The 33RD Christmas Tree Appeal - Supported Charities



Date: - 20th February 2021

To: - All the Brethren of the Province of Bristol

Before we give you the list of organisations we have supported this year we would ask you to appreciate what has always been our mandate when considering who we should support and to whom we should make donations.

Our initial target group were “Victims of Domestic Abuse and their Families” also as a peripheral group we were prepared to make donations to Charities who had the Welfare of Children as their main aim.

We mention this because quite a lot of who we have supported has been the likes of Children’s Hospices and Charities who support “terminal ill children”. In the 33 years we have been doing the Appeal we have supported Charities like CLIC (well before CLIC Sargent was formed), ERIC and NACOA both very small Bristol based Charities who are now National. A lot of the Charities we support are ones where Members of the Province have either recommended them contact us or the Members themselves have suggested to us, that we contact them.

This is the list of Charities and Organisations we have supported with the 33rd Appeal. (Those in red are the ones we would normally support with toys, clothing, toiletries etc. this year it was financial donations, mostly vouchers and toiletries)

NEXT LINK - As the Domestic Abuse Charities Scene changes each year, depending on local authority policy’s we have to, change also. We go from supporting six units in Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and Somerset to supporting the whole area through Next Link who have become one big unit. So, most of what we would have given to six outlets, we now give to one, who then distribute it through its outreach workers. It has meant that the Refuges covering our main area are serviced from one central point. The Refuges on the Mendips and in Yeovil which we have supported for years now come under other Local Authorities and are looked after by South Somerset, and Devon. As well as receiving a very substantial financial donation Next Link have also received few large containers of toiletries, so no one has missed out

STROUD WOMENS AID – We have supported them for about thirty years in their different guises

CORSHAM WOMENS AID – Very much the same as Stroud. They work, closely with other groups to take victims of one area and into another for safety. Also like Stroud having a refuge well as working with “outreach workers and the police”.

BRISTOL CITY COUNCIL FAMILY SERVICES. – We work with the three regional centres which are in ST. PAUL (mainly covering the Central Area) another in HARTCLIFFE (covering that area and the south of the City) and a further one in Lawrence Weston (covering that area and the North of the City). These units also have a lot of outreach workers going into the community.

CAHA WOMENS AID and PLAS BELYN WOMENS AID AND YOUNG HOMELESS FAMILY REFUGE are historically two places we have supported in a smaller way for years. They are both just across the Border in Wales and take victims of domestic abuse etc, who need to get away, from our side.

MANOR HOUSE in Frenchay is a very special school, for very special pupils who again, we have supported for years. They really love the big teddy bears etc.

For many years we were helping out centres in Weston Super Mare, Yate, Kingswood, The Mendips and even down to Yeovil. This was mainly because one “Refuge”” would be passing on victims for safety reasons to another “Refuge”. However, with Local Authority funding getting scarcer a lot have amalgamated and although we are now physically going to fewer places we are dealing with more and more victims.

The following we donate to in a financial way and a lot of them you will know well; all have received substantial cheques which during these difficult times have been very gratefully received.

Children’s Hospice South West. We have supported them for 30 years, ever since they decided to build a Hospice in the Bristol Area.

NACOA – National Association of Children of Alcoholics. Started in Bristol in a very small way in 1990 and we have been supporting them ever since. This is a major cause of Domestic Abuse.

ERIC - The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity. Bedwetting is one of the biggest causes of child abuse. Again started in Bristol and we have supported them right from the start, in 1990.

SCARF – SKIN CANCER RESEARCH FUND. Recommended by the lovely Late Dr. Richard Hayes way back, it is one of the smaller Bristol Charities who work with both Children and Adults. Based at Southmead

CLIC SARGENT – Another Bristol based Charity which of course has now become a worldwide Charity in this particular field. We have supported them from the day The Late Bob Woodward founded CLIC. 

The COMFORT FUND – A small Bristol Charity which gives support to sufferers and families of sufferers of Cystic Fibrosis and have close ties to the NHS and the Bristol Hospitals.

JESSIE MAY – CHILDRENS HOSPICE AT HOME – Another Bristol Children’s Charity which does a fantastic job and are a very popular charity within the Province but could always do with more support.

BARNARDO’S – Although not the Dr. Barnardo’s most of us older Masons know, it has changed into a charity which is looking after children, young people and families who are vulnerable and at risk from sexual violence and other related matters.

BRANDON TRUST – A learning disability charity who are finding it very difficult to survive during the present pandemic but are so desperate to help with life changing experiences for disabled youngsters.

STARLIGHTS – A national charity who assist with not only giving terminally ill children hopefully, life enhancing experiences but also providing Children’s Hospitals with much needed items they cannot afford but which just make things better. Very big supporters of The Bristol Children’s Hospital.

LIFELITES – Very similar to the above but this is the Freemasons own Charity and works out of Great Queen’s Street. It is only right we as Masons should make a contribution, they do a great job.

If you know of a Charity (or even a good cause) you think we can help, please let me know. Barnardo’s was such a case this Christmas. Call came through on the 17th and they had their donation on the 23rd

I am sorry this is rather lengthy but without you, we would not be able to do what we do, and you have every right to know what we are doing with the money and goods you so generously donate

From all the above THANK YOU ALL SO VERY MUCH

Tony Rance

W.Bro. Tony Rance

Christmas Tree Appeal Organiser