Cleeves and Whitehead Trust. Chairman’s Half Yearly Report. 7th September 2019

Bro. Vice President, Ladies, Brethren, on behalf of my fellow Trustees I have pleasure in presenting the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust’s Half Yearly Report relating to the period between the 3rd March and 7th of September 2019.

We all know that the prime directives of the Trust are to provide pastoral care and support to our Members and their dependents in difficult times, and wherever possible to support local Charities and worthy causes. 

We continue to pursue these directives in the same efficient and swift manner which has become the Trust’s trade mark, with our Care Officer, Liz Nowell,  our newly appointed Provincial Almoner, Paul Leach, and his assistant W. Bro. Alex Steele being kept very busy these past 6 months to ensure that this has been the case and on behalf of the Trustees I would like to thank them all most sincerely.

It’s fair to say that our new Provincial Almoner has had a baptism of fire since his appointment when he took over the reins from W. Bro. Steele. Paul and Alex have been heavily involved in the day to day business of helping the Brethren of the Province in times of sickness or difficulty.  From dropping off the odd Mobility Scooter to organising respite holidays for our members who needed the break from caring for their loved ones. They have taken all these tasks in their stride and done an absolutely marvellous job. 

In addition Paul, his wife Susan and Alex, along with our hard working Secretary, Jim  Reynolds have been involved in the organisation of the Trusts’ annual holiday. The holiday, held again in Lytham St. Anne’s, at the Inn on the Prom, was a tremendous success and when I visited the hotel, all those I spoke to were extremely delighted with the facilities, the food, and the Staff.   Thanks also need to go to Bob Winterflood for all his help and assistance in organising the holiday and in helping to make it a great occasion.      

 Our holiday next year will again be at Lytham and we hope to secure the same hotel. Details of the arrangements will be released early next year, but the Hotel has already been provisionally booked for the 14th to the 20th of June.    
Can I just say as well, that the responsibility of the Lodge Almoners is to provide names of suitable members for the holiday and the final selection will be made in 2020 by the Secretary, the Provincial Almoner and the Care Officers.    

Our Almoners’ Lunch at Ainley Top in April this year welcomed over 170 guests and by and large the event was very successful. Our grateful thanks go out to W. Bro. Tony Hobson and our Secretary, W. Bro. Jim Reynolds for working so hard to make this event go so well.                     

On the 4th of November this year we will again be holding our Almoners’ Lunch at Tapton, and I would like to remind Almoners to return the completed forms they receive, back to their respective Cleeves and Whitehead Trust’s Charity Reps who will pass them on to Tony Hobson without delay.   A lot of time and effort goes into organising these Lunches and he needs plenty of time to ensure that everything is covered and the event goes well. Even if you have no one to propose, please let Tony know so it can be noted.

Following the Charity Stewards Workshops, held earlier this year, our Provincial Almoner has been holding Almoners Workshops. Two have been held so far and have been well attended. There remains two more, one at Brighouse on Tuesday the 10th September, and the final workshop , to be held at Wetherby on Saturday the 12th of October. Both will start at 10.30 am and usually finish around 12 .00 to 12.30pm.

If any of you are free for those dates and your interests lie in the welfare of our Brethren I strongly recommend that you attend at least one of them. Their content is diverse and interesting to say the least and I found the open forum at the end of each meeting to be lively and very informative.

Our Provincial Almoner has also been involved in helping to arrange and organise a fundamental change in the way that the Trust will care for our dependents in the future.

As you are aware, following the deaths of both Judith and Philip Mannthe Trustees were mindful that too much pressure would be put on the one remaining Care Officer, Mrs Liz Nowell. Attempts made to replace Judith were unsuccessful, until W. Bro. Alan Oldfield, our Deputy Provincial Grand Master, suggested approaching  West Riding Masonic Charities Limited [ W.R.M.C.L.] to enquire if the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust could use their Care and Support Officers on a “need to basis” taking some of the pressure of Liz Nowell.

Following approval from both Provincial Grand Masters , discussions took place to determine if this would be feasible and I’m delighted to say that the proposals were enthusiastically received by all parties involved in the talks.   

There are two Care and Support Officers,  Sharon Mees, who has already been introduced to you and  Elaine Dunwell who is on her holidays, as is our own Liz Nowell. The two C.S.O’ s are employed by C.H.O.I.C.E.S.an acronym standing for Charity Help Offering Independent Care and Effective Support and is a division of W.R.M.C.L.

These two ladies will, just as Judith, Freda and Liz have in the past, carry out tasks and visits as instructed and agreed by our Provincial Grand Almoner    W. Bro Paul Leach.

Full and further details will be passed on to all Lodge Almoners and their Lodge Secretaries by W. Bro Leach, who is the Trust’s designated Officer responsible for the scheme. This agreement will enable the West Yorkshire Province to maintain the high standards it now holds and for which it is well known for. And let me assure you that in no way will the position of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust or Members of our Province, be weakened or compromised. Indeed we envisage quite the opposite

The scheme is being run by the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust in conjunction with, and the very kind co-operation of both the W.R.M.C.L. and C.H.O.I.C.E.S who are more than happy to help and assist us in any way that they can and we appreciate that very much. 

It will in no way affect the present procedures Almoners now follow when requesting help from the Trust. Your first point of contact will always be our Provincial Grand Almoner.  

We’ve also seen a change to the Board of Trustees with Dr Andrew Wright retiring and Geoff Kendall being re-appointed to the Finance Committee.     

And I would like to thank those two colleagues for the work they have done for the Trust in the past, and, for one at least, for the work he will be doing in the future. 

I am also pleased to report that the Mark Benevolent Fund has been quite busy in our Province this year. In March, at our AGM, we all saw the Trust and the MBF present a Support Vehicle to the St. John Ambulance, which was enthusiastically received by them , and I am sure will be extremely useful.

In the near future, the MBF is to present a TECH TRUNK to Forget Me Not Children’s’ Hospice, in Huddersfield, an Hospice supported by the Lifelites Charity. This is part of a National Grant worth more than £140,000. 
The TRUNK contains nearly £8,000 worth of Hi Tech equipment such as i-Pads, virtual reality games and other electronic toys for use by the children. 

The P.G.M, the MBF and the C.W.T will be there for the presentation which will take place on the 26th of November.

Still to be arranged, the MBF are proposing to make a presentation to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance Service of a Rapid Response Vehicle at a value of around £32,000.00, for use in the event of the Helicopter ever being grounded. 

Locally the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust’s Grants Committee has been busy working in conjunction with the Provincial Almoner’s team providing financial support to them, to enable them to carry out their duties , and in addition, supporting many small charities, mainly involved with deprived and challenged youngsters.

You’ll also be pleased to know that our Treasurer advices me that the Trusts finances are in a healthy state but he will be telling you more of that himself in the next item on the Agenda.

And finally I would like to welcome W. Bro Paul Levy, our newest CharityRepresentative.  Paul replaces W. Bro. Paul Leach following his appointment to Provincial Grand Almoner. W. Bro. Levy will be covering Paul’s old patch in the Leeds Area. 

And I would like to wish him a long and happy association with us. 

Bro Vice President, you’ll be pleased to know that that now concludes my Half Yearly Report on behalf of the Cleeves and Whitehead Trust.

Thank You.