Chingford News

Chingford freemasons donate £4,000 to hospice

Members of a Chingford freemasons lodge fundraised £4,000 for a hospice

Former Metropolitan Lodge 1507 chair Paul Keska (right) with his wife Debbie (centre) hand a cheque to Sami Shulton from St Clare Hospice (left) Credit: Metropolitan Lodge 1507, Credit: Paul Keska

A freemasons lodge in Chingford has fundraised and donated £4,000 to a palliative care hospice.

St Clare Hospice provides specialist palliative care to people affected by life-limiting illness in West Essex and the borders of East Hertfordshire.

Former lodge chair Paul Keska and his wife Debbie presented St Clare Hospice with a cheque for the donation on Saturday (28th October) after a fundraising appeal over this year. Metropolitan Lodge 1507 is a Chingford-based freemasons association founded in 1874.

Paul said: “I chose St Clare Hospice because they were so supportive in looking after the wife of my friend and colleague in her last days. It was a difficult and emotional time for everyone involved but I can’t thank St Clare Hospice enough for the support they provided and I hope this donation helps in some small way for them to continue their outstanding work.”

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The £4,000 was raised by members throughout last year via a series of fundraising events such as dinners, quizzes and dances. The lodge has previously raised £10,000 to Guide Dogs for the Blind, £1,095 to Stroke Association, and £1,095 to Diabetes UK.

Freemasonry belongs to one of the oldest secular social and charitable organisations in the world and has roots in medieval stonemasons. Lodges are only open to men over 18 of all backgrounds and any religion, and its stated aim is to empower members to build character and make a positive contribution in society. Freemason lodges in the UK donated a combined £51.1m to various causes in 2020.

Sami Shulton, community relationship fundraiser for St Clare Hospice said: “At St Clare we really appreciate the monetary support Metropolitan Lodge 1507 have provided us with. The £4,000 that they have raised for St Clare Hospice will allow us to support families in our community within their time of need. Their donation could cover the cost of over four weeks (29 visits) by one of our hospice at home nursing assistants.

“Having a night sitter to stay with a patient overnight can be an absolute lifeline for people with a life-limiting condition, and their family, who are often caring for them round the clock. It means their family can get a good night’s sleep, knowing their loved one is being cared for.

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