Braham Djidjelli

Festival 2022 Summer Ball | Saturday 18th June 2022

 

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Newly arrived Afghans in UK given essential supplies thanks to Essex Freemasons’ grant to British Red Cross

More than 15,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan are receiving basic necessities such as food, clothing and baby milk from the British Red Cross, which has been boosted by a grant from Essex Freemasons and other Provinces.

Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding to the emergency with a £25,000 contribution to the Red Cross relief effort.

Since they left the turbulent environment of Kabul Airport and arrived in the UK, the Afghans have been moved into hotels across the country. These families arrived with nothing and lacked even the basic essentials of such as food, clothing, hygiene supplies and baby products.

The Red Cross has been providing support to Afghan families since their arrival, delivering over 1,000 units of baby milk, providing trauma support to those in distress from their experience and distributing over 400 pre-paid phones to connect families to separated loved ones.

The Red Cross will continue to fund relief efforts for Afghan families, most of whom arrived with very few belongings. These items will ensure that families have access to the basic items they need to survive and can look after themselves, stay healthy and begin to recover from their traumatic experiences.

Essex Freemasons contributed to the grant, from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Kalyani McCarthy, British Red Cross Afghanistan Relocations Manager, said:

“We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which makes a major contribution to the Red Cross effort to help Afghans who have mostly arrived in the UK with little more than the clothes on their backs.

“Whether it’s food, clothing or milk for babies, there’s a huge amount of need among these people and the Red Cross is doing everything it can to help.”

Paul Tarrant, the Provincial Grand Master from Essex Freemasons, said:

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the Red Cross with their vital work with newly arrived Afghan refugees. There are more than 15,000 people who need everything from food and clothing to a pre-paid mobile phone to allow them to stay in touch with their families in Afghanistan.

“I’m very proud that Freemasons are, once again, stepping up to help people in need”.

 

Press Release from The Masonic Charitable Foundation

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United Grand Lodge of England commits to carbon-reduction policy

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its operations and plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by the year 2030.

As COP26 comes to a close, the United Grand Lodge of England announces its commitment to tackling climate change.  The UGLE’s new environmental policy is being led by CEO David Staples and will lead to the organisation minimising its contribution to pollution by reducing its carbon emissions and waste, together with recycling, reusing and reducing wherever possible.

The organisation will assess the adverse effects of all operations on the environment and seek ways to minimise them. It aims to achieve ISO 14001 certification in environmental management systems within the next ten years.

In addition, the UGLE will introduce procurement practice and investment strategy criteria based on a minimum environmental standard; promote environmental awareness to staff; and monitor, report and reduce its carbon emissions annually.

Dr David Staples said: "We are taking all reasonable steps to reduce our carbon emissions and environmental commitments will be an integral part of our day-to-day activities. We will also seek ways to continually improve our environmental performance and operate responsibly, including reducing waste and making reductions in our carbon emissions from heat, power and travel. This new initiative makes sense environmentally, ethically and economically.

"The environment in which we work and live has never been subject to as much change as it is now experiencing. Population growth, use of finite resources and greenhouse gas emissions are taking their toll in many ways, not least through climate change and pollution. Global temperatures continue to rise as greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere increase and pollution through waste generation continues."

Individual departments at UGLE will each be responsible for specific elements of the project. The director of facilities will deliver all activities and implement a central reporting mechanism to allow senior managers to be informed about environmental issues within the organisation. The senior management team will review progress on environmental issues at least twice per year. At the same time, all staff members will responsible for complying with the new policy and supporting efforts to minimise the UGLE’s impact on the environment.

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