Provincial Grand Lodge Yorkshire North & East Ridings 2018 Masonic Festival Website

About The MSF

The Masonic Samaritan Fund is a charity funded by Freemasons and their families. The MSF provides grants to eligible beneficiaries who have an identified health or care need and, faced with a long wait for treatment, care or support, are unable to afford their own private care. Details of the eligibility criteria, the application process and how to support our work are available on their website.

The MSF welcomes applications from anyone who at any time has been initiated into, or joined, a Lodge under the constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England. There are no age limits and no qualifying periods of membership. There is no requirement to still be active within the Craft.

The MSF regards anyone who is physically or financially dependent on a Freemason, or his estate, to be eligible to apply as the dependant of a Freemason. Applications are welcome on behalf of the wife, partner, widow or surviving partner of a Freemason who meets the above criteria.

In the case of children in full-time education and living with their parents this is straightforward however dependency is not limited to the immediate younger generation. Further evidence may be required to confirm dependency but it may equally apply to the parent of a Freemason who lives with him or the grandchild who receives significant, regular and verifiable support from their Masonic grandfather.

A telephone call to the Fund will provide the latest advice on the straightforward and confidential application process. An Almoner or Visiting Brother will be appointed to assist with every application but initial contact direct from potential applicants is both welcomed and encouraged.

Application forms and guidance notes will be issued from the Fund to the Visiting Brother as soon as the need for an application has been confirmed. A decision as to whether or not a grant has been made is usually available within four weeks of the completed application forms being received at the Fund.

Almoners are crucial to the continuing ability of the Masonic Samaritan Fund to reach and support Freemasons and their dependants who are faced with a health or care need.

Masonic Charitable Foundation

In 2016 Grand Lodge conducted a reorganization of the four central masonic charities. A new unified charity was born titled the Masonic Charitable Foundation. This brought together all the administrative processes of the four charities to make substantial savings to benefit the charities. The four basic principles of the charities still function beneath this new umbrella and the status of our Festival 2018 remains unchanged. The Masonic Samaritan Fund is thus now part of this Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Masonic Charitable Foundation became operational on 1 April 2016 to provide a wide range of financial, health and family support to Freemasons, their families and the wider community.

The Foundation brings together the work of The Freemasons' Grand Charity, the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys, the Masonic Samaritan Fund and the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution. These charities existed separately under various names from the early 18th Century and provided specific types of support to Freemasons and their families.

The 2018 Yorkshire N&ER Festival remains on behalf of the Masonic Samaritan Fund. All funds raised will continue to only be available to provide for those in need of health and care support.


How to apply

For further information about the help and support available from the Foundation, please call their dedicated freephone enquiry line: 0800 035 60 90 or email help@mcf.org.uk. You can also write to Masonic Charitable Foundation, 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ

For more information about the MSF / Foundation’s grants and the application process, please visit: Main web site.

The Masonic Samaritan Fund gives immediate assistance from Small Grants Fund & Counselling Careline

One of our Lodge Almoners recently experienced examples of the excellent and rapid response from the MSF to requests for assistance for two brethren needing help from the Small Grants Fund for medical specialist’s consultations and another for the Counselling Careline.

Brother A’s wife had a mild heart attack whilst undergoing an operation. Fortunately the operation was successful but she was told to make an appointment to see a cardiologist. After 6 weeks the NHS was unable to even offer an appointment date so it became obvious that any appointment would be outside the 8 weeks eligibility date to qualify under the Small Grants Fund. A phone call to the MSF produced the authorisation to make a private appointment and the cost would be covered up to £500. However, shortly afterwards an NHS appointment did come through for a few days over the 8 weeks period. The Brother decided to take up the NHS offer, thanking the MSF for their generous offer saying, that as the date was so near, he felt that the £500 could be better used to assist other needy brethren.

Brother B was suffering from a severe memory problem at a relatively young age. His description was that the memory part of his brain appeared to have turned to mush! This was affecting his ability to carry out the duties of his daily avocation and, of course, deliver any masonic ritual both of which to different degrees were important to him. An NHS consultation at a memory clinic could not be obtained in under 12 weeks. The MSF immediately authorised him to make a private appointment with the specialist which he had within 2 weeks. A successful outcome all round.

Brother C lost his wife to a terminal cancer condition. The brother had been his wife’s carer over a 3 year period as the condition developed. This obviously took its toll and when his wife finally passed away the brother was at a very low point and emotionally quite fragile. He approached the Lodge Almoner who phoned the MSF and immediate authorisation was given to contact their designated Counselling Careline operator. The brother confirmed that the swift response had enabled him to receive the necessary counselling which assisted enormously in helping him to move on with his life.

All of these examples show that these recent initiatives by the MSF are both effective and respond rapidly to calls for help – Contact your Almoner - No form filling – No home visits – Just a phone call. Simple!

Extract from a letter from a recipient of the MSF signing himself “a stranger to most”

I am writing to thank you for the work you have put in, in providing me with a very comfortable rise and recline chair and dental implant. It is not until we are involved personally with the work the almoners do that we realise the tremendous amount of work and time you commit to help others.

We are both members of a fantastic organisation, one where help is always at hand. Although I found it very difficult to apply to the Masonic Samaritan Fund, I was a bit embarrassed to ask, you made the whole process easy and quick. I thank you for your professionalism in dealing with my case so confidentially.

I find it amazing that a simple piece of equipment can change a life. Previous to the chair being delivered, at times, I found it difficult and at times almost impossible to get out of my chair. This gift from you has changed all that and I can honestly say since receiving it I have always retired to bed without back ache. You can take it from me, that is worth an awful lot.

Will you please pass on my thanks to everyone at the Masonic Samaritan Fund for their friendly help. It is very reassuring that you are always there to help me, a total stranger to most.

MSF now considers applications for grandchildren.

GrandChildren
The charity that Festival 2018 is supporting, The Masonic Samaritan Fund has been pleased to announce consideration of applications for the grandchildren of freemasons.

The change to the eligibility criteria allows the MSF to include applications for grandchildren with health and care needs. This will apply to grandchildren up to the age of 25 and still in full time education.

The grandfather’s Masonic membership and the grandchild’s parents or guardians’ financial eligibility will need to be considered of course, as with all other applications, but this is seen as another positive step in the manner the MSF continues to provide caring and lasting support for our members.

Further reading and contact numbers can be found on the Main web site.