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The annual Bournemouth Early Years Sector Awards were held at the Bournemouth International Centre recently. They are designed to highlight the achievements of those working in the pre-primary educational and childcare fields. On this occasion Freemasonry in the Community sponsored the awards given to those working with children with special educational needs. These extremely dedicated individuals identify and help to assess, diagnose and assist on a one to one basis those children who may have educational or behavioural difficulties. The event was opened with musical entertainment followed by a keynote speech from the guest of honour, children’s TV personality Chris Jarvis to an audience of 370 before the awards got under way. I was very pleased to be able to present a total of over 30 awards under the headings of ‘working with children with special educational needs’ and ‘special educational needs co-ordinators’ to nursery and day-care workers throughout the region who had excelled in their roles. In the past, Bournemouth freemasons have been extremely generous to the special educational needs schools in our area, evidenced by their regular appearances at the annual FITC celebration events and this was an ideal opportunity to support those working with these children at a younger age, whilst at the same time furthering our aim to make freemasonry a larger part of the local community.
Andrew Brown
Attached to their local Ambulance Service who provide training, the Community First Responders charity is now spreading nationwide. They work on a voluntary basis and respond to local medical emergencies in their own vehicles within a three mile radius of their own homes. They commit to being available for duty for 15 hours a month but are free to log on for service any time of the day or night to suit them. Their purpose is to get to patients in urgent need ahead of the ambulance and administer First Aid, give life-saving CPR compressions, apply the defibrillator they carry or merely to make the scene safe for their approaching paramedic colleagues. They are alerted by text message from the main Ambulance Control Room at the same time as the regular paramedic crews are called forward.
On hearing about the vital work of their local community First Responders, Panmure Chapter in Aldershot donated £500 towards the purchase of more medical equipment for the
Responders. Given that all their equipment has to be purchased by each local branch, not surprisingly they are always on the lookout for new sources of funding. Panmure’s Nigel Worsfold attended one of the Responders’ regular monthly training sessions and presented the cheque to local Team Leader and thanked him and his team of enthusiasts for the excellent work they do in the local Aldershot and Farnborough area. As it happened, Panmure Chapter had every reason to be very grateful indeed to them when they had an acute medical emergency and marvelled at the speed of response of the local Responder.
Nigel Worsfold
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Just before Christmas, Test Valley Royal Arch Chapter made a £200 donation to the New Forest Basics Bank, to help with their distribution of much needed help at this important time. Senior members of the Chapter, Peter Jones and Tony Barnes, met the volunteers and were shown the work done by NFBB. Accepting the cheque, Honorary Treasurer Anthony Kirke, on behalf of the Basics Bank, expressed his delight and was confident that this sum would make a difference to many local people, particularly at Christmas.
The Basics Bank, which is situated behind the United Reformed Church in Lymington High Street, is supported by councils and social agencies and many other organisations and individuals in the area. Families and individuals are referred to them by citizens advice, health and employment agencies, medical centres and churches, when a lack of food is acute. On average they distribute about 90 parcels supporting around 200 people each month. Each parcel is tailored to the needs of the recipient and may include anything from non-perishable food to toothpaste and nappies, enough for a week.
Tony Barnes 5 Insight • Issue 7

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