Covid survivor and carer 'owes his life' to charity supported by Freemasons

A Lincolnshire carer 'owes his life' to a charity offering men like him support after he fell ill with Covid-19..

Freemasons’ Provincial Charity Steward Pete Tong.
Freemasons’ Provincial Charity Steward Pete Tong.

Charlie had failed to turn up to a meeting of his group, which is supported by the Carers First charity thanks to a generous donation Freemasons in East Lindsey.

“Someone from the charity went to his house to find out why he hadn’t arrived for the meeting," said Freemasons’ Provincial Charity Steward Pete Tong. "They found him very ill with Covid and he was whisked off to hospital.

“If the Freemasons’ charity the MCF hadn’t made a grant of £55,000 to support the charity’s work in East Lindsey, then events including the ‘breakfast banter’ meeting Charlie missed simply wouldn’t have taken place, and the consequences hardly bear thinking about.”

The grant, and others which followed, facilitates many events including ‘banter breakfasts’, where men who have been, or still are, carers can meet and enjoy a free breakfast, relax and forge friendships. In the process, they also get peer support.

“Our support for Charities doesn’t stop when they get the grant, in fact that should be the start of it,” added Pete.

Hannah Key, the ‘Men Do’ project lead, Karen Johnson the Charity’s Trusts and Foundations Fundraiser, and Freemason Simon Noden of Lumley Lodge in Skegness have met regularly since the grant was awarded to see how the Charity and Freemasons in Lincolnshire can be of mutual benefit and share ideas.

Karen spoke at a meeting of Almoners from Freemasons’ Lodges, where she explained how Carers First can support Freemasons who are or have been carers.

She said: “We know that invitation has already been followed up by a number of Lodge almoners in support of their members.”

Simon and the members of Lumley Lodge have put on breakfasts and invited carers in the area to join them. He added: “It’s about supporting each other, Masons and non-Masons. We all matter.”

Karen said that whilst funding was important and necessary, it was just as important to continue to meet to see how their service could develop with the help of Lincolnshire Freemasons. She added: “It’s not just about money; Freemasons overall have such a breadth of skills and knowledge which we can tap into.”

The breakfast meetings for men carers have been so successful that the Charity is now extending it to provide a similar opportunity for female carers to meet too.