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£79,000 charity awards from Durham Freemasons announced following public vote


September 2017

Eight local charities have benefited from a series of special Community Awards from Durham Freemasons following an unprecedented public vote of 178,801 votes across England and Wales.

The Community Awards are a major part of Freemasonry’s 300th anniversary celebrations. The Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing three million pounds to 300 charities across the country, with the public vote deciding on the range of Awards from £4,000 to £25,000.

The full list of Community Awards in Durham was:


  1. Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group will receive £25,000
  2. Northumbria Blood Bikes will receive £15,000
  3. Cafe JJ will receive £15,000
  4. Teesdale Disability Access Forum will receive £6,000
  5. Centrepoint North East will receive £6,000
  6. Family Action The Bridge Young Carers will receive £4,000
  7. St Marys Community Association will receive £4,000
  8. COAST will receive £4,000


The charities will be presented with their Awards at a special ceremony by the Provincial Grand Master, Norman Eric Heaviside from Durham Freemasons and David Innes, CEO of the Masonic Charitable Foundation on 30th November, 2017 at the Annual Promotions Meeting, Lancastrian Suite, Dunston.

The three million pound fund is being administered by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which obtains all of its funding from Freemasons, their families and friends.  It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country.

Eric Heaviside said:

“We are delighted to be able to celebrate three hundred years of Freemasonry by helping Eight excellent local charities. We’ve been active in charity work for all that time, but this is the first occasion we’ve asked the public to help us decide how to spend our money. We are very pleased that so many people from Durham Province took part in the vote.”

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  • TLC Teddy Initiative……

    “thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”

  • Community Support Grants…..

    “The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”

  • Provincial Annual Meeting….

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….

  • Masonic Widows……

    “My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”

  • Provincial Meeting…..

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”

  • The Royal Arch…..

    “I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”

  • What have you gained?

    “I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”

  • In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative

    “A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”

  • What Freemasonry has done for you?

    “The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you

  • One of the best things I have ever done…

    “Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”

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