On a glorious summer’s day on 17th June 2023, a group of Somerset Freemasons joined forces with
Somerset DofE on the inaugural bike ride between these two groups. Joined by DofE participants
from Haygrove School and King’s College – a 30-mile cycle ride along the Bridgwater and Taunton
canal took place.
Two members of On Your Bike Charity, also joined the group – to ensure help was on hand for any
mechanical issues. A charity that had benefited previously from Masonic fund raising and were
more than happy to get involved.
Starting in Taunton at King’s College Taunton, then cycling along the canal to Bridgwater Masonic
Lodge, where the students met with participants from Haygrove School. All parties enjoyed
refreshments and a tour of the lodge, taking in the fascinating history and Temple Room with a
brief overview from Richard Winter. Before Haygrove students departed, to ride the reverse route –
back along the canal to the Taunton Masonic Lodge. Another round of refreshments and a quick
tour there also wrapped up an amazing day.
The sun shone and no one fell in the canal (always an added bonus!). The group all had fab time,
smiles all round and a real sense of camaraderie – with laughter and banter along the way. DofE
principles like endurance, perseverance, teamwork, and enjoyment all played a part and I am sure
that all of the young people will remember their visits to the temples forever, such amazing
buildings and great to compare the two lodges, something that not many would have the
opportunity to do in one day!
It’s amazing how an idea – ‘how about a charity bike ride’ – can develop into a series of events,
through likeminded people getting together. I am incredibly grateful to Stephen for reaching out
to me, with an idea that has now become a reality. And look forward to the other bike rides that
are taking place this year on 30th June and 27th September. Already those involved in the first ride
have asked if we can make this an annual event, which goes to show how much everyone involved
enjoyed the day.
Whether the rides raise £50 or £500, they are worth it. Getting young people out in the fresh air,
showcasing the award, and spreading knowledge of the bursary fund across the county, to ensure
that all young people can access the award, no matter what disadvantages they face, has to be a
win win situation. As well as making great friends along the way, securing the partnership between
Somerset DofE and Somerset Freemasons for years to come.
Thank you for your support and continued commitment to the award
Carol Authers, Somerset DofE Operations Manager
scroll down the pdf for more information
Click on an image from the day to enlarge