Charitable giving from the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Provincial Grand Stewards Lodge (PGSL) during the past few years has been nothing short of outstanding. To finalise comment on the Provincial Festival that finished at the end of 2016, not previously reported on this site, the lodge donated in excess of £250,000 towards an overall total of £7,700,000 itself an unprecedented total for any Province in any Festival. A great sum of money that any individual brother should feel proud to have been a part of. The lodge’s donation equated to more than £1000 per lodge member thereby qualifying the lodge for the Festival Gavel which now sits proudly on the Worshipful Master’s pedestal when the lodge is engaged in Masonic business. This fantastic total will set a very high benchmark for future festivals.
No sooner had the Festival finished than the Provincial Grand Master who was the PGSL Primus Master in 1987, made all aware that Naomi House children’s’ hospice was in need of £50,000 to install the latest Lifelites project ; he requested the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Freemasons assist him in raising this some. The PGSL has now donated £16,000 towards the total of £50,000 which was presented toward the end of 2017.
The Provincial Grand Master RW Mike Wilks presents £50,000.00 to Lifelites, the package includes a variety of assistive technology specially adapted for children with disabilities and can be used by the children to play games and communicate with their families and carers.
In the latest package, one of the pieces of equipment is an Eyegaze. This allows those with limited mobility to control a computer using just their eyes. By using the Eyegaze, children who can only use their eyes and struggle to control anything for themselves, are suddenly able to play a game, paint a picture or even communicate with their family and carers, perhaps for the first time.
The need for Charitable giving and Beneficence continues whether in festival or being called upon to support a major project. To this end at our four regular meetings Gift Aid Envelopes are provided for brethren to donate to the lodge Relief Chest so that a buffer maybe set up to support any unforeseen misfortune or unavoidable calamity. The giving by the brethren of the lodge can be further supported by HMRC provided that the appropriate Box is ticked on the envelope by the donor (£10 donated will become £12.50 with gift aid).
New This Year.
As from March 2018 the Relief Chest Scheme will be expanded to incorporate Individual Relief Chests IRC. This will allow lodge members to set up their own Relief Chest and to manage their donating and charitable giving in an effective and tax efficient manner. Looks like a busy year ahead!