Masons donate almost £5million in pandemic battle

Torbay Weekly

Devonshire Freemasons, together with The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), has awarded more than £4.7m through four Covid-19 relief programmes, focusing on community support, food support, domestic abuse, homelessness and mental health.

Covid-related donations from Devonshire Freemasons began in 2020 and since then they have contributed for a total of £4.7m to help those in need.

The donations are being used to help communities in various critical areas, including foodbanks, support for unpaid carers, personal protective equipment (PPE), 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.

Devonshire 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.

They 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.

Concurrently, Devonshire Freemasons are supporting homeless people with more than 30 different initiatives. The funds have provided accommodation to 1,080 individuals, while 300 people have been supplied with food daily and 250 with food weekly. They have also been given access to services such as counselling, and employment and training opportunities.

Ian Kingsbury JP, The Provincial Grand Master of the Devonshire Freemasons, said: “Throughout the disruption caused to so many different groups, people and associations during the height of Covid19, Devonshire Freemasons had gone out of their way to support as many people as humanly possible, not only with financial support but by volunteering at hospitals and vaccination centers and answering requests for support. As part of the Freemasons ethos to help those in need, we will continue to do so long into the future.”