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Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Noel Voice recently presented on behalf of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity a cheque for £4000 to the Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance at Thruxton Airfield where the helicopters are based. Since 2007, the Grand Charity has donated £1.3 million in total to Air Ambulance Services across the UK and during 2014 regional Air Ambulance charities will benefit to the tune of £192,000.
After his visit, Noel commented: “We are delighted to be able to show our support for the Air Ambulance once again. Charitable giving is central to freemasonry and Hampshire and Isle of Wight masons are especially happy to support organisations that help to save lives and provide support to people in emergency situations. The Freemasons’ Grand Charity works on behalf of all freemasons in England and Wales, donating millions of pounds to worthy causes every year. I am well aware of the importance of this particular emergency service which is entirely self-funding and reliant on charitable donations for its very existence.”
Photo: Fraser Rowbotham explaining operations to Noel Voice.
Noel Voice
Mercury Lodge’s Eric Robinson and Andy Suter were on hand to present a cheque for £1,250 to Alison Vivian of the Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, and a training defibrillator and pulse oximeter to Jill Lipscombe of the St John Ambulance at the annual Donkey Derby in Farnborough. Like a significant number of public events across Hampshire and Isle of Wight, the Freemasonry in the Community trailer was on hand for the benefit of the general public and provided a perfect venue for these gifts to charity. After the presentations Eric was heard to say: “Each year lodges raise money for charity and Mercury Lodge is delighted to support these very deserving local charities. As part of the campaign to raise awareness of freemasonry, lodges will attend many different venues over the summer and this display unit is a way of showing the public what freemasonry is, what it does and how people can become involved if they so desire.”
Photo: Eric Robinson, Alison Vivian and Andy Suter
With the assistance of the Tom Langton Fund, Pear Tree Lodge were able to donate £500 to PLANETS (Pancreatic, Liver and Neuro-Endoctrine Tumours), which is a specialist fund administered by the Southampton Hospital Charity. At the presentation, Associate Medical Director and Consultant Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgeon, Neil Pearce, explained that the grant would go towards funding an amazing piece of equipment, called a MOBETRON, which is in effect a mobile Radiation Unit. The intention is that this equipment will be used during operations, when patient’s organs are fully exposed and radiation can be limited to the affected area. Normally, radiation treatment is undertaken after operations and body organs and tissue not requiring treatment can get radiated unnecessarily, which affects patient recovery. As the equipment is portable, its use can be optimised by wheeling it from theatre to theatre.
At the moment, this equipment is not available to the NHS but is in use in the Europe, the USA and Canada. Although expensive, its potential is enormous and could be used to treat all manner of cancerous tumours.
In the short term, PLANETS is attempting to raise £100,000 for a limited trial of the equipment and prove to the NHS that it is the way to much improved treatment and recovery rates for cancer victims.
The photo shows Neil Pearce and the Pear Tree Lodge Charity Steward, John Challis, with two nurses from the pancreatic cancer wards in attendance.
Phil Husbands
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Insight • Issue 8 10
Eric Robinson

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