Now that I am getting used to my new role, I wanted to touch base with you all again to follow up on our Provincial Grand Masters latest video message. Both he and I are committed to ensuring that the Brethren of West Kent are aware of what help is available to support us all during these times of isolation. I have spoken to many Brethren who are starting to feel the strain of living alone and being vulnerable, and deeply miss the interaction that they enjoyed prior to the cessation of Masonic meetings more than two months ago. Although our Grand Master suspended activities until July, we have to be pragmatic and accept that we may not be in a position to resume our regular meetings for some time after that. And it’s important for us all to keep ourselves healthy, both in body and mind.
I have attached a very important 2nd edition of the publication ‘Surviving Isolation’ which provides useful and practical information on looking after yourself and protecting your mind during isolation. Please take time to read it as there are some very useful hints, and I hope that every member will find something of use to help us through these challenging times.
As a West Kent Freemason you have access to lots of help, through your Lodge Almoner, our Group Almoners and myself. I am acutely aware that one of the stresses that can play on all our minds is being able to meet our financial responsibilities, and as well as the wealth of moral support available at the end of a phone, there is also financial help available, which can help to ease the economic burdens that you may encounter due to a reduction in your income. The West Kent Emergency Fund is able to help with a grant to give short term and immediate relief, and we can also assist in the longer term by offering advice on how to apply for further assistance through the MCF. Further details on all the help that is available is contained in the Member Welfare section of our Provincial website or by contacting your Lodge or Group Almoner. If you are still in doubt as to who is the right person to speak to the Almoner team coordinator, Andy Butler, will be able to get the correct person to contact you. He is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although your Lodge Almoner should always be your first port of call when you need help, I am aware that sometimes we all may want to speak to a person who is not connected to our Lodge, so you can always contact me, my details are on the attached brochure, or one of our Group Almoners:
- Group One (Dartford, Wilmington & Greenhithe) – Julian Rowley email@example.com 07771 598 967
- Group Two (Welling & Wrotham) – Kevin Killick firstname.lastname@example.org 07903 682 348
- Group Three (Sidcup, Sevenoaks, Tunbridge Wells & Edenbridge) – Mike Bowyer Jones email@example.com 07881 825 600
- Group Four (Bromley) – Graham Tarran firstname.lastname@example.org 07790 492 665
My most important message to every one of my Brothers is not to suffer in silence. A friendly voice is at the end of the phone.
Take care and keep safe.
Yours Sincerely & Fraternally,
Neil A. Moakes
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