Orangemen drum up support for Children’s Hospice

Members of Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423 present a cheque for more than �38,000 to NI Hospice President, TV presenter Paul Clark. Pic by Graham Curry
Members of Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423 present a cheque for more than �38,000 to NI Hospice President, TV presenter Paul Clark. Pic by Graham Curry

A group of big-hearted Banbridge Orangemen who climbed the UK’s four highest peaks carrying a Lambeg drum have raised in excess of £38,000 for a local children’s charity.

Members of Bible and Crown Defenders LOL 423 completed the extreme four-day challenge earlier this year in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice.

Banbridge LOL 423 Worshipful Master David Miniss (right) and Northern Ireland Hospice President, Paul Clark, pictured with the Lambeg drum that was carried by Orangemen to the top of the UK's four highest peaks in four days to raise money for the charity. Pic by Graham Curry

Banbridge LOL 423 Worshipful Master David Miniss (right) and Northern Ireland Hospice President, Paul Clark, pictured with the Lambeg drum that was carried by Orangemen to the top of the UK's four highest peaks in four days to raise money for the charity. Pic by Graham Curry

The money raised will go directly to support nurses providing specialist care to children and young people in care, and in the community, across the Province.

Representatives of the lodge presented the funds to Paul Clark, Hospice President, during a recent function at Banbridge Orange Hall.

In May, the Co Down brethren, along with a number of Scottish peers, ascended Slieve Donard, Snowdon (Wales), Scaffell Pike (England) and Ben Nevis (Scotland) in the space of just 96 hours.

LOL 423 has a distinguished track record of charitable outreach, having previously raised £120,000 for Help for Heroes by carrying a Lambeg on the Williamite trail from Carrickfergus to the Boyne. This preceded a mammoth cycle the length of the British Isles from John O’Groats to Lands End. In separate ventures, £7,500 and £2,200 have been raised for the Cancer Fund for Children and orphans in Ghana respectively.

Worshipful master David Miniss said it was “humbling” for members to help the many young people and their families who depend on hospice services.

He said: “It is both a privilege and an honour for LOL 423 to support such a worthwhile cause. Community nurses provide a vital and invaluable service, offering practical and emotional support for children and young people availing of the hospice. We hope this large donation will go a long way, allowing the Children’s Hospice to continue providing such specialist care to those in our society who need it most.”

Chief executive of the Northern Ireland Hospice, Heather Weir, said: “Banbridge LOL 423 have gone to extreme lengths to support NI Children’s Hospice and for that we cannot thank them enough. £38,000 is a tremendous help to us here at the hospice, and will go towards providing the care that local children with life limiting conditions and their families so vitally need.

“Without such amazing support from local organisations such as the Orange Order, we simply could not provide this care and therefore we are extraordinarily grateful for this most generous of donations.”