Charity receives supply of Art Therapy Books and £65,000 from the Freemasons

Founder of Get Started Art nominated for Essex Small Business Awards for 2024

The Art Therapy Books project, produced by Get Started Art, a community interest company founded by Thurrock based Freemason David Barton, has been strongly supported by many Essex Masonic Lodges.   In just one year over 55,000 large and small colouring books have been donated to homes and day centres for Alzheimer and dementia sufferers, people with neurological needs, stroke survivors and senior wards in hospitals.

The small version was created specifically for special educational needs (SEN) units for schools and community groups working with vulnerable young people. With this in mind the Provincial Grand Master of West Kent Freemasons (PGM), Mark Estaugh, and his Provincial Charity Steward (ProvGChStwd), Steve Rozier, presented the charity ‘We Are Beams’ with a grant for £65,000 on 15th February 2024 and they also donated a supply of the Art Therapy Books donated by Essex Freemasons.

‘We are Beams’ provides comprehensive support services to children and young people with any form of physical, learning or sensory impairment.  The grant is through the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends in England and Wales who donate about £12 million each year to support the work of the MCF.  

The MCF also operates a Relief Chest Scheme which helps Lodges and individual Freemasons manage their charitable giving and has been used to donate more than £13 million to thousands of charities. As the second largest province in the United Grand Lodge of England, Essex Freemasons regularly donate about £1 million each year to charities and support groups in the County.

David Barton has been selected as one of the ten finalists in the ‘Business Owner’ category of the Essex Small Business Awards for 2024. This category honours individuals who have shown exceptional management skills, strategic vision, and a commitment to the success of their business. Out of nearly 150 finalists in 15 categories, the highest scoring business will also win the ‘Overall Small Business’ Award. The winners will be announced on 12th April 2024 at the Raddison Blu Stansted.

Cast your vote for David using the QR code below:


Top: It's all smiles at "We are Beams" as they showcase their Art Books supplied by Get Started Art with (far right) Mark Estaugh (PGM-West Kent) and (on his right) Steve Rozier (ProvGChStwd-West Kent).