Freemason, Ronnie, with his Visiting Volunteer, Tony
Volunteers’ Week is an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities. This week holds great significance for us at the MCF as we acknowledge and appreciate the invaluable contributions of our dedicated volunteers. It is through their unwavering support that we are able to fulfil our mission of assisting those in need, both within the Freemasonry community and beyond.
Freemasons do not only donate money; more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work is undertaken by our members in their communities every year. For example, Provincial Grand Almoners play a vital role in ensuring their members know to turn to the MCF should they need our support; MCF Members are representatives of the MCF and pay visits to the charities we support; and many others carry out vital voluntary work to support vulnerable people in their communities.
Locally managed by Freemasons, Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) provides much-needed comfort for children in hospitals and since its inception in 2001, has distributed 3.5 million teddies in hospitals across England and Wales. The work of TLC is funded through the generous donations of Freemasons, their families and supporters of the programme, many of whom volunteer hundreds of hours each year to manage the scheme, deliver bears to hospitals, campaign to raise funds and increase awareness through events and talks.
Mark in his home in Dorset
At the MCF, we are fortunate to have the support of Freemasons and their families who actively serving as Visiting Volunteers, enabling us to extend our assistance to the Freemasonry community. They visit people who apply for our support, help them complete an application form, prepare and check the relevant supporting documents, guiding them through a seamless submission process. But they don’t just offer practical support, they also provide a sense of comfort, hope, and a listening ear. Their work helps our programme run smoothly and provides those we support with a vital face-to-face service.
Dorset Freemason, Mark’s application process was made easier thanks to his Visiting Volunteer. On top of the practical support, he spent time talking to Mark about his experiences which allowed him to open up and recognise that he was in a difficult place and needed a helping hand.