From the Provincial Almoner
I hope you had a restful summer and have returned refreshed for the start of the forthcoming Masonic year.
This edition of the “Scrip Purse” contains a lot of information on forthcoming events, so please make notes of their dates, times and places relating to almoner training, presentations on dementia and the diabetes screening programme. When you have done that, you may put in your application for Christmas cards for your Lodge or Chapter members unable to attend your meetings and for your widows.
2019 Almoner Training
After feedback from a number of Almoners on the inconvenience of Saturday morning training sessions, we have listened, and have arranged for the 2019 training to be held in the evening. Two sessions will be held – one at Harrow and the other at Twickenham – and they are timed to ensure that everyone can be away by 9.00PM if they wish.
Details are as follows:
- Wednesday 16th October at Harrow District Masonic Centre, 6.45PM for a 7.30PM start
- Monday 21st October at Twickenham District Masonic Centre, 6.15PM for a 7.00PM start
On both occasions, tea and coffee will be available beforehand, and the bar will be open afterwards.
The trainer will be Mike Martin, Provincial Engagement Manager, Masonic Support Programme, at the Masonic Charitable Foundation. Also a Freemason, Mike is a very experienced member of MCF staff and is an engaging speaker. He will be explaining the range of services the MCF offers, and he will also give advice on how best to make your members aware of them. There will also be a question and answer session
Who should attend? Lodge and Chapter Almoners (wives and partners are also welcome), also any member of your Lodge or Chapter being considered for an Almoner role in the foreseeable future.
To book your place(s), please click one of the following links:
Briefing on Dementia
There can hardly be a Masonic unit where one of its members isn’t either aware of, caring for, or perhaps suffering from a memory-related illness. In that context, we are pleased to announce that Anne Child, Pharmacy and Dementia Specialist Lead at the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI) has kindly agreed to visit Middlesex to speak to us about dementia, and to give some practical advice on communication, environment, signposting etc., to help carers supporting those with memory-related illness.
Anne has a key role in the RMBI supporting their objective to provide high-quality specialist dementia care in its 17 care homes across England and Wales. Anne is an authority on the subject. In 2014, she received an MBE for services to dementia, and in 2015 she was appointed programme guardian for care home medication with the College of Pharmacy Practice, and also joined the national steering group for Parkinson’s UK. Anne holds a Master’s degree and specialises in dementia and medication management, as well as clinical governance and risk management.
Anne’s presentations will be held as follows:
- Tuesday 29th October at Twickenham District Masonic Centre. 6.45PM for a 7.30PM start
- Wednesday 30th October at Harrow District Masonic Centre. 6.45PM for a 7.30PM start
Who should attend? Lodge and Chapter Almoners; also any Lodge or Chapter member is known to you who may be caring for, or concerned about a close relative with a memory-related illness.
NOTE: It is anticipated that there may be considerable interest in the above presentations, so early advance booking is essential. If demand exceeds supply, attendance may have to be on a “first-come, first-served” basis.
Bookings may be made via the following links:
Diabetes Screening Programme
John Briggs (Provincial Charity Steward) has secured funding from the Middlesex Province Masonic Charitable Trust to provide diabetes screening by Diabetes UK for all Middlesex Freemasons. The sessions will comprise an assessment to take height, weight and waist measurements, with the individual being asked a number of questions. There are no blood or urine tests – so nothing invasive. Those attending will also be asked to complete a short questionnaire, and if they are identified to be at risk, Diabetes UK will suggest they see their GP for a blood test, and they will also issue a letter and an information booklet during the assessment.
The testing sessions will be on the following Saturday mornings at Harrow and at Twickenham, from 0930 until 1230. Refreshments will be available.
- Saturday 19th October at Harrow District Masonic Centre. Between 9.30am until 12.30pm
- Saturday 9th November at Twickenham District Masonic Centre. Between 9.30am until 12.30pm
Diabetes is an increasingly common illness that, if not appropriately managed, can cause lasting and severe health issues. Diabetes may not display any obvious symptoms, so it is always a good idea to be screened for it.
Full details of the above will be circulated separately to every Middlesex member of the Craft in due course.
2019 CHRISTMAS CARDS
We are (once again) pleased to announce that the Masonic Charitable Foundation has agreed to provide us with packs of Christmas cards to Almoners to send to your members who cannot attend any longer, and also to accompany Christmas gifts to your widows.
Demand for MCF Christmas cards has grown rapidly, and we now order double the number of packs that we did just 2 years ago. If you want to order cards for this year, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a line at 211 Lincoln Avenue, Twickenham, TW2 6NL, stating both the number of packs required (there are 10 cards per pack, so we can only send them out in multiples of 10), and the address to which they should be sent. Please let me have all applications by no later than 9th November. First come, first served!
Whilst on the subject of Christmas cards, a couple of observations:
- Please submit your orders before 9th If you choose to wait until mid-December before placing your order and you are then told they are none left, do not be either surprised or disappointed!!
- We always tell you when the packs are about to be posted. If yours hasn’t arrived within 10 days, please let me know. There is little I can do if you don’t tell me until the week before Christmas, or even in the following January.
GRANTS TO MIDDLESEX APPLICANTS
At the time of writing (27th August), since April this year, Middlesex recipients have received grants totalling £26715 from the MCF, and a further £4430 from the Middlesex Province Relief Fund.
Finally, as always, my very grateful thanks to you for all the work (largely unseen) that you do. The office of Almoner is one of the most important in any Masonic unit.
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