Cash to help Exmouth veterans' group

PUBLISHED: 12:30 24 November 2015

Forces Veterans for Veterans President Adrian Thorton receiving a cheque for £1,000 from Ian Kingsbury.

Forces Veterans for Veterans President Adrian Thorton receiving a cheque for £1,000 from Ian Kingsbury.

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An Exmouth soldiers’ group, which is battling to raise awareness of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental health illnesses, has received £1,000 from Devonshire Freemasons.

The Forces Veterans for Veterans (FV2) charity was presented with the cheque by Ian Kingsbury, provincial grand master for Devon.

Mr Kingsbury, speaking at the Masonic Hall in Barnstaple, hailed the group for its work in helping armed services veterans with mental health issues.

He said: “I am delighted that the Freemasons of Devon are able to contribute to these important local causes, many of which are totally run by volunteers and, hopefully, these donations will make a real difference.”

A Forces Veterans for Veterans spokesperson said the group was ‘delighted’ to receive backing from the Devon Freemasons.

The FV2 group said it was all thanks to former freemason, Colour Sergeant Peter Smith, who died from cancer last month.

He nominated FV2 for the award before he died.

The spokesperson said: “FV2 is sincerely grateful to the WAKE Fund for this donation and it will help many veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other associated mental illnesses.

“These men and women, their families and carers are in desperate need of help - this will go a long way to assist them.”

The spokesperson added: “I would like to openly thank Peter for initially putting us forward to be considered for the Wake Fund. If it hadn’t have been for him nominating us, we certainly would not have been as successful as we have been.”

If you would like to find out more about FV2, contact secretary Sue McQueen by email at secretary@fv2.org.uk or on 07496 820978 during working hours.

Cheques were handed out by the provincial grand master to 22 other charities during the presentation ceremony.

Freemasons from across the county gather together each year to give support of up to £40,000 to local charity organisations.

The money is raised through the WAKE Fund. The grand total now stands at £1.8million.

Since 2001, more than £575,000 has been given out to 670 causes chosen by the 137 lodges based in the county.

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