Freemasons donate thousands to improve accessibility at Sober Social

A Doncaster charity’s headquarters will now be accessible to all visitors, following a generous donation that enabled the owners to install a lift.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 1:26 pm

Sober Social is a public access space in the town centre, which is used by people from a variety of different ages.

The premises in Priory Place is now set to install a lift over the next couple of weeks, making the building accessible to all, following a £2,500 donation from the Magdalen Chapter of the Doncaster Freemasons.

Callum Dixon, Chief Executive of Sober Social, said: “Thanks to their generous donation everyone will be able to access all the services...we have three storeys and some of our visitors can’t access the services that are provided on the upper levels.

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Callum Dixon, George Hepworth, Ian Carling.

“We have counseling, a holistic space, an AA group, a choir, a drama group - but the stairs are very steep and not accessible.”

George Hepworth, Charity Steward, was responsible for selecting the charity to donate their money.

George said: “I found out about it as we had a mason who volunteered here and they told me all about it.

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“We support the local community often - in 2019 we donated £200,000 across Yorkshire.”

Callum, 28, added: “It’s estimated that 45,000 people in Doncaster drink to a harmful level, and we have one of the highest rates of social isolation in the UK.

“That’s why it’s important that we have this space in the town centre - where people can feel safe and move forward.”

The group is open to anyone and is currently made up of mostly over 40s but there is also a youth club.

Callum said: “You don’t need to have an alcohol or drug problem to come here.

“We get people who have complex needs or suffer from loneliness coming here for peer support.

“The only requirement is that you’re sober when you’re here.”

The space is run by 15 volunteers but they are always looking for more to help - especially if they have a unique skill they could share or teach a class on.