The Committee of Benevolence consists of a representative of each of the Districts in the Masonic Province of East Lancashire together with other members nominated by the President or the Board. The role of the committee is to determine the provision of charitable assistance to needy Freemasons, their widows or other dependent relatives. The Committee of Benevolence operates two Sub-Committees – the Comforts Fund Committee and Young People’s Committee. Much of the work of the Benevolence Committee is coordinated with the Masonic Charity Foundation in London to whom petitions are submitted for consideration.
The Committee of Benevolence meets on a monthly basis throughout the year to consider petitions brought to them by Almoners on behalf of Freemasons, their Widows and Dependents who are in need. Relief is provided mostly by making financial grants, but in addition grants can also be given for repairs and decorations to the home, household appliances and for specialist mobility equipment to help enhance the quality of life of our Beneficiaries.
Each petition for assistance is reviewed by the Committee of Benevolence and, where appropriate, submitted to the Masonic Charity Foundation for their consideration. As a result of these reviews financial support was received from the Masonic Charity Foundation in the form of grants to our Beneficiaries amounting to £193,420 (decreasing from £203,520) in 2011) this amount was further supplemented by grants from the ELMC totalling £17,545 (reducing from £24,673 in 2011). This individual support is managed and monitored by the good offices of the case Almoner with assistance and direction from Julie Ward and Karen Hall from within our own Welfare Office.
At the close of 2012 the number of Beneficiaries now receiving grants from our Charity comprises 110 Widows, 20 Brethren, 33 Married Couples, 4 Spinsters and 1 Bachelor. In addition we are pleased to administer regular contact and consider the on-going needs of 367 Widows of closed lodges and 61 Young People.During the course of the year the Committee considered and reviewed a total of 122 applications and made 11 new beneficiaries of the Charity.The aims and work of the Committee is to react as quickly as possible in times of need and to communicate the work of the Committee into the East Lancashire Districts and Lodges with the assistance of the Provincial Almoner and the Provincial Charity Steward and their respective teams.
Mrs Julie Ward
Director of Operations
The Provincial Grand Almoner
The Provincial grand Charity Steward
The Honorary Secretary
The Chairman of the Comforts Fund Committee