Patients receive £20,000 birthday present from Cheshire Freemasons

Stephen Blank from Cheshire Freemasons hands over the cheque to St Ann's chief executive Eamonn O'Neal

Patients at St Ann’s Hospice are to get more comfy high-tech beds as part of a special birthday present from Cheshire Freemasons.

St Ann’s, with wards in Heald Green in Stockport and Little Hulton in Salford, is set to receive £20,000 from a £500,000 fund the Freemasons are donating to charities across Cheshire to celebrate the 300th year of Freemasonry.

The birthday money will be spent on pneumatic mattresses that help the hospice to meet the individual needs of patients, allowing fine adjustments that bring greater comfort and relief from symptoms.

Although the special mattresses are expensive, this latest donation has enabled St Ann’s to increase the number t of high-tech beds to 44 over the past two years.

Cheshire Freemasons

Eamonn O’Neal, chief executive of St Ann’s Hospice, said: “We’re enormously grateful to Cheshire Freemasonry for their generosity, which has enabled us to purchase these specialist mattresses for our patients.

“Local people often come to us for help managing their symptoms, or for specialist end-of-life care, and these new mattresses will help us to make their experience at the hospice even more comfortable.

“We’d like to say thanks on behalf of our patients and wish the Freemasons a very happy tercentenary.”

St Ann’s Hospice provides care and support to thousands of people around Greater Manchester and Cheshire with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses every year.

The charity operates from three sites in Little Hulton, Heald Green and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital, while also providing care for people in their own homes.

The Provincial Grand Master of Cheshire Freemasons, accountant Stephen Blank from Altrincham, said: “This gift comes from funds provided by more than 5,000 Freemasons from across Cheshire.

“They are ordinary family men who regularly donate out of their own pockets to worthy charitable causes such as St Ann’s Hospice, which does tremendous work in the community and stands as a beacon of help and support for local people when most in need.

“I can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 300th anniversary than giving support to a hospice like St Ann’s, which cares so well for its patients but is dependent on charitable donations for its very existence.”