2012 was a good and bad year. I was retired through ill health after 33 years with the same company, that was bad, the wife left, that was good and I had my leg amputated after a knee replacement operation went wrong, that was good.

Having lost my job, my home, things took a nose dive but at least I had the craft to help me through.

When you suffer from depression people deal with it differently, I feel secure and safe at home so it it is very important for me to have a home not a house and find quiet places to take my dog for a walk as to quote Marlene Dietrich ‘I want to be alone’. Most of us that suffer from depression are very good at hiding how we feel from other people so hopefully nobody can tell, until now of course.

When the council found me this one bedroom disabled bungalow last May I was really pleased as the access was much better than the terraced house I had before. As per normal everything is never perfect unfortunately and as far as access in the garden goes you can see in the ‘before’ photos.



The path outside the back door was too narrow and dangerous and I had fallen off the edge whilst in my wheelchair a few times which made it interesting trying to get back in it on my own. Unfortunately I also had the longest path to the house on the whole road which made getting to and from the car frustrating.


The council wouldn’t do anything about it so ELMC and the Comforts Fund came to my rescue. They heard about the problems and put my case to the ELMC committee who approved of the improvements to the bungalow’s exterior and after going through a justified means test which unfortunately I passed, work started.

The dropped pavement, drive and the part re-flagging of the rear garden to a safe standard, putting down astro turf to allow easy access to all the garden and of course cleaning up after my dog (enough said) was put into place so that mud was not brought into the house stuck to my wheelchair wheels.

To try and help cut down the cost of the area of flagging and astro turf I blagged a truck load of free broken flags which were ceremoniously dumped on the front garden and had to transport them via wheelchair to the rear garden. I lost count after 75 trips but managed to build a new raised bed 20 metres long by 6 flags high and to extend two other raised beds.


Preparing and building the raised bed areas proved interesting, as you can imagine this took some serious amount of time. What amazes me is that walls have not fallen down….yet.To add to this it took me the equivalent of three full days just to hack out two of the bush/tree roots.



Thanks to selling some of my old possessions on eBay and buying second hand items, sorry, up cycling, I built the waterfall which Suzzy (my dog) finds it far better to drink out of it rather than the fresh bowl of water provided in the house!




I got the fence lowered so that I could see over it in my wheelchair and NOT for Suzzy to check out the horses in the field behind the fence and tread on my plants.

It is so easy to give but to receive is so hard. It doesn’t help when you are proud and don’t like asking for help but once you can get rid of the needless embarrassment and stubborn pride, help, if suitable is applied, the true mark of freemasonry.

‘To help a friend or brother in his time of need’, never more were truer words said and I shall be eternally grateful for the help of Julie Ward, Karen Hall and Charles Ward as well as the friends/masons who have made life more bearable.
Please don’t think I feel sorry for myself as I don’t. There are so many people have far greater difficulties than I do in this weird and wonderful world, that I consider myself so lucky.

Please support the ELMC as I and many others have benefitted from your generosity and if you had any doubt, its OUR unique Provincial Charity.

Paul Sellers
Knowsley Lodge 4661