A masonic society in Somerset is celebrating 15 years of partnership with one of the region's grant-making charities.

The Somerset Freemasons established their Somerset Masonic Fund in 2009 in collaboration with Somerset Community Foundation (SCF), and the fund has supported almost 100 essential small charities and community groups during its lifetime.

Around £65,000 has been awarded in grants, of amounts ranging from £500 to £1,500.

Graham Puddy from Somerset Freemasons said: "Kindness and charitable giving are deeply ingrained within the principles of Freemasonry."

"Our organisation provides the structure for members to make positive contributions to their communities and various causes."

The fund was kickstarted with donations from Somerset Freemasons, aided by a government match funding scheme.

It is managed by the Somerset Community Foundation and operates on a broad support strategy.

This helps it reach a wide range of charities in the area and address emerging needs.

Fiona Foster, senior programmes manager at Somerset Community Foundation, said: "We’re really proud to be working with Somerset Freemasons. They’ve been a long-term supporter of SCF, having set up their fund 15 years ago.

"The flexible nature of their giving means they have supported a wide range of small, local charities, as well as helped us respond to emerging needs or crises, including historic floods, the recent pandemic and the current cost-of-living crisis.

"We’re delighted that in the 15th year of the fund, we’re able to recognise the invaluable work of Somerset Freemasonry and the significant difference that the generosity of their members continues to make to a diverse range of causes across the county."

Beneficiaries this year include The Equivalent Project, Edventure Frome, Crewkerne Timebank and Dunster Festival.

Communities or charities interested in applying for funding are encouraged to visit the SCF website, where they can find guidance on submitting an application.