After five years of intense fundraising, the Province of Hertfordshire has completed its Festival in support of the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (now part of the Masonic Charitable Foundation).
At the Festival Celebration Dinner, held at Guildhall in London on 6th July, the Chief Operating Officer of the MCF, Les Hutchinson, was delighted to announce that the grand total raised was £3,632,368. He thanked all the Lodges and individual members who worked so hard to raise such an incredible amount and assured them that the money raised would make a huge difference to the lives of young people around the country.
Brethren might also like to know that the Festival Jewel can be worn until the end of the year (31st December 2019) and the Provincial Grand Charity Steward asks that you continue to wear it with pride in recognition of the generosity and support that allowed the Provincial Grand Masters 2019 Festival target to be exceeded by 21%.
The Province has also applied to UGLE for approval for the jewel to become permanent allowing it to be worn until the start of the new 2030 Festival which will be launched in January 2025.
Small charities will now be able to apply for multi-year grants to cover basic running expenses and other core funding costs, following a major policy shift at the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) – one of the largest grant-making charities in the country.
Until recently, the MCF, in common with many other charitable foundations, has tended to concentrate on project-based funding, which generally provides more measurable results. The MCF also gives one-off unrestricted grants of up to £5,000 to small charities for general charitable purposes. However, having identified the growing issue of smaller charities facing difficulties due to lack of core funding, the MCF has bucked the trend amongst similar grant-giving bodies to address the issue and has expanded its current programme of non-ring-fenced grants. The new grants are available to charities with an income of no more than £500,000 a year, often much less, and will be for a maximum of £5,000 per year over three years. The first round of these extended unrestricted core funding grants has just been announced for 22 small charities. It is hoped that these multi-year unrestricted funding grants will help sustain charities, enabling them to deliver services to those most in need. The MCF aims to monitor and evaluate these grants, and hopes to share any learning within the sector regarding the effectiveness of this grant-giving.
Funded by freemasons, their families and friends, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is the national freemasons’ charity. In 2017, the MCF provided grants of more than £5.6 million to 770 national, regional and local charities across England and Wales.
David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said: 'There are many small charities that struggle with basic running costs. Project-based funding is fine, but if they can’t pay the electricity bill or put petrol in the car, delivering services to clients can be difficult if not impossible. 'Many charities cease their vital activities because this kind of funding is not available. This is why the MCF’s new core funding initiative, on behalf of the Freemasons of England and Wales, is so important.'
Cyclone Idai - The Masonic Charitable Foundation has given an emergency grant of £45,000 to help thousands of people across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe whose lives have been devastated by Cyclone Idai. This is to help give access to clean water, as well as tarpaulins, plastic sheets and other emergency supplies.
Serious lack of clean water
The money is being donated to Plan International UK which is working to help survivors, including young women and children, who are at particular risk. This grant will provide jerry cans, water purification tablets and buckets to thousands of people who have lost everything and are at risk of potentially deadly waterborne diseases.
Nearly three million people have been affected by Cyclone Idai
Over 750 people have died in the three countries on the south east coast of Africa with Mozambique suffering the highest human fatalities. As the death toll continues to rise, over 260,000 children have been affected in the country and at least 350,000 people are at risk from rising flood waters. In Malawi, close to a million people have been affected with nearly half a million being children.
Plan International UK is a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). The DEC brings together 14 leading UK aid charities in times of crisis, to maximise the impact and help children and families who need it most. Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK said: “We’re hugely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for supporting our disaster response in Southern Africa. This generous grant will make a big difference to thousands of people affected by this devastating cyclone and help get their lives back on track.”
David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said:
“Cyclone Idai has devastated the lives of many thousands of people, with, as usual, women and children bearing the brunt of the suffering. I’m very pleased that the Masonic Charitable Foundation was able to move so quickly and provide funds for Plan International UK’s vital work at the heart of the disaster zone.”