MBF £23,000 donation to local Hospices
Earlier this year the Mark Benevolent Fund announced donations to hospices in England and Wales totalling £1.25 million. This major capital grant from the MBF was made in recognition of a lifetime of service and dedication to the Crown and the nation by His Royal Highness, The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Each Mark Lodge was allocated £1,000 and asked to nominate which hospice was to receive that part of the total donation. Five Lodges in the north east of our Province chose Dorothy House Hospice, which although in the neighbouring Province of Wiltshire, also serves North East Somerset.
On Friday 6th August Provincial Grand Master, Philip Voisey accompanied by representatives from the five Lodges visited the hospice to make the presentation. Although Covid restrictions meant the group weren't allowed to enter the hospice, the fine weather meant that an outside presentation was possible. Phillippa Watson, Head of Relationship Fundraising for Dorothy House Hospice Care received the donation and gave the brethren an interesting insight into the working of the hospice and the scale of fundraising necessary to run and maintain it. The hospice receives approximately 30% of its funding from the NHS, the remainder, a staggering £3.5 million has to be raised by the hospice. Covid 19 has made that task even more difficult as some of the normal methods of fundraising were no longer possible.
Freemasonry has long been a supporter of the hospice movement and it was obvious from our talk with Philippa that our continuing support was much appreciated (see copy of the letter below).
Brethren of Wiltshire also gave £3000 of their allocation from the MBF to Dorothy House.
Philippa Watson representing Dorothy House, Patrick Haxall representing Portal Mark Lodge No 155, Mark Steventon-Smith representing Royal Sussex Lodge No 177 and Royal Cumberland Lodge TI, Ray Guthrie representing Carnarvon Lodge No 119 and St Andrew's Lodge No 1924 with Provincial Grand Master Philip Voisey.