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Masonic Charitable Foundation, the Freemasons’ charity, to help thousands of older people through the COVID-19 crisis

Published on 05 May 2020 12:00 AM

Thousands of older people who have been badly affected by the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, will be given help and support, thanks to a £250,000 donation to Age UK’s Emergency Coronavirus Appeal  from the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons’ charity.

Older people are amongst those most at risk if they contract COVID-19, and while the Government’s instructions to stay at home are vital, they also mean that millions of older people are struggling through a frightening and miserable time alone. Age UK has seen a huge surge in demand for their services during this crisis and is supporting older people with expert information and advice, crucial friendship services and practical help in communities through the network of local Age UK charities.

The donation builds on ongoing work between the two organisations, which joined forces in 2018 on a £1 million three-year programme, funded by the MCF, to help older people feel less lonely and get the most out of life. As the scale of the coronavirus crisis became apparent, the MCF agreed that resources from this programme could be re-purposed to support older people through the pandemic. The new £250,000 grant will provide extra resources for this vital work.

Donations to the Appeal will support Age UK’s national Information & Advice line and telephone friendship services that are needed more than ever to help tackle loneliness and offer vital support at this time. Funds will also support Age UK’s network of more than 130 local Age UK charities across the country, which are stretched to their limits providing essential food and medicine deliveries as well as running befriending support for older people living in their communities.

As well as financial support, the MCF will be encouraging freemasons to give their time to their local Age UK charity.  

The Masonic Charitable Foundation is funded entirely by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Laurie Boult, Fundraising Director at Age UK, said: “This is a period of great anxiety for everyone, but especially for older people and their loved ones. Age UK is determined to be there for older people who need our help and especially for those who have no one else to turn to in this time of crisis. The generous support we’ve received from Freemasons through the MCF will help us reach many more older people, and we’re determined to rise to the challenge and continue to provide comfort, hope and practical support to those who need it most.”

David Innes, Chief Executive of the Masonic Charitable Foundation said: “Helping socially isolated older people is one of the MCF’s top priorities and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to build on our existing £1 million programme with Age UK with this latest grant, which will help to support thousands of older people through the current crisis caused by Covid-19.”


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Notes to editors

[1] An ‘older household’ for the purposes of the BEIS fuel poverty figures being used in the press release is defined as ‘a household where the oldest person is aged 60 or over’.

[1] Age UK calculation: Based on the End Fuel Poverty Coalition’s fuel poverty projections (available here: combined with BEIS statistics on the proportion of fuel poor households where the oldest person is aged 60+ (available here:   

[1] Ibid

[1] BEIS, 2021. Annual Fuel Poverty Statistics in England, 2021 (2019 data). Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy: [Accessed 03/11/21]. LILEE data, table 22.  



[1] DWP (29 October 2020). Income-related benefits: estimates of take-up 2018-19:  

[1] 25,681 people in total have told Age UK that they are worried about their energy bills. The time frame for campaigners saying they’re worried about bills is 21st Oct – 14th November 2021.

[1] To date, 6,536 Age UK campaigners have written to their MP to raise their concerns about energy issues. The timeframe for the MP action is Thursday 18th – Wednesday 24th  November 2021.

Age UK

We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI and our local Age UK partners in England (together the Age UK Family). We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.

Age UK believes that everyone should have the opportunity to make the most of later life, whatever their circumstances. We provide free information, advice and support to over six million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well-being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we"). Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

For more information

Contact the Age UK Media team on 020 3033 1430 (out of hours: 07071 243 243).

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Last updated: Nov 26 2021

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