Somerset Freemasons “Unlocking Potential”
“Three years ago local masons in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset collected over £12,000, with Match Funding from Province and the Masonic Charity Foundation, to help kickstart a scheme called Unlocking Potential. It had the support of the Somerset High Sheriff and was administered by a Charity, South Bristol Youth. The aim is to prepare school children in their last couple of years of education, from disadvantaged backgrounds, who are potentially at risk of leaving school without a secure place in further education, employment or training. Students are selected who would substantially benefit from extra support in achieving their goal of gaining an apprenticeship. W Bro Keith Baker was appointed the local co-ordinator for the Province.
Sessions are held in the Weston Masonic Hall at no charge and the scheme has proven to be so successful it is in the process of expanding to Bridgwater and Taunton and hopefully Minehead soon. At each location Keith managed to secure free accommodation for them.
Two classes of students have already gone through the process and in February the third group will commence. Ongoing funding is required and recently, again with Match Funding, Keith was able to present another £6,000 to the organisation, where Camilla Chandler, CEO of the Charity received the donation.