OLD Town freemasons have given more than £5,000 to charity this year.

Members of Gooch Lodge, in Swindon’s Old Town, handed over a cheque for £1,000 to Uplands Educational Trust.

The charity provides a range of educational and work opportunities for those in Swindon with learning difficulties. Among their centres are a farm, college, residential centre and charity shops.

The new donation brings the total given by Gooch Lodge this year to £5,500. The money has been divided between 10 charities.

Jackie Smith, of Uplands Educational Trust, thanked members of Gooch Lodge for the charity cash.

"We are extremely grateful for the continued support that Gooch Lodge gives to the special needs children and young people who attend Uplands School and Horizons College,” she said.

“The donation will be used by Uplands Educational Trust to enable the charity to provide education, work and leisure opportunities for our young people.

“Our vision is helping young people with special needs to help themselves and we hope that our young people will ultimately live and work in their local community".

Paul Moffat, lodge charity steward, said "I was an absolute pleasure to meet the students and teachers. It was a memorable visit, seeing first-hand how our donation will be used.

“The staff do a fantastic job, everyone was in awe and amazed on how well the teachers engage and develop the students."