Hospices across the UK support more than 200,000 people with terminal and life-limiting conditions each year. They also provide bereavement support for around 46,000 people. Yet they receive only a small proportion of the funding they need from the government. On average, children’s hospices receive less than a fifth of their expenditure from government funds. The rest has to be raised in local communities.
Berkshire Freemasons have been doing their bit to support two local hospices through applications to their national charity, the Masonic Charitable Foundation as well as contributions from the Provincial Charity: The Berkshire Masonic Charity. Thanks to these applications, Thames Hospice in Windsor received a grant of £1,633 and Alexander Devine Hospice in Maidenhead received a grant of £1,359. In addition to these grants, Alexander Devine received specialised IT equipment from Lifelites, a charity closely associated with the MCF
These are just two of 237 grants to hospices around the country from Freemasons. In total £600,000 will be donated to hospices all over England and Wales this year. This includes £300,000 which will be distributed to each hospice that receives less than 60 per cent funding from the NHS. A further £300,000 will be provided to individual hospices across England and Wales via Hospice UK, the national charity for hospice care. MCF is partnering with Hospice UK to develop and extend bereavement support services in hospices.
Contributions from Freemasons to hospices have exceeded £13 million in England and Wales since 1984 and are continuing to increase at a rate of £600,000 a year. If, during this Festival period, you want to put forward a local hospice for a grant from either the BMC of MCF please contact either the Provincial Almoner or Provincial Charity Steward.