Prestonian Lecturers are invited to nominate one or more charities to support through the sale of books and donations from Lodges and individuals.
I selected two charities; a Scouting one and a Masonic one. Since 2012 my Prestonian Lecture and other talks has raised £80,769.76 for these causes.
My initial Scouting charity was The Scout Association’s (TSA) Archive Development Project. Between 2012 and the end of 2014 the lectureship donated £20,195 to TSA’s Archive Development Project, funding the entire cost of the installation of a climate control system to protect the archives and of the digitisation of the Baden-Powell archive.
Initially my Masonic charity was the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF). Between 2012 and the end of 2014, the lectureship raised £21,129 for the MSF and was the highest donor on the President’s List for the 2014 Derbyshire Festival in aid of the MSF.
At the end of 2014 I changed the focus of the fundraising.
Since then my Scouting charity has been The Scout Association’s Heritage Project. The UK Scout Association being the home of Scouting worldwide, this project aims to educate Scouts and the public about Scouting’s rich history and heritage. The lectureship funded the cost of installing nine outdoor heritage information panels around Gilwell Park, to educate visitors about Scouting and Gilwell’s rich history. It also made the first donation towards the building the National Museum of Scouting at Gilwell Park. See www.scouts.org.uk and heritage.scouts.org.uk.
From the beginning of 2015 until June 2017 the 2012 Prestonian Lecture raised money for the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB) and donated £8,064 to the final Festivals of the RMTGB.
In July 2017, following the consolidation of the four central Masonic charities into one organisation, I changed my Masonic charity to the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF).
The MCF is a grant making charity providing help for Freemasons, for families, for everyone – of all ages, from cradle to grave. It also makes significant financial grants to other charities to help people live happy, fulfilling lives and to participate actively in society. See www.mcf.org.uk.
How can you contribute?
You can make a personal donation to my JustGiving fundraising page, which is linked to a my Prestonian 2012 Relief Chest (E8001).
You can buy a 2012 Prestonian book.
You can donate as a Lodge, either by cheque to “The 2012 Prestonian Charity Fund” or using a Relief Chest transfer to the 2012 Prestonian Relief Chest, E8001.
How much has been raised?
To date (25th October 2020) my Prestonian fund has raised £95,303.37. After the costs of printing and postage (£9,438.91), £44,760.06 has been donated to Masonic charities and £34,395.00 to Scouting charities. The difference is due to the large number of online Masonic talks during Covid-19, resulting in donations from them going exclusively to the MCF, much of it to the Covid-19 Community Fund. A further £1,614.70 is awaited from resellers and the Everyday Hero & Just Giving fundraising pages.
I have sold 4,532 copies of the Prestonian Lecture book, necessitating three print runs.
In October 2020, I was told that the District Grand Lodge of South America Northern Division has set up a charity project following one of my talks. I will bring updates about this fantastic initiative as I receive them.