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The MCF’s partnerships: past, present and future | Durham Freemasons

Masonic Charitable Foundation

Two Age UK Beneficiaries

Two of the MCF’s important partnerships have undergone recent changes: one with Age UK, which has come to an end, and the other with Hospice UK, which recently introduced a programme that provides bursaries to hospice staff.

Both partnerships align with the MCF’s mission to support vulnerable, and in many cases, elderly people in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. In the context of these two partnerships, the MCF is both looking back on what’s been achieved, and looking forward to what’s to come.

In 2018, the MCF launched a £1million, four-year partnership with Age UK, which would allow their Later Life Goals project to roll out in 13 areas across England and Wales, benefitting 10,000 older people who were experiencing loneliness. Thanks to the MCF’s support, Age UK Later Life Goals’ advisers have been able to offer time, compassion, expert information and advice to help older people to feel less lonely, access more money, and get the most out of later life.

In total, 10,219 older people have benefitted from holistic support, over 4,846 have received support in their homes and more than £21million in unclaimed benefits and income have been claimed, which is an average of over £4,000 per person in extra income each year – a truly life-changing sum.

In the Hospice UK partnership, the same overall aim applies: helping to provide the best quality care to vulnerable and mostly elderly people across England and Wales. This objective hasn’t changed, but the journey to achieving it has – and it begins with staff. To address the issue of staff retention in hospices, the MCF has created a bursary scheme with Hospice UK to support the professional development of staff and health professionals. As a result, hospices will be able to provide better and more specialised support to their residents.

The new bursary scheme will provide grants for hospice staff to take courses such as in palliative care or dementia care to help them deliver better support to patients. This new scheme replaces the annual core hospice grants programme, which had a limited measurable impact. Instead, the same budget of £300,000 per year will now be focussed on the bursary scheme, providing ongoing support which has a clear purpose within the Hospice movement.

Nurse at Bolton Hospice

“ The first MCF bursaries have already been awarded and received with much enthusiasm, and as the programme develops we look forward to allocating more bursaries and learning about the impact of the funding.” – Karl Benn, Head of Grants, Hospice UK Support and Development

Hospices in every masonic Province in England, Wales, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are eligible for funding from the MCF’s partnership with Hospice UK. In order to spread the funding equally, there is a maximum amount available for each hospice. Those who apply must be working in an eligible organisation as one of the following roles: Nurse, Healthcare Assistant, Doctor, Allied Health Professional, Social Worker, Bereavement Counsellor, Administration Staff, Spiritual Care Worker, Pharmacist, or Complementary Therapist. Individuals can apply for a maximum of 50 per cent of course or module fees, up to £1,500 in any one year.

It is not only the Hospice UK partnership that focuses on professional development; through the MCF’s work with Age UK, funding has been provided for their National Volunteering Programme. This programme provides training and resources that help to engage new volunteers and ensuring continued positive experiences for more than 30,000 people who currently volunteer for the charity.

“I love volunteering for your charity. I get as much out of it as my telephone friend does and genuinely look forward to speaking with them every week. I feel like my life has been enriched immensely since I started my volunteering role.” – Age UK Volunteer

Since the MCF was established in 2016, it has developed its grants, services and partnerships in line with a long-term strategic goal to help the most disadvantaged people in society. The success of the Age UK partnership sets a high standard for the results of the Hospice UK bursary programme, and the MCF’s Charity Grants team has been working hard to ensure it will be achievable. The MCF is looking forward to sharing the positive results of this latest partnership, as well as updates on the long term impact of Age UK’s later life goals programme.

Are you interested in learning more about the MCF’s partnerships and Charity Grants programmes? Visit or scan the QR code with your phone

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