Rochdale Freemasons team up with HMR Circle to help most vulnerable

Date published: 24 January 2021

Over Christmas, members of the charitable organisation Rochdale Freemasons teamed up with HMR Circle’s Volunteer Drivers Service to help those most in need across the local community.

The initiative and support proved to be a hit for vulnerable people in Rochdale as volunteers completed 20 journeys comprising of 14 emergency shopping trips, two prescription collections and four craft pack deliveries.

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. Its roots lie in the traditions and ceremonies of the medieval stonemasons who built cathedrals and castles.

Mark Wynn and Mary Burke from the VDS were delighted to have received the extra help over the festive period, and to top it off, five of those who took part are going to continue volunteering with the VDS in the future.

Mark Wynn, director of the scheme, said: "HMR Circle and the Volunteer Drivers Service would like to thank the Rochdale Freemasons for their help and support both ongoing and over the Christmas period.

“If this has inspired anyone one else to volunteer, please get in touch via"

John Taylor, the Freemasons District Charity Steward, said: “Our members are always pleased to help those in need.

“Christmas is the season of goodwill and it is important for us to help others.”

Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR) Circle is a not-for-profit community interest company which works to reduce social isolation in older people through social events, practical support, befriending and a volunteer drivers service.

The organisation celebrated its eighth birthday during the pandemic, which forced it to repurpose its activities, moving social activities online and supporting the Covid Local Response Hubs, set up to provide emergency food parcels, assistance with shopping and delivering medicines, and wellbeing assistance.

The drivers' service will continue until at least December 2021, when it will go to open tender.

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