To qualify for support a family must have suffered a distress which has resulted in financial hardship. This distress could be:
- Death of one or both parents
- Absence of one or both parents
- Disability of one or both parents
- Financial distress (e.g. unemployment or bankruptcy)
- Severe disability of a child in the family
To be eligible for support, candidates must also have a connection to a Freemason under the United Grand Lodge of England . This 'qualifying Freemason' could be the candidate's:
- Legal guardian
A candidate may also qualify for support if they can demonstrate that they have received significant financial support from any other Freemason such as a relative, a godfather or an unrelated Freemason.
The 'qualifying Freemason' does not have to be an active Freemason; deceased, lapsed or former Freemasons can qualify a candidate for support – our interest is the child's welfare. The only requirement is that the Freemason must have been initiated before the distress occurred.
In all cases, applications are subject to a financial assessment to ensure there is a need for our support.
Our grants are not intended to replace any state benefits to which the candidate or their family may be entitled. The candidate or family should apply for all state benefits to which they are entitled before an application is submitted. During the application process, we may suggest other benefits which might be available.
Support is reviewed annually and is maintained for as long as the financial hardship continues or until the beneficiary completes their education.
Full-time education: Children over the compulsory schooling age must be in full-time education to qualify for support.
Independent children: We cannot assist young people who are financially independent of the family of the qualifying Freemson (e.g. those who are married or living with a partner).
How do I apply?
Please see our how to apply page.
If your circumstances do not meet the criteria above, you may be eligible to receive support from one of our other schemes.
Other support available
For those who may not qualify for support from our main funds, there may be alternative forms of assistance available.
Children and young people with exceptional ability in sport, music and the performing arts, may qualify for a TalentAid grant or, for choristers at some cathedrals and choral foundations, a Choral Bursary*.
Support for further opportunities such as overseas educational travel, post-graduate study or student accommodation in London can also be provided in some circumstances.
In addition we support other children's charities through our Stepping Stones* scheme as well as practical support in the form of office facilities and financial services to our subsidiary charity Lifelites*, which provides educational and entertainment technology to children in hospices.
*Support for those without a Masonic connection.
For further information about all of our support please contact the Petitions department on 020 7405 2644.