A Richard House Hero
Published: September 30, 2020
Local Freemason and friend of Richard House, David Wilmot, was alerted that Richard House urgently required funds and took it upon himself to set up his own fundraiser to support children with life-threatening conditions and their families throughout the pandemic. Here’s what he had to say;
In 2017 Freemasons celebrated 300 years since the formation of The Grand Lodge of England. In London, Freemasons wanted to mark the occasion by making an extra special effort to support local charities.
I knew a little of Richard House Children’s Hospice at this time – the first children’s hospice to be set up in London at Beckton; giving that special care to children and their families at the most difficult time in their lives. The hospice and others like it, can only survive through its fundraising and the generosity of charitable giving.
I made a visit to the hospice with a good masonic friend John Peters; we saw for ourselves the fantastic work that the hospice do, and the wonderful surroundings that provided comfort and security to the young people who were spending time there; it was obvious that this was a charity not just worthy of support but one we wanted to support. At that time we were both Senior Visiting Officers, John in the Royal Arch and I in the Craft; we decided to ask our respective units to support and we focussed on the Richard House Hospice Summerfest on the 19th August 2017 as the end of our fundraising.
Through the generosity of RA Chapters and Craft Lodges as well as individual personal donors, coupled with a £2,500 grant from MFC we raised £15,500. The final push was the hospice summer fair that was supported by many masonic volunteers and the final total raised was over £18,000. Since that time, my own personal Lodge and chapter have continued its support along with many other masonic units that give regularly.
Raising money for any charity in such difficult times is going to be hard going and will require hard work. With covid-19 to wrestle with, the fund raising events for the hospice have had to stop; charity shops closed, it has been extremely difficult if not desperate. On behalf of the Hospice I began a Gofundme page and with donations that have been made direct to the hospice and pledges (to be agreed when Masonry get back to some normality) we may have reached £5,000; it is a help but much more is required – look it up!
If your Lodge or chapter is looking for a good cause to support – look no further. Check out the website to see just why this is such a deserving cause. https://richardhouse.org.uk/about-us/about-richard-house/
Stay safe – best wishes
W.Bro. David Wilmot