Published: 13 December 2021
This weekend (4-5 Dec), the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association (West Kent) held its annual ‘Toy Run’, where members dressed up as Father Christmas and elves to deliver more than 500 gifts to excited children via motorbike.
The children received toys, games and gifts purchased with donations received from local Freemasons throughout the month of November. The members of Widows Sons (West Kent) bought nearly £4,000 worth of toys which resulted in a till receipt which measured more than two and a half meters in length.
Fourteen members of the Masonic Bikers Association took part in the Toy Run during which they delivered 555 toys, which was double the amount delivered in 2020.
The gifts where shared with more than 20 charities, including CASPA, Bromley Mencap, Bromley Young Carers, Turnaround, Bromley Brighter Beginnings, Baby Basics, Maypole Project, Chill and Chat (Kinship Carers) St Edwards Church, Crystal Palace Community Trust, Lay Witness Christ for Christ International, Hilda Lane Community Centre, Homestart Bromley and a number of local Foodbanks.
Daniel J Spencer, Assistant Provincial Grand Master in West Kent said, 'I’ve just spent the last couple of hours at ‘Community House’ in Bromley, representing the Province and supporting the ‘Widows Sons’ at the start of this years ‘Toy Run’. The Bromley Children and Families Forum (who distributed to 20 local charities specifically looking after disadvantaged and disabled children) were blown away by our member’s generosity and the hall here was packed full with presents that will be distributed this Christmas.'
The Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Russell L. Mellor, was also present at the event and watched as leather-clad bikers rode past with Christmas music blaring from the back of their motorbikes.
The Mayor, Councillor Russell L. Mellor commented: 'A big thank you to the Masonic Bikers Association for their participation in the weekend’s Toy Run and once again they have delivered a great number of gifts to hundreds of children across the Borough. It is not just the gifts that matter, however, it’s the heartfelt care and consideration behind the purchase, wrapping, and delivery of each present. The interests of our children were at the forefront of this operation, and Widows Sons has exhibited an impressive act of kindness that will certainly never be forgotten but forever cherished.'
Chair of Trustees, Helen Sophia Dyer said: 'All of us at Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum value our Charity Members and are dedicated to supporting them in a wide range of ways. For us, being supported by Widow Sons West Kent means so much for their support enables us to disseminate Christmas gifts throughout the whole of the Borough of Bromley, to our charity members, the charity members recognise those in need and distribute items to specific children and families, those who are in need of basic equipment, food, clothing and shelter.'
The families who are not able to afford more than the basics that so many people take for granted.
There are many children who would not have a Christmas present if it wasn’t for the unprecedented kindness of this particular Freemasons group, the Widows Sons, Masonic Bikers Association, West Kent Chapter.”
In the days before Covid-19, collection points were placed in each Masonic centre across Kent so members could donate toys. However, in the last two years, the Widows Sons have asked for financial donations instead, for Covid safety reasons. This has also meant that the Bromley Children and Families Voluntary Sector Forum was able to request details about age ranges and specific toys that were better to suited to the children being supported.
There are many children who would not have a Christmas present if it wasn’t for the donations collected and distributed by the Widows Sons Masonic Bikers Association (West Kent). The association’s aims are to promote motorcycling within Freemasonry, raise Masonic awareness within the world of motorcycling, raise funds for charity and support members’ Lodges.