Bournemouth and Christchurch Freemasons joined others from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to back the inaugural NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasons, invited its 200,000 members to fly the specially designed flags at 10am on 5 July.
The UGLE is one of the core supporters of the day, alongside the Cadet Forces, English Heritage and the Women’s Institute.
A £5 donation from every flag and length of bunting made will be equally divided between NHS Charities Together and the National Care Association.
Freemasonry for Women and the Order of Women Freemasons have also joined in the initiative, as Freemasons aim to set a record for the number of flags raised simultaneously across the nation.
Bruno Peek, pageant master to the Queen and creator of NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers’ Day, said: “It is a special day of celebration and commemoration of those within the NHS, social care and on the front line, who undertake so much for us all, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 52 weeks a year, without any thought of their own safety.”
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE and a consultant in acute internal medicine, said: “We are facing the greatest global pandemic in living memory and the NHS has never been so tested in its history.
“Its staff has been stretched beyond comprehension during the last year and they deserve our gratitude, our applause and all the support we can give.”
Jon Whitaker who heads the Freemasons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, said: “It’s right that we support those within our communities who have done so much during the pandemic.
“Our centres across the province have been flying banners, bunting and flags and helping to raise money.”
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, Freemasons have been supporting the NHS in many different ways.
They have donated more than £2.5m so far to the Covid-19 effort and completed 18.5 million hours of volunteering to help those in need each year.
The donation is being used to help with food, personal protective equipment, supplements for hospitals and hospices, funds for NHS workers and ambulances.
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