The inaugural Herefordshire Provincial Charity Presentation was a roaring success. Donations to over seventy local charities in Herefordshire, some made on the night and others previously this year, reached an amazing total of more than £110,000.

Over one hundred charity representatives, honoured guests and Freemasons gathered in Hereford Masonic Centre to attend the presentations. The Head of Freemasonry in Herefordshire, Michael Holland, welcomed everyone to the first event of its kind in Herefordshire. The presentation began with a brief background and history of Freemasonry in Herefordshire, which can be traced back to 1727.

The Provincial Charity Steward, Tim Bridgland-Taylor, then announced each charity and provided a brief explanation of the charity’s background and services in the local community before the relevant Lodges made their presentations. By pooling donations across the Lodges, it was possible to give a more meaningful amount to each charity.

It was fascinating to see the diverse range of services provided to the local community in Herefordshire and the difference the Freemasons’ support had made to the charities. This was especially true of the smaller charities where the Freemasons had been able to make a tremendous difference. The evening also celebrated the volunteer hours given by members of local Lodges to support the local community.

The overall donations included £33,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation to the Orchestra of the Swan who provide weekly music (MUSE) workshops to local armed forces veterans and their families, who are affected by dementia or other mental health challenges. The MUSE sessions not only allow participants to explore musical instruments and rediscover any musical skills but also to make new friendships and reduce loneliness.

The High Sheriff of Herefordshire Robert Robinson commented,

“People don’t realise how much Freemasons do in our County. I think it has been the first time the charities have been in the same place at the same time to get a proper appreciation of what is going on and a wonderful initiative by the Freemasons”.

The Head of Freemasonry in Herefordshire Michael Holland, commented,

“I am delighted at the tremendous success of this event with over one hundred people attending. We were graced with the presence of the Deputy Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, the Chair of Herefordshire Council and many distinguished guests and I look forward to repeating the event in the future to demonstrate the relevancy of Freemasonry in the local community going forward.”

The evening was finished with a buffet and networking event which was warmly received by the charity representatives as an opportunity to talk together and share ideas. The evening generated an amazing positive energy, showcasing the range of charities we have in Herefordshire and what a difference the contributions from Freemasons can make.