royal deaf schoolWhilst on a visit to the House of Lords Ian Kingsbury JP., the Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire Freemasons, was inspired by a presentation given by Steve Morton, Director of Development for the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education, outlining the Academy’s aims and development plans for the future academy which is to be relocated to a new site in Exmouth - so much so that he came back to Devonshire with the desire to help those who are affected by this very difficult sensory disability.

To this end he approached the Devonshire Freemasons Benevolent Fund Committee for help, and they immediately responded by giving him a cheque for £5000.

Last week, accompanied by Dr Reuben Ayres - the Devonshire Provincial Grand Charity Steward - Ian paid a visit to the school which is currently based in Topsham Road Exeter. Here he met up again with Steve Morton and Appeals Manager Sarah Shaw and presented them with the cheque to be used to purchase play, sports and electronic equipment which can immediately benefit the students and can also be transferred to the new school when the time is right.

The Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education has been located in Exeter for over 190 years and the current location is a property purchased many years ago which is no longer fit for the needs of the deaf students. The property and the land has now been sold and the proceeds will partially fund the new academy which is being been built with all the latest facilities available to the architects, to give the students what they really require.

All the students have additional needs, including multi-sensory disabilities, autism, epilepsy, and physical disabilities which is why, when designing the new building so much thought has gone in to making each part of the facility user friendly. It is planned that completion of the new building will be within 18 months from now.

When presenting the cheque Rt. W. Bro. Ian Kingsbury JP said:

“Young people all need us to be there to help them grow for the future, none more so than those with a lack of hearing who are denied the normal things that we take so much for granted in the world we live in.”

When receiving the cheque Steve Morton said:

“One of the most important things we give to our young people is the gift of confidence, confidence to achieve whatever they wish to in life and to have pride in who they are. Donations enable us to provide our staff and students with the tools to succeed, but a gift, particularly one from such a well respected source, tells our students that others have confidence in them too. This is invaluable and on their behalf I sincerely thank the Provincial Grand Lodge of Devonshire.”