Assistant Grand Master becomes patron of children’s hospice charity Lifelites

Assistant Grand Master, and former Lord Mayor of London, Sir David Wootton is to become a patron of Lifelites, the charity which donates and maintains inclusive technology for terminally ill and disabled children in hospices.

Sir David was introduced to Lifelites through his role as Assistant Grand Master, and since learning more about the charity’s work, he has decided to lend his name to help the organisation and the children it supports.

Lifelites – originally a Freemasons’ millennium project but now a registered charity in its own right, donates and maintains specialist packages of assistive and inclusive technology for the 10,000 terminally ill and disabled children at every children’s hospice across the British Isles.

The technology the charity provides helps these children to play, be creative, control something for themselves and communicate, for as long as it is possible. It gives them the opportunity to escape the confines of their disabilities and do the things which we take for granted, but which they never thought possible: paint a picture, make music, or play a game with their brothers and sisters.

Sir David said: “I am delighted to be in two organisations that are big supporters of Lifelites and am therefore doubly keen to support them. I recently visited their office and was shown what the dedicated team do there by Simone, the terrific Chief Executive. They have a musical instrument you can play just by passing your hand through a beam of light, a screen you can paint on in different colours electronically just with a move of the eye, and the amazing Magic Carpet. All products of great imagination which transform these children’s lives and give them the chance to do what we all take for granted. Such wonderful work.”

Simone Enefer-Doy, Chief Executive of Lifelites, said: “We are bowled over that Sir David has agreed to become a patron and support the work of Lifelites. We have no doubt that his status in the City Community will be perfect to assist us in raising the profile of Lifelites among this important audience.”

To find out more about the charity, please visit the website at If you’d like to get in touch you can call 0207 440 4200 or email

Information about Lifelites:

Lifelites empowers 10,000 children and young people in hospices with life-limiting, life-threatening illnesses and disabling conditions by providing them with opportunities to benefit from the power of assistive and inclusive technologies to play, to be creative, to communicate and to take control. There is a Lifelites project in every baby and children’s hospice across the British Isles. The hospices do not pay a penny towards their Lifelites project and all of Lifelites’ work is funded by donations: the equipment, ongoing technical support and training at each hospice costs around £50,000 over four years.
Charity Number: 1165791

Our Province has been key to Lifelites:

See this article from 2015….

IT’s magic! Huddersfield’s Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice is the first among the 50 children’s hospices throughout Britain to receive an exciting new package of specialist technology – and a portable mini Magic Carpet!

National charity Lifelites provided the original educational and entertainment technology package when Forget Me Not opened its doors to sick children with life limiting illnesses four years ago.

Chief executive Simone Enefer-Doy came up from London to unveil the latest state-of-the-art technology which will enable young people to play, to be creative, control something for themselves and communicate – for as long as it is possible.

The package includes a number of magical items such as: Touchscreen PCs, Eyegaze and music packages, assistive mice, and games, the Makey Makey, Cameras and Printer, Head Mouse, the Lifelites Specialist iPads and the new portable Magic Carpet.

The Carpet helps children escape the confines of their illness by projecting interactive games and images onto the floor so that those with little or no mobility can play simply by moving on or over the picture.

It brings the outside world to them by giving them the chance to splash in the sea, fly a plane or play football with their brothers and sisters, irrespective of their disabilities. The best thing about this magical piece of equipment is that it is portable which means the hospice community team can take the Magic Carpet to the children to use in their own homes.

WRMCL funded the original package at Forget Me Not with a £20,000 donation and provided £10,000 towards an equipment upgrade in 2015.

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MCF Tercentenary Community Awards – LAST CHANCE TO VOTE TODAY! (31st July)

Three Hundred Charities, Three Million Pounds, Three Hundred Years of Freemasonry.


To celebrate the Tercentenary of the first Grand Lodge, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) has pledged to give £3m to 300 organisations nationwide, with the Province of Yorkshire West Riding – which incorporates West, South, and parts of North and East, Yorkshire – being earmarked to receive £79,000.

Eight charities nominated by the Province will receive grants, the size of grant being decided by a public vote. To ensure the charity of your choice has the best possible chance of receiving a large grant it is up to you to rally round your Brethren, Family, Friends, Work Colleagues, and in fact anyone you can get to cast a vote.

