Gloucestershire Freemasons are issuing an appeal to all Gloucestershire’s smaller local charities for 2024: please let us help you!
The Freemasons gave £243,000 to charities in the county in 2022. In addition to that, in a separate appeal called Project 21 for mobile scanners for Gloucester, Cheltenham and Southmead hospitals, Gloucestershire Freemasons donated £330,000 in only eighteen months.
At the Annual General Meeting of GMCA (Gloucestershire Masonic Charity Action) Chairman Will Durman explained that this particular fund aims to give donations to local charities with an annual income below £300,000. It normally gives around £40,000 a year but due to a shortage of suitable applications only £33,000 was given out in 2022 so that money will now roll over so will be available for 2024. ‘That makes it particularly important that we get to know charities who have not applied to us for grants previously’ says Will. Organisations which are not registered charities may also apply but will need to meet strict criteria and undergo stringent due diligence.
One local charity which has received a grant from the GMCA recently is Cheltenham Open Door, whose name sums up what they do. Liz Elliott said: ‘How very wonderful that Open Door Cheltenham proved to be such a popular charity for your members. Our charity works hard to provide for vulnerable people in our local community, allowing them space to come along to our Centre and spend time with others in a friendly, safe and – most importantly – a non-judgemental environment. The food provided from our kitchen is good quality, hearty and healthy and our Guests can make use of other services, should they so wish. We run a weekly art club, a mindfulness session and we also offer the opportunity to meet with a doctor on-site and to see a chiropodist. The ethos of our charity is very much Kindness First, respecting our Guests and seeing them as individuals. Some of our Guests may have had traumatic experiences in life, they may be experiencing mental health issues and be in, or recovering from, addiction; they often have complex lives and may be estranged from family and friends. Open Door providers them with somewhere to come, where they will experience a friendly welcome from staff and volunteers who do not ask questions but who are here to listen and support if needed.
Your donation will be incredibly valuable and help towards the running costs of the Centre and provisions for our Guests. We do not receive any central or guaranteed funding and therefore rely very much on the generosity of others and organisations such as yourselves to be able to continue to operate our services and facilities.
The Door is always open for those in need but we can only keep that going by the generosity of people like the Gloucestershire Freemasons. I would encourage all local charities in need of help to contact the Gloucestershire Freemasons.’
Local charities are being told: to apply for a grant from GMCA please go to the charity section of the Gloucestershire Freemasons website glosmasons.org.uk which also explains the other funds which are available. If you need assistance please contact the Communications Officer on email@example.com or ask a Freemason for guidance.