13th January 2022

Philippines typhoon victims to receive essential supplies thanks to Freemasons

Photo shows a Plan International staff member hearing the story of 15-year-old Francine. Francine and her family experienced the full range of the super typhoon which swept into their community in Southern Leyte and lasted for three hours.

Hundreds of families across the Philippines in desperate need of help in the aftermath of Typhoon Rai will be receiving essential supplies thanks to a grant of £25,000 to Plan International from Suffolk Freemasons and other Provinces.

Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding with Plan International to support affected communities at this critical time. These funds will be used to provide hygiene kits, including soap, shampoo, towels, toothpaste and brushes to 851 families to help them keep clean and healthy in the aftermath of the devastating typhoon.

Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines on 16 December, making landfall on islands across the country, leaving almost 400 people dead and causing massive damage. Winds of up to 120mph, heavy rain and storm surges battered the islands, leaving entire villages submerged in floodwater, trees uprooted from the ground and hundreds of thousands of people seeking shelter. Communication routes, power lines, bridges and roads were also either damaged or blocked with debris, making it difficult for emergency responders to get to the worst hit areas. Reports have described scenes of ‘complete carnage’, with homes, schools and community buildings throughout the region being levelled to the ground. People affected by the typhoon still require urgent relief and long-term support, such as housing and livelihood assistance.

The grant from (add name of Province) Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales. Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said: “We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow Plan International to provide essential support to thousands of people in the aftermath of this terribly destructive typhoon. It’s critical that we act now to help those most at risk” 

Rick Orme, Charity Steward for Suffolk said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Plan International with their relief effort in the Philippines. This is a desperate situation and Plan and the other organisations helping on the ground need all the help and support we in the outside world can offer.”

For further information about Plan International UK, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..




Foodbanks receive a Christmas boost thanks to Suffolk Freemasons

Freemasons from Suffolk have made a series of festive grants to foodbanks across the county totalling £12,000 as part of a nationwide Christmas Campaign. The grants are expected to help in excess of 1,300 people in Suffolk with food, meals and hampers over the Christmas period with foodbanks predicting an unprecedented demand for their services this Christmas following the upheavals of the pandemic, continuing supply chain problems and rising fuel bills. The six local charities each benefitting from £2000 grants are: Gatehouse East Anglia in Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich FIND Families In Need, The Waveney Foodbank, Stowmarket Foodbank (New Life Church Suffolk), IP17 Good Neighbour Scheme in Saxmundham and The Basic Life Charity in Felixstowe.

Mike Smith from the Stowmarket Foodbank, commented: “We’re very grateful to Suffolk Freemasons for their generous grant, which will be an enormous help as we look to support record numbers of people over the Christmas period. They gave us very valuable support during lockdown and it’s great that this vital assistance is continuing. Thanks to them we can continue to help people who really need it”. Founder of Basic Life Charity, Mr Graham Denny, thanked Suffolk Freemasons for their support and said “This donation will assist the charity in their support of around 200 people in the Felixstowe area over the Christmas period”.

Rick Orme of Suffolk Freemasons, added: “I’m very pleased that we have been able to help our local Foodbanks with their hugely important work over the festive season. We were able to support them throughout the pandemic and we’re happy to help them again during what will be a very difficult Christmas for the most vulnerable people in our community”. The grants are financed jointly with the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, and is part of a nationwide donation of £343,000 to 135 foodbanks who are supporting 65,000 people across England and Wales.

Further Information: Kelvin Avis, Communications Officer,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Suffolk Freemasons are pleased to provide ongoing support to The Suffolk Punch Trust
Suffolk Freemasons are playing a significant role in the preservation of the endangered and oldest breed of work horse, The Suffolk Punch. Our ongoing support, currently standing at £19,000, has enabled the Suffolk Punch Trust to purchase start up equipment for an artificial insemination programme which will enable the Trust to supply the Suffolk Punch bloodline around the country and overseas. The Suffolk Punch Trust is a registered charity dedicated to help protect this critically endangered horse through its established breeding programme, raising public awareness and training a new generation of professionals to work with these iconic heavy horses. The Trust is based at the historic Hollesley Bay Colony Stud, home to a rich legacy of equine and agricultural history that deserves to be saved for future generations to enjoy.
On 28th October BBC Radio Suffolk were at Hollesley Bay to broadcast the opening of the new Artificial Insemination Unit live on its early morning show hosted by Mark Murphy. Ian Yeldham, Provincial Grand Master of Suffolk Freemasons was invited to open the unit in the presence of a large number of other local businesses and individuals who also support the work of the Trust.
Andrew Fane, Chairman of Trustees commented “I would to thank Suffolk Freemasons most warmly for their support, both financial and personal, for the current programme of works at the Trust. I felt that the Opening of the new AI Unit at Hollesley on 28th October was a great success, and Mark Murphy was an extraordinary ambassador for the Suffolk Punch”.
For further information about the trust visit