East Kent Provincial 2013 News

Help with a set of Working Tools

For several years the Valley of Elham Lodge No. 6649 in Sandgate has supported the Caldecott Foundation with a number of donations and, in 2010, the Lodge made a substantial contribution to the Foundation’s Centenary Appeal. The Caldecott Foundation is a registered charity based in Smeeth near Ashford and cares for children who have suffered cruelty and neglect.

The Foundation planned to use the monies raised in their Centenary Appeal to build a specially designed vocational learning centre at their campus so they could offer Building & Construction and Hair & Beauty courses starting in 2012-13. They also planned to run a Motor Vehicle course from 2013-14 in a converted workshop located nearby.

On learning of these plans in May 2011, the Lodge Charity Steward and Worshipful Master, WBro Dave Parker, came up with the idea of providing a set of working tools for a Building and Construction trainee who did exceptionally well on the course first year of the course. Dave also proposed that the Lodge could purchase a set of mechanics tools, later on, for a trainee on the Motor Vehicle course.

A selection of the tools

With the approval of the Lodge, the Treasurer began setting aside some funds for the purchase then, in July 2013 and with the aid of a generous discount from Toolfix, an extensive set of tools was purchased. Meanwhile Dave Parker managed to obtain a set of motor mechanics tools and succeeded in winning a second set in a trade raffle.

 On Thursday 24th October, Dave Parker, his wife Sharon and WBro Tony Poynter, former Lodge Treasurer, visited the Foundation to complete phase one of the scheme.

They presented £600 worth of construction tools to Liam Johns, selected by the Foundation as the top building and construction student in 2012-13, to assist him in his future career. Liam, who had no idea that he was due to receive the Working Tools, has done exceptionally well, turning his life around and even helping with the instruction of younger pupils.

A delighted Liam with WBros Tony Poynter and Dave Parker

Later that day the Vocational Centre was formally opened by Lady Amanda Ellingworth, daughter of The Rt Hon The Countess Mountbatten of Burma (a Patron of the Foundation who was unable to attend due to illness). Also present was Lady Kingsdown and other Foundation Heads, local dignitaries who had supported the Centenary Appeal and the Mayor of Ashford – all of whom toured the facilities.

Earlier in the day Liam and the leaders from the Centre were interviewed by ITV News South-East, as a result of which he is now known affectionately as “Mr Hollywood”.