The Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), has appointed Bro Les Hutchinson as its new Chief Executive after more than thirty years of working for masonic charities.
Les joined the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys as a Management Trainee in January 1988, and spent time working within each of the charity’s departments whilst completing a part-time degree and masters.
In 1992, he was appointed a Senior Case Administrator and Team Leader within the Petitions Department, a post he held for five years. In this role, he gained a valuable insight into the needs of the masonic community and, in an environment where education and provision by the welfare state was changing rapidly, Les classes this as the best job he has ever had and feels privileged to have been able to make such a difference, to so many, on a daily basis.
In 1997 he was promoted to Planning and Development Coordinator with responsibility for supporting the Chief Executive and helping to devise and implement strategies for the future direction and development of the charity. During this time, Les successfully petitioned for the restoration of the ‘Royal’ title for the RMTGB and helped established Lifelites, a separate charity which supports all children’s hospices in the UK.
In 2005, he was appointed Secretary to the Council, reporting directly to the Board. Undertaking a major review of the fundraising strategy, he recommended the introduction of a new honorifics-based incentive system and the annual Festival Forum. He also acted as Secretary on the newly-formed strategic Committee, comprising the Presidents and Chief Executives of the four central masonic charities, a committee that would sow the seeds of the MCF.
Appointed Chief Executive of RMTGB in 2008, Les also acted as Secretary to a Project Group, which by then was supporting the Deputy Grand Master in the process of creating the MCF. In the two years prior to the creation of the MCF, Les chaired the Charitable Support sub-Project Group charged with creating a simplified application process with unified eligibility criteria, and was very pleased to work alongside David Innes in creating and embedding the MCF as Freemasonry’s principal charity, succeeding him as Chief Executive when David retired in September 2020.
Bro Les has been a Freemason for over 30 years having been initiated into Fortis Green Lodge No. 5145 in 1989. He was promoted Past Senior Grand Deacon in 2017 and acted as Grand Steward for Jerusalem Lodge No 197 in 2018. As a member of several other units and orders, Les says his biggest failure in Freemasonry is the ability to say no!
Les’ hopes for the future of the MCF
Looking to the future and MCF’s strategic direction, Les sets out his priorities, in which a key component will be the MCF’s alignment with Freemasonry; the MCF must support UGLE in redressing its strategic narrative and normalising Freemasonry in the public consciousness.
Last year, collectively, Freemasons across England and Wales (including the MCF) gave over £42M to charitable causes. This is an astonishing statistic and Les hopes Freemasons are proud to tell the world just how much Freemasonry is doing to support local communities across the country and further afield.
The professionalism and effectiveness of central masonic charity, which has improved dramatically over the last decade, is something of which Les feels the organisation and its membership should feel justly proud.
“We are fortunate to have a highly effective Trustee board,” says Les, “and in my view our staff are amongst the best in the third sector.”
Also high on the MCF’s new Chief Executive’s ‘to-do’ list is the increasing need to streamline the MCF’s impact assessment and understand the real needs of its beneficiaries over the next five to ten years.
“All strategies and plans aside,” says Les, “on behalf of all at the MCF and all those who have benefited from your compassion, diligence, hard work and generosity – thank you. The MCF is continuing to build better lives for thousands of disadvantaged people, something that wouldn’t be possible without the support of Freemasonry.”
For further information about the impact of the MCF’s work in 2019/20, including details of the support provided to Freemasons, family members and local charities in your area, you can access the MCF’s digital-only impact report by visiting: impact.mcf.org.uk/2020