I am 44 years old and live with my two daughters, Ella who’s 15, and Grace who’s 13. In November 2015, my wife and the girls’ mother, Jacqueline, was involved in a road traffic accident which left her with serious brain injuries.
After my wife’s accident, I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I was fairly new to my lodge and I am not someone who would usually ask for help. My life and the lives of my daughters were completely turned upside down in the blink of an eye.
I found out about the Masonic Charitable Foundation from my almoner. One of the freemasons from my lodge told me to talk to the almoner, and when I did, he was already waiting to listen and support me. I told him what had happened and that my family were struggling financially as a result and he suggested I make an application for support from the MCF. Together, we were able to put together an application, and the MCF came back with a grant to help to cover our bills.
A few months later, the back doors to our house developed a mould problem and I struggled to find the money to deal with the repairs and pay for the bills. I turned to the MCF again for support, and they helped me with the cost of the repairs.
Now, we receive costs towards our travel so that we are able to visit Jacqueline regularly, who is in hospital. We go every week, and it is particularly important for the girls. Visiting will always be an emotional struggle, but I have got good friends to support me and my family. I am now in a position where I can attend my lodge meetings regularly again, and I want to give back where I can.
The support from the MCF has been ten out of ten, there is no shadow of a doubt. Talking about my situation definitely helped the most. Once you start talking about what is going on, the support is there. I feel like they’ve got my back and my daughters’ backs. It’s not just the money, it’s the sense of family.
My advice to people in a similar situation is don’t be stubborn! It is sometimes the case that you just want to shut out the world. When the time is right for you, it is important to ask for help. I didn’t know who to ask, or what to say. There is no judgement and the quicker you ask for help, the better. We need to realise that the MCF is here for a reason – they’re here and they want to help!”
Find out more about our support for families here.