The Charity Steward of the Parrett & Axe Chapter No.814, who meet at Crewkerne, identified that they had accumulated monies in the Charity account and the Companions decided that they would like to support the Somerset Levels appeal, the Royal College of Surgeons Provincial Chapter appeal and the Musgrove hospital Beacon Cancer Centre. This year Somerset is hosting the 2014 Masonic Annual Charity Event (MACE)
This event is being supported by Nineteen Provinces, from as far afield as Lancashire and Cornwall which will take part in this prestigious bowls competition. Each year the home province nominate a charity and Somerset have chosen the ‘Beacon Cancer Centre’ at Taunton and so it was agreed that 814 would make their donation through this appeal.
Musgrove Park Hospital’s Beacon Centre opened for patients in May 2009. It means that approximately 1200 cancer patients each year will no longer need to travel the long distance to Bristol for their radiotherapy treatment.
The Centre has:
· 3 linear accelerators (machines that deliver radiotherapy treatment)
· a CT simulator (funded by SURE)
· an 14 bed inpatient ward
· a 22 chair/bed day unit delivering chemotherapy and other supportive treatments
· outpatient and complementary therapy facilities
· Café area.
It has made Musgrove Park Hospital, run by Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, a centre of excellence in the delivery of cancer treatments for the people of Somerset.
Until the opening of the Beacon Centre local patients had to travel to Bristol for their radiotherapy and some chemotherapy treatments. This is a return a journey of up to 150 miles for some patients. Radiotherapy is often given on a daily basis for several weeks. These donations will assist them to further equip and improve the equipment within the Centre.
At the Annual Convocation of Somerset Royal Arch the Companions seen presenting the cheque for £500 are the Scribe E, E Comp David Wakely, the First Principal, E Comp Chris Weatherill, the Second Principal, E Comp Norman Sumpter, along with E Comp, Ian Pamplin and E Comp Ivor Pettitt.