ISSUE 21, April 2007
Historic: Philanthropist and scientist: Sir Henry Wellcome
Travel: In Darwin's footsteps
Grand Secretary: Interview with Nigel Brown
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Faith and Freemasonry: A Salvationist and the Craft
Young Mason: Keep up the tradition
Freemasons' Hall: Refurbishment
Ladies Groups: Cheshire Ladies Circle
   Library and Museum: Masonry and music - the role of the organ
Specialist Lodge: A new Lodge for showmen is consecrated
Serving the community: Two Masons win major rescue awards
Spain: How a Cleveland Mason found his Spanish roots
Wales: Welsh Mason lands national sporting award
Hospices: The Craft's historic links with hospices
Ancient Craft: Herefordshire's ancient boat builder
Education: Forthcoming events and Andrew Prescott and Own free will and accord and First Universities Scheme Initiate
Masonic Charities: Latest from the four main Masonic charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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The NMSF’s John Williams is available for talks around the country

A scheme for Respite Care was launched a year ago

Have you seen this man?

Since 1 January 2007 reports have been received that this latter day Good Samaritan has been seen in places as far apart as Durham, Monmouthshire, Exeter and London. Unconfirmed reports suggest that he is delivering a message about how eligible Freemasons and their dependents can apply for support when faced with a medical need.
    His name is W Bro John Williams and he is the recently appointed Development Director at the New Masonic Samaritan Fund. He spends the vast majority of his time travelling the country to talk about the work of the Fund.
    His task is simply to ensure that everyone who might be able to benefit from the support that the NMSF can provide knows what is available to them and how to access that support. If you would like to hear what he has to say he can be contacted via the Fund on 020 7404 1550 or by email on
    He is willing and available to travel to most parts of the country and will happily provide an appropriate presentation for any audience including Lodge meetings, training events, widows association meetings or lunches, white table events and many others.
    Please get in touch and ensure that he is kept busy spreading the word.

Respite Care

Just over a year ago the New Masonic Samaritan Fund advertised the launch of a pilot scheme to fund the provision of Respite Care. This was undertaken in partnership with the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution, whose staff continue to be closely involved in identifying the need and arranging care which may or may not be in an RMBI home.
    Those individuals who have benefited from this new provision have been extremely grateful for this much needed support but, so far, demand has been below the expected levels.
    There are an estimated 1.9 million people in the UK currently caring for a loved one, usually a spouse. Respite Care provides an opportunity for the carer to have a much needed break whilst knowing that their loved one is being cared for.
    Respite is usually provided for either one or two weeks at a time and usually involves residential care being provided for the individual in need of care, although sometimes it may be appropriate for a couple to stay together within a care home environment.
    The joint scheme between the RMBI and NMSF will, when possible, utilise any capacity within one of the RMBI homes.
    Where space is not available, or distances make it impracticable to use RMBI facilities, consideration will be given to funding respite at a suitable home identified by the applicant.
    If the caring responsibility continues, so too will the need for Respite Care. Repeat requests for support are therefore expected and encouraged.
    It is important to identify the difference between respite care and convalescence. The need for respite care arises where the caring responsibility is on-going, long-term and frequently involves provision of care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Convalescence is usually associated with a need following a stay in hospital and is usually short-term. Support for convalescence care is not currently available under this scheme.
    As with all other support from the NMSF, eligibility for support depends on assessment of an applicant’s ability to fund their own care. The assessment is totally confidential, is undertaken within the privacy of an individual’s home and can be done quickly. Account is taken of both income and capital, but the value of the main property is not included in the assessment.
    If you would like further details please contact either the NMSF or the RMBI for confidential advice on likely eligibility and guidance on how to initiate an application.

Supporting those in medical need

26 Great Queen Street
London wc2b 5bl
T: 020 7404 1550
Fax: 020 7404 1544
Web site:

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