Buckinghamshire Masonic Benevolent Fund
The annual report of the Buckinghamshire Masonic Benevolent Fund (Registered Charity Number 200845) for the year ended 30 April 2020
Structure, governance and management
The Buckinghamshire Masonic Benevolent Fund was formed in October 1902 at the Provincial Grand Meeting in Freemasons' Hall, London.
The Fund is governed by the Trustees namely; Hugh Douglas-Smith (DepProvGM), who acts as Chairman, Philip Blacklaw (AsstProvGM) and Anthony Robinson (Asst ProvGM). The fund is managed by the Committee Members namely; Stephen Knight (ProvGAlm) and David Woodward, the Fund Treasurer. The Provincial Grand Almoner is assisted by five assistant Almoners.
The Benevolent Fund has an investment portfolio exceeding £2.0 million which realises approximately £109 K per annum. This annual income is currently sufficient for the Provincial Almoner to assist Buckinghamshire Freemasons and their dependents in times of distress caused by unforeseen financial difficulties.
The Fund supports a loan scheme of mobility aids including electric scooter and stair lifts. The Fund also provides interest free loans or grants to Buckinghamshire Freemasons when and where available.
The charity and its Trustees do not hold assets on behalf of others.
Public benefit statement
The charity Trustees have complied with their duty to have due regard to the guidance on public benefit published by the Charity Commission in exercising their powers and duties.
Objectives and activities
The Fund is established with the object of relieving distress by means of outright grants, annuities or other periodical payments or loans for or towards:
1. The maintenance, clothing and education of necessitous children of necessitous or deceased Freemasons.
2. The vocational training and advancement in life of such children after leaving school.
3. The relief of Freemasons and their children and their wives and the widows of deceased Freemasons, all of whom are in necessitous circumstances.
Achievements and performance
During the year ended 30 April 2020, grants totalling £58,905 were disbursed to Buckinghamshire Freemasons and their dependents. A number of these grants were one-off payments to help our members and their dependents at a time of financial crisis or emergency. The majority of the grants have been made to heighten the welfare and quality of life for those who would otherwise struggle to exist on the minimum income. We have given £12,483 immediate support to those experiencing difficulty during the virus pandemic.
It is with a tremendous sense of gratitude that we acknowledge the additional support of The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF) and the associated departments.
The Masonic Charitable Foundation has made 62 grants to our Brethren or dependants totalling £144,508
The Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution has expended £53,763 (average Charitable Spend) in support of four of nine Bucks residents in Masonic Residential Homes.
These figures highlight the increasing level of need being experienced by the Brethren and dependants of the Province and the amount of work required to arrange for applications to the Benevolent Fund and the MCF
This report has been prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice, Accounting and Reporting by Charities (issued in March 2005).
This report was approved by the Trustees on 25th October 2020 and is signed on their behalf by;
Dr S Knight