The silver shortlist
To mark the 25th anniversary of the Masonic Samaritan Fund (MSF), the trustees are making available £1 million in support of medical and care research projects
The MSF is planning to award grants of up to £100,000 in 10 regions across England and Wales. Its Silver Jubilee Research Fund originally received 62 grant applications, seeking nearly £9 million in support. However, with only £1 million available through the fund, the charity will need to make some difficult decisions.
Since 2011, the MSF has supported research projects that aim to improve the prevention, detection, diagnosis, treatment and care available for illnesses and disabilities that affect masonic families and the wider community. Nearly £2 million has been awarded to large and small research organisations such as Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Carers UK and the A-T Society.
Several research projects funded by the MSF have achieved significant success in their field. A £181,000 grant awarded to Alzheimer’s Research UK has helped to develop a new blood test that, it is hoped, will predict whether someone with early memory problems will develop Alzheimer’s within a year. Two grants totalling £75,000 awarded to RAFT (the Restoration of Appearance and Function Trust) have helped to develop a working prototype of a bionic arm fit for human trials, in a bid to compensate for the loss of a limb. A grant of £34,000, presented to Prostate Cancer UK, has helped Dr Hayley Whitaker and her team to identify that the presence of a specific protein can distinguish prostate cancers that are aggressive from those that may never seriously harm the patient.
For further details about the Silver Jubilee Research Fund and the research studies shortlisted for a grant in your Province, please visit www.msfund.org.uk/research
Consulting for consolidation
The 2015 MSF members’ meeting was hosted at Freemasons’ Hall in March and marked the start of the formal process of consultation with the charity’s members regarding the proposal to consolidate the four central masonic charities.
The proposed consolidation seeks to ensure that the full range of support currently provided by the central masonic charities will continue to be available to all eligible applicants and will be delivered in the most cost-effective manner.
Throughout the transition process and beyond, health and care grants will be accessible for eligible beneficiaries seeking treatment, care and support without undue delay or expense.
Full details of the information provided by the MSF president and CEO are available at www.msfund.org.uk/news.php
The consultation will conclude at the next members’ meeting on 29 October 2015. For further information on the consolidation of the charities, see www.masoniccharities.org.uk/review