Craft News

Old Northamptonian Lodge No. 5694 have raised over £5,000 for the Northampton Saints Wheelchair Rugby Club.

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They need funds to help pay for their training and match facility at the Kettering Leisure Village, which has increased by almost £2000 a year. It is the only place they can play and train as they need a full-size Basketball court with space at the side to accommodate their wheelchairs etc. The club does not have this sort of funds available and unless they could find a sponsor it was possible the club would have to fold.

 Hearing of their plight VWBro Trevor Boswell set this up as a community project for Old Northamptonians, with the main fundraising event being a Race Night held on Saturday 15 April 2024 at the Griggs Centre, Sheaf Close, Northampton which was a very enjoyable evening attended by over one hundred people.

 A number of lodges answered Trevor's request to donate money to sponsor a race; ONs, Webb Ellis, Eleanor Cross, Palmer Lodge of Provincial Stewards, Simon De St Liz Lodge of Mark Master Masons, Salcey Forest, Anglo Scottish, Kingsley Lodge & Kingsley Chapter, the Chapter of Installed First Principals, Grand Junction and the Square and Compass Club.

 VWBro Trevor said "I am delighted to say that through the generosity of a number of lodges, chapters, clubs, and a significant contribution from the NH Lodge of Installed Masters via Provincial Grand Charity, we have raised in excess of £5000. This means that not only are they secure for the next year, but we have also helped them to be able to plan the year ahead and look to the future."

 The captain of Northampton Saints Wheelchair Rugby Club, Bro Gerry McCrory of Old Northamptonian Lodge, thanked the race goers at the evening for their support. A former Ulster rugby player, Gerry explained how the club played a massive part in his recovery, especially mentally and how it is so much more than a sports team, in what it does for players' general well being and sense of worth. He became emotional when he said that one player says it saved his life, when he was having suicidal thoughts having lost a leg, but the club gave him purpose and he was able to meet with people who had had similar experiences and could empathise and support him. The club is not just about the first team, it provides coaching and playing opportunities for all, including women and has a youth section for those aged 7-17.

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One of the raffle prizes was a wheelchair rugby session for ten people, which was perhaps fittingly won by WBro Barry Howard, the then Worshipful Master of Webb Ellis Lodge 9740. He is hoping to recruit some fellow Grand Officers, Lodge members and perhaps even some of the Provincial Executive for the visit, which as well as an opportunity to discover what a dangerous sport it can be, it will also be a wonderful opportunity of seeing at first hand the wonderful work the club does, which freemasonry has so crucially supported.

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