Ukrainian families split apart by conflict will be reunited thanks to West Wales Freemasons

 

Monday 16th January

 

West Wales Freemasons have lent their support to families affected by the conflict in Ukraine by helping to raise a £100,000 donation to the British Red Cross, along with other Freemasons across England and Wales. The grant will support the Red Cross in its work with people seeking safety in the UK who have lost contact with loved ones.

 

After being torn apart, finding each other can be incredibly hard and many may not know whether their children, partner or parents are alive, let alone where they are. Even when family members are found, the legal process to reunite can be long and complicated, and physically reuniting them is often unaffordable. Thanks to the British Red Cross they can be safely brought together in the UK.

 

The British Red Cross international family tracing team helps to find missing relatives, with experienced caseworkers, supported by interpreters, finding out how people were separated and where they could be. Those looking for loved ones can also upload a photo of themselves on the Trace the Face website in the hope that their missing family recognise them. If found, they will be able to speak to each other by phone.

 

The Red Cross can also help families with visa applications and arrange face-to-face reunions with relatives in the UK. Dedicated caseworkers support refugees both practically and emotionally during this long process, helping them deal with the trauma of separation, and supporting them to access accommodation and financial support to maintain their wellbeing. Red Cross teams can also help pay for flights to the UK, for those that cannot afford it.

 

The Red Cross has been reuniting families since before World War II. Last year they brought together almost 8,000 people separated by conflict. They have a presence in 192 countries, with a vast network can help people in crisis to find missing loved ones in nearly every country in the world.

 

This latest £100,000 grant from the Freemasons comes after a series of previous grants totalling more than £1 million, helping Ukrainian refugees both in the UK and in Ukraine, as well as in Poland, Moldova and other neighbouring countries.

 

Freemasons contributed to the grant through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.

Alex Fraser, UK Director of Refugee Support and Restoring Family Links for the British Red Cross, said:

“We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which we’ll use to reunite families torn apart by conflict. For people seeking safety in a crisis, losing contact with family members adds a new layer of trauma, and while the conflict in Ukraine has highlighted that fact, it’s a situation facing countless refugees and people on the move around the globe.

“Bringing families back together is a hard and complex process, but for someone looking for their child, spouse or sibling, it means everything. The Freemasons’ generosity will help us to support these people, whoever they are and whatever they’ve been through.”

James Ross from West Wales Freemasons, said:

“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the British Red Cross with this hugely important project to reunite families who have often been scattered across the continent. I can’t imagine a better way for Ukrainian children to celebrate the New Year than to get their  families back in a safe country away from violence.”

For Freemasons, for families, for everyone

The Masonic Charitable Foundation builds better lives by enabling opportunity, advancing healthcare and education and promoting independence for Freemasons, their families and the wider community.

Funded entirely through the generosity of Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation is one of the largest grant-making charities in the country.

 

How the Foundation helps Masonic families

 A wide range of help and support is available for Freemasons, their wives, partners, widows, children and grandchildren. Most of the support provided takes the form of financial grants to assist with financial, health or family related needs.

Financial

  • Daily living costs
  • Grants following an accident, redundancy or personal crisis
  • Funeral bills
  • Minor home repairs

Health

  • Medical treatment
  • Dental treatment
  • Mobility aids and home adaptations
  • Counselling

Family – Children in full-time education

  • Costs for education or training
  • Scholarships, travel grants and student accommodation
  • Supporting exceptional talent in sport, music or the performing arts

Family – Care

  • Masonic care homes – including nursing, residential and dementia care
  • Respite care
  • UK holidays

Practical assistance

The Foundation’s Advice & Support Team offer confidential, impartial and practical guidance about the help we can provide. The Team can also help with applications for state and local authority benefits and can put you in touch with other organisations who can give advice on care, employment and education.
 

How to apply

For further information about the help and support available from the Foundation, please call their dedicated freephone enquiry line: 0800 035 60 90 or email help@mcf.org.uk.  You can also write to Masonic Charitable Foundation, 60 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5AZ

For more information about the Foundation’s grants and the application process, please visit: www.mcf.org.uk

 

How the Foundation helps communities

In addition to the support provided to Freemasons and their families, the Masonic Charitable Foundation looks beyond Freemasonry, making significant financial grants to charities that help people to live happy, fulfilled lives and to participate actively in society.

The charities supported make a significant and lasting difference to people in need.  We aim to benefit as many people as possible and further those causes about which Freemasons and their families have told us they are most passionate.

To find out more about the Foundation’s Community Support and Research grants, please visit: www.mcf.org.uk/community

 

Keep up to date with the Foundation’s work

Website:          www.mcf.org.uk

Twitter:            @Masonic_Charity

Facebook:       @themcf

YouTube:        Masonic Charitable Foundation

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