Freemasons donate £110,000 to support Caribbean relief efforts

Posted: 2nd November 2017

A series of grants totalling £110,000 have been donated to support ongoing relief efforts on islands across the Caribbean, hit hard by this summer’s hurricanes.

The largest grant, of £50,000, will support Plan International UK’s work in Haiti and the Dominican Republic

More than a million people in these countries are still badly affected by the hurricane and are in urgent need of help.

Despite major coverage of the recent hurricanes, the crisis in Haiti and the Dominican Republic has been largely ignored by the media. Haiti in particular has tens of thousands of people still living in makeshift shelters following the devastating earthquake of 2010, the cholera outbreak which followed, and the widespread destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew last year.

The grant to Plan International UK will provide food and kitchen kits, clean water supplies, mattresses and bedding and hygiene kits specifically aimed at women and children. There will also be aid to help farmers restore their livelihoods and replacement school items to help children resume their education as soon as possible.

Tanya Barron, Chief Executive of Plan International UK said:

 The media may have moved on but rebuilding takes time. People are struggling to piece their lives back together after the latest in a series of disasters which have devastated these countries. We are hugely grateful to the Masonic Charitable Foundation for their generous grant, which will make a big difference to thousands of people across Haiti and the Dominican Republic

Caribbean Masonic Districts receive £60,000

Three further grants totalling £60,000 have been awarded to the Masonic Districts of Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Bahamas & Turks as well as Trinidad and Tobago, to help people in these areas following Hurricanes Irma and Maria.  The emergency relief grants will help those living without access to safe shelter, food, drinking water and sanitation.


David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation, said:

The recent hurricanes in the Caribbean have left many thousands of people at risk of malnutrition and disease, some of whom have been largely forgotten.

I am very pleased we are able to help with Plan International UK’s long-term, life-saving work as well as working directly with the overseas Masonic Districts to assist those in need.

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Macmillan Cancer Support назначает цифровую медсестру для борьбы с «фальшивыми новостями»

Благотворительная организация наняла Эллен МакПейк, чтобы обсудить вопросы о своих платформах социальных сетей и онлайн-сообществе и встретить «фальшивые новости» о состоянии

Поддержка рака Макмиллан назначила новую цифровую медсестру в попытке решить «фальшивые новости» о лечении и диагностике рака.

Благотворительная организация заявила сегодня, что она наняла Эллен МакПейк, чтобы заниматься исключительно вопросами о платформах социальных медиа Macmillan и его онлайн-сообществе.

Благотворительность заявила, что она обеспокоена тем, что пациенты обращаются к непроверенным источникам информации в Интернете, что может помешать им подвергнуть их вере в фиктивные излечения.

Он сказал, что один интернет-поиск поднял сайт, в котором говорится, что химиотерапия была более крупным убийцей, чем сам рак, а другой утверждал, что пищевая сода может вылечить рак молочной железы.

Благотворительность заявила, что Интернет является жизненно важным инструментом для больных раком, чтобы найти информацию об их диагнозе, вариантах лечения и поддержке.

Но он сказал, что важно, чтобы люди имели доступ к доверенной информации в Интернете, используя веб-сайты, которые были точными и авторитетными, а не теми, которые назывались «неправильной или опасной информацией».

Профессор Джейн Махер (Jane Maher), совместный главный медицинский работник по поддержке рака Макмиллан, сказала, что было естественно, что люди хотели искать в Интернете дополнительную информацию при диагнозе рака.

«Но с бесчисленными непроверенными статистическими данными, фальшивыми новостями и ужасными историями в Интернете, попадание на неправильный сайт может быть очень тревожным», – сказала она. «Это может оставить людей надежду на опасное фиктивное лечение или недооценивать преимущества обычных процедур».

Макпак сказал: «Поскольку все больше людей ищут информацию о своем раке онлайн, мы хотим, чтобы они знали, что благотворительные организации, такие как Макмиллан, могут предложить надежные советы для здоровья.