To cast your vote, and to find out more about the MCF, please visit the voting website at and register.

Those from the region that have been selected for a grant are:

• Leeds based Learning Partnerships
• Selby District Peter Pan Nursery
• Vision Support Harrogate District
• Paperworks (Harrogate) Limited
• Halifax based Skillshop Limited
• Motive8 Bradford Ltd
• Aurora Wellbeing Centre in Mexborough
• Autism Plus in Sheffield and Thorne.

The regional charity that receives the most votes will be awarded £25k, whilst two will receive £15k each, two £6k each and three £4k each.

More information about the nominated charities can be found at the voting website.

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Fifty Hungry People Enjoy Sunday Lunch, Courtesy Of Harrogate Freemasons

Up to 50 hungry Harrogate people have enjoyed a two-course Sunday lunch at Wesley Chapel, thanks to one of the town’s five Masonic lodges.

The meal of roast chicken and vegetables, followed by chocolate brownies, profiteroles and cream, was one of the benefits of a dinner dance organised by Harlow Lodge to mark the 300th anniversary of the first meeting of a Grand Lodge.

Held in the town’s Crown Hotel, the event, which featured Brazilian dancers and live music, was attended by more than 150 Freemasons, partners and friends, including the Provincial Grand Master, David Pratt.

Harlow Lodge Master Andrew Simister said: “Whilst the evening was primarily a celebration of our Tercentenary, there was also an important charitable element associated with it.

“The proceeds of the evening are going to Saint Michael’s Hospice and I’m delighted to say that in addition a spin off was these meals for Harrogate’s hungry.

“One of the key principles of Freemasonry is our support for charity, and, thanks to all who attended the dinner dance, we have been able to support two organisations, each helping the residents of Harrogate.”

Wesley Sunday Lunch Bunch co-ordinator Hannah Beck said: “We are very grateful to Andrew and Harlow Lodge for this fantastic gesture, which has provided a wonderful Sunday lunch for 50 people unable to afford a lunch.

“It is our aim to provide Sunday lunch for anyone on a low income or lonely every Sunday, and the generosity of the worshippers of St Peter’s Church usually allows us to do achieve this.

“However, we also need to publicise what we are doing here, both at Wesley Chapel and at St Peter’s, in order to ensure our efforts are able to continue, month in, month out, and the Freemasons are now helping us spread that word.”

Lunch Date! Pictured are Harlow Lodge Master, Andrew Simister, and Wesley Sunday Lunch Bunch co-ordinator, Hannah Beck

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TLC Donation in memory of W Bro Ken Walter

On Monday 17th July the RW Provincial Grand Master accompanied by VW Bro Stuart Grantham Deputy PGM, W Bro Roger Newhouse Assistant PGM and over 40 of his Acting Officers made a visit to Victoria Lodge No 2669 at the Midland Hotel, Bradford.

During the meeting a cheque for the sum of £1,000 was presented to the PGM in favour of the Teddies for Loving Care appeal. This was a bequest from the Lodge’s senior Past Master who passed away in May this year.

The PGM was surprised to receive the cheque and spoke enthusiastically about the TLC scheme to the Brethren present, passing on his grateful thanks to the family of W Bro Walter. After the meeting the Brethren dined in the magnificent Princes Ballroom at the hotel.

(from L to R) W Bro John Watson (Charity Steward), W Bro Roger Newhouse (APGM), W Bro John Eaton (stand-in Master for the visit), VW Bro Stuart Grantham (DPGM) & RW Bro David Pratt (PGM) with the cheque for £1,000 to TLC

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Brilliant sunshine for the Connaught Court Summer Fair

The Connaught Court Summer Fair, hosted by The Association of Friends of Connaught Court this year, was opened by Right Worshipful Brother David S. Pratt, Provincial Grand Master of Yorkshire West Riding.

R. W. Brother Pratt commented on the wonderful turn out of stalls and attractions on the day and on the hard work that had gone into the arrangements and thanked the members of the Association and the Lodges involved for their efforts.

He mentioned the sterling work being done on behalf of the Association by the newly appointed Ambassadors and urged them to continue their efforts and also hoped that similar success might be achieved in the other two Provinces associated with the home.

