“I’ve had a disastrous three years. My wife, Carol, had lung cancer and a bad stroke which was the beginning of a lot of trauma for us. Shortly after, we lost both our sons to illness and our daughter died suddenly in her sleep. She went to bed one night and didn’t wake up.
Because of Carol’s cancer, she was constantly hooked up to oxygen. This made it hard for her to leave the house. My daughter used to take her around the supermarket but after she died my wife was even more limited, which frustrated her.
My lodge almoner got in touch with our local Advice & Support Team Adviser, Claire, who visited us at home. I have a bit of difficulty getting around myself but I didn’t know I could get any support until I spoke to Claire. She helped us complete an application for support from the MCF and we received two rise and recline chairs to help us get up and about a little easier. It’s so nice to have a knowledgeable support unit to rely on – it really put my mind at ease.
“It’s been an incredibly stressful few years, but Claire’s guidance and the support of the MCF has helped us to worry a little less about our finances.”
“I found out about Geoff and Carol when their lodge almoner called me. They’d had such a tragic time with illness and death within the family and everyone was extremely concerned about their wellbeing. I gave them a call and booked in an initial visit to work out their support needs. I soon realised they were struggling with mobility and helped them apply for rise and recline chairs from the MCF.
Part of the MCF’s support is income maximisation, so we try to make sure that people receive the benefits they’re entitled to. Geoff didn’t realise that he was eligible for Attendance Allowance so we successfully applied for the highest amount for both himself and Carol. It was one of those situations where money seemed irrelevant compared to losing their children or dealing with their health problems, but at least I could help ease their financial pressures a little bit.
I understand how difficult it is to ask for help, but when you speak to me or another member of the Advice & Support Team, what you say is in confidence. Support can be given both in person and over the phone; we would encourage anyone who would like advice, guidance or support to give us a call… you never know where our chat could lead!”
We have 13 regional members of the Advice & Support Team who provide practical advice and support to members of the masonic community. Whether it’s helping people to apply for support from the MCF, or making sure people are receiving the support they need from local authorities or other charities, our advisers work to ensure that freemasons and their families can live happier, healthier lives.
Find out more about our Advice & Support Team in our new leaflet! Order your copy, free of charge through our online order form.