As Chairman of the Board of Trustees, I am honoured to share in the responsibility of steering this remarkable charity.
The MCF has laid strong foundations and built on a proud legacy
The Board is committed to fulfilling its charitable objects, providing strong governance, prudent stewardship, measuring our impact and ensuring the organisation is fit for the future. To help achieve this, the MCF has laid strong foundations and built on a proud legacy of providing charitable support for individuals and communities since the eighteenth century.
Our journey over the last seven years has been marked by resilience, delivery and adaptability, qualities that have become even more critical in the face of evolving challenges including the recent pandemic and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis, as well as responding to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine when we were proud to be able to coordinate charitable support totalling over £1 million on behalf of Freemasonry.
Since the last report the charity has continued to develop a strategic partnership approach with national charities such as Age UK, Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme, Hospice UK and the Cranfield Trust to address a number of the challenges presenting in wider society including our aging population, mental health needs and disadvantaged young people. We have also responded to requests from Metropolitan and Provincial Grand Lodges to support local charities.
I would like to thank all of our Trustees for their ongoing support in the development of our new strategy and I look forward to working alongside them as we oversee its implementation by our Chief Executive and his excellent team. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank the six Trustees who retired this year, all of whom have helped the MCF to strive for and achieve excellence and they should feel justifiably proud.
Sir Paul Williams OBE, KStJ, DL Chairman and Deputy President
At the heart of the MCF’s mission is a deep commitment to understand and address the needs of our beneficiaries – this applies equally to the individuals and the charities we support.
As Chief Executive, and having had over 35 years’ experience of working for Masonic charities, I am acutely aware of the importance of allocating our resources with precision to ensure that we are making a meaningful and positive impact on society. I trust that readers of this report will be satisfied that we are working in such a manner.
This year, we have made significant strides in enhancing the availability and quality of the data and analysis that is used to compile this impact report. I hope these valuable insights demonstrate the tangible difference we are making to the lives of those we support, and that we are helping to respond to genuine needs within society. I would like to thank our recently formed Impact and Evaluation team for leading this project and those across all departments for supporting this important part of our work. I believe that this report demonstrates a significant step forward in our ability to monitor and share our impact as well as adapting to the outcomes and recommendations that arise as a result of this measurement.
We are helping to respond to genuine needs within society
This year, for example, a significant operational change has been the introduction of enhanced support for children and young people’s mental health; a direct response to increasing demand for these services from those we support. Our strategic partnerships with major charities have also helped us become more responsive, by enabling us to work with Provincial Grand Lodges and others to determine how we – as the national charity of Freemasonry – identify and support local charities and community projects.
All of our work continues to be funded solely by Freemasons, with the support of their families and friends. I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks to all of our donors and fundraisers, in particular those supporting a Festival appeal. Our work, and the impact that it has throughout society, is only possible because of your tireless efforts. I hope that, when reading this report, you take pride in knowing that you are helping us respond to need which is perhaps greater now than it has ever been.