Access to one of the Joey Dunlop Foundation’s self-catering apartments will be improved for disabled visitors eliminating the need for extra assistance thanks to Masonic generosity.
Replacement of the current wooden ramp with a more wheelchair friendly concrete slope giving direct level access to apartment 2 will help disabled visitors to the complex at Braddan Bridge House, Douglas in time for TT 2018.
“It is not always possible for staff to be available when people arrive,” says Manager Gilly Keown, “the improved access will eliminate the need for extra assistance.”
The refurbishment will be funded by donations raised by the combined generosity of Mark Master Masons from the Isle of Man, the UK based Joey Dunlop Lodge of Mark Master Masons and the Mark Benevolent Fund of Leicester and Rutland.
Foundation Trustee Bruce Baker said that the foundation is continually raising funds throughout the year, “The biggest problem is to find volunteers to sell our tombola tickets in a section of the Peter Murray Motorcycle Museum (Santon), during the TT and the Festival of Motorcycling.”
The Joey Dunlop Foundation is an Isle of Man charity which runs specialist self-catering accommodation that caters for disabled visitors to the island, as well as providing accessible facilities for locals who may have a temporary need such as during home repairs and renovations.
Braddan Bridge House has apartments available for all disabled guests which allows them to experience the beauty of the island and to get really close to the action and excitement of the TT street-bike races, and although usually fully booked well before the race periods it is open all year round for those needing to use its purpose built and recently extended facilities.
The Joey Dunlop Mark Lodge is based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire and was constituted in TT Centenary year, 2007. Their motorcycling Brethren visit the Island at least once a year either socially or to hold a meeting of their Lodge in the road racing capital of the world. This year their Mark brethren have raised £300 which was matched by the Leicester and Rutland Province. The recently formed Isle of Man Provincial Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons gave a donation of £400 topping the donation up to £1,000.
The holiday accommodation was opened by Linda Dunlop in June 2010. She was accompanied by John McGuinness who is the second most successful TT rider of all time having racked up 23 TT victories – only three behind the late Joey Dunlop’s outright tally.
The Foundation’s accommodation is run by experienced staff, many of whom are ex-racers themselves. They are perfectly qualified to fulfil guests’ needs.
Joey Dunlop’s name continues to inspire others and a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners was constituted in December 2016, also based in the Mark Province of Leicester and Rutland.
The Isle of Man Mark Master Masons’ Provincial Grand Master Martin Blackburn said that he and his brethren were delighted to support the Foundation’s work to improve the accommodation. He was grateful to the Leicester and Rutland brethren for their donations which so far total over £2,000, “the generosity of the Joey Dunlop Lodge to their adopted charity, the Joey Dunlop Foundation, has grown as they have become more established, their Secretary, Michael Fahey has told me that their aim is to increase their donation each year in line with the engine capacities of motorcycles and we look forward to many more visits to the Island from the friendliest Lodge in the friendly Degree.”
Photo - Braddan Bridge House complex manager Gilly Keown shows local Mark Master Masons how a donation of £1,000 will be spent on improving access to the Joey Dunlop Foundation premises. From left: Braddan Bridge House Facility Manager, Gilly Keown; Joey Dunlop Foundation Trustee, Bruce Baker (seated); Isle of Man Mark Master Masons’ Provincial Grand Master, Martin Blackburn; Treasurer Colin Thompson and liaison officer, Alex Downie, O.B.E.