Berkshire Freemasons team up to donate £60,000 to Thames Hospice

John Clark, Debbie Raven and Anthony Howlett-Bolton

TWO rooms for reflection and remembrance can now be built at a new hospice for the Thames Valley, thanks to an astonishing £60,000 donation.

Freemasons across Berkshire joined forces to make the gift to Thames Hospice to help with the construction of the charity’s new Bray Lake base.

The hospice, which first opened in Hatch Lane, Windsor in 1987, has seen demand for its services expand to the point where it needs more space.

The charity said that it is also dealing with more complex and challenging medical conditions. In 2017 the Hospice was granted planning permission to build a brand new state-of-the-art facility, increasing inpatient beds from 17 to 28, as well as providing a dedicated space for therapeutic and social activities to support patients.

The new hospice is due to open in summer next year and will cost £22 million when completed.

And to help, The Provincial Grand Lodges of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire through their respective charities, The Berkshire Masonic Charity and The Buckinghamshire Masonic Centenary Fund, together with the central masonic charity, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (“the MCF”) teamed up to donate the £60,000.

This is the first time they have combined their efforts, together with a contribution from the MCF, specifically to support one organisation.

Debbie Raven, Chief Executive Thames Hospice, was overjoyed with the donation.

She said: “I cannot thank the Freemasons enough for their generous support towards our new hospice. This donation comes on top of several others from their Charitable Funds and the incredible support they have given us over many years. It will make a significant difference to our patients and their families.”

Gary Brodie, John Clark, Debbie Raven. Anthony Howlet-Bolton and Ian Johnson

And Anthony Howlett-Bolton, the leader of Berkshire Freemasons, was delighted that the Masons could work together to make the powerful gift.

He said: “Working together with our fellow freemasons in Buckinghamshire and the MCF has allowed us to make a significant contribution to Thames Hospice to help them in the wonderful work they are doing to help families across our counties.”

This view was echoed by his counterpart in Buckinghamshire, John Clark.

He said: “The Freemasons of Buckinghamshire are delighted to be part of this joint initiative supporting the essential work performed by Thames Hospice. We look forward to establishing a long term and fruitful relationship with them.”

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