£1,000 donation by Upminster based Freemasons to help RSPCA to carry on with vital work.

Urgently needed funding to support the RSPCA in Havering and Harold Hill has been given a boost by St Laurence Lodge as part of an Essex wide community initiative to support hundreds of different charities. Members of St Laurence Lodge, which meets at the Square in Deyncourt Gardens, have donated £1,000 to the charity, which is dedicated to helping animals that have suffered through cruelty or neglect. The £1,000, half of which came directly from members of St Laurence Lodge with the balance made up with a grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, will help the RSPCA to continue its vital work.

“The £1,000 is very welcome,” said Acting Chief Inspector Clare Dew. “Covid-19 has significantly affected our funding but our workload has sadly remained the same. All donations are very welcome and we are very grateful to the members of St Laurence Lodge for thinking of us – especially at this very difficult time.”

Although the money has been directed to the Havering and Harold Hill branch of the RSPCA, the local unit has now had to close down after facing a dramatic increase in rent for their premises, which was based in Chippenham Road, Romford. The area is now being covered by other teams from Essex and London.

“St Laurence Lodge is very much part of the local Havering Community and this is the kind of charity that makes a real difference,” said Reiss Duthie, the Lodge’s Worshipful Master. “It is something our members have wanted to support and I am delighted we can make a difference.”

The Essex Freemasons Community Fund which match funded the donation from St Laurence Lodge was set up to support projects such as the RSPCA. Peter Hollingsworth, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, explained: “There are hundreds of small charities like this in every part of the County. They are vital to the needs of the local community and this is where we are trying to aim our support. “The work of the RSPCA cannot be underestimated, particularly in these difficult times and I am pleased it has the support of our members.”

The Essex Freemasons Community Fund is expecting to make donations of nearly £90,000 to local charities in 2020 in addition to nearly £1 million which will be given separately by more than 300 Lodges across the county