Warranted 1878. A Masonic Lodge Meeting in Clevedon, Somerset.
Freemasonry has always had a strong link with charity, in fact it is one of the core principles upon which Freemasonry is founded. In the early years of Eldon Lodge's existence which date to a time before the welfare state came to pass, the lodge would donate directly to citizens of the Portishead area who fell on times of hardship. These days with greater regulation surrounding charitable gifts, the lodge supports local charitable organisations and it falls to the Worshipful Master of the lodge to decide which ones he will support during his year as Master.
This year our Worshipful Master has elected to support The RNLI Portishead (www.portishead-lifeboat.org.uk/) and 1-in-4 People (http://1in4people.org.uk/) which a local mental health charity based in Clevedon. We are hoping to raise a healthy donation from a raffle at our annual member's ball as well as our usual donations raised from our membership throughout the year.
In recent years, Eldon Lodge has supported local charities with donations to both the Jessie May Trust (http://www.jessiemay.org.uk) who do amazing work providing hospice care for children and the Springboard Opportunity Group (http://www.springboardweb.org.uk) who work to provide support for children with additional needs from birth to 5 years of age. We do not fundraise externally to support our chosen charities, all funds are provided by the members of the lodge privately.
Looking wider than Eldon Lodge and the local area, Freemasonry is a major donor to charities across the country. Since 1981, Freemasonry has donated over £57 million to national charities and other than the National Lottery, donates more to charity annually than any other organisation in the UK.
There are 4 main Charities within Freemasonry that deal with business of administering the millions of pounds our members donate each year and some more information on these bodies can be found below:
The Grand Charity
The Freemasons’ Grand Charity is a grant-making charity dedicated to supporting people in need. Each year the charity provides relief grants for hundreds of Freemasons and their dependants, as well as donating millions of pounds to national charities. The Charity is continuing a commitment to charitable support that began nearly 300 years ago in the earliest days of organised Freemasonry.
The Charity also operates the Relief Chest Scheme, helping the Craft to donate to charity easily and tax-effectively.
Further information can be found at: www.grandcharity.org
The Freemasons' Grand Charity, 60 Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ
T: 020 7395 9261; F: 020 7395 9295; E: email@example.com; W: www.grandcharity.org Follow: @TheGrandCharity
The Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys
"To relieve poverty and advance the education of children of a Masonic family and, when funds permit, support other children in need."
In addition to the RMTGB's main grant-making work, it also supports young people with exceptional talents and those who need financial assistance in order to embrace life-changing opportunities.
The RMTGB awards grants to both national and local children's charities and more information can be found at www.rmtgb.org
The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution
The RMBI has been caring for older Freemasons and their relatives for over 160 years.
The charity operates 17 residential care homes across England and Wales offering high quality care. Many of the Homes are registered for both residential and nursing care and a number offer specialist dementia care. All of our Homes can offer places to people with dementia, following as assessment of their needs. More information can be found on their website: www.rmbi.org.uk
Masonic Samaritan Fund
The Masonic Samaritan Fund is a charity funded by Freemasons and their families.
They provide 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 online. More information can be found on their website: www.msfund.org.uk
Thank you for your interest in Masonic Charitable donations, more information is available on both the Provincial Grand Lodge of Somerset's Website: www.somersetfreemasons.org and also on The United Grand Lodge of England's website: www.ugle.org.uk