United Ararat Lodge No. 935 are dedicated to supporting their local health service, especially in the area of aged care. For more than a decade they have supported the health and experience of people in the community through donations to East Grampians Health Service (EGHS). Their gifts have funded equipment, facility upgrades and staff training, and FFV has awarded Masonic Grants to further increase the impact of the local Lodge’s charitable giving.
The partnership between EGHS and united Ararat Lodge commenced in 2012, with funding towards Post Graduate Training of the Health Service staff in the area of Aged Care. The Lodge and FFV were also involved in funding the construction of much needed pergolas on the west and east side of aged care facility Garden View Court. The structures provide all-weather outdoor access for residents, improving quality of life, increasing privacy and providing a place to join family members outside. The construction was a community effort, incorporating funding from the EGHS Residents’ Support Group and the Ararat Ladies’ Probus Club.
In 2023, a donation of $5,640 has been used to purchase two ear oximeters, a pulse oximeter, blood pressure cuff, a treadmill/walking machine, rowing machine, recumbent stationary bike and an upright stationary bike for use in exercises classes run by the physiotherapy department at the EGHS Community Health Centre. This new equipment helps the Centre to support local residents to remain physically active through consults and rehabilitation exercise groups, supporting people with serious conditions, cancer, chronic pain and other chronic diseases.
The idea to approach Freemasons for funding was raised by a pulmonary rehabilitation class member, and the Lodge worked with an exercise physiologist to finalise the grant application to FFV.
In June, a special morning tea was held to acknowledge the donation of the new gym equipment, as well as thank several other valued community partners. This event was attended by FFV Chairman of Rodney Lavin JP, members of the United Ararat Lodge 935 and EGHS staff.
Recently the EGHS has unveiled plaques to acknowledge the organisations and individuals who funded the pergolas.
In his LinkedIn post, Cameron Evans, Vice Chair East Grampians Health Service Board of Directors, wrote:
“Cannot help but feel a profound sense of gratitude towards the East Grampians Health Service dedicated community partners. These exceptional groups and individuals have played an invaluable role in our collective achievements.”