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


Newly arrived Afghans in UK given essential supplies thanks to Freemasons’ grant to the British Red Cross


More than 15,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan are receiving basic necessities such as food, clothing and baby milk from the British Red Cross, which has been boosted by a grant from Suffolk Freemasons and other Provinces. Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding to the emergency with a £25,000 contribution to the Red Cross relief effort. Since they left the turbulent environment of Kabul Airport and arrived in the UK, the Afghans have been moved into hotels across the country. These families arrived with nothing and lacked even the basic essentials of such as food, clothing, hygiene supplies and baby products.

The Red Cross has been providing support to Afghan families since their arrival, delivering over 1,000 units of baby milk, providing trauma support to those in distress from their experience and distributing over 400 pre-paid phones to connect families to separated loved ones. The Red Cross will continue to fund relief efforts for Afghan families, most of whom arrived with very few belongings. These items will ensure that families have access to the basic items they need to survive and can look after themselves, stay healthy and begin to recover from their traumatic experiences.

Suffolk Freemasons contributed to the grant, from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales. Kalyani McCarthy, British Red Cross Afghanistan Relocations Manager, said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which makes a major contribution to the Red Cross effort to help Afghans who have mostly arrived in the UK with little more than the clothes on their backs. “Whether it’s food, clothing or milk for babies, there’s a huge amount of need among these people and the Red Cross is doing everything it can to help.”

Rick Orme of Suffolk Freemasons commented: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the Red Cross with their vital work with newly arrived Afghan refugees. There are more than 15,000 people who need everything from food and clothing to a pre-paid mobile phone to allow them to stay in touch with their families in Afghanistan. I’m very proud that Freemasons are, once again, stepping up to help people in need”.

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit