The Masonic Charitable Foundation, through the Province of Herefordshire, has supported local charity Hope Support Services with a grant of £4,719.
The charity, founded in 2009 in Ross on Wye, provides support for young people aged 11-25 when a close family member is seriously ill with a life-threatening condition, especially those with cancer. They provide support at this stressful time through sessions where young people can gather together in Ross, Leominster and Hereford. They arrange various activities and outings, and also provide support online, through Facebook and Skype, and are in the process of developing an app with help from Comic Relief which will enable young people to communicate with each other and to link with other charities which might be able to provide help.
Their aim is to provide emotional support for their young clients, of whom there are around 300, and to prepare them for bereavement. They also run a Building Opportunities course for those young people who are wanting to find work.
In 2017 they were approached by St Michael’s Hospice to run their services for the children of cancer patients being cared for by the Hospice. Children looked after in this way can be as young as 5, and around 130 children and young people are cared for through this initiative.
They have eight full- and part-time staff, plus a session worker and two on-line workers. There is also a Youth Management Team, who have benefited from the services themselves in the past and now help with planning and holding the charity’s range of activities.
The photo shows the Provincial Grand Master, The Rev’d David Bowen, with the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Michael Holland and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward, Nick Swan, presenting a certificate confirming the donation to Michael Sharp, CEO of Hope Support Services, and Lorna Russell, Operations Manager. They warmly thanked the Freemasons of Herefordshire for the generous grant, which will go towards developing the activities provided for young people at this difficult time in their lives.
You can find out more about the charity on their website here.