The Masonic Charitable Foundation has committed an additional £3 million to be awarded in the form of 300 grants (the MCF Community Awards 2017) to local and regional charities across the Provinces and Metropolitan Grand Lodge in 2017.
We are delighted to inform you that West Lancashire has been allocated eight grants of amounts ranging between £2,000 and £25,000, totalling £79,000.
Through these grants, it is hoped that the core charitable aims of relieving sickness and poverty, advancing education and supporting the most disadvantaged in our communities will be achieved.
The Awards are also intended to raise the profile of the Foundation within the Masonic, non-Masonic and charity sector communities, whilst at the same time acknowledging and celebrating the 300th anniversary of Grand Lodge.
For the first time in the history of the Masonic charities, it is proposed to reach out directly to the wider non-Masonic population to ask them how they would like the Masonic community to support people in need. Every charity nominated will receive a grant but the amount of the grant given to each charity will be decided by way of a public vote, with the most popular charity receiving the largest grant.
In this way, we hope to reach as many people as possible, who may be unfamiliar with our work and with Freemasonry more generally, and through these Awards, we can promote the often, unreported generosity of Freemasons to the general public, thereby helping to generate a positive perception of the Craft and of the tireless work that all the members in our Province do to help non-Masons in need.
Voting will take place in spring 2017 and votes can be made on line, by telephone or by post which will allow the public, including the Provincial Masonic community and their families, to vote for the charity they most want to support.
The eight charities nominated by West Lancashire and approved by the MCF are:
Click on the links to learn more about each charity
The winners will be announced in the summer which will give time to incorporate some of the winning charities into the Grand Lodge Tercentenary celebrations in October.
In addition to supporting good causes, the MCF also intend to use the Awards as a mechanism for promoting a positive image of Freemasonry, working with the charities that have been shortlisted to raise awareness of the Awards and the public voting opportunity.
The voting website will include links that will invite the public to find out more about the Foundation and Freemasonry, both nationally and locally.
If the Awards are successful in raising the profile of our charitable work and Freemasonry in general, something similar may be repeated in future years.