While spring may be the traditional time for change, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) is continually looking for ways to refine the way it works for the benefit of supporters and beneficiaries, according to Chief Executive David Innes

Over recent months, MCF staff, trustees and representatives from the masonic community have been working to create a strategy for the next five years. We have a clear vision for the future, which will see us enhance our support and services, improve our ways of working and raise our profile.

MASONIC VALUES

Just as important as our plans is the manner in which we hope to deliver them. We have developed three core values to guide us. Firstly, being responsive to need; to listen and provide appropriate support to the communities with which we work. Secondly, making a difference; to be compassionate and dedicated to changing people’s lives in ways that have a positive impact. Thirdly, striving for excellence; to always work in a professional and innovative way to provide the best possible support to our beneficiaries and donors. 

Another development is our new Charity Grants programme, designed to fund projects covering specific areas of need in society and to enable charities to more easily identify whether they are eligible for support. The programme will also see us increasing our funding for charities that need support with day-to-day running costs. 

Around 85 per cent of charities in England and Wales have incomes below £500,000, and for these, a small grant for day-to-day costs can have a big impact. 

‘Thanks to you, thousands of masonic families can now afford to pay their bills and play an active role in society’

HELP IS AT HAND

None of these innovations and improvements would be possible without your ongoing support. We have already seen the launch of five more Festival appeals in support of our work; I have had the privilege of attending many of these launches and have been inspired by the interest and enthusiasm from everyone I have met in the Provinces. 

Thanks to you, thousands of masonic families can now afford to pay their bills and play an active role in society, and others can access life-saving treatment or quality care services.

As always, if you need support, or know of somebody who does, please do not hesitate to contact us on our enquiry line (0800 035 60 90). If we are unable to assist you directly, we will always direct you towards other organisations that may be able to help. 

I hope that the spring of 2018 is a positive time for you and your families, and wish you all the very best for the rest of the year.

DISCOVER MORE

Read the MCF’s interactive impact report at www.mcf.org.uk/impact-report. Issue 3 of Better Lives magazine is at www.mcf.org.uk/resources

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

With an eye to the future

Hundreds of Freemasons from north, south and central America and the Caribbean gathered in Montego Bay, Jamaica, for the United Grand Lodge of England’s Tercentenary

District Grand Master of Jamaica & the Cayman Islands Walter Scott said it was ‘a signal honour for Jamaica to be named hosts of this historical event in the Americas’.

Walter saw the Jamaica celebrations as an opportunity for members of church, state and the community to gather in harmony and share their thoughts and ideas. Running over four days, events included a grand banquet, cocktail reception, special commemorative lodge meeting, a Jamaica Night themed party and a two-day academic programme under the subject ‘Looking back with an eye to the future’.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Kent's afternoon of family run

On a cloudless Saturday, schools and children from across the Province of East Kent and organisations from the local community came together in Harrietsham for an afternoon of fun

The Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) appeal (East Kent) President John Grumbridge and former Deputy Provincial Grand Master Roger Odd kicked off proceedings by officially opening the picnic. 

Among the many classic fundraising attractions to enjoy on the site were a coconut shy, tombola, a cake stall and apple bobbing, which were enjoyed by children and adults alike. The East Kent TLC Committee provided for free an inflatable bouncy slide, dragon assault course, ball pool and castle. Many of these attractions were manned by Freemasons and their families, as well as the Province’s own TLC team.

Roy Brooks, Secretary of the TLC appeal (East Kent) and member of the organising committee said, ‘It’s great to see so many different parts of our local community come together under the banner of Freemasonry to enjoy such a happy day.’

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Support for families in Fiji

A $50,000 (£17,566) contribution has come from the Masonic Charitable Foundation to help needy families in remote areas of Fiji in the South West Pacific area of lodges

UGLE Assistant Grand Master Sir David Wootton, on a Tercentenary visit to the island, made the announcement. He was accompanied by Grand Director of Ceremonies Oliver Lodge.

‘It is not the first donation we have made in this part of the world. Following Tropical Cyclone Winston in 2016, Freemasons gave $65,000 (£22,825), some of which came from Freemasons here, some from the charity foundation in London,’ said David.

South West Pacific Grand Inspector and Lodge of Fiji member Ross McDonald added, ‘Locally, we will identify where the need is and normally we give direct to that need, so we are certain that we are giving the best value for every dollar that goes in.’

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Ambitious year for Winchester mayor

David McLean, a Past Master of King Aelfred Lodge, No. 7487, Province of Hampshire & Isle of Wight, is the 818th Mayor of Winchester, a city with a long-standing history of mayoral Freemasons

His theme for the year is youth achievement, and he will be meeting young people in schools and colleges across the district as well as youth groups, cadets, carers and dance troupes.

David’s chosen charities are the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Canine Partners and the Bishops Waltham North Pond Conservation Group.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Year's feed for Carshalton horses

The Diamond Centre for Disabled Riders in Carshalton, Surrey, welcomed two members from Surrey Province to celebrate their award of £15,000 from the Masonic Charitable Foundation

Steve Axon, chairman of the riding centre trustees, said, ‘The £15,000 will be spent on 3,000 bales of hay, a year’s feed for our 29 horses and ponies.’

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Grant for Medical Detection Dogs

Medical Detection Dogs (MDD), based in Great Horwood, Buckinghamshire, trains dogs to sniff out cancers in human urine samples, providing an early warning of the onset of the disease

Although at the trial stage, the dogs are incredibly accurate at detecting cancer in controlled samples, and tests are underway to work on identifying other conditions, including Parkinson’s disease.

As part of the Tercentenary celebrations the Masonic Charitable Foundation is distributing £3m to 300 charities, and MDD was granted £15,000.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Churchill college finishes year in style

The final event of the Cambridgeshire Tercentenary year was a dinner hosted by Provincial Grand Master William Dastur, as 300 diners gathered at Churchill College in Cambridge

Representatives of the four charities selected for the Masonic Charitable Foundation Community Awards were in attendance as guests of honour, together with local dignitaries. 

The PGM presented the Community Awards certificates for £25,000 to Cam Sight, £15,000 to Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, £6,000 to Maggie’s Wallace Centre and £4,000 to Stars Cambridgeshire Children’s Bereavement Support Service. Entertainment on the night was provided by Covent Garden buskers ZHL Strings.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018 00:00

Charity recognition for Jersey

Jersey Freemasons have won a prestigious community award for their charity work

Voted for by the island’s people, the Jersey Evening Post Pride Of Jersey Awards has 12 categories that recognise neighbourliness, voluntary activity, community involvement and fundraising. Jersey’s masons were nominated in the Fundraiser of the Year category by Marteen McCloat. 

With the event hosted by ex-England football star Graeme Le Saux and singer-songwriter Nerina Pallot, the Province was represented on the night by Deputy PGM Graham Spence and Provincial Grand Charity Steward Colin Le Cornu.

Along with a trophy, the Province was awarded £1,000 donated by The Marketing Bureau, which has now been donated to two local charities.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation has given a grant of £31,000 to the Canterbury Cathedral Trust to support training for a young stonemasonry apprentice

East Kent PGM Geoffrey Dearing presented a cheque to the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Reverend Dr Robert Willis. Canterbury has seven apprentices – four stonemasons, a painter/decorator, scaffolder and chef.

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