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1,500 presents and £2,000 delivered to charity

Motorcycling Freemasons, many dressed as Santa, delivered 1,500 presents to the Hampshire charity Scratch, which will distribute them to youngsters this Christmas.

The Widows’ Sons Masonic Bikers Association (Southern Chapter) also presented a cheque for more than £2,000 for the charity’s Christmas Complete project.

Boxes were placed in Masonic centres across the county where toys were donated by Freemasons. Some lodges also raised money through raffles.

The bikers, led by the Provincial Grand Master Mike Wilks, set off from the Province’s HQ in Chandler’s Ford to Southampton where the donations were handed over.

Scratch (Southampton City Region Action to Combat Hardship) was formed in 1999 to relieve the effects of poverty in the area.

Last Christmas the charity gave parcels of toys to almost 2,000 children and young people across Hampshire.

A spokesman from Scratch said the support from the Freemasons was ‘amazing’ and added: “Donations of over £2,000 will allow us to purchase items when we have shortages for particular age groups.”

Mike Wilks, the Provincial Grand Master of the Masons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight — which includes Christchurch and Bournemouth — said: “As Freemasons we are committed to helping our communities.

“Our members raise money for many charities and good causes but it is especially at this time of year we think of those less fortunate than ourselves.

“It’s an honour to support Scratch and assist them with the wonderful work they do in our communities.

“We hope our donations will make Christmas a little easier for children and young people.”

The cheque donated was for £2,153.95.

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