Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire

Read Easy Solihull - Masonic Charitable Foundation Grant

Read Easy UK is a volunteer organisation that recruits and trains volunteers to teach adults with low reading skills to read on a one-to-one basis. By helping people to tackle their reading difficulties, it is hoped that they will also grow in confidence and self-esteem, become more independent, move on to other forms of education and improve their employment opportunities.

Read Easy Solihull is an affiliated member of Read Easy UK, and is supported by literacy specialists both regionally and nationally. Established as a group in November 2016, Read Easy Solihull have just completed their first year, which has been very successful. They have a committee of 6 volunteers who work with a Co-ordinator who is responsible for recruiting coaches and arranging their training. The Co-ordinator also deals with reader referrals and with the support of a Literacy Specialist, pairs the readers with the trained coaches and regularly monitors their progress.

In their first year, the funding received enabled the group to train 10 coaches, and provide 9 readers with resources to start their reading journeys. At present, 7 coaches are actively paired with 8 readers all at various stages of progress. The grant of £2500 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation will enable the group to train further volunteers – it costs £50 to train a volunteer coach and approximately £140 to help one adult to learn to read.   The aim is to have 18-20 coaches and readers paired in the first half of this year, and in the second half of the year, they anticipate taking on 10 more coaches and a second Co-ordinator to manage them with another 10 readers.   A challenging aim but for this group, led by an enthusiastic Chair, committed Co-ordinator and Coaches and a supportive management committee, it is highly achievable with sufficient funding.

The Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association has added to the donation by the MCF, and it is understood that the Province of Worcestershire are also supporting the group.

The MCF certificate of funding was presented to Mrs Deborah Chard (Co-Ordinator) and Mrs Lynn Wilson (Chair) in the centre, receiving the certificate outside the Solihull Central Library from John Hayward, Charity Steward for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire. The Library is where much of the tuition takes place.

Grant Presentation

A reading group is shown below receiving training in the Solihull Library in the centre of the town.

 Reading Group

 

The Solihull group and the charity as a whole is finding there is a huge level of interest in the program offered throughout the West Midlands area.   Interest has also been shown in Worcestershire and Staffordshire for a similar group development.   Read Easy UK is a recently established charity which is finding a great deal of demand for its services in many areas of the UK. The group’s website is here which will also link to the Read Easy UK website.

JBH

Stoneleigh Lodge support the Birth and Babies appeal

Borth and BabiesThe Brethren of Stoneleigh Lodge 725 have kindly donated £400 to Warwick hospitals Birth & Babies Appeal as a result of the exceptional service they provided to one of their members.

Last year W Bro Ross Lewis' wife spent seven weeks at Warwick hospital owing to complications in the pregnancy with their son, who was then born five week premature and required special care in Intensive Care, High Dependancy and the Special Care Baby Unit. During this time they witnessed the tremendous strain that postnatal and neonatal services are under throughout our region, largely owing to the closure or downgrading of midwifery units in Oxford, Redditch and Solihull. The staff did a sterling job looking after Ross' wife and son, ensuring they received care to the highest standard achievable. The conditions they had to work in were awful at times, one example of this was that the temperature in at the nurses station regularly exceeded thirty degrees celsius. Despite this being at the upper limit, which is the point at which the TUC are currently campaigning to be made illegal for indoor workers, not once did the family hear any of them complain, they simply got on with their duties.

A week before Christmas he was readmitted to the paediatric unit at Warwick suffering from what we now know was viral meningitis. After several doses of multiple antibiotics over several day, he was discharged on Christmas Eve. The family were lucky to be together for Christmas, even more touching was that his three year old big sister had asked Santa if she could have him home for Christmas.

Thanks to the support given by the staff at Warwick hospital they now have a bonnie six month old son Morgan as an addition to their family. Who, of course, has no idea of the trouble he's been through and no one would guess how ill he was at the start of his life.

Birth and Babies

The Birth & Babies appeal has been supported by local lodges and the Province of Warwickshire recently with a donation of £1,500 (full story here: http://warwickshirepgl.org.uk/news/provincial-news/2017/985-warwick-hospital-birth-babies-the-new-maternity-unit-appeal) but the appeal still needs more help.

The appeal will create a new Midwifery Led Unit at Warwick to ensure that women have the choice about where they give birth. To ensure the new Midwifery Led Unit is the best it can be there is a £200,000 fundraising appeal. The money raised from this will go towards enhancements that NHS funds can’t provide.

  • Buy special baby cribs and stands, rather than standard plastic cots
  • Provide birthing pools for every room
  • Upgrade furnishings to make the unit feel like a home-from-home
  • Develop a therapeutic room for parents to use 
  • Provision of many other additions to provide the best birthing facilities

You can support the appeal now, either through your own fundraising activities, or directly online at http://www.justgiving.com/birthandbabies

To find out more visit: https://www.swft.nhs.uk/fundraise-us/appeals

Mike Hailwood Lodge Newsletter 1 - 2018

Mike Hailwood

Brethren, welcome to the First newsletter of 2018

2018 Key Events

  • 13/01/18 Installation Of Jason L Culverwell as Master
  • 10/03/2018 MHL Regular Meeting
  • 21/04/2018 First regular meeting Of the new Derbyshire
  • 02/06/2018 MHL regular meeting
  • 07/09/2018. Mike Hailwood Lodge Ladies Night
  • 22 & 23/09/18 Pistons and Props festival at Sywell, Northampton ( Public event non masonic)
  • 09 to 11/11/2018 Classic Car and Bike Show NEC.

