Perthshire West Freemasons’ Covid Challenge
In response to the unprecedented circumstances which have been created by the Covid-19 Pandemic, The Grand Lodge of Scotland launched their “Covid Challenge Appeal Fund” to enable Scottish Freemasonry to support worthwhile projects which are providing assistance to combat hardship caused by the Coronavirus. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Perthshire West matched the £2000 it received from this fund and distributed it equally amongst the 13 Masonic Lodges in the Province. Each Lodge received £300 to give to the cause of their choice and they chose causes they felt gave the greatest assistance to the communities they represent.
The Lodge of Dunblane No.IX chose The Braeport Sensory Garden in Dunblane. This tranquil dementia friendly garden was set up by the Dunblane Development Trust as the perfect place to stimulate memories of those with dementia and to relax with their families. The garden is intended to add to the range of activities available to the Trust’s weekly Memory Cafe attendees but is open for everyone to enjoy.
The United Lodge of Dunkeld No.14 nominated The Three Churches charity shop. It raises funds which are split evenly amongst the 3 denominations that have churches in Dunkeld and Birnam. The Church of Scotland Parish of Dunkeld, Scottish Episcopal Church St Marys, Birnam and the Roman Catholic Church, St Columba’s, Birnam and will be put to good use in the community.
Lodge St.Michael No.38 in Crieff chose the Crieff Community Foodbank for their £300 donation. The Foodbank relies not only on food donations but also on monetary donations which enable them to buy items for those with special dietary needs, baby milk and nappies.
Lodge St. James No.171 in Doune wished to support The Doune & Deanston Youth Project. The project encourages young people to organise and conduct a wide variety of leisure time activities for themselves thus learning to accept and handle responsibility. With reduced fundraising during lockdown this £300 donation will help the project reach their target of £2000 to take the children on holiday next year.
Lodge St.Kessac No.269 in Comrie donated their £300 to Comrie First Response. These life saving volunteers are vital in an emergency and having someone in the community who has been trained in first aid and can reach the patient quickly can make all the difference when waiting for an ambulance or doctor to arrive.
Lodge Tay & Lyon No.276 in Fearnan chose the Kenmore Primary School Forum, The pupils have been enjoying a lot of outdoor learning since returning from lockdown and will use the donation to fund resources to allow them to continue with this highly enjoyable way of learning.
Lodge Ben Ledi No.614 in Callander donated £300 to brothers Scott and Paul McIntyre from the town who are raising funds so they can buy a specially adapted wheelchair to enable them to play Power Chair Football with the Riverside Power chair Football Club in Stirling.
Lodge Breadalbane No.657 in Aberfeldy gave their donation to The Breadalbane Community Larder. The Larder is like a food bank, but without referrals. The service, which offers to deliver free food and provisions, was set up to assist people who would not ordinarily need to access support but with the current situation, are suddenly struggling.
Lodge Blairhoyle No.792 in Thornhill decided to nominate the Thornhill Playgroup to receive their donation of £300. This donation will help keep this valuable community resource, whose funds have been reduced due to the pandemic, operating for the benefit of all those with young families in Thornhill.
Lodge St. Andrew No.814 in Pitlochry’s donation went to the Pitlochry Coronavirus Support Group. The group provide a safe and quiet meeting place for local residents away from the hustle and bustle of the main street. This idea is making a difference for older people who appreciate an opportunity and purpose to get out of the house. The volunteers also collect shopping and prescriptions for those self isolating in Pitlochry & Moulin.
Lodge Breadalbane St.Fillans No.815 in Killin chose The Killin War Memorial Group. This group are improving and maintaining Killin's unique war memorial and its surrounds. The planting of shrubs, laying new turf and a seating area at the memorial will also enhance the western entrance to the village.
Lodge Baillie Nicol Jarvie No.1036 in Aberfoyle presented their donation to The Aberfoyle Parish Church. Like many other churches, it has been unable to hold their normal services and fundraising activities in the community since the start of the pandemic.
Lodge Tullibardine No.1484, in Blair Atholl, decided to split their donation and gave £150 to the Blair Atholl Social Club who organise entertainment, events and the Christmas party for the local senior citizens within the village and its surrounds and £150 to young local author Julie Cumming to help her self-publish her book “From Home”. The book documents the social history of Blair Atholl and surrounds from 1929 – 2001 through live interviews with people who grew up in the area. This funding will assist Julie with the added costs of self publishing using a company in Scotland.
This pandemic has affected everyone in some manner, whether it be through health worries, social isolation, struggling to make ends meet, or just the inability to raise funds to carry on with the work of charities, local groups or individual projects. The Provincial Grand Lodge of Perthshire West and all the members of the daughter Lodges hope that the Grand Lodge of Scotland’s Covid Challenge Appeal will have helped each of the nominations carry on and reach their goals.
To date Masonic Lodges under the Scottish Constitution have donated over £339,114, since the lockdown in March, to a wide variety of projects to help mitigate the challenges of Covid-19 and the Lodges in the Province of Perthshire West are proud to have been part of this fantastic achievement.
Further information on all the Masonic Lodges mentioned can be found on our website www.pglpw.co.uk where you can also contact the Lodges directly if you have any questions or simply want to learn some more about membership.