Posted: 9th September 2016

The Masonic Charitable Foundation has awarded £50,000 to Phoenix Futures to help fund their therapeutic programme Recovery through Nature which engages people currently in treatment for substance addiction.

Trevor Koschalka (button up shirt and glasses) presents grant to Phoenix Futures staff. Also present are service-users and grounds maintenance team

Trevor Koschalka (button up shirt and glasses) presents grant to Phoenix Futures staff. Also present are service-users and grounds maintenance team.

Phoenix Futures’ Recovery through Nature programme aids service-users’ rehabilitation and recovery through practical conservation projects. The programme has already proven to significantly increase the likelihood of a service-user completing treatment.

The project runs in settings across England and Wales and the Foundation’s grant will fund the group based in London. Local Freemason Trevor Koschalka joined the London Recovery through Nature group to see them in action. The group worked together to cut back the overgrown roadside verges around a London park.

One of the service-users neatly summarised the programme: “The idea of Recovery through Nature is simple, through old-fashioned hard graft in the countryside; recovering addicts can build self-worth, bond through team work and make a real contribution to conserving this green and pleasant land.”

Karen Biggs Chief Executive of Phoenix Futures, said: ““Once a week, come rain or shine, groups of service-users undertake professional standard conservation work at 15 conservation sites around the country, conserving areas of natural beauty for all of us to enjoy. It’s often the activity that people remember most about their time in treatment and an experience they taken with them on their recovery journey. We couldn’t do this without the support of organisations like the Masonic Charitable Foundation. I’d like to thank them for joining us to sustain and develop this innovative project.”

Phoenix Futures is a charity and housing association which has been helping people overcome drug and alcohol problems for more than 45 years. They provide residential, prison, community and specialist services, including the Recovery through Nature programme.

David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said: “We are delighted to support the Recovery through Nature programme with a £50,000 grant to Phoenix Futures. We hope that the grant will enable the charity to continue its fantastic and innovative work with people affected by substance addiction.”

Every year, the Masonic charitable Foundation – which is funded entirely by donations from Freemasons and their families – awards millions of pounds to charities that support vulnerable people, including those that help those affected by health and disability, and charities that support the education of disadvantaged children and young people.