Freemasons Lodge helps Safer Places to fund women's refuge Urgently needed funding to support Safer Places, a leading Harlow based domestic abuse charity working across Essex and Hertfordshire, has been given a boost by local Freemasons. Members of Durolitium Lodge, which meets in Loughton, have donated £500 to the charity, which takes in more than 3,000 calls of domestic abuse every year and further provides refuge and support for women and children forced to leave their homes. The £500, half of which came directly from members of Durolitium Lodge with the balance made up with a grant from the Essex Freemasons Community Fund, will allow Safer Places to fund their essential work. “The money is very welcome,” said Jayne Gentry, Director of Operations of Safer Places. The charity has been established for more than 40 years and sadly we continue to be as busy and proactive as ever. Safer Places exist to drive down the incidence and impact of domestic and sexual abuse and to support those who use our services in their journey to recovery, resilience and independence. Staff and volunteers at Safer Places are trained to provide support at the highest possible standard. They provide immediate help and advice to promote safety and reduction in risk of harm and longer term assistance to promote emotional recovery and practical help wherever it is needed to enable planning for a safer future. The Essex Freemasons Community Fund which match funded the donation from Durolitium Lodge was set up to support projects such as Safer Places. Charles Elliott, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, who visited Safer Places with members of the Lodge explained: “There are hundreds of small charities like this in every part of the County. They are vital to the needs of the local community and this is where we are trying to aim our support. “The work of Safer Places cannot be underestimated, particularly in these difficult times and I am pleased it has the support of our members.” The Essex Freemasons Community Fund is expecting to make donations of nearly £90,000 to local charities in 2020 in addition to nearly £1 million which will be given separately by more than 300 Lodges across the county.