Ian Priest (far right) with Philip Bullock PrGM and representatives of the four nominated charities who will receive a share of £50,000
Ian Priest Provincial Grand Charity Steward announced the four Wiltshire charities which will benefit from the The Masonic Charitable Foundation Communicty awards initiative.
The Grand Charity has committed an additional £3 million to be awarded in the form of 300 grants to local and regional charities across the Provinces and Metropolitan Grand Lodge in 2017. Aptly called The MCF Community Awards, they are 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 the first Grand Lodge.
Ian said, "Through these grants, we hope we will achieve our core charitable aims of relieving sickness and poverty, advancing education and supporting the most disadvantaged in our communities."
For the first time in the history of the masonic charities, it is proposed that we reach out directly to the wider non-masonic population to ask them how they would like the masonic community to support people in need. We intend to ask the public to vote on a shortlist of registered charities that your Provincial team have approved. In this way, we hope to reach as many people as possible, who may be unfamiliar with our work and with Freemasonry more generally.
The size of grant that will be given to each charity will be decided by way of a public vote, with the most popular charity receiving the largest grant. Every charity that you nominate will receive a grant. We will be creating an online voting page on our website, which will allow the public, including your Provincial masonic community and their families, to vote for the charity they most want to support. For those without access to the internet, we will make arrangements to collect votes by telephone or by a postal vote. Voting will take place in spring 2017 with the winners announced over the summer. This will give us time to incorporate some of the winning charities into the Grand Lodge Tercentenary celebrations taking place in October 2017.
To ensure that we support charities that are providing services and support, which reflects the interests and values of the community in your area, your Provincial team has selected four charities they believe are deserving of a grant.
It is very important to the Foundation that those Freemasons, who support our work so generously through Festivals, legacies and in other ways, see that we are redirecting significant amounts of their donations back into the areas where they live. We hope that, through your positive promotion of these Awards, we will be able to achieve this together.