13/01/2018 Installation

A proud day for both father and son as Jason was installed into the chair of King Solomon by his father Phil, a great gesture from our outgoing master Colin Fox who deferred his place to Phil for the ceremony.This was Jasons first installation and it was good to see yet another non founder take the chair after having served in every office in the line of progression. We were also entertained by an exhaustive motorcycling story from guest Harvey Williams about his racing career, helped by a distinct weight advantage from him not growing due to a skull fracture in his teens!

The Almoner Peter Tomlinson also reported a bumper year for charity donations, amounting to £2705 in the previous year. Well done to all our brethren and brother visitors.

10/03/2018 Regular March Meeting

This was Jasons first regular meeting as master, and in the absence of a candidate, the lodge was opened and closed in all three degrees, which was of particular benefit to our junior brethren. This was followed by a interesting talk from the Five of Nine Club, about the initiative in the Province to assist new masons in their lodges by having a central “ club” to facilitate learning and involvement with similar aged brethren across the Province.

Future Events

21/04/2018

The first meeting of the new Derbyshire Motorcycle lodge will be held in Ilkeston. W Bro Jon Pitt and W Bro Andy Hare are founders and both have offices in the lodge. The first meeting will be a short lodge open and close followed by a white table dinner featuring Thai Cuisine! Ladies and friends are very welcome.

Lodge Visits

Please keep sending in suggestions for lodge visits. Our WM is keen to visit lodges as can fit in with his work schedule, and of course there are a strong core of MHL members who do visit en masse to lodges where possible.

Two meetings coming up with dates TBC are to Graham Milton Lodge in April, where Bro Tim Carter will be installed as Worshipful Master and a return visit to Old Ben lodge in Shrewsbury where we had a superb time last year. Dates will be communicated in due course.

02/06/2018 MHL regular meeting

We have discussed having a ride out following the next MHL meeting in June. The meeting will have less labour than usual to accommodate this happening. As a motorcycling lodge we could do much more in terms of “ride outs”, this is the first step to doing more!. The intention is a ride out with a route map through superb Warwickshire rural roads, ending up at the Friendly Inn, Frankton for tea and medals! All brethren and visitors are invited to join.

Lodge of Progress (Province of Worcestershire), a peripatetic Lodge also known as BoB’s Lodge, “Brothers on Bikes” will be meeting on Saturday May 26th at Guy’s Cliff, Saturday July 21st at Matlock Bath (TBC) and Saturday September 18th at Tenbury Wells.

Following a good day out in July 2017 at the BoB’s meeting, we will again be looking to attend the July meeting. It’s a pleasant ride to and from the meeting. Last year 4 of us rode in convoy, again all welcome, and happy for any to join in the fun.

We will publish more details on events coming up later in the year but great emphasis is being placed on this year’s Classic Car and Bikes Show at the NEC on the weekend of 9/10/11 November. We are looking for full support for this event, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the end of The Great War which will be very memorably marked by the minute’s silence. We hope to have the use of an enhanced stand, and Bro Andy Hare is still wanting classic bikes from MHL members to show off there! As before, helpers will get free entry and parking.

Other events In May

I shall be attending “Grootlicht” in the Netherlands, a full weekend event held by Dutch masons, including a lodge meeting (in English!), “ride outs” and bbq. The cost is 190 euro for full board in a nice hotel for 2 nights. One of the “ride outs” will include a visit to nearby Arnhem Bridge. The event rapidly sells out and, one reason I am going is to see if this will be of interest to the lodge in future years. I will report back on this.
Similar to last year I am extending the weekend by 3 days to ride down to the Black Forest, staying in biker friendly Pension Williams, which has good reviews. Then I shall ride mostly non motorway back through the Vosges and Belgium. It’s very easy to make any trip abroad as expansive as you want. I am still keen to develop a lodge weekend (or longer) trip abroad, as the roads and riding experience are well worth the effort.

Mike Hailwood Lodge News General

As before please keep sending in any suggestions for lodge meeting visits, events, or planned “ride outs” which we can publish to inform all the brethren.

I am planning to visit Wales a few times this year, including a superb breakfast! Company is always welcome. I also fancy visiting East Kirkby airfield for the WW2 experience and see the famous Lancaster bomber “Just Jane”, if interested drop me a line.

Hoar Park on Wednesday mornings is getting more and more popular and is a great place to visit for tea and hot food and indulge in all the classic bikes that the morning attracts. Your host is, as ever, Bro Andy Hare…

Rugby Lodge Meetings

Bro secretary will email these to all the Mike Hailwood members as he is notified, so you will get them direct to your inbox. It is regretful that there are no pictures in this edition, probably due to the bad weather and no one out and about on their bikes. If you do spot something of interest pleas, take a picture and send it to me!!

