Sixty-six babies who have, or are at risk of having, cerebral palsy will be receiving specialist and potentially life-changing therapy, thanks to a grant of £59,400 from South Wales Freemasons to Cerebral Palsy Cymru.
South Wales Freemasons are funding 22 babies each year over three years, who have or who are at risk of having cerebral palsy, to have a specialist therapy consultation at Cerebral Palsy Cymru, along with support for their families. By the end of the three years, including family members, the Freemasons will have directly supported around 200 individuals in Wales.
The therapy will take place during the first two years of life, when the brain is at its most plastic and adaptable. It is crucial that a baby who has cerebral palsy, or who is at high risk, receives specialist therapy as early as possible during this time, when the possibilities for significant positive change, such as being able to crawl, walk and communicate are at their greatest. If missed, this window of opportunity cannot be regained.
Families can refer themselves or be referred to this service by health professionals. There is no charge for this service as these families are often already socially and economically disadvantaged. Some of the babies that will benefit are yet to be born.
Cerebral palsy is a permanent disorder of posture and movement resulting from brain damage before, during, or up to two years after birth. It can affect a child’s movement, sensation, perception, cognition, communication and eating and drinking. In some children, all these functions are affected
Research shows cerebral palsy is the most common physical disability in childhood, with approximately 70 babies born and diagnosed with the condition each year in Wales. The current UK incident rate is around one in 400 births and there are an estimated 30,000 children living with cerebral palsy in the UK.
The grant from South Wales Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Emma Brooks, Acting Head of Fundraising at Cerebral Palsy Cymru, said: “We’re very grateful to South Wales Freemasons for their generous grant. The specialist therapy for these children they are funding will take place during the first two years of life when there is the greatest possibility of having a positive impact on their condition. It’s no exaggeration to say that the specialist support and therapy that we can provide them is likely to be life-changing.”
Robert Payne from South Wales Freemasons, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Cerebral Palsy Cymru with their excellent programme of therapy for children living with cerebral palsy. These babies will have the best possible start in life and the greatest opportunity to reach their potential.”
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Photograph left to right: Philip Saunders (South Wales Freemasons), Emma Brooks (Cerebral Palsy Cymru), Robert Payne (South Wales Freemasons), Granville Thomas (South Wales Freemasons).
About Cerebral Palsy Cymru
We are a national centre of excellence for families in Wales with children who have cerebral palsy. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of all children in Wales living with cerebral palsy. Our specialist team of physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists work together to offer transdisciplinary skills, so each child, benefits from their combined expertise. Our family support service offers a listening ear, advice, and support. We share our knowledge and skills through collaborative working, courses, national and international conferences. Visit www.cerebralpalsycymru.org
For further information about Cerebral Palsy Cymru, please contact Emily Anthony, Marketing & Communications Officer (firstname.lastname@example.org 029 20522600)
About the South Wales Freemasons
- South Wales Freemasons, or more formally the Provincial Grand Lodge (PGL) of South Wales, was founded in the 1720s.
- Today, the PGL of South Wales has almost 6000 members, based in over 160 lodges within the old counties of Glamorgan, Brecknockshire and Radnorshire.
- PGL of South Wales has 23 masonic centres, where Lodge meetings take place, in the cities of Swansea and Cardiff and also in smaller towns from Barry in the south to Llandridnod Wells in the north.
- PGL of South Wales is one of 47 Provincial Grand Lodges in England and Wales, which are governed by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).
About the Masonic Charitable Foundation
The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country. Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the MCF awards millions of pounds each year to local and national charities that help vulnerable people, advance medical research and provide opportunities for young people. The MCF also helps to fund vital services such as hospices and air ambulances and regularly contributes to worldwide appeals for disaster relief. In total, MCF support helps to improve the lives of thousands of people every year in England, Wales and internationally. As well as providing grants to charities, the MCF supports Freemasons and their families with a financial, health or family need. Visit www.mcf.org.uk
For further information about the Masonic Charitable Foundation, please contact Guy Roberts, Press Officer (email@example.com | 0203 146 3311)
- Freemasons use four important guiding principles to help define their path through life: integrity, friendship, respect and charity.
- One of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world, Freemasonry’s roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles.
- Membership is open to people from all backgrounds and the organisation’s aim is to empower members to be the best they can be – it’s about building character, supporting members as individuals and helping them make a positive contribution to society.
- Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing more than £48m to deserving causes in 2018 alone. Freemasons do not only donate money – more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work was undertaken by Freemasons in 2018.