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Masons boost hospice fund

PUBLISHED: 18:26 23 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:02 25 August 2010

THOUSANDS of Freemasons got involved in activities ranging from quad bike safaris to eating mountains of curry to raise money for a children s hospice.

THOUSANDS of Freemasons got involved in activities ranging from quad bike safaris to eating mountains of curry to raise money for a children's hospice.

Some 6,000 West Kent Freemasons at centres ranging from Welling, through to Sevenoaks, took only nine months to raise the money to help build a Demelza children's hospice in Wensley Close, Eltham.

The Right Worshipful Brother Jonathan, who headed up the project, said: "We hope to top up our contribution to Demelza to £200,000 by the end of October.

"The Masons in West Kent have often sent individual contributions to the main Demelza hospice in Sittingbourne, East Kent, which is a different Masonic province to ours.

"As soon as I heard they were building this place in West Kent, I knew the brethren of our Province would want to support it. Children and hospices are very emotive issues.

"Some of us have had aged parents, who had to use the hospice movement. And some of us may even end up in a hospice ourselves. Being here today brings it home even more."

The hospice is at present about 75 per cent completed, and it is hoped to open next January.

The centre, the first children's hospice in South London, will cost £6,000,000 to get up and running. Demelza's Director of Fundraising, James Hanaway, added: "We rely pretty much on fundraising for the building and running costs. This is a fantastic contribution from the Masons of West Kent.

"They are helping us in our mission to 'add life to days, when days cannot be added to life.'

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