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Ian and Sheila’s Story


Ian and Sheila from Northamptonshire are just one of the many families that have been assisted by the Advice and Support Team.

Sheila has Alzheimer’s as well as osteoporosis and is highly dependent on her husband Ian for care. Unfortunately, Ian is currently undergoing treatment for mouth and lung cancer, which makes caring for Sheila even more difficult. Ian said:

“When you care for someone like Sheila, you don’t get a single minute to yourself. It is a constant drain. I do everything for Sheila – I do all the cooking and cleaning and wash, bathe and dress her.”

They underwent a carer’s assessment from the Local Authority, who agreed to part-fund respite care. However the grant Ian and Sheila were offered was not enough to afford residential care or home-care suitable for Sheila’s complex needs.

When Ian’s Almoner realised that they were struggling, he put them in touch with a member of the Advice and Support team. Ian said

“The application process was easy. Judy from the Advice & Support Team went through everything with us. It was so simple – we couldn’t have had better help. I think we would have struggled with the forms alone but she filled it in with us.

“The whole process was also much quicker than I thought it would be. We had approval within a few days.

The respite funding has helped us immensely. It takes away the tension that I often feel and helps us both to feel more relaxed. It’s not just having the respite breaks that helps, but simply knowing that the option is there.

Advice and Support for Masonic families

Our Advice and Support Team provides free, confidential and independent practical guidance about the support available from the Masonic Charitable Foundation and many other organisations including your Local Authority.

They can help you through difficult times by understanding your needs, discussing potential solutions and directing you to organisations and services that can help. They can:

  • Provide advice on eligibility and assistance making an application to the Foundation
  • Recommend the best approach to meeting care and respite needs – in an RMBI care home or non-Masonic residential home – including dementia support services.
  • Assistance with safeguarding enquiries.
  • Help to avoid financial hardship and social isolation
  • Help to plan and access medical and dental treatment, mobility aids, home adaptation and home maintenance grants from the Foundation and other organisations such as The Victor Donaldson Fund.
  • Advice for parents and guardians on educational needs, financial support and well-being
  • Signpost State and Local Authority benefits and, services available from other organisations
  • Access to four UK holidays each year for for single people and couples over 65.

No enquiry is too big or small for our specialist Team who can talk with you over the telephone, via email or face-to-face. To find out more in our Advice, counselling and other support leaflet >> 

Get in Touch

Anyone with a Masonic connection – Freemasons, their wives, partners and widows as well as children and grandchildren- can contact the team. For more information about a Masonic connection, please see our Eligibility page.

If you or someone you know would like to get in touch with a member of the AST, call our enquiry line on 0800 035 60 90 

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