Freemasons in Essex have pledged £1,500 over the next three years to a nurse on an apprenticeship degree scheme. 

The Essex Freemasons Community Fund (EFCF) have offerred the cash for the work at Princess Alexandria Hospital and Anglia Ruskin University.

Some Freemasons at the Old Chelmsfordian Lodge set up regular standing orders while others donated lump sums to Raili, an apprenticed nurse who is also a single mother living on minimum wage, to support her throughout her training.

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The EFCF added £500 alongside their yearly pledge to the trainee nurse.

Raili said: "This has made me feel more confident, with a no-stress drive to work I am able to focus on the task of achieving my degree.”

Chelmsford Weekly News: Kevin Thompson, Raili Zupping, Lee Taylor, Gary PayneKevin Thompson, Raili Zupping, Lee Taylor, Gary Payne

The lodge's support to Raili has inspired a new Essex-wide sponsorship project, wherein the seven other Freemason Lodges in Essex will sponsor an apprenticed nurse for £500 per academic year.

The EFCF will match the donation of these lodges with £500 for each of the four years.

Gary Payne, of Old Chelmsfordian Lodge, said: “This is what Freemasonry is all about. It is the good work which is not usually publicised”