The Site For Freemasonry in Buckinghamshire supporting the BMCF charity no: 1007193

A collection of goods

Bringing a Ray of Sunshine to Ward 9

After the success of the freezers to COVID wards at Stoke Mandeville Hospital last week, Buckinghamshire Freemasons again partnered with Paula Tompkins and her team to bring a little joy to the staff of Ward 9.

Buckinghamshire Freemasons provided a fridge and microwave so staff can store and heat their meals when there isn’t enough time to leave.

A coffee machine and microwave were also supplied by Paula and her team.

In addition to practical solutions, the Buckinghamshire Freemasons also provided some pamper packs for the staff including hand cream, face cream and body mist. Haddenham Lodge also provided lip balms.

Delivered once again by Bill Smithson, one ward sister said ‘Oh, wow! This is so great and we can now have a hot lunch...so exciting!’

Such is the success of these projects that Buckinghamshire Freemasons has a dedicated contact for NHS personnel in need of some help. If you are a member of NHS staff and would like some assistance then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Once again, thanks to all our NHS workers from all of the Buckinghamshire Freemasons.

People wearing face masks with 2 boxed freesers

Support for our local NHS

After seeing a Facebook post asking for assistance to purchase two freezers; Buckinghamshire Freemasons immediately made contact with Paula Thompkins from Haddenham who was leading the fundraising,
 
The request for assistance was made to support the staff of Covid wards at Stoke Mandeville Hospital who due to the pressures of working, are often unable to stop for meals and relying on ice cubes as a means to stay hydrated during their shifts.
 
Staff can now take in food and provide easy access to this important, hydrating ice. With thanks to the generosity of the public, one fridge had been funded and Bucks Freemasons immediately paid for the second.
 
Bill Smithson, of Haddenham Lodge, arranged to pick up the freezers from Paula and deliver them to the hospital with the help of Steve Smirthwaite. They were gratefully received, with one ward sister saying "we never wanted to ask for anything or be a burden because we know so many people are out of work, so this is incredibly kind and we can't thank you enough”.
 
From all Buckinghamshire Freemasons, we thank all our frontline healthcare staff and will be providing coffee machines and fridges for other wards in the upcoming days to help those working in unimaginable environments..
Image showing multiple meals in plastic tubs

Helping SHOC (Slough Homeless Our Concern) and Carers in Buckinghamshire

In September 2020 the Deputy Provincial Grand Master contacted W Bro Eddie Irwin (of Marlow Masonic Centre) to see if he would be able to assist with a project on behalf of the Province to provide  meals for Slough Homeless Our Concern (SHOC) and Carers in Buckinghamshire.

On 11th October, the evening before this was due to begin, Eddie’s sous-chef ,Josh, broke his hand and would therefore be unable to assist. A call was put out for ]assistance and In stepped W Bro Gary Fraser (Iver Lodge) and his wonderful partner Julie Robins who both very kindly said ‘we’ll see you in the morning’ and have given up every single morning since then to help.

On Christmas Day, the team were in the kitchens from 05:00 and delivered a full Christmas meal with all the trimmings, as well as meals for Bank Holiday Monday. 

The team prepared 65 freshly cooked meals daily, using fresh, locally sourced produce.  With the funding provided, they  will continue to make meals until the end of January 2021, by which time will over 4,800 meals will have been cooked including dietary requirements such as vegetarian, gluten and lactose free.

A special thank you to WB Martin Wing and Heatherton Lodge for their massive support collecting the meals from Marlow and delivering to SHOC.

In addition, Eddie and his team were contacted by WB Steve Jones (Stokenchurch Lodge) to see what they  could do for the One Can Trust.  With the help of WB Tony Martin and the Brethren of Marlow Masonic Centre, they raised over £3,000 towards this. 

With Eddie’s contacts within the catering industry he secured massively discounted produce turning this £3,000 into £6,000.  This has been a huge help to the One Can Trust who advise we have helped in excess of 4,000 families over the 3-month period.  There is one more delivery left to make in January.

