The Committee of Benevolence consists of a Chairman and Representatives from each of the Areas within the Province of East Lancashire. In addition, there are ex-officio members appointed by the President or the ELMC Board.
The role of the Committee is to disperse the provision of Charitable assistance for needy Freemasons, their Widows or other dependant relatives. The Committee of Benevolence also includes two Sub Committees, these being the Comforts Fund Committee and the Young People’s Committee.
Most of the work carried out by the Benevolence Committee is coordinated with the central charity namely the “Masonic Charitable Foundation” which is based in Great Queen Street, London.
The Committee of Benevolence meet on a monthly basis throughout the year to consider various applications for assistance. The Committee also review grant applications for Beneficiaries annually, in conjunction with the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Most of the grants dispersed by the Benevolence Committee are financial to assist with daily living expenses. In addition to which Christmas and Birthday gifts are sent to all the Beneficiaries, including the Widows of Closed Lodges.
Other grants for white goods or small home repairs would be dispersed by the Comforts Fund Committee, whilst all medical assistance, mobility and any major home adaptations would generally be funded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation. The Comforts Fund Committee also arrange a Spring Party, Summer Holiday, and an Autumn Day Out for the Beneficiaries on an annual basis.
The Young Peoples Committee give support to the young Beneficiaries of the Charity by arranging various outings throughout the year, in addition to a Christmas Party, with all the young people enjoying social media networking throughout the remainder of the year and are all very appreciative of the support given to them.
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