A meeting of the Ormskirk Group almoners was held in the Arthur Stanley Room at Ormskirk Masonic Hall. It was an opportunity for all the almoners to receive an explanation of the new care structure and their role within it.
The deputy to the Provincial Grand Almoner Paul Webster was in attendance, together with Derek Midgley who is the pastoral care officer for the Southport and Ormskirk Groups, Eric Binks the admin care officer for the Southport and Ormskirk post code areas and Tom Bradfield-Kay who is the admin and PR care officer for the Southport, Ormskirk and Bootle areas.
Also in attendance were Ormskirk Group Chairman Frank Umbers, the vice chairman Stephen Brereton and the group secretary Malcolm Alexander.
There was an excellent 95% turnout of the lodge and chapter almoners from the Ormskirk Group, with only one lodge not represented. In addition there was a visiting almoner from the Southport Group and one assistant to the almoner present, making a total of 24 brethren and companions.
The new almoners within the group were introduced, Tom McKenzie (Arthur Stanley No 3469), Keith Murden (Lodge of Chivalry No 3974), John Thompson (Standish Lodge No 4955), Tom Ryding (Tarleton Lodge No 7871) and Jim Holt (Vale of Skelmersdale No 8719).
Frank welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked them for the excellent support to what would be a very important meeting advising everyone of the recent changes in the new care system. He then handed over to Paul Webster who introduced the three members of the care team, saying that Derek Midgley would be the first point of contact with all the lodge and chapter almoners within the Ormskirk Group regarding potential new applicants for Masonic assistance. He will direct them on to the appropriate admin care officer for each particular post code area. Derek will keep the almoners updated on any changes as they arise and provide assistance to them whenever needed. He will also keep the group chairman updated on news from the care team and the charities.
Eric Binks would deal with all applications for Masonic assistance and subsequent re-applications within the PR8, PR9, L39 and L40 post code areas. Tom Bradfield-Kay would assist the admin care officers covering the Southport, Ormskirk and Bootle areas as required and would deliver the new charity presentation video to any meetings when requested in these areas.
Paul then introduced a very enlightening and informative new care presentation video which featured the Provincial Grand Almoner Ernie Greenhalgh, explaining the work of each of the charities and the recent changes being made to the care structure, together with contributions from Esther Rantzen and the Provincial Grand Master Tony Harrison. He followed this by explaining in more detail some of the recent changes.
Derek then continued with other advice and guidance which particularly related to the lodge and chapter almoners and this was followed by a very interesting question and answer session.
The meeting was concluded by Frank, thanking all the almoners for their hard work and the care team for an excellent and productive meeting.