Thanks go to Eddie and all those who have supported him in this fantastic endeavour.

Freemasons and staff with teddies.

Teddies for Loving Care returns

These bears are part of Bucks Freemasons Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) initiative.

Teddies for Loving Care has distributed over 1 million teddy bears to children's A&E departments across the UK. Not only do the teddy bears comfort and calm the children, they really do make the nursing staff's job somewhat easier in appraising and befriending the often distraught kiddies. Not every child receives a teddy, but those that do, get to keep it and take it home.

Lou Amey a member of Fenny Stratford Lodge of Freemasons, which meets in Bletchley, has been involved with the delivery of the teddies to MK Hospital for several years. On this latest delivery he was accompanied by the Assistant Head of Freemasonry in Buckinghamshire, John Clark, John's wife Sarah and TLC co-ordinator Mel Shah.

Mel Shah, who organises the distribution of the teddies throughout all of the children's departments in Buckinghamshire hospitals, said: "This delivery of teddies represents just one month's supply and brings the number of bears delivered to Milton Keynes to 650 this year alone. They have made such a difference to the sick children, comforting them during their recovery. All of the teddies are purchased by funds raised and donated by local Freemasons."

Presentation of tablets to Florence Nightingale staff.

Tablets for Hospice Patients

At the start of the lockdown in March 2020, Florence Nightingale Hospice was put in a terrible position. Patients within the hospice were unable to have visitors. A time when their family and friends longed to be with them in the final days of life to offer support and comfort and also to say those hard goodbyes.

The Lodges in the Aylesbury area have always been close supporters of the charity and Buckinghamshire Freemasons generally is a true advocate of all they do.

A call-out to some of the local lodges to see if they could assist in raising money to enable a fast procurement of tablet computers to enable each patient to be allocated one for the term of their stay to have 24/7 contact with friends and family.

As you would expect, the lodges contacted stepped-up to the plate and monies raised quickly to enable 8 tablets and cases to be obtained. These are:

> Haddenham Lodge 8944
> Haddenham Mark Lodge 1629
> Vale Lodge 6632
> Ferdinand de Rothschild Lodge 2420
> Ferdinand de Rothschild Chapter 2420
> Entente Cordiale Lodge 9490

The hospice has waited for months to be able to invite a representative along to make the presentation and was only able to do so recently when restrictions lifted and they had changed their own guidelines for non relatives / friends to attend.

They are so very thankful for this initiative we assisted with so quickly and Buckinghamshire Freemasons for the continued support given to them.

Here is the Charity Steward of Haddenham Lodge presenting the Tablets (which had been quarantined purposely for this) to two of the staff:

> Tracey Batt - Day Hospice Team Leader
> Heather Wilkinson – Healthcare Assistant
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Buckinghamshire Freemasons back with a Bang!

Slough Masonic Centre welcomed Freemasonry back with a very special meeting on Tuesday, 1st September, some 4 months after the suspension of all masonic activity. Marcellians Lodge held an emergency meeting and performed what it is hoped will be the first of many post lockdown ceremonies encompassing social distancing rules.

You Can Bank on the Freemasons

As their continued drive to assist their local communities and those in need during these unprecedented times, Buckinghamshire Freemasons contacted the foodbanks which serve the Slough, Marlow, Beaconsfield, Aylesbury and Milton Keynes areas to ascertain which food stuffs are in the greatest demand for Buckinghamshire families and individuals who are facing financial pressures.

Thank you from Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Thank you to everyone who donated more than 12.5k Easter eggs to our hospital and community staff!

Pies and Easter Eggs for families at Aylesbury Womens Refuge

The (MCF) Masonic Charitable Foundation and the (BMBF) Bucks Masonic Benevolent Fund come to the rescue again, this time for the unfortunate Women that have had to isolate with their children in the Aylesbury Womens Refuge.

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Volunteers Needed - Salute the NHS

Calling all available hands, Bicester Vision & Bicester Chamber are in support of Salute the NHS and need all free hands. Please read the following message: