• Ian Slesser

Supporting children who have fled from violence

Warwickshire Craft and Royal Arch Masons have combined their efforts in supporting hundreds of children stuck in emergency accommodation in Birmingham whilst fleeing violence at home. They will receive a little extra help as we were able to donate £7,500 to the Buddy Bag Foundation, which provides back packs filled with home comforts to children forced into hotels and B&Bs by domestic violence.

The ProvGM with Buddy Bags ready to go

The foundation recently issued a challenge to businesses across the Midlands to help pack 30 bags each after it emerged that hundreds of children had been stuck in temporary accommodation for months amid the coronavirus crisis. A rise in domestic violence means that refuges are full and the only alternative is to put families up in hotels and B&Bs.


The Provincial Grand Charity Steward, W Bro Geoff Walker and the Royal Arch Provincial Grand Almoner, Excellent Companion Rod Hinton heard that are many children who face spending Christmas in temporary accommodation.


With the agreement from the Provincial Grand Master / Provincial Grand Superintendent RW Bro Philip Hall and the Trustees we were able to donate £7.500 for Buddy Bags, enough money to fund 300 bags, along with 350 Teddies, saving the organisation another £1,200.

Karen Williams, CEO of the Buddy Bag Foundation, said she was delighted with the donation,“It is beyond our wildest dreams,” she said. “This means we can help as many children as possible, and all in time for Christmas.” Karen said some of the bags had already been handed over to Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid who would be distributing them to children affected.
W Bro Howard Smith, RW Bro Philip Hall, Karen Williams and E Comp Rod Hinton

RW Bro Philip Hall Provincial Grand Master / Provincial Grand Superintendent presented the cheque, also in attendance Assistant Provincial Grand Master, W Bro Howard Smith & Provincial Grand Chapter Almoner, E Comp Rod Hinton.


We had a wonderful experience in helping to fill the bags, which is an experience that can be shared by us all.


The Buddy Bag Foundation was founded in 2014 and since then it has provided almost 30,000 bags to children fleeing violent situations. The charity provides back packs filled with home comforts and treats to help offer a little support to children fleeing domestic violence.


E Comp Rod Hinton PGA


Thanks to your individual support to the Warwickshire Royal Arch Benevolent Fund and Warwickshire Charitable Association we were able to give a generous donation

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