Many thanks brethren, and I look forward to another great year for the lodge.

Regards
S & F
Jon Pitt

Eye Believe Succeeds - with our help

Eye Believe

On Saturday 24th March, the Birmingham Children’s Hospital completed a three year project to create a more welcoming and relaxing waiting & play area for the children attending the Birmingham Children’s Hospital Ophthalmology department.   This has been a major development, which has been funded by supporters of the hospital raising £312,000 to transform the area.

BCHThe Hospital’s Eye Department is home to a team of specialists who see over 10,000 children and young people with various conditions each year, travelling from across the UK, as far as Devon and Scotland. The refurbishment will make a huge difference for over 500 children who visit the Eye Department every week for treatment.  The Eye Department’s waiting area was very out-dated, hot and overcrowded.  Little patients can become upset and agitated whilst they wait, which means they are less likely to cooperate with the doctors and nurses when they are examined.

The new waiting & play area is 50% larger, providing more comfortable seating, space to park buggies and an exciting new play area with interactive toys suitable for children with visual impairments. This will make a world of difference to children and their families during their visit to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Eye Department.

Many Warwickshire Lodges and the Warwickshire Masonic Charitable Association have contributed to the funding of this splendid new area, which has similar sensory play equipment to the Children’s Hospices in Warwickshire, provided by Lifelites, which we also similarly support.  A very worthwhile visit, and shows just what benefits can be achieved from our funding. More information on Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity available here.

JBH

 

Charity in Action – a True Story! Schools for Gambia - In association with St Phillips Lodge No 5580

Schools for Gambia is a small charity, which over the past twenty five years has built 21 schools and provided educational resources to many more. The charity relies mainly upon donations from community groups, with a major donor being the staff, parents and children of Clifton Primary School in Balsall Heath, Birmingham. The Chair of Governors also happens to be the wife of a member of St Philips Lodge, 5580 and she was given an opportunity to describe the work of the charity at a Lodge social gathering.

As a result, members of St Philip’s Lodge and the Warwickshire Installed Master Lodge 2016 Ladies Festival generously undertook additional fundraising activities which led to Schools for Gambia receiving support, as well as our own Masonic Charities.

In November, 2017 St Philip’s Lodge heard about what had been able to be provided through Masonic generosity. KristiKunda Lower Basic School is situated in an isolated village in The Gambia. When it was built by Schools for Gambia three years ago, it was the first time since the Missionary Station closed some 50 years ago, that children were able to attend school. Through masonic generosity, children now also have age appropriate educational resources.

A classroomPupils at KristiKunda with books provided by
contributions from Masonic charity collections

Such is the success of the school, that the Alkala (the village chief), has identified that additional classrooms are needed!

Whilst on a support visit early in 2017, the head teacher raised a specific concern with Schools for Gambia . A 12 year old boy had recently become a pupil. He had never been to school before, as he was expected to become a nomadic herdsman, like his father. Some 2 ½ years ago he had had an accident playing football. The nearest hospital was a half-day travel away and by the time he arrived, it was too late to save his leg. After an above knee amputation, a temporary artificial leg was fitted before he was discharged. Since then, his parents had not been able to afford for him to have a more appropriate artificial leg. And he had grown! His ‘temporary’ leg was now much too short. The boy, Essa, walked some 3 kilometres to school every day – he had never been late, but the stress of walking with such an inappropriate leg, meant that he was sobbing with back pain by the time he arrived at school. Could Schools for Gambia fund a bicycle for him?

The head teacher of Clifton Primary School donated the funds for the bicycle, but the real problem was that Essa needed an appropriate artificial leg.

Fortunately, St Philip’s Lodge had organised a ‘Ladies to Dine’ Christmas lunch. W Bro Michael Fry made a special charity request – and this, together with support from other local community groups, meant that within a month, sufficient funding had been obtained for Essa to have his new leg.

Last week, Essa and his parents made the two days journey to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Banjul – where there is the only prosthetic facility in the Gambia. Two days of extensive training has enabled him to throw away his crutches and walk unaided on his new leg. And he is delighted that he now has a new pair of trainers!



Schools in Gambia School in Gambia

New Trousers

Essa, in November 2017 was a withdrawn, depressed boy. There was no eye contact - he looked at the floor, not at people.

Essa in February 2018 was a sparkling boy, with a beaming smile and happy to hang on to your hand. It was inspirational to see him throw away his crutch and walk tall on his new leg. He is also rapidly acquiring English – ‘It is good’; ‘new leg, new leg; ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’.

Truly, a wonderful example of masonic benevolence in action!

Michael Fry
WM 5580

 

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The Provincial Grand Lodge of Warwickshire
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73, Gravelly Hill North, Erdington
Birmingham B23 6BJ

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Tel: 0121 454 4422

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the governing body for freemasons within England and Wales and districts overseas.