Through the Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund, the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons’ charity, in partnership with the United Grand Lodge and Provincial Grand Lodge representatives, has awarded its first round of grants to charities that are supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
This first round focuses on organisations supporting people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, and has seen 30 charities awarded grants totalling £843,384.
Of these 30 charities, around half are local Emmaus branches that offer homes for as long as a person needs as well as meaningful work within their social enterprises.
Other projects funded include street outreach services, advice centres, sponsored rooms, winter meals and resettlement programmes.
The impact of Freemasonry’s funding can already be felt across England and Wales:
- 1,381 individuals are being provided with accommodation and support.
- 574 people are accessing employment and training opportunities.
- 40,816 homeless and rough sleepers are being provided with essentials, transport and support accessing services such as counselling, healthcare, and benefits.
- 196,900 meals have been given to homeless people and rough sleepers
The Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund raised over £1 million in donations from Freemasons, their family and friends, with all donations doubled by the MCF to help make a greater impact.
Thanks to Freemasonry’s generosity, many homeless and vulnerably-housed people will now be safe, healthy and supported throughout the pandemic and beyond.
The second round of funding through the Freemasons’ COVID-19 Community Fund will focus on charities supporting unpaid carers. An estimated 4.5 million people became unpaid carers as a result of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 13.6 million – however there was no additional financial support for people providing unpaid care to loved ones throughout the pandemic.
Freemasonry, through our grants, will be instrumental in funding projects designed to support unpaid carers as the COVID-19 crisis continues to negatively impact their lives.
W Bro Clive Eden PAGDC
Provincial Press Officer