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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:

[i] Older households are defined as households with at least one person aged 60 or over.

[ii] 2022-23

[iii]Age UK analysis of Living Cost & Food Survey 2019-20. Figures projected to 2022. Spending patterns are assumed to be the same as those in 2019-20. Prices of items are changed in line with ONS inflation output figures for the years to 2021-22, and then by 9-10% to the year 2022-23 for all items except for energy that are increased by the rise in the energy price cap of 54% in April 2022 and an assumed rise of 40% in October 2022. Household income are changed in line with output data (to 2021-22) and then forecast figures (to 2021-22) and then 3.1% for households whose main source of income is benefits and 4.42% for other households (to 2022-23). 

[iv] By poorest older households we are referring to those older households with the lowest household income after-tax (i.e. those in the lowest income decile).

[v] Age UK analysis of Living Cost & Food Survey 2019-20. Figures projected to 2022. Spending patterns are assumed to be the same as those in 2019-20. Prices of items are changed in line with ONS inflation output figures for the years to 2021-22, and then by 9-10% to the year 2022-23 for all items except for energy that are increased by the rise in the energy price cap of 54% in April 2022 and an assumed rise of 40% in October 2022. Household income are changed in line with output data (to 2021-22) and then forecast figures (to 2021-22) and then 3.1% for households whose main source of income is benefits and 4.42% for other households (to 2022-23). 

[vi] Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2022. Coronavirus and the social impacts on Great Britain: Household finances. Datasets: 19 November 2021 to 1 April 2022. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandwellbeing/datasets/coronavirusandthesocialimpactsongreatbritainhouseholdfinances.

[vii] Those in receipt of Pension Credit, which can be backdated for three months and tops up the weekly income of a single pensioner to £182.60 or a pensioner couple to £278.70, (or higher in some circumstances) could also be entitled to the following:

  • A Cold Weather Payment of £25, paid automatically when the average temperature is 0°C or below over seven consecutive days
  • £140 off electricity bill thorough the Warm Home Discount Scheme, if eligible
  • A free TV licence (if also over-75)
  • Free NHS dental treatment and help towards the cost of glasses and travel to hospital
  • Help with Council Tax
  • Help with rent
  • Cheaper phone and home broadband deals
  • Reduced water bills
  • An extra amount of Pension Credit for some carers worth up to £37.70 a week.

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 during office hours (Mon-Fri 08:30-17:30) or for out-of-hours media support please email media@ageuk.org.uk 

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Last updated: May 11 2022

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