Two local charities - Friends of the Octagon Graveyard and the Magpie Centre - received £500 donations from the Wisbech Freemasons.

Firstly, following an appeal for help from the 'Friends of the Octagon Graveyard', Wisbech Freemasons from the Gild of Holy Trinity Lodge No 6125 and the Wisbech Bruvvers Breakfast Club donated £500.

In 1952 the Octagon Chapel in Wisbech had to be demolished as the structure was failing.

And the graveyard, which had been in use since 1831, became locked away with little or no maintenance.

That was the case until a group of like-minded people formed the “Friends of the Octagon Graveyard,” in 2020.

Since then, a lot of amount of work has been undertaken removing vegetation, making trees safe, constructing a safe access into and around the site, and planting to create a Wildlife Pocket Park.

Alan Wheeldon, of the Friends of the Octagon Graveyard, said they would now be able to complete the work and that they were "very grateful to the Freemasons for their help”.

Andrew Clifton, Gild of Holy Trinity Lodge, said: "We are delighted to be able to help this very worthwhile cause.”

Wisbech Standard: Colin Perriss, chair of the trustees, receiving a cheque from Matthew Green and Andrew McDonaldColin Perriss, chair of the trustees, receiving a cheque from Matthew Green and Andrew McDonald (Image: WISBECH FREEMASONS)

Secondly, the Wisbech Bruvvers Breakfast Club helped the Magpie Centre.

Following a recent visit to the Magpie Centre, they presented a cheque for £750 in support of the centre’s activities.

The Magpie Centre – Riding for the Disabled, has been operating as a dedicated RDA Riding Centre from Wallington Hall in West Norfolk for over 30 years.

The centre is set in 300 acres of private land, providing a safe and secure environment that offers riding and carriage driving lessons and equine therapy to people of all ages and abilities.

There is also a sensory garden where clients with dementia can enjoy a tea and pony experience.

The centre is supported by over 50 volunteers from the local community who help in lessons and with the ponies, field maintenance and fundraising.

Colin Perriss, chair of the trustees, said: "We are extremely grateful to the Bruvvers Breakfast Club and Wisbech Freemasons for their generous donation that will help us to keep our horses fed during the coming winter months.”

Andy McDonald, Bruvvers Breakfast Club and Wisbech Freemasonry, said: “The Magpie Centre in West Norfolk RDA provides a fantastic emotive and enjoyable experience for the young and old with varying disabilities and we are pleased to be able to support this worthwhile charity.”