The 2020 Provincial Almoners Update

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As we have been unable to meet this year due to Covid-19, I thought I would
take this opportunity to share with you the recent successes we have received
from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF)

For the full financial year ending 31st March 2020, our Province was supported
to the fantastic amount of £576,491 (which includes the support given to the
RMBI residential fees) from the MCF, supporting a total of 179 applications.

This amount was up by about £50,000 against the previous 12 months.

So far in this new financial year, we have received £274,841 (including the
support for residential fees for the RMBI) and which has helped 78 applicants.

These applications have mainly been for financial support or mobility aids (as
there has been a restriction on medical procedures since the first lock down in
March)

We did have 4 supported family holidays planned for this summer but
unfortunately due to the virus, 3 of them had to be cancelled but hopefully
these will take place at a later date.

During the recent pandemic many families have seen a reduction in their
income due to either being furloughed or losing their jobs all together and this
is the time for these families to seek the help and support which is available
from the MCF.

For those who may be going through a low stage in their lives the MCF can
offer a professional confidential Counselling Care Package – very simply with
one telephone call from the individual. It can be arranged immediately and has
been used by a number of Brethren in the Province and with excellent results.

The MCF also has an Advice and Support Team who can assist anyone with
help with benefits and advice etc. and again it’s only a telephone call away.

One of the main roles of being the Lodge Almoner is to keep in contact with all
its members and widows of the Lodge and I know many of you do a wonderful
job doing this role and I thank you for that.

We know many Lodges are having virtual meetings at the moment but what
have you put in place for those members who are not confident using modern
technology?

Some Lodges have set up a “shared system” of contacting its members during
these troublesome times – instead of the Almoner having to contact all the
members himself, he has arranged for a small team to support this initiative by
sharing the work load, i.e. if a Lodge has twenty members the Almoner asks for
three volunteers who each contact 4 members on a regular basis and this
seems to work very well.

In these difficult and challenging times, we need to make sure that our
members, and their families, are aware of what is available and how we can
support them. This can only be done by contacting each member on a regular
basis.

I would like to remind you that I am here to give my help and advice regarding
any questions or problems either from you or directly from one of your Lodge
members, and, of course, all discussions are in confidence.

There is a fantastic team and resources behind this wonderful organisation,
and we are only a phone call away so let’s use it

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