Our aim is to improve the quality of life of our members, enabling them to get the most out of life. We offer a fantastic range of benefits and services ranging from social events to care and advice, and from travel clubs to cashback on dental and optical treatment. It is easy to join the Oddfellows. You can apply for membership online today by visiting our Head Office site: www.oddfellows.co.uk
There are hundreds of branches across the country, run by enthusiastic volunteers, to help you to start making friends in your area. Visit our Lodges page to see the branches in the Beds & Bucks area.
Members meet on a regular basis and enjoy taking part in a variety of social activities – see our Events page for details of current events.
Social events are open to all members, and you can even bring along a friend. Non members are also welcome to certain events.
The Oddfellows Society was originally set up in 1810 to help protect and care for its members, at a time when there were no trade unions, no welfare state, and no National Health Service. This tradition of helping people has continued to the present day.
All members and their families have access to the Oddfellows Advice Service, provided in conjunction with the Citizens Advice Bureau. Fully trained advisors provide a quick and efficient service covering a vast range of topics.
The Oddfellows raises money for various charities both at individual branches and on a national scale. Our own charity, the HA Andrews Memorial Fund was formed in 1971 and has donated more than £400,000 to medical research. The most recent fundraising was to support research into spinal injuries.
In the Beds & Bucks District, an annual appeal raises money for a selected charity chosen by the Provincial Grand Master.
DISTRICT CHAIRMAN’S APPEAL 2018
Sister Ann Boyle, the District Chairman for 2018, has decided that her appeal this year will be for the Beds & Northants MS Therapy Centre based in Bedford. This Charity, set up in 1983, provides therapies, services and support needed to enable people living with Multiple Sclerosis to self-manage their condition. Therapies include: neuro physiotherapy, orthotics, hydrotherapy & APS pain relief. Their MS Specialist Nurses can help with all aspects of MS. They offer a number of complementary therapies such as reflexology, shiatsu, pilates, yoga, Bowen and oxygen therapy. The Centre is all about self-help. The MS Therapy Centre receives no statutory funding, just the money they raise through fundraising activities. Website: www.mscentrebedsandnorthants.com.
Ann is asking that you support her in this worthy appeal this year.
Previous Appeals (more information on our News Page):
Sister Pat Flynn the District Chairman for 2017 has decided her appeal this year will be for the East Anglian Group Conference Lifeboat fund. This fund is for the purpose of replacing the Sheringham Lifeboat. The Society has been associated with the Boat since 1961 when the first boat to be named the “Manchester Unity of Oddfellows” was launched by the then Duchess of Kent, Princess Marina.
That boat was an ocean going boat and it served for many years. Sheringham has changed from an ocean going service to the inshore boat and we have supplied these as needed, the last one being in 2007. We know that this boat will need replacing in the near future and the cost at today’s prices would be £214.000.00. A lot of work has to be done to ensure that we have the money ready when the time comes. We have made a good start to achieving that total but we have still have a way to go to ensure that the next boat carries our name.
Pat’s association with the Boat has been a long one and she has been fortunate to have been able to attend the launches of all the boats that carry our name and be involved in raising funds over the years including her father’s appeal for Radar equipment for the original boat in 1972. She was also fortunate to be able to go to sea on that boat with other members to take part in a routine rescue practice with the Air Sea Rescue Helicopter.
The Lifeboat is not only essential for saving lives at sea but is a very special method of publicity for Oddfellows, it puts us in the forefront of not only the residents of Sheringham , but also the many holiday makers and day trippers who visit there each year. They can visit the boat and the station and also they can see all the previous boats carrying our name in the Life boat Museum, a facility of which the Town is justifiably proud. Pat is asking that you support her in this appeal to help the fund get a few steps nearer to the replacement boat.
By the end of January 2018 the sub raised totalled £2,200.
In 2016 the Provincial Grand Master Sis Margaret Lindsay chose Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust (ACT) Kidney Research for her appeal and the amount raised was £1,944.00.
The 2015 charity, selected by Bro Mick McStraw was Willen Hospice. Based in Milton Keynes, the Hospice provides specialist palliative care and support for families. The appearl raised £2526.20.
In 2014, Sis Ann Hinds had chosen the Willow Foundation to benefit from our fund raising efforts and over £2,052 was raised. This Foundationwas set up by the footballer and TV presenter Bob Wilson and his wife, Megs, in memory of their daughter, Anna, who died from cancer. The charity raises funds to give special days out to sufferer between the age of 16 and 40. Visit https://www.willowfoundation.org.uk for more information.
In 2013, Brother Brian Harper selected Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity to benefit from his appeal. A fantastic total of £3,451 was raised during the year – on the news page you’ll see a photograph and details of the presentation to the charity which was made in February 2014. More information on the charity is available at: http://www.gosh.org/gen/
In 2012, our Provincial Grand Master, Sister Ann Boyle, chose the St John Ambulance boats in Northampton to benefit from our fund raising efforts. This small charity runs two boats – on the River Nene and the Canal, and offers trips for community groups and charities. The boats are adapted to be accessible to those with restricted mobility. We have enjoyed a couple of outings with them, and feel that this is a very worthwhile cause. Over £1,700 was raised in 2012 for this appeal.
In 2011, our Provincial Grand Master (District Chairman), Sister Verena Lindsey, selected the Dogs for the Disabled organisation. Another smaller charity that does some fantastic work to help people in need. Visit www.dogsforthedisabled.org to find out more. Over £1,600 was raised.
In 2010, our Provincial Grand Master, Brother Stuart Lindsey, has selected the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf organisation: nearly nine million of the UK population experience some degree of hearing loss. That’s one person in every seven. Over 650,000 of these people could benefit from a hearing dog. Since we receive no government funding, we rely totally on the generosity of individuals and organisations. Visit www.hearingdogs.org.uk to find out more. Over £1,600 was raised.
In 2009, our Prov GM Brother Adrian Taylor has selected the East Anglian Air Ambulance as his chosen charity. Over £1,600 was raised. The East Anglian Air Ambulance operates a 365 day a year lifesaving service across Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. It is a charity that receives no government funding, so is entirely dependent on fundraising and donations. The service costs £3 million a year to run, which is over £8,000 per day. They attend on average four incidents per day to deal with life threatening situations. Visit their web-site at www.eaaa.org.uk for further information.
In 2008, our Provincial Grand Master Brother Brian Pilgrim selected the Guide Dogs Association as his chosen charity, and over £1,600 was raised.
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Please note: The Oddfellows is the trading name of The Independent Order of Oddfellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society Limited, incorporated and registered in England and Wales No. 223F. Registered Office: Oddfellows House, 184-186 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3WB.