The project that will help bereaved men whilst they work an allotment has received a £16,000 grant from Sussex Freemasons.

Martlets will be recruiting a counsellor and volunteers to run six 8-week programmes, which will begin in the summer, allowing 48 men who have experienced loss to be supported. 

The grant from Sussex Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends from across England and Wales. 

Jane Cato, the Counselling and Bereavement Services Manager at Martlets said, “We’re very grateful to Sussex Freemasons for their generous grant.  There isn’t currently any specific provision in the city solely for bereaved men to come together as a group for counselling or peer support; which makes this project unique.  

“The social aspect of meeting at the allotment will be very important. We will be looking to create an environment where the men can gain mutual support, use nature as a source of healing and begin to share their experiences of grief. 

“It’s an opportunity to get outside, socialise and draw strength from others who acutely understand what loss feels like.”

Grahame Carr from Sussex Freemasons said, “We are very pleased to be able to help Martlets who do wonderful work with bereaved people and who have designed a simple but very effective project to target bereaved men. Until now they have not had special help aimed at them locally.”

The Masonic Charitable Foundation is providing grant funding of £157,000 to Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice care, in a pilot partnership aimed at developing and extending bereavement support services in hospices across the country. 

Contributions from Freemasons to hospices have exceeded £12 million in England and Wales since 1984 and are continuing to increase at a rate of £600,000 a year. 

For information on volunteering to help with this project, please contact [email protected] or telephone on 01273 273448.