After the Ormskirk and Bootle Group’s delivery to the Digmore Foodbank in December, a few members of Aughton Lodge No 7996 were given the opportunity of a guided tour of the building, where they gained a better understanding of the work the Digmoor staff do. Also, the desperate needs of some unfortunate members of our community and the excellent assistance the foodbank provides.
During our tour of the building, Margaret Highton, who founded the foodbank some 20 years ago, mentioned that their freezer, which was second hand when they received it, was well past its sell by date and not fit for purpose. One of the main problems was maintaining the shelf life of the fresh produce, some of which needed freezing.
Margaret explained that due to problems with the existing freezer, plus its capacity, the foodbank actually had to convert some of the fresh food produce they had into meals, thus preventing it being wasted. That was all she needed to say, as John Wootton of Aughton Lodge picked up on her comments.
During the lodge’s regular weekly Zoom meeting the following day, John raised the matter of the freezer and it was unanimously agreed by the lodge members to assist in the purchase of a new freezer for the foodbank. Within two days the freezer was sourced and purchased, at a cost of £875, including delivery. After explaining to the company the reason for buying the freezer they kindly upgraded it to a more expensive stainless-steel model for the same price. A new 600 litre plus upright freezer was delivered, which added to the very generous donations Aughton Lodge had previously made to the foodbank.
Margaret said: “I am utterly amazed and overwhelmed with what the West Lancashire Freemasons, and Aughton Lodge in particular, have done. I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Their donations have been beyond my wildest dreams, and now donating and presenting this freezer which is a beast, is a marvellous gesture. It will make a massive difference and improvement in what we can offer to many families. On behalf of everyone who relies on us, may I say a huge thank you from each and every one of them.”
Malcolm Sandywell Ormskirk and Bootle Group Charity Steward, and the current WM of Aughton Lodge, said: “Aughton Lodge as always, have gone the extra mile in helping to deliver not just the Provincial initiative, which was launched by the Provincial Grand Master, but by providing a long-term solution to benefit the many people who rely on the excellent services the Digmoor Community Hub provides. Throughout 2021, what for many will be a very difficult year in respect of employment, foodbanks may become an ever present in their lives. It can only be hoped that the individual lodges and chapters within all of the groups continue their support of the various foodbanks, and just entering into dialogue with the staff, soon highlights the essential items that can be easily forgotten when donations are being considered.”
So, on 4 January, Malcolm Sandywell, Ian Tupling and John Wootton visited the Digmoor Community Hub, to officially present the freezer and a cheque for £100 on behalf of Aughton Lodge, to enable Margaret and her staff to fill the freezer, which is already being fully utilised.