At a recent meeting W. Bro. Dr. Reuben Ayres, Devonshire Freemasons Provincial Charity Steward, presented Tony Griffin, the Chairman of the Exmouth Sea Cadets Management Committee, with a cheque for £2,000, this brings the total given by the Freemasons in recent years to £4,250.
The Cadets need for funding came about after the East Devon District Council terminated the lease of their old building and, due to its very dilapidated state and lack of amenities, this had also restricted the number of cadets able to use the building.
Within a short time, a site next door to the old building was identified as a potential new Headquarters for the cadets. The original cost of the new project was estimated at £500k but soon rose to over £700k due to extensive ground problems and the need for flood defences. East Devon District Council provided a grant of £200K and, following over two hundred applications to national and local charities and organisations, including the National Lottery, most of the balance of £500K was raised over a period of three years. The building was opened for use in October 2016 and through a diligent control of expenses and with the help of the £2,000 given by the freemasons their outstanding debt is now down to £5,000 for which they are still looking for support.
The Exmouth Sea Cadet Unit is now one of the best in the country and is not only supporting fifty cadets between the ages of 10 and 18 who enjoy many pursuits which include a large variety of waterborne activities, swimming, first aid and other life skills. It is also a valuable asset for the local community as it accommodates the Exmouth Art Group, The Gig Rowing Club and a Pilates group and could be available to more local groups. The Cadets hold meetings on Monday and Thursday evenings and are ably supported by more than eleven volunteer adults led by Neil Gregory their Commanding Officer.
When presenting the cheque, W. Bro. Reuben Ayres said “I am delighted to present this cheque for £2,000 to the Exmouth Sea Cadet Corps. Tony Griffin and the team have worked tirelessly to raise the funds required to commission, build and equip this wonderful new facility in Exmouth. The Exmouth Sea Cadet Corps is a very valuable resource for the young folk of Exmouth and provides for a broad range of activities and projects which nurture and develop their physical and mental abilities. The Devonshire Freemasons are delighted to support this very hard working and committed team.”
Tony Griffin replied by saying “The support from the Devonshire Freemasons has made a great difference to our funding deficit particularly at this late stage when our final bills have to be paid”
Pictured: left to right: Tony Griffin, Reuben Ayres & Neil Gregory surrounded by Sea Cadets.