The Harrogate Easier Living Project has received a financial donation of £11,000 from the Freemasons’ province of Yorkshire West Riding at its annual meeting held at Harrogate’s Royal Hall.

The funding boost was part of a £90,000 “major grants” windfall awarded to five charities from the region’s Freemasons. It will enable the charity to replace their ageing ‘Stan the Van’ with a newer fit-for-purpose van used by their Help at Home service.

Karen Weaver, CEO of HELP’s parent charity HARCVS, and HELP’s Head of Practical Services, Frances Elliot, received the cheque from the fraternity’s Provincial Grand Master, David S Pratt, at the event attended by Freemasons from Yorkshire’s four counties and beyond.

David said:

“It was my absolute honour to be able to present these five different, yet equally deserving, organisations with their grants, at our Provincial Grand Lodge annual meeting in Harrogate. This money was all raised thanks to Freemasons from throughout our Province, and I am extremely grateful to them for their generosity and continued support of charity. This year alone we will give £200,000 to a wide range of charities, clubs, societies, hospitals and hospices. Charity has, as always has been, at the heart of Freemasonry, and it will continue to be so for as long as our ancient and honourable institution exists.

Karen added:

“We’re delighted to accept this most generous grant of £11,000 from the region’s Freemasons. Now Stan the Van can finally be retired gracefully and a newer younger model recruited to support our vital Help at Home Service for older and vulnerable people. Over the past year the team has carried out over 355 jobs, from changing a light-bulb to large garden clearances or decorating a whole house. Sweeping leaves, changing lightbulbs and fitting handrails all help to prevent falls, with essential decorating and gardening jobs creating a more pleasant home environment. Our two vans are our workhorses without which we couldn’t continue, so this grant is a real boost in a very tough climate for fundraising. We were honoured to be just one of five organisations selected from across Yorkshire”.