Freemasonry’s value to the community has been illustrated by the movement’s response to the Covid pandemic, according to its most senior figure in Lincolnshire.
Provincial Grand Master Dave Wheeler, right, said Freemasons had supported those in need and given back to communities in the same way they had been doing for centuries – culminating in the donation of £4.7m and 18 million volunteer hours worked in the last two years alone.
He said: “During these last two years, Freemasons nationally set out to donate at least £3m to Covid-related causes, and we have exceeded our expectations by donating almost £5m. “Our response to the pandemic at national and local level shows what Freemasonry is all about; supporting those in need, giving back to our communities and volunteering where it can make a real difference. Freemasons have been doing this for more than 300 years, and I am proud of the time and commitment that our members have given to support the nation in its fight against Covid-19.”
Freemasons’ Covid-19 relief programmes focussed on community support, food, domestic abuse, homelessness, and mental health. Covid-related donations from Freemasons began in 2020. The donations have helped communities in critical areas, including foodbanks, support for unpaid carers, personal protective equipment, schools, mental health, homelessness, supplies for hospitals and hospices, domestic abuse, tablets, funds for NHS workers, ambulances and equipment.
To support the community, Freemasons also worked 18 million hours as volunteers in a range of different areas where there was a need, including driving vulnerable people to hospital, preparing meals, taking care of people at risk and organising care packages, as well as producing scrubs, PPE and hand sanitiser.
Freemasons helped to provide essentials to vulnerable people and those that were shielding, activity packs for isolated older people and young children, podcast recordings for those affected by vision impairment. We also donated care packages for care home and NHS staff, hardship grants for those in need, home comforts for Covid-19 patients, and transport and equipment provision for medical professionals responding in the community.
Highlights: Some of the help in numbers