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Cornish Freemasons make Hospice donations

The Provincial Grand Master, Right Worshipful Brother Stephen Pearn, Mrs Mary Murfin, fund raising manager for Children’s Hospice South West and Worshipful Brother David Leaity, the Provincial Grand Charity Steward.

CORNISH Freemasons have kicked off a year of tercentenary celebrations, marking their 300th birthday with donations to two hospices.

As part of their annual support of hospices throughout the country, the Provincial Grand Master of Cornwall, Right Worshipful Brother Stephen Pearn, presented the first of two charity donation certificates to Children’s Hospice South West and Cornwall Hospice Care on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

Mrs Mary Murfin, from Children’s Hospice South West at St Austell, received a certificate of payment for the sum of £1,372.

Cornish Freemasons have been long-term supporters of Children’s Hospice South West with many of the 80 individual lodges across the province of Cornwall making sizeable donations of support.

Multiple lodges from the areas of Bodmin, Wadebridge, Padstow, Launceston, Looe, Tintagel and Bude make regular donations, helping to boost the amounts donated annually to the hospice.

This latest certificate presentation marks the commitment of the Masonic Charitable Foundation in supporting such worthy charities. This year alone the MCF will be distributing grants totaling £600,000 to 245 hospices in England and Wales as part of the £12-million donated by the foundation, since 1984.

On receiving the certificate for £1,372, Mrs Murfin, community fundraiser for the Children’s Hospice, said: “The support and continued passion of Cornish Freemasons fundraising over the years for Children’s Hospice South West, has been immense and we are extremely grateful for their continued support.

“It currently costs 9.8-million pounds per annum to run the three hospices in the South West and these costs are met almost entirely by voluntary donations. Support such as this is vital to ensure that we can continue to make the most of short and precious lives, well into the future.”

Little Harbour in Porthpean, St Austell, is one of three children’s hospices in the South West offering unique special care and support for all families. Each of the three hospices cater for individual needs together with family respite and emergency end of life care for local children who are not expected to live until adulthood.

Little Harbour first opened its doors to children and their families in December 2011 and its location is conveniently situated for families who live in Cornwall, Plymouth and parts of South Devon.

The Provincial Grand Master, Stephen Pearn said: “To try and begin to understand the emotions and pain families must be going through while dealing with their poorly children is beyond comprehension. The care and support that occurs in this incredible building is immeasurable. It’s such a humbling experience for us to visit Little Harbour.

“The dedication of the staff is overwhelming especially when having to care for the children or supporting families having to cope with the very sad loss of an innocent child. The personal tour we were given by Mary makes you realise how lucky we are that this remarkable building is here in Cornwall and helping those in need. The Freemasons of Cornwall are extremely proud to help play our part in keeping this essential facility open, the hospices’ incredible contribution to the community is highly valued here in Cornwall.”

Worshipful Brother Phillip Lakin, provincial communication and membership officer for Cornwall, said: “Children’s Hospice South West each month opens its doors to let the community and their supporters see how they make a difference to so many families. The open days are an insight into Children’s Hospice life and to say a big thank you to all their supporters and volunteers.

“During these open days, they do not have planned family stays, so you won’t hear the usual noise and laughter that fills the house, but you will leave with a huge sense of enthusiasm for Children’s Hospice South West, and a large smile on your face.

“To each one of you reading this story, I will personally confirm that I have always had reservations about going to a Children’s Hospice for fear of what I might see, or the thought of what I might see and dealing with the unknown. How wrong was I to think this.

“The personal tour of this incredible building has left me in no doubt that it’s a definite must see for everyone. The building, staff, equipment, facilities, atmosphere, layout, furnishings, design, gardens, views and most importantly care is second to none. I feel extremely humbled to have been invited to attend with the Provincial Grand Master and Provincial Grand Charity Steward and would encourage each and every one of you to book a visit.

“Sincere thanks to the Masonic Charitable Foundation, Children’s Hospice South West and Mrs Mary Murfin in particular, who made our visit so special.”

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