Masons boost hospice funds

HOSPICE bosses say an “amazing” donation from Freemasons will have a huge impact on patients.

Hartlepool & District Hospice was among seven similar facilities that shared £16,000 from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity.

Representatives from the hospices across the region received cheques from the Durham Provincial Grand Master, Eric Heaviside, during a ceremony hosted by the Butterwick Children’s Hospice in Stockton, which helps youngsters from Hartlepool and east Durham.

Francis McAllister, director of fundraising at Hartlepool & District Hospice, said: “This is an amazing amount of money to receive from the Freemasons’ Grand Charity/The Benevolent Committee of the Province of Durham.

“The Freemasons have been supporting the hospice movement in County Durham since 1984 and this annual support makes a huge difference to the local community and in particular our patients.

“Hartlepool & District Hospice would like to thank everyone in the Benevolent Committee of the Province of Durham who make this support possible.”

Mr Heaviside said: “This is an important event for us. There cannot be many families who are not somehow connected to the work that the hospices do.

“What we give will never be enough, but we hope it will go some way to help.”

He said that in the last year some £600,000 had already been given to hospices in England by the Freemasons, and since the start of the hospice support project in 1984 some £9.3m has been donated.

Recipients of the latest donation were Hartlepool & District Hospice, Butterwick Hospice at Stockton and Bishop Auckland, and Butterwick House Children’s Hospice at Stockton, St Clare’s Hospice at Jarrow, St Cuthbert’s Hospice at Durham, St Theresa’s Hospice, Darlington, Will Burn Hospice at Derwentside, and St Benedict’s Hospice, Sunderland.

Graham Leggatt-Chidgey, chief executive of Butterwick Hospice Care, said: “This is a fantastic amount of money. And I know that all hospices in the region already receive support from their local lodges, so this additional donation is much appreciated.”