The home itself also came in for praise for the wonderful facility that it is and for their having received an excellent report from the Care Quality Commission as well as achieving the Butterfly Standard for Dementia Care.

The event was blessed by the presence of more than 20 stalls and attractions as well as the York Railway Institute Development Band who kept all entertained with a varied selection of rousing brass band music.

New attractions this year included a petting animal display, farm tractor, bouncy castle, guess the number of flowers in the RMBI sign and clown and ball game. As has become the custom at this event we also had a goodly selection of classic cars to be viewed which were provided by the brethren of Classics on the Square.

Other notable stalls and attractions were bag a bottle, whiskey galore, the human fruit machine, “Play Your Cards Right” and a wonderful selection of tombola’s, cake stalls, bric-a-brac, home made goods, regalia sales and others too numerous to mention.

The sincere thanks of the Association go out to all who contributed on the day and assisted in raising the magnificent total in excess of £5400.00.

W Bro Paul Hornby, Membership Secretary, was also present and enhanced the income on the day by recruiting many new life members and also selling lapel pins.

The date for next year’s event has been set for Saturday 16 June 2018, and it will be opened at 1.30 pm.

Full details of how to contribute together with much other information can be found on the Friends of Connaught Court website

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Stride Theatre in Wakefield – PGM’s Fund Award

The PGM’s fund has brought great joy to many charities throughout the Province, one of which being Stride Theatre in Wakefield.

The Chantry Chapter 4065 of the Supreme Grand Chapter applied in favour of the charity receiving £790 to enable them to buy a camcorder, so those attending can film the great progress they make, and also some chairs that they really needed.

The Creative Director is Rebecca Simpson who provides an amazing service to children and adults with learning difficulties.

Rebecca stated: “Stride Theatre aims to provide a safe place for everyone to build confidence, have fun and use Theatre as a tool for expression and empowerment. Stride aims to bring the community together and offers a variety of classes for all ages, Stride is affordable and accessible for all who want to access us.”

“I’m extremely overwhelmed by the generosity of The Freemasons and I’m so excited to be able to buy furniture and new filming equipment that will really add value to all who attend.”

Congratulations to all involved for the terrific work that you have undertaken!

For more information on Stride and their work, please visit:

For more information on the PGM’s fund, please visit:

For more information on the Supreme Grand Chapter, please visit:

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Support for Civic Charities

A recent visit to Henshaws Society for Blind People and ARCH Mediation Services was instigated by the Mayor of Harrogate, Cllr Anne Jones. The two charities are those nominated for support by the Mayor during her civic year in office.

The party of those invited by the Mayor included the Vice Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Major Peter Scrope, Henry Scrope, Tony Pardoe, Trustee of ARCH and W Bro Doug Mills, Charity Steward of The Spa Lodge No. 7609.

The college Principal, Angela North, Fiona Ashcroft, Director of Fundraising and Trustee, Russell Davidson met the party and gave an extended tour the campus including the newly refurbished sensory room, media and IT centre, sports and physiotherapy facilities. The tour was followed by a visit to Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough which is a community hub offering creative and employability workshops.

Later in the morning the group made its way to the offices of ARCH Mediation Services where Tony Pardoe introduced other Trustees and gave a succinct presentation of the service offered.

Subsequently Doug arranged a meeting with Fiona and Tony to talk in detail as to how both the MCF and PGM’s Fund might be able to assist with grants – watch this space.

At Henshaws College – Russell Davidson, Henshaws Board of Trustees, Angela North, Henshaws College Principal, Henry Scrope, Vice Lord Lieutenant North Yorkshire, Major Peter Scrope, Doug Mills, Charity Steward of The Spa Lodge, Cllr Anne Jones, Mayor of Harrogate, Tony Pardoe, Director ARCH Mediation Services, Fiona Ashcroft, Henshaws Director of Fundraising

At ARCH Mediation Services

At Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre

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“Little Pips” at Hollybank School – Rugby Football Lodge Donation

On Tuesday 20 June, four members of the Rugby Football Lodge No 9811 visited Hollybank School in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. For over 60 years, the school, set in a former Roman Catholic seminary, has been dedicated to the care of children, young people and adults with multiple and profound disabilities. Their motto is “Providing Quality of Life, For Life.”

