Tercentenary Grants

Our Community Awards offer the chance for local community charities that help people in need to receive a share of £3 million generously donated by Freemasons and their families.

To celebrate the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, Freemasons have selected 300 local charities across England and Wales to receive a MCF Community Award.

Every charity that has been chosen will receive a Community Award of between £4,000 and £25,000. Your vote will determine how much we give to each charity.

Vote for Charities in Durham

You can help support our local charities by clicking here and voting for the charity of your choice.

Vote for Family Action

Family Action, The Bridge Young Carers

Family Action is a charity committed to building stronger families by delivering innovative and effective services and support that reaches out to many of the UK’s most vulnerable people.

We provide effective and innovative services that have a positive impact on people’s lives. Our work is wide-ranging and includes help for parents-to-be, the provision of many Children’s Centres in local communities, intensive family support, emotional health and wellbeing services, counselling, mediation and therapies, support in schools and financial grants programmes.

Since 2011 Family Action has been providing support to young carers across County Durham. We work directly with young carers and their families through a combination of one to one practical and emotional support, and running group activities that allow young carers to mix with others in similar situations whilst enjoying fun or educational experiences. Recently we have expanded our services to work directly with schools – to strengthen their capacity to support young carers. Through our young carers service we ensure young carers have the support they need to engage in schools, have good mental and emotional health, and have the same opportunities in life as their peers.

Vote for Hartlepool Special Needs Group

Hartlepool Special Needs Support Group

We have been running for 28 year with us acquiring our own premises in 1999. We support families with children and young adults who have various profound physical or learning disabilities with varying complex needs including life limiting conditions.

Throughout this time we have increased membership from three families to well over 100 families accessing regularly per year. Over the year family circumstances and services change either with the group or other bodies, this is made up of present, new and old members. The services we provide are focused on supporting our beneficiaries to help them reach their full potential by increasing their opportunities and life prospects, therefore improving their chances in life.

Encouraging the involvement of volunteers promotes better citizenship, taking their experiences and knowledge into the wider community helps break down barriers and prejudice and lack of understanding creating a more inclusive society thus enabling the children and young adults to better access community life.

Vote for Northumbrian blood bikes

Northumbria Blood Bikes

Northumbria Blood Bikes is a charitable organisation established by local volunteers to deliver essential blood and urgent medical supplies, out of hours, between hospitals and healthcare sites and laboratories in North East England, and the Great North Air Ambulance. We deliver blood and plasma to the air ambulance 365 days a year, allowing clinicians on the scene of accidents to use it as soon as possible after an accident. We cover Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Darlington. Outside normal office hours, hospitals rely on taxis or couriers to transfer urgent medical supplies or test samples between hospitals and other sites. Blood Bike groups, across the country, seek to carry out this service free of charge, ensuring the limited resources of the NHS can be used where it makes a difference.

Northumbria Blood Bikes is dependent on charitable donations, solely run by volunteers, giving their own free time to run and deliver the service. In critical situations, blood or other medical items need to be delivered urgently in order to save a patient’s life. Blood bikes, with their distinctive livery, emergency lights, and narrow profile, can quickly get through busy traffic reaching the destination sooner. Work to establish the group started in September 2012, and the team of dedicated volunteers, began live operations in February 2014, and celebrated our third anniversary in February 2017. We are getting busier all the time.

Vote for Teesdale

Teesdale Disability Access Forum

The Teesdale Disability Access Forum provides dedicated projects to help older people, disabled people, people with poor health, their families and carers lead the best life possible.

Through our Information, Advice, Guidance and Support Service, Incontinence Resources and Support, Wheelchair and Mobility Aid Loan Service, Home Independence, Cancer Caring project, Dementia projects, Armchair Exercise classes and Thursday Afternoon Club we aim to address; age, disability and health related issues, deteriorating mental and physical health, social and rural isolation, loneliness, deteriorating mobility and independence, inactivity of elderly and disabled people, inaccessibility to aids and equipment, accessibility issues, lack of confidence and self esteem, incontinence and problems faced by family and carers of loved ones. Run by one paid worker and a team of extraordinarily committed and dedicated volunteers our charity helps over 4,000 people per year.

