Home Charity Victory Lodge Helps with Loose Ends at Christmas

Victory Lodge Helps with Loose Ends at Christmas

by Peter Wells

The Victory Lodge, who meet at Newbury, have made a generous donation of £2,000 to Loose Ends.  A Newbury-based charity that provides a drop in place for the vulnerable and homeless facility for adults in Newbury and local areas.  A hot meal is available and a warm welcome guaranteed.  Berkshire’s Freemasons are active in their communities and their members are usually drawn from the local areas. 

When Nicola and Lee Farmer were looking for a suitable Charity to raise funds for, they stayed local to Newbury.  Lee was to be the ‘Master’ of the Lodge for a year and he and his wife Nicola were impressed with the ethos and locally targeted aid offered to vulnerable adults of Newbury by Loose Ends.

The Charity was founded in May 1990 and has grown from providing just a sandwich lunch on Sundays.  To now operating five days a week, with hot food and other facilities on offer.  For more details about Loose Ends please visit their website https://www.looseendsnewbury.org

In September, a Ladies Festival was held where members, their friends and guests are invited to a formal dinner and evening of music and fundraising efforts.  The families and guests of Victory Lodge were very generous in their support of both Nicola, Lee and their choice of Charity.  

Just this week, the week before Christmas, it was time to present the donation to the Loose Ends.  Nicola and Lee attended Loose Ends base at Newbury Cricket Club to handover the funds and find out more about what the money would be used for.  The base is just a short walk from Newbury High Street, to ensure it remains accessible to those in need. 

Picture shows Lee Farmer handing over the cheque to Diana Lacey, Chair, and Ian Nichol, Treasurer, outside Newbury Cricket Club where Loose Ends is based.

Diana became involved with the Charity as previously working as an NHS Senior Executive in London, it left her wanting to be involved more locally and be ‘hands on’ with helping.  Ian told how he’d been introduced to Loose Ends when a neighbour was retiring and that neighbour was also the Treasurer of the Charity.  He finds that his Treasurer role is a really good use of his time and offered the opportunity to help the community he lives in.

It was explained that the donation from the Berkshire Freemasons of Victory Lodge would translate into three months of operating their service over Christmas and into the New Year.  Given the winter, rising operating costs, Christmas and New Year pressures felt by the vulnerable, this is a valuable and very welcome gift from the Freemasons of Newbury.  Our vulnerable clients’ needs are increasing, whilst we are not alone in the Charity sector, finding that our income has been reducing at the same time.  We would welcome help in many forms from people or organisations who would like to help us.  Our website has details of how people can make that step, in any form, really making a difference in Newbury. 

Loose Ends

Loose Ends Newbury has been running for 30 years, founded in May 1990, and is run entirely by volunteers. It’s unique because it’s not only food they provide, but there is a social element with the clients.  It’s a warm, safe place, they can interact with each other and our volunteers.  We get to know them. It’s less transactional than a food bank. We also provide warm clothing, small food parcels, personal hygiene products. Loose Ends also signposts clients to other charities and volunteer groups that can help with issues. And provide, on Mondays, an after-school club for vulnerable families.  So, they can get a hot after school meal.  Loose Ends Newbury really is for everyone. https://www.looseendsnewbury.org

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