At a recent meeting at Cadogan Court, the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution Care Home situated near Exeter, The provincial Grand Master of Devonshire Rt. W. Bro. Ian Kingsbury JP met up with John Austin the Chairman of “Freedomwheels” an Exeter based disability transport service where he presented him with a cheque for £500 from the Devonshire Masonic Benevolent Fund. This will enable their organisation to continue the good work they do for the foreseeable future, this was in addition to an earlier cheque presented to them by the members of Davie Masonic Lodge who are based in Exeter for £200.

The request for help had been given by the Exeter & Topsham Masonic Widows association who rely heavily on the good work of Freedomwheels to enable their ladies to travel throughout the region and to their monthly meetings held at Cadogan Court without which they would be tied to their homes as some are disabled.

They had made the request after they discovered that Freedomwheels are not only searching for funds to provide a new bus but had also recently been subjected to a robbery from their storage yard leaving them in a desperate situation financially.

  1. Ian Kingsbury with the Exeter & Topsham Masonic Widows
  2. Ian Kingsbury & Maureen Scott Masonic Widows President
  3. Ian Kingsbury & John Austin Chairman of Freedomwheels

Exeter Disability Transport Service known as “Freedomwheels” was set up by Trevor Canham in 1982 with the aim of providing a transport service for the elderly & disabled in the Exeter area. The name freedomwheels was chosen as a measure of freedom is exactly what it gives its clients. Over the last 35 years they have carried over 250,000 passengers, taking them to hospital & doctor’s appointments, day trips, visits to day centres and many other social occasions. The staff at Freewheelers are proud of the fact that they do not just provide transport but equally important to them is the relationship and mutual regard felt between them and their passengers, as for many it is the only way they can leave their home environment and they establish such a rapport with their driver who are all volunteers that they become trusted friends.

John Austin Chairman of Freedom Wheels thanked Ian Kingsbury for the very generous cheque and commented that it will bring much needed relief in a period after the burglary where so much disruption had been caused. They are determined to be there for their clients for as long as they are needed.

Clive Eden.
Devonshire Masonic Communications Officer.