Advocacy at the Edge
Although a relatively small Order, the Allied Masonic Degrees always tries to punch above its weight with charitable giving. Within our limited resources, the District of West Lancashire aims to support local charitable organisations for which a small donation can make a big difference. Year on year we try to focus on such worthy causes in different parts of the District.
One of the Charities chosen to receive a donation this year is the “More Than Words Advocacy” based in a unit at “The Edge” which is a church venue situated on Pottery Road in Wigan, only a small tramp away, with a following wind, from the (in) famous Wigan Pier. George Orwell has a lot to answer for (or does he? –answers on a postcard etc., etc.). Interestingly, the area around Wigan Pier is currently undergoing a large transformation, and it will be fascinating to track progress as they blend the old with the new.
“Proud of Wigan Pride”
However I digress, so back to the object of our sojourn; the “More Than Words Advocacy” was established as a not for profit community interest company in 2011, specialising in drama, music, and healthy living activities for young people and adults with disabilities and / or autism. This worthy cause was suggested by one of our Brethren, so if you have any ideas to help us decide on future donations please let us know.
“Acting the part at Warrington’s Disability Day”
More Than Words was founded by Sue Segar along with a host of willing volunteers to provide drama and sports therapy techniques to support their students in expressing themselves, developing communication skills, self-confidence and self-esteem. Objectives include helping students to maximise their independence and achieve their life goals.  More information can be viewed on their website -
“Celebrating at the Awards Ball”
So, to start the New Year on the right note, an Allied Delegation of not so common people consisting Paul Snape, Geoff Catterall and Ray Pye followed the hallowed road to Wigan Pier and gathered at “The Edge” venue at 2pm on Thursday 2nd January 2020, to meet up with the Advocacy representative Sue Segar. It was a cool, slightly wet day, but just about right to help dampen down the excesses of the New Year celebrations. We were welcomed by Sue who had arranged a brew to warm us up and then, in the company of the students and staff, we were invited to watch a power point film show of photographs outlining the range of activities undertaken by this dedicated organisation.
“Basket in one”
Sue, her colleagues and students have been on the receiving end of a number of setbacks through the effects of burst water pipes and floods, but they have gritted their teeth and found ways to continue. They now have a 10 year lease of a unit at “The Edge” so the world looks a little brighter. Having witnessed the students happily engaging in a variety of activities, the delegation was rightly pleased that our donation had gone to a good home.
So, on behalf of all West Lancashire AMD Brethren, Paul was delighted to present a cheque for £250.00 to Debbie, one of the Students, surrounded by other students and staff (and one or two Allied Masons). In response, Sue Segar thanked West Lancashire AMD for the kind and generous donation. She informed us that part of the donation will be used by the students in a project to take and print photographs on fabric, and the resulting pieces of artwork are intended to adorn the walls of the unit.  All agreed that this was an interesting and challenging project for the students.
“Paul Chequing in?”
Feeling pleased with the day’s work, and after saying our goodbyes, Brethren made their way home on the road leading away from Wigan Pier; but no rest for the Wicked as an Installation meeting of New Century Council on the following day, Friday 3rd January, also beckoned…… watch this space.
Best wishes to all Brethren for a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year
Pictures by kind permission of Sue Segar, and Words by the Wigan Peer.