Nottinghamshire Freemasons attended Fountaindale School as part of ongoing work by the Mansfield Lodge of Instruction and the Masonic Charitable Foundation and Teddies for Loving Care Bears (TLC) to help in the excellent work being undertaken at this school
Fountaindale is a school for children and young people who are 3 to 18 years old who have profound and multiple learning needs, complex physical and medical needs and sensory needs.
At Fountaindale we are passionate that every day matters for children and have our children and families at the heart of everything we do.
Our belief that it & takes a village to raise a child is one whereby we walk the path alongside our pupils and families to ensure they do not feel alone or without support as they guide their child through their journey.
TLC Bears to Foutaindale. School.
(Words by Roger Garratt)
Fountaindale School is situated only a mile south of Mansfield. Many of us drive past it every day
Its sole purpose is to devote dedication and care for 84 children and teenagers who suffer from severe mental and physical difficulties. The staff naturally creates a happy place to make the children’s lives just that little bit better.
Often the most wonderful things in life happen when you least expect it. It only was by invitation that “The Lodge of Instruction” at Mansfield Masonic Hall asked a past executive of our 2018 Festival if he would deliver a lecture on the History of Festivals.
All went well, a lot was learned, and members signed up to donate to the current 2029 Appeal.
Several days later our guest speaker received a letter saying the Lodge had agreed to donate £100 to a charity of his choice.
With gratitude and no hesitation, he recommended our Charity ,Fountaindale School, as it is local to Mansfield, the children at the school need all the help they can get and what could be a better thing to do to celebrate Christmas with the pupils?
Then thought that simply a sum of money would not knowingly make a difference to the children and not offer a creative Masonic gesture on our part.
So, it was proposed that the money be used to procure TLC bears for all of the children.
In the best-laid plans of mice and men, there was only enough money for half the number of bears.
Enter “The Mansfield Charity Stewards” to the rescue. Who without hesitation double the amount by spontaneously donating a further £100. The day was rescued.
Mansfield Freemasons Lodge of Instruction
(Words from Les Boyington)
This week, the Mansfield Lodge of Instruction did something really different! We used a little of our hard-earned charity money to make Christmas special for a few children say 84 disabled children - and for some grown-ups too!
We teamed up with the Mansfield Charity Stewards and with the help of the one and only Roger Garrett, we bought a load of teddy bears.
Not just any teddy's mind; we bought Teddy's for Loving Care bears; and very specifically, we bought 84 of them.
We made arrangements to visit Fountaindale School , taking all the bears with us.
They don't get many visitors so mostly it's just the children and the staff so they were delighted to see us.
We broke open the box of Teddy's and realised they were all about the same size but loads of different colours.
We all took a couple and went to see the children, I picked a blue and a yellow one and walked slowly towards them. As I approached a little boy, he was holding the hand of his carer and I saw his face turn redder than Rudolph's nose. His carer introduced him as Spencer, he had poorly legs and was wearing leg braces; I spoke gently to him whilst holding out the blue bear. Spencer reached out and took it, cuddling the bear to his chest.
A few minutes later, we were asked to stand in line for a photo shoot. Spencer was now quite happily cuddling his Christmas teddy bear, I reached down and his tiny hand slipped inside mine, my fingers folded around it and I gently walked with him to the wall to stand and face the camera.
I realised during those few proud moments, that we keep on doing what we do because we are Freemasons and Freemasons do make a difference.
Mansfield Charity Stewards
(Words from John Pawlik)
On the 20th of December, what a privilege it was to be involved as members of the Lodge and the Charity Stewards in the company of the Provincial Grand Master Philip Graham Marshall assembled to meet some of the children and present them with a Christmas TLC Bear.
It was instantly clear how much this charitable guesture meant to these wonderful children and staff
Fountaindale School will continue to be supported in March 2024 when a Swimathon will take place in Mansfield with a further donation being made to this very special school
Pictured are many of the children who attend this school with staff and local Freemasons who continue to work together to make a real difference in their communities
All images obtained with written consent forms- Provincial Photographer Nottinghamshire Freemasons