So we all happily turn up to our Chapter Meetings with something in our wallets to put towards the charity collection and we fill in the back of an envelope allowing tax to be reclaimed on our donation. Funds are paid into the Benevolent Fund Relief Chest -– with what result? The recent Annual General Meeting of the Warwickshire Royal Arch Benevolent Fund helped give some answers.
Thanks to the support of 41 chapters the Provincial Grand Charity Steward – Fred Ditchfield – was able to report a 44.5% year-on-year increase in donations received. This figure did not include the total of £5,447 donated for the 2023 Festival. He said that this was a magnificent response to the Grand Superintendent’s appeal that the Benevolent Fund should not be forgotten while the Craft is in Festival. Notwithstanding this, the amount donated by companions towards the 2023 Festival is also truly remarkable.
Furthermore, eleven chapters have taken advantage of the Charity-Giving Support Scheme to nominate their favourite non-masonic charities to share in £2,600 worth of Grants, the recipients being:-
British Heart Foundation
Braidwood School for Deaf Children
Prostate Cancer Research
Royal National Lifeboat Institute
A further £650 has since been distributed to:-
St Giles Hospice
Birmingham Children’s Hospital
Breast Cancer UK
In recent months the Benevolent Fund has provided a new Carendo shower chair for the Feldon stroke rehabilitation ward at Leamington Spa Hospital; a water feature in the new sensory garden at Ashby House residential care centre for dementia and Alzheimer patients in Nuneaton and made a grant to St. Peter’s Church, Coughton, to help towards the costs of the much need redecoration of the church.
In addition, it has funded the supply and installation of four defibrillators installed at busy local centres —- Stratford Samaritans Community Hub in the centre of Stratford; St. Paul Primary School set in the heart of the community at Kingsbury Road in Erdington; St. Barnabas Church Centre in Erdington village; and at NISA Local on a busy corner in Whitehouse Common, Sutton Coldfield.
Great things are being done, we are working hard in and for our communities; with your support we will continue to do so.