The MCF is committed to providing the best possible support for the individuals and families that we help, as well as our charity partners who deliver vital services in local communities across England and Wales.

This page contains information about:

  • Our help for individuals
  • Help from other organisations
  • Our grants to charities
  • How you can help

HELP FOR INDIVIDUALS

Do you need help?

A wide-range of help and support is available for Freemasons and their families with financial, health, family or care-related needs.

Support for daily living

If you’ve found yourself with an unexpected loss of income – whether you’re self-employed, an employee, or are simply struggling to collect your pension – we can provide support to cover daily living costs, helping you to make ends meet.

If you’re struggling to pay your rent, mortgage or utility bills and are facing eviction or arrears, we can provide emergency one-off grants to help keep a roof over your head.

Looking after your wellbeing

If you feel your mental health has been affected by social distancing or isolation, we provide a free and confidential 24-hour counselling service available, with trained professionals on hand to listen and give professional guidance.  Please contact us to access this service.

Education and skills for children and young people

If a reduced household income means your child or grandchild is struggling to stay in education, or is jeopardising their chance of furthering their education in the future, we can provide support to keep them in education or on a vocational course.

For further details about our range of support, please go to What We Do

Support for individuals currently receiving help from the MCF

We have put in place the resources and processes necessary to maintain our support for those who we currently help. Confirmed grants to individuals and charities will continue to be paid as normal.

Despite these measures, our response to telephone, post and email enquiries may take longer than usual.  We ask for your patience and cooperation during this time.

We will continue to monitor official guidance and our ability to deliver core services, adapting working practices as necessary.  Our aim is to return to normal operations as soon as possible.

How to contact us

If you need our assistance during this time, please contact us:

Email: help@mcf.org.uk

Phone: 0800 035 60 90

We would be grateful if enquiries are made via email wherever possible. If you cannot email and your call goes to voicemail please be assured that the message has been received and we will respond – please do not make repeat calls.

RMBI Care Co.

RMBI Care Co. Homes are currently open to admissions for new residents and Homes Managers and Business Relationship Managers would be happy to hear from prospective residents and their families.

Please contact the relevant Home, contact details can be found at https://www.rmbi.org.uk/care-homes

Alternatively, please send an email to enquiries@rmbi.org.uk and someone will respond.

Unfortunately, there is restricted access in the Homes, to ensure the health and safety of our residents in the current climate; however all our Homes are available to carry out virtual tours through video calls and can provide supportive imagery as necessary.

The RMBI Care Co. Head Office in London is currently closed with staff focused on ensuring the health and safety of the residents and staff in our care homes.

Relief Chest Scheme

The Relief Chest team will continue to provide support to Relief Chest users as efficiently as possible. Please send all correspondences including donation forms, cheques, vouchers, applications change of rep forms to the MCF office.

If you have any queries please contact the team at reliefchest@mcf.org.uk or 0203 146 3341.


HELP FROM OTHER SOURCES

You may find the following organisations and and resources useful at the current time. Sources of information may be of particular

Government guidance

For the latest guidance on Coronavirus visit the NHS website

nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Mental health

Mind, the mental health charity, has produced a range of information and resources Coronavirus and your wellbeing.

Coronavirus and your wellbeing

Anxiety UK has produced a support page about dealing with anxiety during these difficult times.

anxietyuk.org.uk/coronanxiety-support-resources/

Work

Employees: The UK Government website has coronavirus guidance for employees.  This information includes details of Statutory Sick Pay and other things your employer may be able to do to help.

COVID-19: guidance for employees

Self-employed: The UK Government website has coronavirus guidance for those who are self-employed. It includes information on eligibility and how to apply for a grant.

COVID-19 Self-employment Income Support Scheme

Benefits

The UK government website has information about coronavirus and claiming benefits.  It includes guidance on Universal Credit, as well as information on changes to Job Centre appointments and assessments for health and disability-related benefits.

Coronavirus and claiming benefits

Internet safety

Advice on how to protect yourself, your family, finances, devices and organisation from fraudulent online activity.

Get safe online

For older people

Age UK have launched an online hub with information about:

  • Coronavirus
  • Staying safe and well at home
  • Looking after others
  • How to help older people in your community

www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/coronavirus/

Children

Home-Start have created a list of some of the best practical ideas for activities and resources for you to do with your children if you’re at home because of coronavirus:

www.home-start.org.uk/news/activities-for-families-during-self-isolation

Scouts have pulled together a selection of indoor activity ideas:

www.scouts.org.uk/the-great-indoors 


GRANTS TO CHARITIES

All of our programmes to support grants to charities are running as normal.  Please visit How we support the wider community for further information.

In response to the COVID-19, we have joined with other grant making charities to sign the following pledge regarding our approach to grant making during this time:

We, along with a wider group of funders, recognise that the COVID-19 outbreak is an exceptional event that will have an impact on civil society groups, and want to offer reassurance that we stand with the sector during this time.

We wish to be as helpful as possible during the coming weeks and months so that civil society groups can focus on the vital work of supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. We understand that there will be times when staff and volunteers will not be available, when beneficiaries may need services to be provided in different ways, or when systems need to be flexible to ensure that needs are met.

If your community, services or organisation are affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, and you receive grant funding from us, we are committed to:

    • Adapting activities – we recognise that you may experience difficulties achieving some of the outputs or outcomes we agreed for your grant during the outbreak, and would like to be able to maintain our grant payments to you at originally-agreed levels during this period, so please have a conversation with us if you are affected in this way;
    • Discussing dates – we don’t want to add pressure, so if you think you will struggle to meet a reporting deadline please get in touch with us so that we can agree a more realistic time for you to get things to us wherever possible;
    • Financial flexibility – we know you may need to use your funding to help cover sickness, purchase equipment, or deliver services differently, and we will be reasonable if you need to move money between budget headings to ensure your work can continue; and
    • Listening to you – we are here if you want to talk to us about the situation you’re facing, but we’ll wait for you to call us so that these conversations are at the right time for you.

We also recognise that there may be further shocks to the system caused by COVID-19 that may impact on your other income streams, or require a more urgent response from funders. Where we have any news on emergency funding we commit to publishing this through links on this web page, so you can see all available programmes in one place.

If your charity would like further information about our grant making, please contact charitygrants@mcf.org.uk


HOW CAN I HELP?

If you are a Freemason and want to help with the response to Coronavirus, we recommend that you contact your Provincial Office to ask about local initiatives that are being set-up.

UGLE are asking Freemasons to consider becoming an NHS Volunteer.

Alternatively, your local council may be able to assist.  Many local authorities are setting up services to support local communities, such as arranging telephone contact with older and vulnerable people.

Please do continue to check the UGLE and MCF websites as we continue to look at ways we can support people during this time and details will appear as they become available.


Further updates will be posted on this website regularly as well as on our Twitter and Facebook pages and email-newsletter.

Last updated: Wednesday, 1 April 2020