Charity’s vital premises move is a step closer thanks to generous donation from Freemasons
A charity’s plan to double the number of people it can help face-to-face has been given a big boost thanks to a donation from the Freemasons.
Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire has received a £1,000 donation from the members of Lyegrove Lodge No 7890 in Chipping Sodbury which will go towards its new premises appeal.
The charity is due to move to a larger premises this year in order to double the space available to see clients face-to-face as well as increased space for Volunteers and Staff.
This is desperately needed at a time when more people than ever before are coming to the charity for help – particularly in relation to cost-of-living problems.
The charity helped more than 6,300 people in 2023 – its largest number of clients on record, and a 20 per cent increase on the previous year.
Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire is a local, independent charity which provides free, confidential and impartial advice to anyone who needs it in South Gloucestershire.
It runs face-to-face open-door sessions in Yate, Cadbury Heath, Stoke Gifford, Thornbury, Bradley Stoke and Emersons Green as well as operating a free Adviceline telephone service.
The charity also runs projects specifically helping food bank users and those who have been referred by professionals at their GP practice.
As is the case with every Freemasons Lodge worldwide, during each lodge meeting a collection is made from the members for donations to charities and from time to time, the lodge members decide which charities will benefit from this.
Members of Lyegrove Lodge voted to donate the money to Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire’s fundraising appeal after looking for a local cause that would help people directly in South Gloucestershire.
The Lodge’s Immediate Past Master Chris Cooper, his wife Edna, a former Volunteer Adviser for the charity, and Roger Tingay, Charity Steward of the Lodge, visited the charity recently (Jan 10) to present the cheque and find out more about the charity’s work.
Mr Cooper: “We wanted to support Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire because of the many local people it helps.”
He said the charity’s status as a foodbank referrer and debt advice provider was a big factor in the lodge’s choice.
He said the donation tied in with the second of the three core principles of the Freemasons – Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
Mr Tingay said: “The main idea was that we want to support a local cause rather than a nationwide cause, where the money would just go into a vast pot somewhere. We wanted to look where there was a real need for money.”
How the money will help
The £1,000 donation will go to the charity’s premises fundraising appeal, meaning it will be used to fund costs such as:
- partition walls for eight new advice rooms, reception area and desk spaces
- signage for our building to be visible from the road and trains at Yate Railway Station
Rebecca Brown, Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire’s Development Manager, said: “We are very grateful to the members of Lyegrove Lodge for this fantastic donation towards our cause.
“It moves us a step closer to reaching our goal of creating a new home for our charity that will be big enough to meet our client’s needs.
“We’re seeing more and more local people desperately in need of help from our Advisers – and our current premises is simply too small to allow us to keep up with the growing demand.
“We would encourage any other individuals or businesses considering making a donation to our appeal to please do so as it will mean we can provide an even better service for people in South Gloucestershire.”
Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire needs to raise £80,000 in order to help fund the renovation of the new premises.
More information about the appeal and how to donate can be found at: https://www.southgloscab.org.uk/get-involved/donatetoday/our-premises-appeal/
Anyone in South Gloucestershire seeking free, independent, impartial and confidential advice from Citizens Advice South Gloucestershire can call 0808 278 7947.
The charity’s opening times and contact details are available at: www.southgloscab.org.uk/get-advice/visit-us/