On behalf of Freemasonry in England and Wales the Masonic Charitable Foundation is proud to be working in partnership with Hospice UK to deliver a programme of local funding that will have a significant and lasting impact on communities across England and Wales.

What is the programme?


Poverty, specifically, is not a single factor; it is characterised by multiple physical and psychosocial situations or events that cause stress.

Socioeconomic status (SES) is a reliable predictor of physical and psychological health, and low SES is consistently recognised as a risk factor for worse health outcomes.

This can manifest itself in many ways towards end of life – someone, or their family, may feel they have to continue working while experiencing ill health. It may have an impact on the home environment in which they spend their final weeks and months or on their funeral arrangements.

In terms of interaction with health services, low SES is known to be a factor determining the volume of acute services that are accessed, the ability to engage with a full range of digital services, and the range of services available in the local area. We also know that low SES often intersects with people experiencing homelessness, race, disability and a range of other community groups who are frequently marginalised.

In more deprived areas, housing is often poor quality, such that evidence indicates that it can lead to an excess of winter deaths.  Those in rented and temporary accommodation have also to contend with housing insecurity, where overcrowding is widespread. All of this poses a challenge to the ideal of what dying well at home might be like for those living in these areas.

This grant programme aims to support the provision of palliative and end of life care to people with low socioeconomic status in England and Wales.



Grants of up to £35,000 are available to support projects running over a period of 18 months. This allows for up to 3 months setup phase and 12 months project delivery – with a further 3 months to cover any unforeseen delays mid project. 

The grant programme would be seeking to facilitate sustainable change in hospice care.  Grant recipients would be expected to assess the impact of the grant against their intended outcomes, which in turn would serve as case studies in an evaluation to support wider sector learning.

The Proposed Work


Projects could include, but are not exclusively limited to, aspects of the following:

Awareness of, and outreach to, people with low socioeconomic status (SES).

Projects could include:

  • Funding an engagement worker to develop collaborations between a hospice and relevant local organisations to improve access to, and understanding of, the hospice's services for people with low SES.

Intersection of deprivation and race/disability/homelessness etc.

Projects could include:

  • Funding a project co-ordinator to develop an access plan for end of life care for homeless and vulnerably housed people.

Overriding some of the impact of deprivation

Projects could include:

  • Facilitating a good death in poor quality housing so the person can remain at home
  • Ensuring a family in a deprived area has good information about how to get support for a proper funeral
  • How to help patients counteract the cost of living crisis in their final months
  • How to work with local authorities and ICSs to identify those with low SES and work as a multi-disciplinary team to reduce hospital admissions (low SES is linked to high volume of acute services in final months).

New approaches to the workforce – e.g. moulded roles, combined roles.

Working in partnership with other healthcare/social care/welfare/local government agencies to meet patient/carers needs.

Projects supporting people with low socioeconomic status living in rural and remote areas. Hospice UK’s report Equity in Hospice and End of Life Care states that most hospices and specialist palliative care units are located in or near cities, which means that remote and rural areas can face particular challenges in terms of access.

Projects could include:

  • Supporting the shift to virtual service delivery models – innovative technology projects that offer support that is just as good as in-person
  • Reaching particular groups within rural and remote communities, such as farming communities (or men in rural communities, who are less likely to present to services)
  • Training and support for staff and volunteers around remote working and digital technologies
  • The development of mobile hospice units, offering a drop-in service at various venues, information and advice on symptom management, as well as emotional, spiritual, psychological and bereavement support.

Available funding


Total available funding in this grant round is £300,000. We expect to award between eight and ten grants in this round.

Only one application can be considered from each hospice.



The deadline for applications is Tuesday, 28 February 2023 at 17:00. Applicants will be informed whether or not they have been successful in mid-April.

Eligibility Criteria


Eligible organisations are independent member:

  • adult hospices
  • children’s hospices.

 Based in England, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. 

NB: Hospices awarded a grant in the April 2022 Masonic Charitable Foundation/Hospice UK re-imaging day hospice services access programme are not eligible to apply in this round.

    What is not eligible?


    Non-eligible pieces of work include:

    • activities such as undertaking a needs analysis or mapping exercise, we are not able to fund feasibility studies
    • a continuation of an existing service
    • work that has already started before April 2023 – although if you ran a clearly identified pilot phase before this date, you are not precluded from making an application to develop it further
    • isolated pieces of equipment not related to the proposed work
    • direct salary costs for tasks not related to the project – the aim is to release the applicant from some of their duties to undertake the proposed work
    • hospices based in Scotland or Northern Ireland
    • NHS hospices.
    Picture of a keyboard with Apply now written on it

    How to apply

    Please select the below Apply now button and select Start an Application.

    For more details on this programme, please read:

    Application guidance and criteria

    Outline of application questions – for reference.  Use this to help you draft your answers in Word before adding them to the online form. 

    How to apply online - the process to submit your application

    Only one application per grant round will be considered from each hospice.

    Apply Now



    An outline timetable for the programme is given below. 

    • 28 February 2023 - Deadline for submission of applications 17:00
    • End-March - Grants Committee meet to allocate funding
    • Mid-April - all applicants to be notified of decisions



    Grant holders are required to acknowledge the Masonic Charitable Foundation, local masonic representatives and Hospice UK in any information that is circulated about the project. This includes e.g. conference presentations, reports, publications and articles that arise from the work.

    Masonic Charitable Foundation

    Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing £51.1m to deserving causes in 2020 alone. Freemasons do not only donate money – more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work is undertaken by our members in their communities every year.

    As the national charity of Freemasonry in England and Wales, the Masonic Charitable Foundation awards grants to tackle some of the most significant challenges in society, in particular, reducing loneliness in later life and ensuring a positive future for young children.

    We work in partnership with some of the biggest charities in the country to deliver our support.  Through the MCF, Freemasonry also contributes significant funding for hospice services and research into treatments and cures for medical conditions and makes donations, at home and overseas, to support those affected by major natural disasters.

    Hospice UK

    Hospice UK is the national charity for hospice care. Everything we do aims to support hospices to provide more incredible care for more people. Our vision is for everyone facing the end of life, whoever they are and where ever they may be, to have the best possible care.