Freemasons bringing people closer together

(l-r) Jon Whitaker, who heads Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons, Sabrina Marsden, Corporate and Community Fundraising Officer at Winchester Hospice Fundraising Charity, and John Pearson, from the Freemasons, who is the charity representative

Freemasons have funded a valuable ‘cuddle bed’ for Winchester’s new hospice – allowing loved ones to spend precious moments closer together.

Burrell House, in the grounds of the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, was converted into Winchester Hospice and opened in September following the success of a £4.4million community-backed fundraising campaign.

The hospice has 10 cuddle beds which make a big difference to patients and their relatives ­– with the press of a button the beds open up, making room for two.

Local Freemasons raised and donated £18,000 and a further £2,000 was secured from their national charity, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF).

Nick Vaughan, chair of Winchester Hospice Fundraising Charity, said: “We are very grateful to the Freemasons for funding our latest ‘cuddle bed’.

“We now have one in each of the 10 bedrooms, creating a comfortable home-like environment for every one of our patients.

“As we continue the charity’s fundraising campaign to ensure the delivery of enhanced care and support for patients and their loved ones, the additional funds we received from the Freemasons are much appreciated.

“This support will also enable the hospice team to employ the specialist skills of an art therapist who will provide a valuable form of psychotherapy support.”

Jon Whitaker, who heads Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons, said: “Freemasons throughout the country have supported the hospice movement for many years.

“I am delighted that Hampshire and Isle of Wight – and in particular Winchester – Freemasons have been able to show their support in some small way for the new local hospice.”

While Winchester Hospice Fundraising Charity has raised more than £4.4million through charitable donations, it needs to continue fundraising to help staff to deliver enhanced care and support to patients and their loved ones.

Winchester Hospice is run by Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which has hospitals in Winchester, Basingstoke and Andover.


Editor’s note:

There are around 9,000 Freemasons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, and over 250 Lodges.  Although Freemasonry has been an open and transparent organisation for some time, there are still many misconceptions.  Essentially, Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness.  It is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations.

For further information please contact:

Provincial and masonic information:  Provincial Communications Officer, Roger Maber, email:  tel: 07802605499