West Lancashire Community Awards presentation
Posted: 27th September 2017

The Masonic Charitable Foundation‏ recently announced the results of the MCF Community Awards. Eight charities received grants in West Lancashire and members of the Province met with the charities to present their certificates and find out more about their work.

Representatives of the charities met  with MCF Trustees Derek Parkinson and Mark Matthews, along with Kevin Poynton and seven of the brethren who nominated the charities.

The meeting started with a welcome and introductions from Mark, followed by Derek who gave a short talk about the history and work of the MCF.

Kevin Poynton then gave a talk on the history of Freemasonry, The Province of West Lancashire and the great social activities that members, families and friends enjoy.

Mark then invited the representatives from each charity to give a short talk on the work they do.

St Helens Carers Centre received £25,000

Jane Dearden MBE and Lorraine Pennington spoke about StHCC which is an independent charity, established by local Carers seven years ago.

The funding StHCC have received will help us enormously, it will help us to reach out to more Young Carers and provide the support they desperately need. StHCC have been raising the awareness of Young Carers in St Helens over the past few years and it has been a huge success, however, with increased awareness brings increased referrals. StHCC have, therefore, been very mindful of our capacity to support more Young Carers should they be identified by other professionals, but now with this funding StHCC will be able to continue with our awareness raising strategy due to us being in a better position to support more Young Carers when referred to us.

Wargrave House received £15,000

Simon Davies spoke about the registered charity which was established in 1971 to provide a specialist environment for the education of children diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

One form of therapy that has proved to be massively beneficial to their students and one which they are very keen to expand is rebound therapy. Rebound therapy sessions take place on a trampoline and bring a huge range of benefits from developing motor skills and co-ordination through to improving self-confidence and a sense of independence.

With limited space available, the only way we could achieve our aim was to fund-raise for a sunken trampoline to be installed in our school gym. We had expected it would take a number of years to raise enough money, but thanks to the incredible generosity of the Masonic Charitable Foundation and our other supporters, we are now in a position to go ahead with the project immediately. I’d like to send my heartfelt thanks to the MCF on behalf of everyone at Wargrave House for their support which will, quite literally, change the lives of our very special group of students

Survivors of Bereavement received £15,000

Janet Taylor and Maria Smith said Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide exist to meet the needs and break the isolation experienced by those bereaved by suicide.  They are a self-help organisation and they aim to provide a safe, confidential environment in which bereaved people can share their experiences and feelings, so giving and gaining support from each other.

Janet said: “When we lost our son in March 2000 we found it very hard to find the support we needed, in September 2000 we heard about SOBS, with their support we were strong enough to open the SOBS Bolton Group in August 2001. Over the years we have supported 100’s of survivors, some attend for a short while and others still attend after many years. We see people at their lowest when they first attend and it is very rewarding seeing them moving forward towards a new kind of normal. I can’t thank the MCF enough for their grant of £15,000 it will help so much.”

Sefton Childrens Trust received £6,000

Anona Kelly said that Sefton Childrens Trust aims to provide a three year programme of events and activities for families experiencing difficulties, focusing on families with young people aged eight to 11 years.

After this year’s summer residential we were very concerned as we only had £4,000 in reserve and we needed £10,000 to enable us to book next year’s summer residential – we considered closing the charity. The day after our meeting we heard that the MCF had given us a grant of £6,000 which has enabled us to book the summer residential for next year, I can’t tell you how thankful we are to the Freemasons

Sefton Women’s and Children’s Aid received £6,000

Neil Frackelton explained that SWACA provides emotional and practical support to women, children and young people, living in the borough of Sefton, Merseyside, affected by domestic abuse.

Neil said: “The MCF generously awarded SWACA £6,000 towards our Children’s Services. The grant will make a significant difference to our capacity in supporting children and young people who have been affected by domestic abuse within their homes”.


The League of Welldoers received £4,000

Mike Leggett and Tony Boase from the League of Welldoers spoke about their work which started  in 1893 in an empty cotton warehouse. The League of Welldoers (or Liverpool Food Association as it was known at first) was set up initially to provide school meals to starving children throughout Liverpool, Everton and Bootle.

The League of Welldoers receives no funding from either local council or central government for its core services and relies almost entirely on the generosity of individuals and its own fund raising activities to make ends meet. I am so pleased to say a big thankyou to the MCF for their grant of £4,000. Since 1902 fundraising concerts have been held at different theatres throughout Liverpool and since the mid 1950s these have been held almost entirely at the fabulous Philharmonic Hall so please come along to one.

Salford Women’s Aid received £4,000

Dawn Redshaw and Justine Evans spoke about Salford Women’s Aid which was established  in 1974. Since 2004 SIDASS has provided independent advocacy and specialised support to victims.

Dawn said: “I would like to say a big thank you to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their very generous grant of £4,000.”

Headway Blackpool Wyre and Fylde received £4,000

Jonathan Young, Director of the charity said “I would like to say how thankful and grateful we are to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for the very generous grant of £4,000 given to Headway Blackpool Wyre and Fylde”.