A year to remember
With the help of Freemasons around the country, the Grand Charity provides an invaluable service to those in need
For many people 2012 will be a year to remember, from visions of bunting and the Queen’s Jubilee to the sporting excellence of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Yet many people struggled due to financial problems, illness or other difficult circumstances. The Grand Charity exists to help these people in need – Freemasons, their families or the wider community – and 2012 was no exception.
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity received over two thousand applications for financial assistance and approved support of more than £5 million. The charity noted a continued increase in applications from younger members facing redundancy and business difficulties due to the economic crisis.
Support for the wider community
The charity provided £2.5 million in funding for non-masonic charitable causes. This included continued support for research into age-related deafness; support for ex-Armed Service personnel with grants for Help for Heroes and Combat Stress; and support for projects that tackle youth unemployment, which grew to 20.5 per cent in 2012.
2012 saw the Grand Charity celebrate more than £1 million in grants to the Air Ambulances and equivalent services since 2007. These grants provide funding for what is considered to be the country’s busiest voluntary emergency service. In 2012, each Provincial and Metropolitan Grand Lodge presented a share of £192,000 to its local service.
In 2012, £600,000 was distributed amongst two hundred and thirty-nine hospice services, bringing the total given since 1984 to £9.9 million.
We hope it is clear how valuable the work of The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is. The impact achieved through its funding might be difficult to measure, but it is immense. It is only thanks to the support of the Freemasons and their families that the charity is able to make such a contribution to people’s lives.
The grants listed above are only a small selection of charitable causes that have been assisted by Freemasons through the Grand Charity in 2012; a full list is available to view at www.grandcharity.org
Enclosed within this issue of Freemasonry Today you will find the Grand Charity’s Annual Review 2012 – we hope you enjoy reading it.