Young Freemasons' Youth Programme Benefits Essex Charities

The Essex Cornerstone Lodge, formed by young Essex Freemasons, continues to lead the way, supporting a growing range of good causes across the county with a youth programme focussed on local charities dedicated to helping young men and women in need.

The latest to benefit as part of this growing programme is The Rob George Foundation.  The RGF is a Colchester based charity, supporting young people all over the UK.  Launched in January 2014, it has so far helped nearly 1,000 young people making grants totalling £591,000.

The Foundation has received a £1,000 grant from the Lodge and the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, which will be used to financially and/or practically support young people facing life threatening or terminal illnesses, or by providing financial help to those young people who demonstrate exceptional commitment or ability in the worlds of sport or the performing arts but are held back from fulfilling their full potential due to a lack of funds.

“This money will help to make a huge difference to the lives of young people,” said Lorraine George, who formed the charity with her husband Philip following the tragic death of their son Rob from Leukaemia, aged just 21. “Our aims were set by Rob himself and we pride ourselves on trying to fulfil his wish that the foundation should ‘Make a Difference - One Individual at a Time.’  Rob was himself a very talented sportsman and the aims reflect that, and his personal experiences and the financial hardships he faced during his illness.  We are also very proud of the fact that we have next to no overheads, so the Freemason’s can relax in the knowledge that just about every single penny of their donation will reach the young people – just as you would want and hope.”

“We are helping many talented individuals, some of whom are on the cusp of Olympic selection, and one of whom has recently been selected to represent team GB at the Paralympics. These youngsters, through illness or disability, have no way of covering all their costs and need help.  The current pandemic has brought many huge challenges to charities, and in common with so many, the Rob George Foundation’s fundraising programme for 2020 was wiped out overnight.   So, understandably we are more grateful than ever (if that’s possible) for this grant from Essex Freemasons.  Our current average grant is running at £633.00, so your grant will help make nearly two whole grants – that’s two real young people who will hopefully feel we have together ‘Made a Difference’ to their lives.”

The £1,000 was presented to the Foundation by Paul Palmer, Jack Gilliland, and Jonathon Glynn from the Essex Cornerstone Lodge, at a short ceremony at Essex County Cricket Ground. Jack commented: “Our Lodge is formed of present & past members of the Essex Cornerstone Club - which is for young freemasons aged up to 41, so it is understandable that we wish to support charities that help other young people. The Rob George Foundation does just that, an incredible job, which is why we were pleased to help.”

Present at the ceremony was Assistant Provincial Grand Master Peter Hollingsworth, who praised the work of the charity and the Essex Cornerstone Lodge for their ongoing youth programme which is seeing more and more Essex charities benefit. Also pictured are Paul Palmer (WM), Jack Gilliland (secretary), and Jonathon Glynn (treasurer) from the Essex Cornerstone Lodge No. 9968, and Lorraine & Philip George from the Rob George Foundation.