Bucks Freemasons raise funds to help Bletchley boy Dexter

Dexter Ward
Dexter Ward

Buckinghamshire Freemason’s came together this summer to raise funds to provide a little boy from Milton Keynes with a braille machine.

Dexter Ward, from Bletchley, suffers from a rare condition called infantile glaucoma, which has caused him to lose almost all his sight.

Bucks Freemason’s stepped in when both the NHS and the RNIB stated that they were unable to provide a braille machine on loan until Dexter reaches five years of age.

By this time, Dexter is expected to be completely blind, making the teaching more difficult.

In order to raise the funds required, Bucks Freemasons ran a coffee morning at Newton Longville Free Church Hall, inviting all members of the Buckinghamshire Freemasons.

The well-attended event raised £3700, from members of the Masons, Winslow Lions and Church representatives, which surpassed the target, allowing Dexter’s family to purchase a Tiger Cub braille embosser and will enable him to use it into his teenage years and beyond.

The Braille embosser has now been purchased and is being used to print braille books by Dexter’s parents.

“I was astonished and delighted by the turnout and funds raised for Dexter," said Mrs Ward.

"The machine allows us to convert books to braille, including Dexter’s favourite Mr Men books. We type the words into the braille software which then converts it into the dots and then feed a clear sheet of acetate into the embosser which punches the braille onto it.

"We then cut the side off the book, insert the acetate pages and then rebind the book. Dexter loves his new book which will be the first of many! We would very much like to thank everyone for their generosity in helping a little boy access his favourite books.”

“It was so great to see everyone come together for such a worthy cause,” added Tom Davies, Provincial Grand Tyler, Buckinghamshire Freemasons. “We’re delighted to have helped make such an impact on Dexter’s life and it was heart-warming to see pictures and hear just how much Dexter is enjoying his reading.”