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Freemasons Making a Difference In Our Community Through our Charitable Activities

England and Wales is divided geographically into 47 Masonic Provinces in addition to the Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London. Within our Province we are proud to say we are led by R.W Bro Ian Chandler, our Provincial Grand Master and his team. We in Surrey are a “band of brothers” of 5884 freemasons, distributed across 248 Lodges. We are all doing our bit, quietly and conscientiously, some, for over 50 years, to raise money for charity and contribute to our community. It is in our DNS, our being and our soul to help those less fortunate than us.

Individual Masonic Contributions

On average, Freemasons donate £630 per head to charity during a Festival appeal and at any one time, there are 20 Provinces in “Festival” working hard to raise money to support good works.

In the case of our Province of Surrey, we are in “Festival” and well on profile to meet our charity target of raising £2 million.

Our Lodge is very active in supporting this, and for example, in one festival day, we raised £6000 towards this.

Overall, we as Freemason, through the United Grand Lodge of England, during FY 2016-17 have made 7746 grants totalling £13.9 million of which £4.7 million was awarded to 414 charities across all sectors. Air Ambulances were awarded £192,000 and Hospices received £450,000 helping to bring relief to the distressed and needy.

Much of the money dispensed has gone in Masonic grants ranging in size from £2000 to over £90,000 that has helped worthy initiatives like the National Bereavement gateway project, funding a helpline for advice on Sudden Death Syndrome (SID) that sensitively helps bereaved families. Other key areas where we have made a difference are listed below.

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You can help now, knowing what you give will contribute to making a difference, and could save a life. Please donate now by clicking the button below.

Helping people in their homes to improve mobility and quality of life.

Masonic grants to address health inequalities totalled £4.8M.

We provided and maintained mobility aids, funded home and car adaptations, and supported opportunities for people with disabilities, both directly and through grants to local and national charities.

705 grants were made to purchase wheelchairs, stairlifts, rise and recline chairs and hoists making people more comfortable in their own homes.

Relieving Poverty and Financial Distress

There is little dignity in poverty as it contributes to stripping away a person’s humanity. We Freemasons have over 300 years history of being reminded of this on a daily basis, and as result, are very sensitive to this social dilemma.

There are around 13 million people who live below the poverty line in UK (about 20% of the population). Whilst we cannot eradicate poverty in UK, we as Freemasons, have positively helped 1986 families in 2017. They can now stop worrying.

We as a fraternity have awarded £2.8m in grants to relieve financial distress for some of the poorer families in our communities. This has included daily living grants, practical support to increase families’ income, and grants to charities that support vulnerable people facing financial hardship.

Putting Bread on the Table

It is our aim as a UK wide charity to support 227 charities, who in turn, will potentially help to feed 19,000 people each week. It is good to see that charity does start at home.

Healthcare Grants

1,905 grants were made to our Masonic community to brethren and their families to help them access more timely healthcare treatment.

Through £3.5M in grants, we have funded private medical treatment for Freemasons and their families, as well as support services and medical research studies to benefit the wider community. We funded 68 local and national charities that provide helplines, nursing care, support workers and sensory spaces that reduce patient pain, stress and discomfort.

Researchers are getting closer to finding new cures and treatments for nine medical conditions, for which we have helped following grants totalling £1 million. For example, this included a grant of £90,000 to Arthritis Research UK.

Care Homes and Respite for Carers

The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institute operate 17 care homes across England and Wales treating 1000 residents diagnosed with dementia.

Forty per cent of unpaid carers have not had a break from their responsibilities in over a year, while a quarter have been unable to take a break in five years. They cite high costs and low confidence in the quality of respite care as barriers preventing them from taking a break.

We are positively helping bring relief to carers allowing a break and peace of mind from their family caring responsibilities.

Education

We want every child in the UK to have access to the same educational opportunities as their school friends, regardless of financial difficulties at home

Children and young people will have a better start to life following central Masonic grants to 21 local and national charities. We are making a difference with the award of £4.8M in grants, we have provided educational opportunities for young people across England and Wales from primary school through to university.

Our Masonic grants also supported charities that provide learning opportunities for disadvantaged, vulnerable and disabled young people.

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Social Inclusion

We want to reduce loneliness and social isolation for everyone in society by increasing the quality of their relationships, and helping them to build new ones. Loneliness and social isolation are widely recognised as among the most significant issues facing our society.

This is notably an issue for our elder generation of which 23 per cent of people aged over 75 who live alone, and do not see or speak with someone daily.

However, people of any age can be affected, including those who are homeless or disabled, and those who act as carers for loved ones. Physically, loneliness and social isolation can be as harmful for a person’s health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and is more damaging than obesity. It can also increase the risk of cognitive decline.

Our grants have helped 36 charities who can now support people to live more independent lives. 546 grants were made making it possible for people to leave the house. 75 people went on holiday with Masonic volunteers and made new friends.

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Nobility is not a function of your birth, it is defined by your actions and how you live your life. Charity is a noble path, join us and make a difference, your community needs you. Taking that one step towards the light is the hardest. Be inspired and inspire others by your actions of doing good and making a difference.

You can help now, knowing what you give will contribute to making a difference, and could save a life. Please donate now by clicking the button below.

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