At the start of 2022, the Bucks Masonic Centenary Fund donated over £12,500 to local organisations and individuals.
The Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund was established in 1991 to aid non-Masonic charitable causes with strong Buckinghamshire connections. The Fund makes donations to these causes on behalf of the 3000 Buckinghamshire Freemasons, who are the sole source of its financial support.
Buckingham Judo Club was one organisation that benefited from the grant. The donation enabled them to provide 80 sq meters of new matting for use by the community in Buckingham.
Chairman of the club, Vance Godfrey, explained how important these mats were to young people, “The mats have enhanced the dojo that we have, it has provided a safe space for young people to exercise, socialise and gain a sense of belonging. We are very grateful to Buckinghamshire Freemasons for the donation of £2,000, which, along with our own funds raised through sponsorship from local businesses and charity events, allowed us to purchase these specialist mats. In 2023 we will build on this by reaching out with our fund raising to provide specialist one on one trainers for neurodiverse children.”
The dojo is now in full use and many more people can enjoy the space. Ewan Gordon, member of Verney Lodge based in Buckingham, visited the dojo with Phil Blacklaw, a member of Buckinghamshire Freemasons Executive team, and both were impressed with what they saw. Ewan said, “It is wonderful to visit the club and see their new dojo mats in use. I was particularly impressed how the club encourages children with learning difficulties and disabilities to take part in their sessions.” Phil added, “With our help, these young people of all capabilities can now learn about the principles of the club and gain the necessary skills of working together, respecting authority, patience, dedication, self-reliance, controlling emotions and personal fitness.”
Buckinghamshire Freemasons wish the young people of Buckingham many years of enjoyment in their club activities.