Dorset Freemasons have awarded £50,000 to four local charities

Dorset Freemasons have awarded £50,000 to four local charities as part of the Freemasons Community Awards.

The Community Awards are part of the Freemason’s 300th anniversary celebrations and this year £3m was awarded to charities nationally.

Dorset Freemasons were given a grant of £50,000 and the public voted on which charities should receive a portion of the grant.

The Dorset charities which received awards were Veterans in Action, who received £25,000, Mosaic (Supporting Bereaved Children), who received £15,000, Dorset Blind Association, who received £6,000 and About Face, who received £4,000.

Richard Merritt of Dorset Freemasons said: “We are delighted to be able to celebrate three hundred years of Freemasonry by helping four excellent local charities. We’ve been active in charity work for all that time, but this is the first occasion we’ve asked the public to help us decide how to spend our money. We are very pleased that so many people from Dorset took part in the vote.”

There was an unprecedented number of votes with 178,801 votes across England and Wales.

Billy MacLeod, Chief Operations Officer at Veterans In Action said: “The grant of £25,000 which we have been awarded following the public vote is hugely important. We are very grateful to all our friends who took the trouble to support us. We plan to use this money to start a new project called Veterans Overland where the veterans will strip and build two vehicles to be used on an overland expedition through France and Belgium to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this possible by voting for us, we are truly humbled by the support.”

The £3m fund was administered by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which obtains all its funding from Freemasons, their friends and families.

It is estimated that half of Freemasonry’s total charitable expenditure of over £33m goes to charities that help people in communities across the country.

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