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What is a Visiting Volunteer?

Visiting Volunteers (VVs) are members of the masonic community who volunteer on behalf of the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) to help freemasons and their families complete an application for an MCF grant.

VVs are integral to the application process because applications can ONLY be accepted if they have been completed during a visit by either a registered VV or a member of the Advice and Support Team.

Today there are approximately 450 VVs operating across England and Wales.

 

Becoming a Visiting Volunteer

Each VV must agree to the volunteer agreement and read the role description and FAQ documents before applying for the role.

The application form asks for information about their suitability, relevant experience and abilities as well as details of two independent referees.  VVs must also supply copies of their driving documents so that the MCF is assured that vehicles are being used legally.

Once through the vetting stage, volunteers will attend VV induction training which supplies the information and understanding necessary to act on behalf of the MCF – induction training lasts 1 day and takes place in Freemasons’ Hall, London. Once VV induction is complete a VV must also sign a declaration that they understand and will work within the MCF’s VV Policies and Procedures.

As VVs operate on behalf of the MCF they can claim back certain out-of-pocket expenses for carrying out visits on MCF business.

If you’re interested in becoming a VV you should initially register your interest with your Provincial Grand Almoner who will give you an idea of the necessary time commitment and workload within your Province.

Essential information

Policies

Handbook

Developing the Visiting Volunteer programme

Prior to the introduction of the VV programme, many people found the application process to be confusing and time consuming – resulting in application forms that were improperly completed or missing key information.

Pilot

In 2016 a new approach was piloted, which saw trained volunteers across England and Wales visit applicants at home to make sure the necessary information was collected to complete applications. The pilot involved seven provinces – Durham, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire & Rutland, Lancashire East and West, Wales South and Wiltshire – and proved very successful, with beneficiaries receiving a more efficient service and faster provision of support.

A full report reviewing the results along with the full endorsement of those provinces was submitted to the trustees of the MCF. In January 2017 the president of the MCF wrote to all provincial grand masters informing them that this change to the application process was to be implemented across the provinces.

Roll out

This started the process of rolling out the new system to the remaining 40 provinces and Metropolitan Grand Lodge of London. Managed centrally by the MCF – in close partnership with provincial grand almoners –volunteers were identified and approached to become VVs.

As each province went live with its new team of VVs, its Lodges were notified of the change to the application process. This work was finally completed in December of 2018.

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