«В моей новой роли я должен убедиться, что у людей, страдающих раком, есть реальный человек, которому они могут обратиться в онлайн для получения информации об их симптомах, диагностике и лечении рака».

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Big Lottery Fund offers £4.5m funding to support local social action

Under the Place Based Social Action programme, organisations can apply for an initial £5,000, which could become as much as £500,000

The Big Lottery Fund and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport are offering £4.5m of funding to projects that will support social action in local communities.

The Place Based Social Action programme, which has opened to expressions of interest, is offering up to £500,000 of funding to partnerships that will help people improve their local areas.

Guidance on the scheme provided by the BLF, which will provide funding until December 2024, says this could include activity such as helping people and organisations to take action on issues that matter to them or encouraging new ways of working so that local people have more influence over and ownership of local services.

The guidance says that applications should come from local partnerships, which could involve community members, local charities or business, or representatives from the local authority.

Each application must be endorsed by the relevant local authority and only one application can be made per local authority area.

Up to 20 applications will be selected for initial funding of £5,000 to create plans setting out how social action can help respond to local priorities.

From those successful applications, 10 will be chosen to apply for phase two, when funding of up to £240,000 will be available for each scheme.

Five of those will later be selected to apply for phase three, when an additional £255,000 will be available to each project.

Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society, said: “People know what are the most important matters in their local areas, and this joint funding will help communities come together and drive the change they want to see. I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact this investment will have.”

Expressions of interest can be made until 28 November.

For more information, click here.

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Freemasons support Millom flood relief

Posted: 9th October 2017

A joint donation of £8,000 has been been awarded to help victims of the recent flooding in Millom and Haverigg. £5,000 of this funding comes from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, while the remaining £3,000 comes directly from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Cumberland and Westmorland.

Last weekend’s heavy rain resulted in an estimated three hundred homes being flooded. Many of these properties have no insurance as a result of being flooded on previous occasions.

The Provincial Grand Master of Cumberland and Westmorland Freemasons, Norman Thompson, announced the grant during a meeting with the Mayor of Millom, Councillor Angela Dixon.

Councillor Angela Dixon, Mayor of Millom, said:

I’m very grateful to Cumberland and Westmorland Freemasons for their generous grant. The recent flooding in Millom and Haverigg hit us very hard and we need all the help we can get to get back on our feet.

Norman J Thompson DL, Provincial Grand Master of Cumberland and Westmorland Freemasons said:

“Having your home flooded is a terrible blow for anyone. In this case it’s even worse as these are homes that have flooded before and for which insurance was often unobtainable. I am pleased that we can offer a little help to our neighbours in Millom when they need it.”

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Local finance infrastructure needs more support to help small charities, says CFG

A report from the Charity Finance Group says there is a big gap between what small charities need and the capacity of accountancy and support providers

Local finance infrastructure needs more support to meet the needs of small charities, a report from the Charity Finance Group has concluded.

The report, which concentrates mainly on the state of small charity accountancy and support service providers, says there is a significant gap between the needs of small charities and the capacity of accountancy and support providers.

The report says that many small charity finance services will struggle to expand to meet growing demand for their services, and the number of accountancy and support service providers has fallen nationally.

There are also challenges in communicating which services are available to small charities and a lack of resources to help small providers keep up to date with developments in complex areas such as tax, the report says.

National bodies could do more, it adds, to meet the needs of these support providers, including promoting better collaboration between them.

The weakest areas for accountancy and support services highlighted in the report are the Midlands, the south east and London, whereas Yorkshire has the strongest area of provision.

The report also highlights skills-based volunteering, digital support and building communication channels to promote services to small charities as ways in which local infrastructure can be helped.

It says ocial investment could be used to help these organisations, recognising the impact they have on the sector while simultaneously realising that it will take time to grow successful business models.

Andrew O’Brien, head of policy and engagement at the CFG, said: “Local infrastructure bodies are the backbone of our sector, providing critical support that enables smaller charities to do their work. The past few years have been challenging for support providers, as it has been for the sector as a whole. But the importance of financial advice and support has never been greater, given the environment in which small charities are operating.

