With many families continuing to feel the effects of the economic downturn, the RMTGB has received an increasing number of applications for support.
In 2011, an additional 347 children and young people were awarded grants by the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB), bringing the total number being supported to almost 2,000, at an annual cost of approximately £9 million.
William and his step-sister Phoebe are two children who now benefit from ongoing grants from the RMTGB. They began receiving support after William’s Freemason father (Phoebe’s stepfather) died at the tragically young age of 46. William was then just two years old and Phoebe was eight. The family’s financial situation became extremely difficult, but fortunately their mother was able to successfully apply to the RMTGB for support.
Regular maintenance allowances for both William and Phoebe are now being provided, as well as grants towards school uniforms and other clothing. In spite of their tragic loss, both children are now progressing well and the RMTGB is committed to providing them with support for as long as it is needed.
Combatting child poverty
Many recent reports show that child poverty is continuing to increase. A recent study by the End Child Poverty campaign claims that up to 50 per cent of children in some parts of the UK are affected. The support the RMTGB provides, however, means that children such as William and Phoebe are given a better chance to succeed in life.
Despite record numbers of applications, many Freemasons and their families continue to struggle on alone through times of financial hardship. The RMTGB is therefore continuing to work hard to ensure that all Freemasons and their families understand the support available to children, stepchildren and grandchildren in their time of need.
To improve awareness about the support available, the RMTGB has recently launched its new website – www.rmtgb.org – which shows how the charity can assist children and young people. There are dedicated areas for charity stewards, almoners, donors and fundraisers, together with information about the financial support available and the application process. The new website has also been designed to appeal to the general public and information about the RMTGB’s support for non-masonic children features prominently, including the Stepping Stones scheme, which has awarded £175,000 to other children’s charities during the past 12 months.
To maximise its online presence, the RMTGB has also joined Twitter (@rmtgb) and Facebook, as well as establishing an e-news service to allow subscribers to receive regular updates about the work of the charity.