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Well Done Jim | Durham Freemasons

Jim Cowan of Agricola Lodge decided that instead of having a small family party to celebrate his 70 th birthday, he would hold a larger event in aid of charity. Covid restrictions had delayed the planning and when it eventually took place Jim felt that the recipient should be the NHS., specifically the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation, RVI Newcastle.

The Great North Children’s Hospital (GNCH) is one of the four largest Children’s hospitals in the UK. They provide a full range of tailored children’s health services to children from across the north of England and beyond. It has special wards, operating theatres, outpatients, day case suites and an A & E department all tailored to children, their families, and carers.

Jim held the event at his farm near Long Newton in Stockton, where he invited the great and the good that he has met over his 70 eventful years including members from the horse racing community, Neighbours and his other passion, freemasonry.

The event was an enormous success, with over 160 people in attendance where a 3-course luncheon was served and enjoyed by all present. Jim concluded the event with a charitable auction which raised £5,800.00 including gift aid.

Jim approached Durham Benevolence with the proceeds of his special celebration where on behalf of all Durham freemasons they agreed to add a further donation of £4,200.00 from the community support fund, giving a magnificent total of £10,000.

Jim, armed with the donation visited the hospital accompanied by John Watts the Benevolent Chairman and Andrew Thompson the Provincial Charity representative to meet up with Emma McQuitty, the Fundraising Coordinator of the Newcastle Hospitals Charity. Emma was most thankful to receive the donation and gave a brief outline of the way in which it would benefit the children involved. Restrictions on the day prevented a full tour of the facilities available but Emma assured all that they would be welcome to return on a future occasion should they so desire.

Any Lodge holding a fundraising event should consider processing the total raised through Durham Benevolence, where the sum may be increased with help from the community support fund so that the lodge and Durham Benevolence are clearly recognised for the excellent contributions they make to the local community.

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