A CHARITY been given thousands of pounds by an organisation to help make end of life care more accessible to all communities and cultures.

St Helena Hospice, which operates in Colchester and Tendring, has received a whopping £31,000 in donations from the Essex Freemasons.

The impressive windfall has been raised by the group’s Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is used to help non-profit organisations and projects.

The money will primarily be used to help St Helena Hospice reach more communities which do not traditionally access hospice care.

It is hoped the charity can use the funds to develop a better understanding of how its services can adapt in order to meet different cultural needs.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

Through initiatives funded by the donation, the hospice will also build relationships with those from Black, Asian, minority ethnic and deprived communities.

For the collaborative project, the hospice will be working with Community 360, Community Voluntary Services Tendring and the Essex Faith Covenant.

Two social prescribers will also be employed and to work specifically within local communities, supporting families and their carers at end of life.

Nicola Button, head of partnerships at St Helena, hopes the initiative will help all communities to benefit from the services the charity offers.

She said: “The number of patients from BAME and deprived communities accessing end of life support is lower than other sectors of the community.

“We need to address this matter and improve outcomes for people living in communities who do not traditionally access hospice care.

“This means working with community leaders and healthcare professionals to ensure they are more aware of the support we can offer.

“We will also be looking at ways the hospice must adapt to meet the needs of the whole community - this grant from Essex Freemasons will enable us to do this.”

The Essex Freemasons’ £31,000 donation to St Helena is part of a £450,000 package of support for hospices across the country from the Masonic Charitable Foundation.

So far, roughly £100,000 of that large financial pot has been awarded to supporting hospice services operating throughout the county.

Peter Hollingsworth, Essex Freemasons’ assistant provincial Grand Master said: “Our members have traditionally supported hospices in every part of the county for years.

“We are delighted that once again we can make a difference for St Helena and the people of Colchester and Tendring.

“Freemasons are very much part of the local community and this is another way of saying thank you to the team at St Helena who do so much good work.

“We wish them every success with this latest initiative and are glad that this grant has made a difference.”