No problem is too small and every beneficiary is helped from the beginning to the end of a problem. Starting in 2000 the TDAF became a registered charity and with funding from The BIG Lottery we have been able to accomplish outstanding results over the past 17 years.

With no government funding it is so important that independent Charities and Trusts support us so that we can continue to provide much needed services. Therefore, we would like to thank the Masonic Charitable Foundation for picking our charity for funding.

Vote for St Mary's Community Association

St Mary’s Community Association

St Mary’s Community Association was set up in July 2002 to deal with the day to day running of St Mary’s Community Centre. It is responsible for the up keep of the building, promoting its use in the community and keeping it financially viable. It is used daily by children’s organisations ie. Guiding association and Scouting association, the church has a food bank on a weekly basis and also uses it for outreach in the community and fund raising events. The centre is also used by sporting organisations for their classes. Members of the public hire the centre for children’s parties and for fundraising for charities.

Vote for centrepoint

Centrepoint North East

Centrepoint is the UK’s leading charity working to give homeless young people aged 16-25 a future. We support over 9000 homeless young people each year, 800 of whom are from the North East. Our mission is to support homeless young people into long-term accommodation and to prevent disadvantaged young people from falling into a cycle of homelessness.

We recognise that in order to make a long-lasting difference to the lives of homeless young people we must provide more than just emergency housing. In light of this, our award-winning approach emphasises working with homeless young people in all aspects of their lives; ensuring they are healthy, have access to education, training and employment opportunities and gain the essential life skills required to escape homelessness for good.

In the North East, Centrepoint has extensive platforms of support for young people across the region and in fact we support over 200 young people on a daily basis in the region.

Vote for Cafe JJ

Cafe JJ

Team JJ of Café JJ are a group of twelve learning disabled adults who, working as long term committed volunteers, run a community café which opened in October 2007. They are a hard working team who provide the local community with good quality low priced delicious meals. Despite their disabilities, each team member contributes 10-14 hours of volunteer work every week. They come to their volunteer work full of enthusiasm and eager to get on with the job. Through their dedication they have made Cafe JJ a success which provides meals to 60-90 customers every Tuesday. They inspire others in the community who have learning disabilities to have ambitions and to set themselves goals by presenting a positive image of disabled people.

Through removing barriers, Team JJ are changing the sometimes negative attitude of the community towards disabled people as the customers can see that disabled people are hardworking, skilled and give back to the community. Providing a service to the community gives Team JJ members self-esteem, a focus in their lives, and an opportunity to gain catering qualifications. Team JJ of Cafe JJ are unique as they are a group of disabled adults “doing it for themselves” instead of relying on others and they provide a service to the non-disabled community. They have recently been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service which is the highest award given to voluntary groups and is the equivalent to an MBE.

Vote for coast


The Relationship Works Project which COAST operates delivers interventions to young people aged 5 to 24 across South Tyneside which enables them to recognise abusive, coercive and exploitative relationships both as a victim or as an aggressor due to their own behaviours.

We educate young people about online relationships and the dangers of digital content as well as real world relationships. This is achieved via all inclusive group work in schools and youth projects, targeted small group work for those directly at risk and one-to-one bespoke educational interventions for the most vulnerable. The Project is also responsible for the design of educational resources which permits young people to explore rarely talked about issues in a safe environment, issues such as young peoples use of pornography, the sharing of explicit electronic images and being in a bad relationship. These resources are co-designed and co-evaluated by young people for young people along side our project workers and are continually updated to ensure they remain current.

We also provide information for parents to help them recognise the signs that their children may be or may be becoming involved in an abusive, coercive or exploitative relationship as well as assistance with ensuring the child’s safety should this be the case.

Finally we share all our resources and learning with others who work with young people hopping to achieve a permanent change for young people across South Tyneside.