11th FEBRUARY 2022

Haiti earthquake survivors can rebuild their lives and access safe drinking water thanks to Freemasons

Hundreds of families badly affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti will be able to will be able to recover from the tragedy and access clean, safe drinking water thanks to a grant of £25,000 from Suffolk Freemasons and other Provinces, to the Red Cross.

Following the earthquake, at least 650,000 people across Haiti are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. The structural devastation has been enormous, especially in the cities of Jérémie and Les Cayes on the southern peninsula of the country, where around 53,000 homes have been destroyed and a further 77,000 damaged, along with severe damage to major infrastructure like roads and bridges. Extensive damage to health facilities and worsening access to safe water and sanitation from mudslides and flooding has exacerbated the crisis.

Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding to the emergency by providing support  to the Red Cross Movement’s work such as distributing relief goods, ensuring good water, sanitation and hygiene to prevent the outbreak of diseases as well as providing access to healthcare to those most in need.

The earthquake was centred 12km northeast of the town of Saint-Louis du Sud. Registering a magnitude of 7.2. Tremors were felt hundreds of kilometres away in Jamaica and Cuba. It is the strongest earthquake to hit the country since 2010, when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and the third major earthquake to hit the country in the past decade. Alongside improving access to clean water, the Red Cross has reached over 40,000 people with blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen kits and hygiene kits to provide essential shelter and hygiene support.

Luke Tredget, Head of Emergencies, Surge and Technical Advisory at the Red Cross, said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which makes a major contribution to the Red Cross relief effort in Haiti.  “Providing clean water is one of the absolutely essential steps to prevent the spread of cholera and other deadly water-borne disease, which can have a devastating effect, especially on children and other vulnerable people.”

Bob Lee, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Suffolk Freemasons, added “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the Red Cross with their vital work in Haiti. Tens of thousands of people are in desperate need of help and there’s nothing more important than clean water after a disaster like this. I’m proud the Freemasons are keeping up our proud record of helping people around the world when disaster strikes.”

This further grant is made in addition to the £2000 emergency funding Suffolk Freemasons provided to K1 Britannia Foundation’s disaster relief and crisis team to assist its relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake on August 14 last year.

About the British Red Cross For over 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them recover and move on with their lives.

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit

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.