The Wakefield Lodge of Freemasons have enabled the charity, Open Country, to fund the purchase a custom-built tandem – a bicycle made for two – by making a successful bid for a grant in the last round of applications to the West Riding Masonic Community Fund.
Open Country’s aim is to improve the health and wellbeing of disabled people by providing a variety of weekly outdoor activities, including walking, cycling, conservation, nature study and outings. They have years of experience of providing meaningful activities and now work with over 140 disabled service users (members) and some 60 volunteers who are the life blood of the charity.
Only four in 10 (42 per cent) disabled people feel they have the opportunity to be as active as they want to be, compared to 69 per cent of non-disabled people.
The Tandem club is one of Open Country’s most popular activities, repeatedly oversubscribed, so this season, thanks to the grant their Wakefield project, can run two weekly clubs.
David Gordon, Worshipful Master of The Wakefield Lodge, said:
‘We were delighted to be approached by Open Country for assistance in continuing their valuable mental health and well-being support work within our community and our charity member, John Bailey, quickly gathered the necessary information to enable the Lodge to make a successful application to the West Yorkshire Masonic Community Fund.
We and the West Yorkshire Masonic Community Fund are always happy to consider requests from suitable organisations for help whether financial or practical and we welcome these approaches which enable local Freemasons to make a positive contribution to their community.’
Open Country Countryside Activities Officer Beth Atkin said:
‘Everyone at Open Country is delighted with our superb new tandem.
It is now being enjoyed by lots of our ‘pilots’ and ‘stokers’ on our twice weekly rides and will help people to enjoy the outdoors for many years to come.’
The Wakefield Lodge No.495 became aware of Open Country’s needs when the charity contacted them through the lodge web site.
The Lodge provided support to the charity when they were completing their application to the West Riding Masonic Community Fund and, at the same time, discovered that they were looking to replace a worn-out lap top computer.
Fortunately, one of the lodge brethren had a lap top he could spare and has had it re-conditioned. It will be presented to the charity very soon.