Charity is at the heart of Freemasonry, and this was displayed when Freemasons from across London and Essex joined a virtual presentation by members of the Richard House Children's Hospice team that explored the impact of their support for the hospice throughout the pandemic.

Chris Williams, Head of Community & Events, opened the evening by describing how Masonic contributions have enabled practical support for the Richard House community throughout the pandemic. He gave an example of Freemasonry in the community, talking about the continuing successful work of the Mark Masons, Masonic Charitable Foundation and the many Lodges and Chapters who support Richard House.

Freemasonry donates to hundreds of charities in the UK and across the global – with a particular focus on emergency and disaster support. In 2020 alone, and despite the impact of the pandemic, the Freemasonry gave almost £18,000 to Richard House.

Whilst, funds are usually raised at meetings or through specially organised events, Covid-19 hasn’t dampened spirits with Freemasons’ charity work not just in the form of money, but also members giving their time and their skills.

Earlier in the year, the Freemasons sourced and delivered vital PPE, providing a lifeline for the hospice during some of the darkest days of the pandemic. During the evening, guests were updated by members of the Richard House team who have been on the ground throughout the last year - giving a real insight to the challenges faced and overcome.

Modupe Banks, Senior Outreach Palliative Care nurse, talked about some of the ways she and her team responded to the challenge. 

"Richard House had an important role supporting the NHS during the last 12 months - taking on children with long-term conditions from hospital wards, so that we could free up hospital beds for people who need critical care."

Modupe went on to explain that the team are all working together to make a safe and happy environment, ensuring we are here for each other, with small gestures such as making a cuppa, lending an ear to someone who needs to voice their worries or by offering lifts to staff members who rely on public transport. Everyone is affected by the fear and anxiety caused by COVID-19 but, as care staff, Modupe’s team know that it is vital to continue coming into Richard House because of the support we provide to the most vulnerable families in our communities. 

Trish McInerney, Volunteers Coordinator, also shared insights into the work being done on site despite many obstacles. She emphasised the generosity of Richard House’s supporters and how, even during the toughest times, the team are uplifted by the knowledge that so many in the community are willing to give their time and financial support to make sure the hospice can continue to deliver the care and support so many families depend on. 

Thank you to all who attended our first Friends of the Freemasons event - we hope you found the updates, stories and personal experiences shared interesting and inspiring. Richard House is committed to continuing its collaboration with the Masonic community to create a lasting legacy. We are extremely grateful to have such strong support through what has been one of our toughest years. The generosity has meant we can keep on providing the best possible care to life-limited children in the community.

A huge thank you from us all!

Can your Lodge help? Contact us to find out just what we need to achieve our ambitious programme. Richard House is London's first Children's Hospice. Whatever your capacity to give, support or raise awareness, we have the most comprehensive plan to help seriously ill children across our community and we want to hear from you and how you can be a part of the journey!

Sign up to our 'Friends of the Freemasons' newsletter to keep to date with the latest news and stories from the Richard House Masonic community.

I'd like to join the mailing list