Cornwall Mark Masons from across the county have made an extra special £12,000 donation to Children’s Hospice South West’s Little Harbour children’s hospice in St Austell, in memory of the recent passing of His Royal Highness The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

The grant was approved by the Trustees of the Cornwall Masonic Benevolent Fund and decided by the membership of twelve lodges throughout the county as part of a £1.3million wider grant from the Mark Benevolent Fund, the official charity of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons.

Money was distributed to more than 250 hospices across England and Wales, including CHSW’s other hospices in North Devon and Bristol, to celebrate the life of the Duke, himself a Freemason, who died in April.

The total donated to CHSW from the Mark Master Masons of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucester, and Herefordshire amounted to the staggering sum of £29,000, vital funding which will help the charity continue to provide essential support to families facing unimaginable challenges.

Presenting a cheque to CHSW area fundraiser Mrs Alice Merrett at Little Harbour, Right Worshipful Brother Kevin J Hicks, the Provincial Grand Master for Cornwall Mark Masons, said: “We are absolutely delighted the members of the province have chosen to support Little Harbour children’s hospice.

"We are all aware of the impact the pandemic has taken on all charities across the country and hope this fitting donation will go some way to help enhance patient care and provide improved facilities for those in need, together with their families.”

Very Worshipful Brother Peter Johns (the Deputy Provincial Grand Master) added: “Today was such a lovely experience representing the Mark brethren for this visit to such a wonderful Cornish charity. The Mark Benevolent Fund have created a wonderful tribute to The Duke of Edinburgh who would have loved to have seen these very special charities supported in his name. The work all Hospices carry out on behalf of families in our local communities is simply outstanding and essential.”

Children’s Hospice Southwest is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the hospice supports more than 500 families across the Southwest. The charity provides respite, emergency, end-of-life and bereavement care and support for the whole family. It has adapted its care during the pandemic to ensure Covid-safe support wherever and whenever families need it, including for the first time ever, in families’ own homes.

The co-founder and Chief Executive of the charity Children’s Hospice South-West, Mr. Eddie Farwell was delighted the members from those lodges within the Cornwall Mark Masons had chosen to support them.

He commented: “As you can imagine, 2020/21 has been a year like no other in the now 30-year history of CHSW. It has been a year of extreme change, with challenges beyond comparison, as we have worked tirelessly to ensure that those families facing the already unimaginable difficulties of caring for a child or children with a life-limiting condition, could still receive the care and support they needed more than ever.”

“Sadly, due to the extreme vulnerability of the children and families in our care, many are continuing to shield, so this funding is vital in helping us to maintain and further develop our community-based care services which we now view as a permanent addition to the more traditional ‘in-house’ care that we had always offered.”

“We really cannot thank the Freemasonry movement enough and in particular the Cornwall Mark Masons for their incredible support for Children’s Hospice Southwest.”