Earlier this year, the Lodge made a donation of £3,000 from its own charitable fund to Hollybank School. The donation will be used for the “Little Pips” which is dedicated to developing skills, sharing experiences and having lots of fun for children between the ages of 0 and 5 years.

After meeting some of the children with their mums, a short tour of the premises and the facilities that are available took place. During the coffee break that followed, it became quite obvious that the visit had made a considerable impression on each member of the Lodge, especially the open and friendly greeting. The Worshipful Master, W Bro Tony Rennison remarked, “It is amazing that everyone we’ve seen, mothers, children and all the staff, they have all been smiling. What a friendly, welcoming place!”

W Bros David Ridgway, Barry Massam, Charles Skidmore and the Worshipful Master W Bro Tony Rennison, together with some of the Little Pips, their mums and staff members.

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Liverpool to Goole Canoe Challenge Underway – Radio & TV appearences on Monday 10th July

Andrew Wellock, a member of Ilkley’s Olicana Lodge, and his friend, Andy Lambert, have embarked on a “two men one boat” marathon canoe challenge aiming to paddle 160 miles across England as part of efforts to raise £5,000 for a local cancer charity.

They will be interviewed live on BBC Radio Leeds on Monday 10th July morning around 8.30 – 9.00am, and hope to feature on the Made in Leeds TV Channel news slots at 6.00pm and 8.00pm on Monday evening, with an interview that was pre-recorded on the canal at Apperley Bridge (Freeview 7, Sky 117 & Virgin 159).

The pair, who are raising money for Cancer Support Yorkshire, bagan their journey in Liverpool today, Sunday, July 9th, and, all being well, hope to arrive in Goole in a week.

They will be holding a fund raiser at the Wooley Sheep Inn on the evening of Day 4 of the challenge (Wednesday 12th July), so come along and meet them, have a drink, and help them reach their goal!

You can cheer them on throughout their fantastic quest – their expected schedule can be downloaded here:

Liverpool to Goole Canoe Challenge Schedule

Andrew and a group of friends raised £850 for the charity, by taking part in a New Year’s Day plunge into freezing moorland waters, at the White Wells Old Bath House, and have now increased their total raised to over 70% of their target of £5000.

W Bro Wellock – son of former Provincial Grand Secretary W Bro Roy Wellock – and a cancer survivor himself, said: “Like all charities, Cancer Support Yorkshire relies on donations, and in their case it’s to help them support cancer sufferers and their families.

“Having lived through cancer, I can speak at first-hand about the wonderful work this particular organisation does, and how grateful I am for everything they did for me and my family.”

Andrew and Andy have set up a JustGiving page for their ‘two men one boat’ challenge, as well as a launching a blog and Facebook page to document their progress.

The JustGiving page is found at,

The Facebook page is found at
For more information, please visit

Canoe Challenge! Andrew Wellock (front) and Andy Lambert practising for their “two men one boat” charity fundraiser

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Grant from PGM’s fund to the William Merritt Disabled Living Centre

A chance conversation between Margaret Pease, the Lady captain at Garforth Golf Club and the treasurer of the Rabbits section, Christopher Thwaites, lead to the awarding of a £2500.00 grant from the PGM’s fund for the William Merritt Disabled Living centre to provide gaming equipment for youngsters who suffer from cerebral palsy and transverse myelitis.

Margaret, herself, has been a long time supporter and administrator for the Centre and during her year as Ladies’ Captain she has nominated the centre as her chosen charity.

W Bro. Chris Thwaites, who is Lodge Mentor for Studley Lodge, submitted an application by the Lodge to the PGM’s fund which was successful. On 5th July the WM of Studley Lodge, W Bro. Graham Batley along with W Bro. Chris Thwaites and W Bro. Stuart Gledhill attended the centre at Rodley to make the presentation.

In the photo are David Blythe, centre manager, W. Bro. Graham Batley, W. Bro. Chris Thwaites, Sophie Pinney, Occupational Therapist, Nathan Sumpner and Nathan Poppel. Despite having severe restrictions of movement and speech, Nathan Poppel produces the centre’s newsletter.

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