Over the past nine years the Furness and South Lakeland Group have provided stewards for the Brathay Windermere Marathon.
The event is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the race organisers: Brathay Trust. The trust has the motto ‘inspiring young people to succeed’ and has the mission to improve the life chances of children and young people by inspiring them to engage positively in their communities.
The group were first approached for the inaugural event in 2006 and each year since have provided around 60 volunteers to help with the event, principally on the western side of the lake from Hawkshead to Newby Bridge.
Regional charity steward Phil Preston observed: “This is an excellent example of Freemasons working in the community. It shows that it can be just as important to donate time as money.”
For the past six years Freemasons from the neighbouring Cumberland and Westmorland Province have put their local knowledge to good use by helping out on the eastern side of the lake.
During the nine years of the marathon Freemasons have volunteered over 4,320 hours of their time to support the Ambleside based trust. Something which is described by the trust in a recent press release as: “An astounding and impressive statistic representing personal time volunteered to provide refreshments, direction and moral support to the hundreds of runners on the demanding route around Windermere.”
Sarah Thompson, Brathay’s Fundraising and Volunteer Co-ordinator added: “The manpower they have provided is worth over £43,000 in financial terms. However, they bring something even more important. Both groups of Freemasons are fantastic marshalls bringing bags of commitment, knowledge and experience in ensuring we keep the runners and supporters safe.”
An event the size of the Brathay Windermere Marathon cannot take place without the input from a large number of willing workers and the relationship between the Brathay Trust and the Furness and South Lakeland Group will no doubt flourish for many years to ensure that the trust can continue in their very worthy endeavours.