Young Freemasons' Youth Programme Benefits Local School

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The Essex Cornerstone continues to lead the way, supporting a growing range of good causes across the county with a youth programme focussed on local charities dedicated to helping young people and children in need.

Last year the Essex Cornerstone started a scheme to supply NHS hospital wards with iPad/tablet devices to allow patients to communicate with their relatives whilst patient visiting has been restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The success of this scheme led many other Provinces to take up the challenge as well.

Following this success, at the start of the second COVID-19 peak, with schools closing, we were approached by W.Bro Henry Bass to see if we could help support his local school, Templars Academy in Witham, to provide computers to help support home learning.

Ten months after the first national lockdown, with schools across England once again closed due to the pandemic, it is clear that many students still do not have access to a computer, laptop or data.

The Essex Cornerstone rose to the challenge and quickly provided the school with 10 laptops.

Cornerstone Chairman Dr Jack Gilliland commented “We are delighted to have been able to provide support to Templars Academy, and know that the laptops we have donated will help school children access online learning during the lockdown. Being able to provide this support at a time of need harmonises with the ethos of the Essex Cornerstone supporting young people”.

Quotes from the School

Miss Victoria Gooding, Head of School, Templars Academy, “The laptops that were very generously donated to Templars Academy will without doubt support our families to access online learning. Families are struggling at the moment; without adequate or sufficient access to technology, some families have either no way of accessing the live or recorded lessons and the learning that is set on a daily basis. Some of our families are working from printed copies of work because of this, but the laptops being given to them will enable them to easily log-on and use Microsoft Teams or access the school website. The laptops also support our families who have many siblings. Again, we are very grateful for how this provides learning opportunities for our students who are most disadvantaged.”

Faye Welsher, MAT Safeguarding Lead and Family Liaison Officer Templars Academy, “I just wanted to put in writing a huge thank you for the generous gift of the laptops. We have identified specific children that will hugely benefit from this.  The families are completely overwhelmed and grateful”.

Jane Bass, “Can I also, as CEO of Connected Learning MAT, the Academy Trust, of which Templars is a member school, say a big thank you for your generous gift of laptops. For pupils of the school, who do not access to IT devices whilst trying to learn at home, these will make such a difference to their learning”.

Braham Djidjelli

Deputy Group Communications Officer
Provincial Grand Lodge of Essex