Chelmsford based charity Blesma, which provides support for limbless veterans to allow them to lead independent lives, has been given a boost by local Freemasons.

Members of Old Chelmsfordian Lodge, which also meets in Chelmsford, have donated £1,000 to the charity, which helps hundreds of ex-servicemen and women every year, who have suffered traumatic injuries serving their country and in non-combat related incidences.

The £1,000, half of which came directly from members of Old Chelmsfordian Lodge with the balance made up with a grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, will allow Blesmato fund their essential work of helping injured and limbless veterans to lead independent and fulfilling lives.

“The money is very welcome,” said John Bryant, Blesma’s Chief Executive. Our charity was established just after the First World War, but the need for our services has never been greater. As well as supplying equipment we also put in place therapies to aid recovery and constantly campaign to provide improved services for ex-servicemen and women.”

The donation will be put towards activities such as Making Generation R  which helps train Blesma Members to tell their stories to inspire young people to find resilience. In 2020 this programme reached 100,000people, inspiring resilience in young people and adults when the coronavirus crisis meant that it was needed the most.

“Old Chelmsfordian is very much part of the Essex Community and this is the kind of charity that makes a real difference,” said Rob Bates, a member of the Lodge. “It is something our members have wanted to support and I am delighted we have been able to help.”

The Essex Freemasons Community Fund which match funded the donation from Old Chelmsfordian was set up to support projects such as Blesma.

Peter Hollingsworth, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, explained: “There are hundreds of local charities like this in every part of the County. They are a vital part  of the local community and this is where we are trying to aim our support.

“The work of Blesma cannot be underestimated, particularly in these difficult times and I am pleased it has the support of our members.”

The Essex Freemasons Community Fund is expecting to make donations of nearly £90,000 to local charities in 2020 in addition to nearly £1 million which will be given separately by more than 300 Lodges across the county.