The Masonic Charitable Foundation Impact Report 2019-2020 is available now

It includes information on:
415 Grants for charities 
4,036 Freemasons or their families supported
15,416 Enquiries received from people asking for help
1,073 RMBI care home residents were provided quality care
8 Additional medical research PhD studentships were established
20 Disaster relief efforts in the UK and abroad supported totalling £312,401

Read the full report on the MCF website here

MCF donates £10,000 to The Felix Project

The Masonic Charitable Foundation have provided a grant of £10,000 from the nationwide COVID-19 response initiative to The Felix Project. The COVID-19 outbreak is hitting the poorest, hardest. The Felix Project has never seen such a high demand for food. In order to respond to this crisis, they have expanding their operations so that they can reach as many people as possible who are vulnerable and in need of food.

Compassion London is one of the charities supplied by The Felix Project and receives food donations some of which are used to provide fresh meals for families in the Watford area, which has been arranged by TudorFood.

The Felix Project rescues good, surplus food from the food industry that cannot be sold and would otherwise go to waste. This is high-quality and nutritious, including a high proportion of fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, salads, meat and fish. They collect or receive food from over 170 suppliers, including supermarkets, wholesalers, farms, restaurants and deli's.

The food is sorted and then delivered to over 350 front-line charities, primary schools and holiday programmes in London and during the COVID-19 epidemic food has also been provided to frontline NHS and key workers. That way, food that would have gone to waste is reaching people who have lost their jobs, people on low incomes, children and families who are struggling, people who are sick, key workers struggling to find food, older people who are isolated, people who are homeless, survivors of domestic abuse, and refugees. Mark Curtin, CEO of The Felix Project told us: “People in our city go hungry every day, while good surplus food goes to waste. This £10,000 donation from the Freemasons rescues enough surplus food for the equivalent of 55,000 meals for people in need.

Three major grants by the MCF make a real difference for thousands

Three major grants awarded by the MCF, the Freemasons’ charity, have helped to improve the lives of thousands of people affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Age UK, Mind and Buttle UK have each been awarded a grant of £250,000 to support their work following a huge surge in demand for their services.

The grant to Age UK will support the national Information & Advice line as well as the telephone friendship services that are needed more than ever to help tackle loneliness and offer vital assistance to older people. The grant has also supported Age UK’s network of more than 130 local Age UK charities across the country, which continue to be stretched to their limits providing essential food and medicine deliveries, as well as running befriending support for older people living in their communities.

Covid-19 has had a significant effect on the nation’s mental health and demand for services provided by the charity Mind has been unprecedented during the pandemic. More than half of adults and over two thirds of young people said that their mental health has become worse during the period of lockdown restrictions. Social distancing means that vital services usually conducted face-to-face by local Mind groups, such as counselling, cannot be delivered. More than a million people have accessed its online information on coronavirus and mental health, and there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people seeking support through their online community since the crisis began.

Buttle UK is a national children’s charity that provides financial assistance, in the form of Chances for Children grants, directly to struggling families across the UK. Covid-19 has increased the challenges that many families with young children are facing, in particular the ‘digital divide’ in the UK and the impact that not having IT equipment and internet access at home is having on many children’s education. The MCF grant has enabled children to continue learning from home by providing computers and internet access. Buttle UK is also providing books, toys, games and arts and craft materials to keep children busy and happy during the summer holiday.

These three major grants are in addition to nearly 400 grants totalling a further £800,000 awarded to support local charities and projects across England and Wales in direct response to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Masonic Charitable Foundation has donated £15,000 to Plan International UK to support survivors of three major earthquakes in the Philippines.

Destruction to homes, schools and infrastructure 
Massive damage on the southern island of Mindanao has seen an estimated 188,000 people affected by damaged and destroyed infrastructure. Roads have been blocked by landslides and water and sewage systems have been destroyed, leading to a serious risk of disease. 
Nearly 1,500 schools have been damaged or destroyed, along with an estimated 28,000 houses. Rescue workers are reporting that 31,465 people have been displaced, with 24,000 in emergency evacuation centres.

School after Philippines earthquake

Classroom destroyed
in Cotabato

The £15,000 grant will help Plan International UK to provide more than 4,000 water kits, including a jerry can and water treatment chemicals. The provision of clean water is essential in the prevention of cholera and other diseases which can be life-threatening, especially to young children. 

Rafael Garcia Velasquez, Acting Director of International Policy and Programmes at Plan International UK, said "We’re hugely grateful for this generous contribution to Plan International’s disaster response to the Philippines earthquakes. The provision of clean water is an absolute essential in the aftermath of a disaster like this and will help to protect thousands of people."

Support for Australia

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) has donated AUS $150,000 to help people affected by the catastrophic and ongoing Australian bushfires. This donation will be awarded as three $50,000 grants to the Australian Freemasons’ Disaster Relief Funds in each of the three states most affected by the blaze; New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
Hundreds of homes and businesses have been lost in Victoria and South Australia. Many Australians have lost everything and the impact on the livelihoods of ordinary people is vast – the economy will take many years to fully recover.

Support for Southern Africa

The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) has donated £50,000 to UK charity Plan International UK to provide emergency food packs and urgent humanitarian assistance to thousands of people at risk of starvation in southern Africa. 
An estimated 45 million people across southern Africa are likely to be affected by record high temperatures and low rainfall, which has led to the worst drought for 35 years. Combined with the volatile political and economic situation in many states, the price of food has risen sharply. Families have been forced to reduce the quantity and frequency of meals, and often forgo healthcare. Many children are missing school to help support their families, affecting their long-term futures. 
Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said ‘We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow Plan International to reach thousands of people suffering from severe shortages of food. It is critical that we act now to provide this support to those most at risk.’

South Yorkshire Community Foundation’s Emergency Flood Disaster Relief Appeal 
Freemasons have donated £15,000 to help people in South Yorkshire affected by the recent floods. £15,000 is being donated to South Yorkshire Community Foundation’s Emergency Flood Disaster Relief Appeal – £10,000 by the Masonic Charitable Foundation and £5,000 by the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding. 
The appeal will support families and local people who have been displaced from their homes and had their property damaged by severe flood waters. About 400 homes have been flooded in the North, and 1,200 properties have been evacuated, according to the Environment Agency. Dozens of flood warnings are in place across the county and further heavy rain is forecast. 
Local freemasons volunteer 
Additionally, local Freemasons are being asked to assist anyone in distress caused by the floods. In the past, Masonic Halls have opened their doors to provide temporary shelter and a hot meal, and now are preparing to do the same.

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