Despite the continuing lockdown preventing lodges from meeting and holding charitable collections, freemasons have used technology to keep raising money to support its national response.
Online and text donations have been pouring into the freemasons’ covid-19 Community Fund from freemasons up-and-down the country.
The half a million pounds raised from individual freemasons and their lodges is being doubled by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the freemasons’ charity, bringing the fund’s current total to more than £1 million.
This fundraising is in addition to the £2.5 million the MCF has already allocated to fund more than 50 local projects around the country, and a major grant of £250,000 to Age UK’s coronavirus emergency appeal.
Projects that freemasons have chosen to support involve the provision of PPE, to health workers in hospitals and care homes.
In addition, they have donated more than 1,000 tablets to hospitals, made thousands donations to local food bank and cooked meals for the vulnerable and isolated.
All this is in addition to the estimated £45 million that freemasons across England and Wales give to charity every year and the 18.5 million hours of practical assistance they provide to those in need.
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the United Grand Lodge of England said: “Once again, freemasons are making a major contribution in response to a national crisis.
“The million pounds already raised will be added to our significant contribution to the fight against covid-19, including the provision of vital PPE to key workers, tablets to the sick or elderly in hospitals and food to the most vulnerable.
“I’m sure freemasons will keep giving to our fund so we can keep providing vital support.”
David Innes, chief executive of the MCF, said: “Covid-19 has created an unprecedented national crisis and I’m absolutely delighted that freemasons have reacted with their usual generosity.
“A huge amount of critical support has already been provided and we’ll continue help where it’s most needed.”