Freemasons in Bournemouth and Christchurch have joined with colleagues from across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to help raise £1 million to support those in need during the Covid pandemic.
Members also worked 18.5 million hours as volunteers, and others adapted their businesses to make essential items. Tens of thousands of pieces of PPE have been produced and procured.
A thousand electronic tablets were donated to hospitals, hospices and care homes so people could stay in touch with their families, and 2,000 women fleeing domestic abuse were supported.
Freemasons donated 300,000 meals and 38 tonnes of food to the homeless, refuges and vulnerable people, supporting more than 120,000 individuals. A further £560,000 was donated to provide meals and support foodbanks.
Jon Whitaker, who heads the local Freemasons, said: “Freemasons across our province have worked tirelessly since the pandemic began.
“We’ve been active in all our communities helping where we can and making donations to those who need it.
“We have sadly seen some of our members pass away due to Covid and that has motivated us to work harder.”
In addition to the £1m donated in 2020, the Freemasons have committed a further £2.1m to support the ongoing Covid-19 crisis response.
Of that £2.1m, £850,000 has been allocated to support homeless people through several charities with which United Grand Lodge of England partners.
More than 40,000 homeless individuals are being provided with food and essentials, transport, help with accessing services such as counselling and healthcare, as well as employment and training opportunities.
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