The Masonic Charitable Foundation combined with the Devonshire freemasons have recently given a £3,500 grant to the Devon Link-Up Organisation and R.W. Bro. Ian Kingsbury, The Provincial Grand Master of Devonshire, recently went to meet their committee and members of the groups they aim to help and support, to present them with a certificate to commemorate the association between the two organisations.
Devon Link-Up are a service user-led organisation for people with learning difficulties and Autism who live in Devon, their aim is to give voices and choices to their members regarding issues that affect their daily lives. ‘Speaking Up’ groups meet monthly in Newton Abbot, Exmouth, Honiton, Ottery St. Mary, Torbay, Kingsbridge & Plymouth with the aim of giving people the opportunity to not only discuss current issues and get involved with consultation and engagement but also to enjoy the social atmosphere created by skittles, walking, quiz & cinema evenings as well as art, music, physical activity and chat.
Devon Link-Up also work with other organisations including Healthwatch Devon and Devon & Cornwall Police. Devon Link Up has been working with SAFE, another organisation that recently received financial support from the Devon Freemasons, to develop specialist services for women with learning disabilities who experienced domestic abuse.
When presenting the certificate to Julie Gilpin the Chair of the Trustees of Devon Link-Up Ian Kingsbury said
“the need to support an organisation that supports people with learning disabilities to have a voice is of paramount importance and has a natural blend with the morals and disciplines which are at the roots of Freemasonry.”
Julie Gilpin replied,
“We would like to say a big thank you to the Devon Freemasons. As a small charity we are dependent on the support that we receive from donors. The money given so generously by the Freemasons will be used to ensure that adults with a learning disability continue to have a representative voice and are able to influence matters that impact on their lives.”