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£125,000 donation supports improvement of children’s eye care and diagnosis

Cheque Presentation c Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Charity has received a £125,000 donation from the Freemasons. Made up of a major donation from East Lancashire Freemasons and supplemented by a grant from The Freemasons' Grand Charity, the funds will be going towards the Hospital's Eye Bicentenary Charity Appeal to improve treatment, research and care at the Children's Outpatient Clinic.

The substantial donation will contribute to the purchase of state-of-the-art equipment called a DNA Sequencer. The DNA Sequencer together with sequencing agents will not only be able to improve diagnosis for inherited eye diseases, but will also provide a vital tool to enable  researchers to better understand the genetic basis of eye disease.

Currently, a diagnosis for inherited eye diseases can involve repeated and invasive testing.  However, using the latest sequencing technology, the cause of the disease in 75% of patients will be detected with a single blood sample. This will mean that the Hospital will be able to treat more eye-patients than ever before while greatly reducing the trauma that they might experience.

DNA sequencing helps to identify new gene variants that cause disease in the eye.  It will enable researchers at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital to better understand how such eye problems develop and open up enhanced treatment possibilities.

The donation will also enable the post of 'Children's Eye Clinic Liaison Officer' to be created. The post will provide much needed support to patients and their families at a critical time - when a child is diagnosed with a serious eye condition.  From specific counselling, working with social services, schools and the wider community, the Children's Eye Clinic Liaison Officer will enhance patient care beyond diagnosis.

Manchester Royal Eye Hospital recently marked its bicentenary by raising funds to improve treatment, research and care at the Children's Outpatient Clinic. The success of the Appeal will enable the Hospital to provide the best possible treatment using the best possible equipment in the best possible environment for children.

Tanya Hamid, Legacies and Trusts Fundraising Manager, said:

"We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of The East Lancashire Freemasons and The Freemasons Grand Charity. The support we have received really will make a significant difference to the lives of children who suffer from a range of eye conditions.

"Being diagnosed with a serious eye condition can be a scary time a child and their family. With the funds raised by the Freemasons we are a step closer to being able to provide the most specialist care and support for those who need it the most."

Sir David Trippier, Provincial Grand Master for East Lancashire, said:

"Freemasons are delighted to have provided vital financial support for the most worthy cause of the eyesight of young children, a cause for which Manchester Royal Eye Hospital provides such superb facilities and expertise. We are also delighted to have been supported in this project by The Grand Charity."

ENDS

For more information please contact Aimee Lawless, press officer, on aimee.lawless@cmft.nhs.uk or 0161 701 5114

Notes to Editor:

  • Manchester Royal Eye Hospital Charity is part of the Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity.  Registered charity number 1049274. 

  • The other hospitals which make up Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Charity are:

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

University Dental Hospital of Manchester

Manchester Royal Infirmary

Saint Mary's Hospital

Trafford Hospitals

The Freemasons' Grand Charity

  • The Freemasons' Grand Charity is a grant-making charity dedicated to supporting people in need, having donated more than £120 million since 1981. The Charity provides grants totalling millions of pounds each year in the areas of: medical research, support for vulnerable people, youth opportunities, hospice services, air ambulances, disaster relief, and assistance to Freemasons and their dependants in financial need.
  • The Charity is continuing a commitment to charitable support that began nearly 300 years ago in the earliest days of organised Freemasonry.
  • The Major Grants programme is part of the overall £2-3 million donated by The Freemasons' Grand Charity every year.
  • For further information, please contact Alex Hutson, Marketing & Communications Manager at The Freemasons' Grand Charity on ahutson@the-grand-charity.org or 020 7395 9385.
  • The Freemasons' Grand Charity is the working name of The Grand Charity, Registered Charity No. 281942 - See more at www.grandcharity.org