We need more of Gloucestershire’s smaller local charities to apply to the GMCA for a grant in 2024. We have around £40,000 to award each year, said William Durman, Chairman of GMCA. This year we have awarded only £33,082 so the balance will be rolled over into 2024.
William gave that message in the Associates General Meeting of the GMCA (Gloucestershire Masonic Charity Action) which was held at the Masonic Hall, Wotton under Edge, on Monday 30th of October.
He reminded the delegates from Gloucestershire’s 83 lodges (normally the Charity Stewards and Almoners) that the GMCA is our in-house charity staffed purely by volunteers. The GMCA gives grants of up to £2,000 to local charities who typically have an annual income of up to £300,000. They do not have to be registered charities but must have a written constitution, two signatories to the bank account and a formal safeguarding policy. GMCA therefore wants all Freemasons to encourage worthy local charities to apply for a GMCA grant (which can be downloaded from the Provincial website).
Charities in Gloucestershire received £243,000 in 2022 from Freemasonry from a number of funds. At a national level the MCF (Masonic Charitable Foundation) is based in the United Grand Lodge of England and gives larger grants to larger charities such as the recent ones in Gloucestershire of £75,000 to Music Works, £45,000 to Meningitis Now and £30,000 to Nightstop. There is also the Freemasons Fund within the GCF (Gloucestershire Charitable Foundation) which is similar to the GMCA in that it also awards grants of up to £2,500 to Gloucestershire Charities but with no limit on income level . In addition to that the staggering sum given to local and national charities by Gloucestershire’s 83 Lodges in 2022 was £150,603. That was in addition to the Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master’s Project 21 which raised £330,000 in eighteen months from Gloucestershire Freemasons for mobile scanning equipment for Gloucester Royal, Cheltenham and Southmead hospitals.
As has become the custom delegates voted for a charity which had received a grant from GMCA previously. The results of the Charity Vote were:
1 Cheltenham Open Door £2,000
2= Breast Cancer Unit Support Trust £1,750
2= The Big Yellow Bus Project £1,750
3 Severn Ambulance & Medical Services £1,500
4 Forest Talk £1,250
5 Jigsaw, Thornbury £1,000
Please see the full report of the GMCA 2023 AGM in the Resource section of the Provincial website.