“There are a number of measures that can be taken to support these vital organisations, but it requires a partnership between providers, foundations and government. The CFG will continue to do what we can to help boost the support available to these organisations so that they can, in turn, help small charities to thrive.”

The report was produced as part of the CFG’s small charities programme, which has been supported by funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

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Norfolk Carers Support receives £10,000 to help Young Carers

Posted: 29th June 2017

Norfolk Carers Support has been awarded a £10,000 grant by the Masonic Charitable Foundation to help up to 100 young carers in Norfolk.

There are an estimated 10,000 Young Carers in Norfolk alone. These children have a range of caring responsibilities ranging from cooking, cleaning, emotional support, personal hygiene and medical or nursing care for a family member.

It can be a very lonely and confusing role for a child, and is often hidden as children do not wish to be seen as being different from their peers, or do not even recognize themselves as Young Carers. Young Carers miss many of the opportunities of a normal childhood and often struggle academically, which will inevitably impact on their future as adults.

This grant will allow the Norfolk Carers Support charity to continue with their Young Carers Project. This gives Young Carers regular free time away from their caring role and the chance to meet other young people in similar situations. As well as having fun, it is an opportunity to receive emotional support and a range of practical advice and assistance from specialist staff.

There are two age-related groups, aged 6-12 and 12-16, which meet for two hours every fortnight together with nine activity day trips and two residential trips every year.

Catherine Bibb from Norfolk Carers Support said:

 We are very grateful for this generous grant from Norfolk Freemasons. The grant will allow our Young Carers Project to continue making a positive impact on the lives of Young Carers in Norfolk, supporting them to develop healthy coping strategies, achieve their goals and reducing inappropriate or excessive caring.

Jack Jones from Norfolk Freemasons said:

“We are very pleased to be able to help Norfolk Carers Support. The work they do is hugely important and can make an enormous difference to the lives of these vulnerable children.”



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Hindu charity issues clarification after appearing to support the Tories

The National Council of Hindu Temples was contacted by the Charity Commission after sending an email to members that praised Theresa May and criticised Jeremy Corbyn

The National Council of Hindu Temples has issued a “clarification” to members after it sent an email before the general election that appeared to show support for the Conservative Party.

The Charity Commission said last week that it would urgently contact the charity, which sent an email to members praising Prime Minister Theresa May after she visited a Hindu temple in north-west London.

The email also said that Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the Labour Party, had “alienated formerly loyal Hindu voters in droves, whereas the Conservative Party, which has demonstrated that it is listening to British Hindus, may well reap the rewards of this strengthening engagement”.

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In the run-up to the 2015 general election, the charity posted a letter on its website that said Hindus, Sikhs and Jains voting for Labour was “like turkeys voting for Christmas”. It was removed after the charity was contacted by the Charity Commission.

An email sent by the commission to Sunny Hundal, a political journalist and commentator who made a complaint about the NCHT email, says the Charity Commission contacted the charity as soon as it became aware of the email.

“As a result of our intervention, the NCHT issued a clarification at the end of its email to members dated 7 June,” says the email. “We have made it clear that NCHT must comply with our guidance on campaigning and political activities by charities and our guidance on charities and elections.

“The trustees have assured us that the charity is politically neutral and will not seek to or indicate that it supports a particular political party or candidate.”

The commission concludes the email by saying it will monitoring the situation.

Hundal told Third Sector he was disappointed that the charity did not face more sanctions.

“It’s not enough for the Charity Commission to merely get the NHCT to issue a ‘clarification’ after the election,” he said. “This is the second time it has broken the rules in such a way and the commission’s gentle slap on the wrist is unlikely to change its behaviour.

“While other charities go out of their way to stay within the rules, the ones who flagrantly ignore them are barely being punished. It is not right.”

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said the regulator had seen the text of the clarification but was unable to release it to Third Sector.

Satish Sharma, the charity’s general secretary, did not respond to a request for comment from Third Sector.

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