with more complex and challenging medical conditions. In 2017 the Hospice was granted planning permission to build a brand new state-of-the-art facility, increasing inpatient beds from 17 to 28, as well as providing a dedicated space for therapeutic and social activities to support patients. The new hospice will open in summer 2020.
Both Berkshire and Buckinghamshire Freemasons have charitable funds they use to support people and charities within their distinct areas. This is the first time they have combined their efforts, together with a contribution from the MCF, specifically to support one organisation.
The MCF is the central charitable arm of Freemasons in England and Wales. It is one of the largest grant giving organisations in the UK and makes donations that not only support freemasons and their families but many other charitable organisations in the UK and overseas as well. In 2018 it continued to support, with significant funds, hospices throughout the UK.
Debbie Raven, Chief Executive at Thames Hospice,said: "I cannot thank the Freemasons enough for their generous support towards our new hospice. This donation comes on top of several others from their Charitable Funds and the incredible support they have given us over many years. It will make a significant difference to our patients and their families."
Anthony Howlett-Bolton, the leader of Berkshire Freemasons said: "Working together with our fellow freemasons in Buckinghamshire and the MCF has allowed us to make a significant contribution to Thames Hospice to help them in the wonderful work they are doing to help families across our counties."
John Clark, the leader of Buckinghamshire Freemasons said: "The Freemasons of Buckinghamshire are delighted to be part of this joint initiative supporting the essential work performed by Thames Hospice. We look forward to establishing a long term and fruitful relationship with them."