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Help for “Less Fortunate Families”


March 2019

The Provincial Grand Master, John Arthur accompanied by Duncan Maw (Durham Benevolence) and Brian Footitt OBE (Durham MCF Representative) presented a cheque for £30,000 on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation to Community Project Manager of Groundwork NE & Cumbria, Natalie Whitworth.


Up to 400 of Darlington’s children and their families will be receiving regular meals and taking part in fun activities over the summer break thanks to a grant from Durham freemasons.


The £30,000 grant to the Groundwork NE and Cumbria charity will be helping some of the 21 per cent of Darlington’s children between the ages of five and 11 across Red Hall, Cockerton, Firthmoor and Skerne Park. During the school holidays, many families require additional support and this project will help provide meals as well as physical activity.


The children and their families will attend sessions a dozen times over the six-week summer holiday. Alongside the games and activities, the children will receive a nutritious breakfast and lunch. Parents will also be invited to attend some of the sessions, giving them valuable opportunities to cook, eat, and play with their children, as well as receiving advice on how they can be further supported to maximise household income.


Throughout the four areas in Darlington in which Groundwork will focus its efforts , Red Hall, Firthmoor, Skerne Park, and Cockerton, the charity will work with local schools to identify the children most in need of the programme. Given the previous delivery of these types of projects it is evident that this grant is set to make a huge difference to Darlington children and their families.


The grant from Durham freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.


The presentation took place at the Skerne Park Community Centre where Natalie introduced John, Duncan and Brian to some of the parents and children who will benefit from the grant while at the same time showing the facilities available at the Centre.


Lisa Locke, Programme Manager for Groundwork NE and Cumbria said:


“We’re very grateful to Durham freemasons for their generous grant which will help us in our work with local children to create happy memories of the summer and support in developing their skills during our activities.”


Brian Footitt said:

“I’m very pleased we’re able to help Groundwork with their outstanding programme in Darlington.  There are, sadly, hundreds of children and their families who badly need support from charities like Groundwork who give assistance by providing balanced meals during the summer break at centres like the Skerne Park Community Centre.

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