Hospices across England & Wales receive £600,000
Adult and children's hospices are receiving £600,000 in total from the Grand Charity. Freemasons have a long tradition of funding hospices, with the Grand Charity donating £9.3 million since 1984. All donations are raised by Freemasons and their families and aim to assist hospices in their vital role in helping those affected by terminal or life limiting illness.
Major grants in support of vulnerable people, youth opportunities and medical research total: £412,000
SUPPORT FOR VULNERABLE PEOPLE
Home-Start UK: £64,000
Home-Start UK has received £64,000, payable over two years, to fund the parent freephone information helpline and the nati onal website. This service acts as the first point of contact for parents in difficulties. Staffed by specially trained people, this crucial service helps over 4,000 people a year and describes the nature of support available to families under stress and refers parents to their local Home-Start. The charity has 334 independent schemes in UK and provides volunteer peer support for families with young children at home.
The Place2Be has received £50,000 to fund a programme for primary and secondary school children in Leeds, which will benefit 3,300 young people. The charity provides counselling and support within schools for vulnerable children in areas of deprivation. The programme helps young people who are suffering abuse, family breakdown, violence, substance abuse and bereavement. It also supports teachers and parents in dealing with emotional and mental health issues.
British Red Cross: £50,000
This grant is helping to fund a first aid unit vehicle in West Wales. The vehicle will provide support for the Welsh ambulance service by deploying at times of high demand and public events or in adverse weather, transporting patients to and from hospital.
Youth at Risk: £30,000
The grant is helping to fund the Activate! Programme in Sunderland, which aims to enable young people to develop a community project and focuses on employability and enterprise. Youth at Risk works with the most marginalised young people in society and provides intensive personal development training to raise aspiration and motivation and foster a sense of community responsibility. Programmes are run by volunteers and are based on a whole community approach with 30 youth workers and 30 volunteer adult mentors being trained to coach and motivate 30 young people in community projects.
Who Cares? Trust: £30,000
£30,000 has been donated to the Who Cares? Trust to fund a Projects Officer to help improve the lives of children in care. The charity supports children in care through running different projects and events for young people and their carers, as well as producing publications aimed at improving the opportunities available to children in care. There are 70,000 children in care in England and Wales: 33% of care leavers are not in employment, education or training compared to 13% of all young people; 13% of children in care obtain five good GCSE's compared to 62% of all children and 40% of prisoners under 21 were in care.
Worcester Cathedral: £25,000
Worcester Cathedral has received £25,000 to fund an apprentice stonemason. The apprentice, who is likely to be aged between 18 and 21, will work full time at the Cathedral with an annual twelve-week college course and an exchange to one of the eight cathedrals in the Cathedral's Workshop Fellowship Scheme and will complete a five year apprenticeship culminating in a Foundation Degree course in traditional building skills.
The second year grant for SkillForce (bringing the total donated to £100,000), for a new SkillForce team in the Bournemouth / Solent area. The charity has 18 teams working with 3,100 children in 127 schools. 97% of the children who participate in the SkillForce programme move into employment, education or training and predicted exclusions are reduced from 24% to an actual exclusion rate of 4%. The charity uses charitable donations to pump-prime teams for the first three years so that schools can trial a subsidised programme before having to pay the full cost.
Epilepsy Society: £38,000
The Epilepsy Society has received £38,000 to fund a research project looking at the genetics of epilepsy. More than half a million people in the UK have epilepsy and 150,000 people are resistant to the current drugs available, causing uncontrollable seizures and other side effects. An individual's genetic make-up affects their risk of developing epilepsy, the consequences of epilepsy and their response to treatments. The intended outcomes of the project are that through genetic research the Epilepsy Society will discover a new mutation or aberration causing or contributing to epilepsy. Once such a genetic association is identified, the information will be used to develop better strategies to detect, treat and prevent the condition.
Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust: £30,000
The Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust has received £30,000 to fund research at UCL into cancer stem cells, specifically into the regulation of self-renewal and differentiation in normal and tumorigenic neural stem cells. Brain cancer kills more children aged under fifteen and more adults under forty than any other type of cancer and only 30% of people diagnosed with brain cancer live for longer than a year. Yet, despite these statistics brain cancer research receives less than 2% of the UK's annual £400 million cancer research spend, making it a fundamentally important research area to fund. The grant will part-fund the lead researcher's salary in years three and four.
Pregnancy research charity Tommy's is receiving £40,000 for research into stillbirth at the University of Manchester. There are 4,000 stillbirths in the UK each year, but despite this there is little public perception of its frequency, and limited scientific research is carried out. The Grand Charity grant is helping to fund a new Clinical Research Fellow to work on the project: Prediction of poor pregnancy outcome in women presenting with reduced baby movements. It is hoped that by testing placental function in women with reduced baby movements doctors might be able to identify pregnancies that need extra monitoring or babies that need delivering urgently to save their lives. In the future, this might reduce the number of stillborn babies.
University of East Anglia: £50,000
The University of East Anglia is to receive £50,000 to fund research on urine biomarkers in prostate cancer. The project is titled: Urine detection of prostate cancer cells as a novel method for cancer diagnosis. It is well known that the necessary treatment cancer patients must undergo can be very difficult. Therefore, introducing a test which would spare men from undertaking unnecessary treatment for prostate cancer could benefit many in the future.
Hereford Cathedral: £5,000
To contribute to the upgrade of the west end of the Cathedral and of the Close.
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity,
60 Great Queen Street,
London, WC2B 5AZ
T: 020 7395 9261 F: 020 7395 9295
Registered Charity No. 281942