At a time when all public services are faced with increasingly difficult budget choices it is no surprise to report that demand for the support available from the Masonic Samaritan Fund has been higher in 2010 than in any previous year since it was established in 1990. For the first time over 1,000 new applications have been initiated within a year and grants have been made to more individuals than in any previous year.
Requests to assist with medical needs remain high as support is available across a wide variety of treatments from hip replacement to cardiac surgery, from digital hearing aids to drug treatment for cancer or degenerative diseases, from stomach banding to macular degeneration.
When the sixty-four year old wife of a mason was told that her herceptin treatment, previously funded by the NHS, would stop, she ‘was devastated and felt so lost with no hope for my disease ever having a chance to improve.’ Following an application to the Fund her treatment continued. She wrote: ‘I am humbled to be a lucky one who, by your help, has been able to have the treatment necessary to hopefully control my cancer and prolong my life.’
Support is available to Freemasons, their wives, widows, partners and dependants who have an identified medical, dental or respite care need, are faced with a long wait for treatment or care, and are unable to afford their own private treatment or care without incurring financial hardship. Enquiries are welcome by telephone, email or letter from potential applicants or almoners direct to the Fund. Early contact with the Fund will identify what support may be available and will provide full details of the straightforward and confidential application process.