A FATHER fundraising in memory of his son has been given £5,200 to boost his charity efforts.
Trevor Burden was given the donation by the Freemasons of the province of Durham to pass on to the Great North Air Ambulance.
Most of the money was taken from cash collected nationally by the Freemasons’ Grand Charity for air ambulance services throughout the country.
Mr Burden, of Simonside, South Shields, was chosen to receive the cheque, during a ceremony at the Lord Barnard Lodge in South Shields, on behalf of the charity following his fundraising for the cause since the tragic death of his son Jason.
The 19-year-old died after being crushed by a piece of machinery at the Wear Dock and Engineering Company at South Docks in Sunderland in December 2011.
Despite the best efforts of air ambulance medical staff as he was flown to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary, the teenager lost his fight for life en route.
Mr Burden, also made a master mason during the ceremony, said: “It was really emotional stepping up to receive the cheque. It wasn’t something I was expecting.
“I knew how much the air ambluance had done to try to save Jason, and, as a family, we are so grateful for its efforts.
“It was really emotional accepting the cheque. I appreciate it so much.”
As well as the nationwide fund’s cheque for £4,000, Mr Burden was also given one for £1,200 by the worshipful master of the Freemasons’ Derwent Lodge, Keith Walker.
He and his wife Hilary raised £600 by hosting a barbecue, and that total was matched by her employer, Indigo Software in Durham.
Assistant provincial grand master John Watts said: “We are delighted to be able to show our support for the Great North Air Ambulance once again.
“Charitable giving is central to Freemasonary, and the province of Durham Freemasons is especially happy to support organisations that help to save lives and provide support to people in emergency situations.
“The Freemasons’ Grand Charity works on behalf of all Freemasons in Englands and Wales, donating millions of pounds to worthy causes every year.”
The charity has donated more than £1.5m to 22 rescue services since 2007.