THE Southend Blind Association has received £15,000 from Essex Freemasons.

The donation was handed over by Rodney Bass, Provincial Grand Master for Essex Freemasons, at a special ceremony.

It was part of an £80,000 fund, raised by Essex Masons and divided between eight different charities across all parts of the county, to mark 300 years of modern freemasonry.

Mr Bass marked the £15,000 donation with a special certificate.

The money, donated via the Masonic Charitable Foundation, will be used to help fund ongoing help for the blind and partially sighted.

The donation is the result of a nationwide vote organised by the Masonic Charitable Foundation earlier this year where supporters and Freemasons voted to back their favourite charities.

Eight were nominated in Essex and all have since received grants of between £4,000 and £25,000 to give additional support.