Norfolk Freemasons pledge to support our appeal
Provincial Grand Master for Norfolk, Stephen Allen, has declared his personal charity of the year to be the £12.5M appeal to build a new Priscilla Bacon Hospice. The declaration was made at a recent meeting of Norfolk Installed Masters Lodge, where Stephen Allen is also Worshipful Master. Past Masters and Masters of Norfolk’s 76 Lodges were also present.
Stephen Allen said, “I am delighted to select as my personal charity of the year the Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal. The building of a new hospice for Norfolk is desperately needed and I hope that the support pledged by Norfolk Freemasons will inspire others to support this campaign.”
Mark Nicholas, CEO Priscilla Bacon Hospice appeal, said “We are thrilled that the Provincial Grand Master has given his support to the campaign. We hope that this act of leadership, by a most generous organisation, will encourage others to give to the appeal. Norfolk needs this new hospice and it is a truly countywide appeal.”
During a presentation to Masters, Mr Nicholas explained that with an ageing and increasing population, Norfolk has the worst provision level for palliative care services and end-of-life care of any English county. Clinical Commissioning guidelines state that there should be 49-57 beds for specialist palliative care, yet there are only 16 beds at the Priscilla Bacon Lodge in Norwich.
“The building of a new hospice on a greenfield site close to the main hospital will transform the provision of specialist palliative services and end-of-life care in Norfolk, now and for the next generation. With 24 inpatient beds, capacity will be increased by 50%. There will be extensive day patient facilities, a hub from which to coordinate the county-wide ‘Hospice at Home’ initiative, and family rooms giving the chance for loved ones to stay overnight, or for children to spend time with a terminally ill parent.”
Services in the new hospice will be funded by the NHS – one of only a handful of hospices in the UK in which this is the case.
“So many of us have experience of the benefits of hospice care for families, loved ones and friends, and we are tremendously excited about this project and the benefits it will deliver for families across Norfolk and into Suffolk” said Mr Nicholas.
Norfolk Freemasons have recently given £190,000 to prostate cancer research at the University of East Anglia, supplied three blood bikes to SERV Norfolk and donated over £8,000 to set up the region’s first donor breast milk hub.