YORK'S Freemasons dug deep into their pockets this week for the York Blind & Partially Sighted Society.

The worshipful master of the York lodge, Michael McCloud, and the director of ceremonies, Michael Jeffery, from the Masonic Hall in Duncombe Place, made a presentation of £720 on Thursday(April 5).

Mr McCloud said: "Masonry today is a great organisation that supports many charities all over the UK, including St Leonard's Hospice, the air ambulance and Snappy [which works with children and young people with a range of disabilities in York]."

Edvards Banka, client services assistant at YBPSS, who received the cheque on behalf of the society, said: "We are very grateful for the support of the charitable fund.

"This money will be used to support our increasing work with children and young people in York who have a visual impairment."

In total, charities around the region have received a total of £41,733 from the Freemasons of the North and East Ridings in the past 12 months.

Across the whole of the UK the total raised in the past five years was £75 million.

Mr McCloud said: "The stigma of freemasonry is disappearing due to all the lodges opening their doors to the public for their 300-year anniversary. This has shown the public the great work we do.

"Masonry will continue to support all forms of charity, we are a society of passionate people who value values and caring for communities."

Their aim is to "reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things", dispelling the longstanding myths surrounding the society.