Scarborough Court is the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institutions (RMBI) home providing support for older Freemasons, their families, and people in the wider community with residential care, nursing and dementia support. Although in Cramlington (Northumberland) it is fully supported by the three Provinces of County Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland from which areas the bulk of the residents are drawn. Today the three Provinces pulled together to put a smile on the faces of the residents by making the first delivery of “soothing bears”!
Bill Morley DPGM of Cumberland & Westmoreland was made aware several nursing homes in his Province were supplying shop bought Teddies for dementia patients on their wards. These were proving a great source of help of comfort and support, helping ease any distress and anxiety that patients carrying the Teddies were experiencing, from time to time because of their Dementia. Bill immediately thought of the dementia residents in Scarborough Court where he is a member of the Committee of Friends. Sam Buxton the care home manager confirmed they would be delighted to receive Teddies if the Friends of Scarborough Court wished to allow their provision. The home supports up to 37 residents of these currently 18 live in the dementia area. Activities Manager Stacy Hunter stated “these will be a fantastic tool to allow is to bring a very personalised level of comfort to our many residents during their time in the home”.
St. Oswald’s Lodge & Harte Lodge agreed to share the cost of the 1st three boxes of Teddies to Scarborough Court. The Masters Richard Tucker MBE and Jim Durrand presented these to Activities Manager, Stacy Hunter and Phil Armstrong of the Homes Facilities team accompanied by several residents who were keen to take possession of their new friends. Also on hand were John Thompson the PGM of the Province of Durham, and Bill Morley and Alasdair Watson, APGM Northumberland.
One of the highlights of the day was meeting Eric Allison, a Northumberland Freemason, who is the Home’s most long standing resident who is still an active Freemason. He was proud to show Alasdair Watson the photo of him receiving, last year, his 70th Certificate in his own Lodge. This again emphasised the amazing support the home provides in ensuring Eric could continue to enjoy his Freemasonry.
Duncan Maw, the TLC coordinator for the Province of Durham, stated “everyone was overwhelmed how quickly the Teddies brought a smile to the residents that were on hand to help receive the bears. The real power of the generosity and kindness of the Brethren across all three Provinces is clearly seen in the many photos published alongside this article.”
It is hoped that other Lodges across all three Provinces will come forward and offer to buy further bears for use by the staff and residents at Scarborough Court. Any Lodge that wishes to do so are asked to contact Duncan Maw at firstname.lastname@example.org who will coordinate the supply to the home when required. The home is keen to welcome any contributing Lodge to present the bears and it would be a great opportunity to see the good work undertaken at Scarborough Court.
John Thompson was keen to stress on behalf of all the Provinces “This is a fantastic facility provided by an organisation with its roots deep in Freemasonry. The many services and high level of care offered by the staff at Scarborough Court are not as widely known throughout the provinces as they could be. We all see the regular Provision of Teddies as a real opportunity to raise the profile of the home and to clearly signal to our brethren that it is a multi-province facility that we are all proud of and should contribute towards!”
JPT, Andrea Thompson, Bill Morley MBE DPGM Cumbria and Westmoreland, Alasdair Watson APGM Northumberland, Richard Tucker MBE WM St Oswald Lodge, Jim Durrand WM Harte Lodge, Duncan Maw TLC Coordinator, Stacy Hunter Activities Manager, Phil Armstrong Facilities Team Member.
And the real stars:
Heather Doonan, Lilly Storey, Tom Heslop, Maureen Meggason and Eric Allison seen standing with JPT and AW
TLC Teddy Initiative……
“thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”
Community Support Grants…..
“The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”
Provincial Annual Meeting….
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….
“My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”
“The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”
The Royal Arch…..
“I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”
What have you gained?
“I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”
In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative
“A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”
What Freemasonry has done for you?
“The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you
One of the best things I have ever done…
“Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”