At the meeting of Provincial Grand Lodge in May 2012 the Provincial Grand Master launched the 2017 RMBI Festival.
For those not acquainted with the ‘Festival’ system it is designed to ensure that each Province across England and Wales is tasked to raise funds for one of the four central Masonic Charities, usually for a period of 5 years.
Within the system a Province usually holds a ‘Festival’ every 11 years which means that we are asked to support a particular charity every 44 years.
This Festival will run from 2012 to 2017 and will raise funds for the Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution which operates care homes primarily for the care of elderly Freemasons and their dependants.
One such HH Home is Connaught Court, York and many members will already be familiar with the excellent work they do.
The funds raised through the Festivals are used for a very specific purpose.
Most people who enter a care home will initially pay for themselves. Sadly, when their personal funds expire the State picks up their costs and people can often find themselves being moved to a cheaper care home. This can be extremely distressing as they may have been at their present home for many years. Medical evidence also shows that moving older people between care homes is likely to hasten their demise.
However, in RMBI homes when personal funds come to an end the RMBI will cover the difference between the State contribution and the full charge for their care. This means in a majority of cases they will spend the rest of their life in the RMBI care home.
The RMBI has to find around £6m every year to help continue to support people in their care homes when their funds have expired and this is where the money raised by the Festival system is used.