In 2019/20 the Masonic Charitable Association (MCF) gave £19M through 6,8882 grants to support the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of our communities. In total, Freemasonry contributed a total of £42m to charitable causes during this year.
The MCF’s COVID-19 Community Fund has now awarded its first round of grants to charities that are supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged communities through the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
This first round focuses on organisations supporting people who are homeless or vulnerably housed, and has seen 30 charities awarded grants totalling £843,384.
Of these 30 charities, 15 are local Emmaus branches that offer homes for as long as a person needs, as well as meaningful work within their social enterprises.
An application by the Freemasons of Yorkshire, West Riding resulted in a grant of £30,000 being made to branches of Emmaus in Sheffield, Leeds and Bradford.
Helen Brandley, Trusts and Major Donors Manager at Emmaus said, “Emmaus would like to send a huge thank you to the Freemasons for their extremely generous support of £30,000 for Emmaus communities in the Province of Yorkshire, West Riding.
Emmaus communities in Leeds and Sheffield, provide accommodation, support and meaningful work to nearly 100 people, at any one time, who have experienced homelessness. The combination helps to rebuild lost self-esteem, provides routine and stability to work on issues and enable those who have experienced homelessness to positively move on in their lives.
Emmaus Bradford is in the process of developing a new community which aims to provide 15 new rooms.
Due to COVID-19, lockdown restrictions have meant that Emmaus social enterprise shops, which provide both income and employment training opportunities, had to close. The impact of this lost income meant that the communities could be at risk.
The valuable support from the Freemasons will help to ensure that current services are sustainable and able to continue to provide much needed support in the future. Any support to them at this stage will help to ensure the success of the project.
Graham Bostock of the Sheffield branch said, “We are over the moon. We hope to use the grant to enhance our eBay site and increase sales to assist in funding another seven rooms.”
Companions at Emmaus Sheffield are pictured showing their appreciation.
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