How the Masonic Samaritan Fund helps to provide much needed respite care

Thursday, 04 September 2014

A break from the routine

The MSF recognises how important it is for full-time carers to make time for themselves, both for the sake of their own health and to give them the energy to carry on caring

The MSF has been funding short care breaks, also known as respite care, since 2006 and has provided more than £2 million to support carers within the masonic community. Respite care is short-term support used as a temporary alternative to a person’s usual care arrangements.

An MSF respite grant helped Neil Richardson manage full-time work while caring for his widowed mother, Joan, who has Parkinson’s disease. After two bad falls, she lost her confidence and has struggled to walk unaided. 

‘The MSF has topped up the respite care already provided by the local authority by ten hours a week and it has made such a huge difference to Mum,’ said Neil. ‘She can now stay at home and be taken care of by her family and the four carers attending each day. The alternative would be her having to go into a home, which wouldn’t be ideal as she is so attached to her house and all its memories.’

Neil said his mum was delighted. ‘I’m sure my late dad would have wanted us to seek help from his fellow masons, and Mum and I are both so grateful for the MSF’s assistance.’

How to apply

To apply for an MSF grant you first need to approach your local authority for a Carer’s Assessment. This will identify your needs as a carer and help to decide what support, if any, is available from social services. The best way to request a Carer’s Assessment is to write to or email your local social services department. 

If you face a wait of six weeks or more for this assessment, or you don’t qualify for an assessment, please get in touch with the MSF, who can provide short-term care after an interim assessment is conducted by the masonic charities’ Advice and Support Team. 

To ensure you qualify to make an application for respite care, use the Fund’s new eligibility calculator at: Or simply call our Grants Team on 020 7404 1550 who will be happy to help.

Did you know that after surgery or a period of hospitalisation, you are entitled to NHS care to assist your recovery at home? As such, the MSF can’t fund convalescent care, as it’s your statutory right to receive this from your NHS hospital. Your nurse can provide further information on getting the convalescent care you need.

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