Assistant Provincial Grand Master Robert Wright had the pleasure of presenting a cheque from the Freemasons Grand Charity to Queenscourt Hospice in Southport. Robert met with Jane Royds the Director of Non Clinical Services and Fundraising Manager Carolyn Gorman prior to handing over the cheque for £2,464.
Both were very interested to find out more from Robert about Masonry in Southport and the surrounding areas saying that they are always surprised at the very generous cheques they receive from a great number of Freemasons’ lodges in the area and love the fact that they all have different names and numbers.
Robert explained that in Southport there are over 850 Masons who belong to 23 different lodges, all of whom will have reasons to donate cheques to charities and this is typically done once a year at the installation of a new master. Robert went on to say that all of the money donated is raised by the members themselves and unlike other groups, Freemasons’ don’t go out and collect from the public to give to charitable organisations.
Robert then asked about the work undertaken by the hospice and Jane was very happy to announce that this year is the silver jubilee of the organisation so there will be lots of things happening to celebrate their work.
Queenscourt Hospice is a local charity that provides support for the people of Southport, Formby and West Lancashire. They care for patients with serious illnesses, enabling them to achieve the best possible quality of life. They help to do this both in the hospice and at home through their in-patient units, Queenscourt Connect and Queenscourt at Home services.
Jane explained that to operate Queenscourt requires over 100 members of staff, this includes doctors, nurses, healthcare assistants, physiotherapists and many other roles. Even with all of these staff members however Jane said that the work they do would not be possible without their huge team of volunteers who work in their shops, help out around the hospice, answer the phones, maintain their gardens, manage support groups and set up events to help raise money. However they are always looking for more help.
Jane added that Queenscourt Hospice receive less than a 1/3rd of their costs from the NHS and has a daily running total of around £4,500, with the rest of the money coming from charitable donations such as the cheque today which will help keep the hospice running. They have a small team of staff like Carolyn who help them to achieve this by setting up and running events, visiting the community to hold fundraising events and working with local organisations to secure grants and other forms of income. There are a lot of ways people can donate money to help them continue offering their services.
One of their big events each year is the ‘Star Trekk X’ which is their famous seven mile sponsored night walk which this year will be bigger than ever. They are aiming to get over 1,000 walkers to join in and is proving to be a real community event. The walk is open to everybody and they are inviting men, women and children (as long as they have an adult joining them) to come and walk with them. They are also looking for volunteers to help marshal the event, so if someone would like to get involved but isn’t able to do the walk you can still help out.
You can find out more about what they do by following them on Facebook or visiting their website www.queenscourt.org.uk