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Freemasons donate £40,000 to Romford YMCA for project to help children with learning difficulties

PUBLISHED: 13:00 03 December 2018

One of the children at Romford YMCA  making a cup of tea for Rodney Bass, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons who is accompanied by Emma Middleton (left). Photo: Essex Freemasons

One of the children at Romford YMCA making a cup of tea for Rodney Bass, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons who is accompanied by Emma Middleton (left). Photo: Essex Freemasons

Essex Freemasons

YMCA Romford has received a grant of £40,000 from Essex Freemasons for a project designed to help hundreds of children with learning difficulties across Barking and Dagenham and Havering.

From left to right: Emma Middleton, head of fund raising, Paul Setterfield, Director of corporate services, Rodney Bass, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, Joanna Read, Martin Howse, Chairman, Amanda Allen, children’s services manager, Fergus Ross, Head of sales, marketing and communications. Photo: Essex Freemasons



Photo: Essex FreemasonsFrom left to right: Emma Middleton, head of fund raising, Paul Setterfield, Director of corporate services, Rodney Bass, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, Joanna Read, Martin Howse, Chairman, Amanda Allen, children’s services manager, Fergus Ross, Head of sales, marketing and communications. Photo: Essex Freemasons Photo: Essex Freemasons

The money, donated via the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons own charity, to YMCA Thames Gateway will help fund an “Early Years” project - and will be used to cover the salary of a family inclusion officer, a member of staff who helps to deliver the programme working alongside the early years team.

The YMCA, based in Rush Green Road, Romford, provides accommodation and health and wellbeing projects as well as training and education to young people and the wider community.

Through its early years services, the charity currently works with over 500 children through different pre and after school clubs across the boroughs.

Emma Middleton, fund-raising manager said: “This £40,000 grant from Essex Freemasons will make a huge difference to our work allowing us to pay for staff experienced in this kind of work who will ensure that we can maintain support for disadvantaged children and their families.”

Through the Early Years programme the YMCA aim to improve children’s educational achievement and development and support them to achieve greater outcomes. The scheme is tailored to the individual needs of each child, focusing on four key areas: better physical health, language development, understanding and expressing emotions and mathematics.

The programmes are offered free of charge to families and incorporate a range of accessible, fun activities, workshops and resources for children with specific needs identified by the Early Years staff team.

Rodney Bass, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, commented: “I am delighted that we have been able to make this grant to the YMCA to allow it to continue and expand its Early Years programme.

“Such donations are a key part of our desire to work more closely with the community across Essex to provide charitable funding where it is most needed.

“Our members donate more than £1 million every year to good causes particularly in those area where we can really make a difference. This is one such example.”

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