Hertfordshire Freemasons play their part during Covid-19 pandemic

A total of £1m and 18m hours of volunteering has been donated by Freemasons

Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 6:29 pm
Updated Saturday, 3rd April 2021, 6:32 pm
Nick Tessier is a Superintendent Radiographer atWatford General Hospital

Freemasons from Hertfordshire have been playing their part during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Across the country, Freemasons have donated a total of £1m as well as their time to help those in need - and among them are Hertfordshire Freemasons Alec Hurley and Nick Tessier.

Alec is a retired RAF senior medical officer and a self-employed medical examiner for the Civil Aviation Authority. He is back on duty working 12-hour shifts three times a week for clinical Covid-19 assessment and as a clinical supervisor at the Stevenage super hub for vaccinations.

Alec Hurley is a retired RAF senior medical officer and a self-employed medical examiner who has been working for clinical Covid-19 assessment and as a clinical supervisor at the Stevenage super hub for vaccinations

Nick is a Superintendent Radiographer at Watford General Hospital and now works extra shifts to administer jabs. Using Watford football club as their base, Nick and his team are vaccinating staff so they can be protected from Covid-19.

Nationally, donations from Freemasons have been used to help support food banks, unpaid carers, provide personal protective equipment (PPE), buy supplies for hospitals and hospices, support women’s refuges, and help fund for NHS workers, ambulances and equipment.

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, organising care packages, producing scrubs, PPE and hand sanitiser.

In Hertfordshire, Halsey Hall in Cheshunt is being used as a vaccination centre supporting three local GP surgeries. It has been operational since January 15, and delivers up to 1,000 vaccinations each day.

Paul Gower, Provincial Grand Master for Hertfordshire, said: “Hertfordshire Freemasons have been keen to help during the pandemic; they have volunteered their time and made premises available as Vaccination Centres. It fills me with pride to see how we have come together to support our local communities in the fight against Covid-19.”

At the start of the crisis in April 2020, some Freemasons adapted their businesses’ production lines to produce nearly 5,000 visors for use in healthcare settings. Since then, Freemasons have produced or procured tens of thousands of pieces of additional PPE.

Meanwhile, to help protect women and children from domestic abuse, Freemasons donated more than £165,000 in 2020. The donation helped more than 2,000 women during the lockdown, who received more than 1,000 parcels containing essential items for women fleeing domestic abuse.

Freemasons also focused their efforts on hospitals and care homes, donating nearly 1,000 tablets to provide vital contact between coronavirus patients and their loved ones.

Elsewhere, to support thousands of families struggling during the crisis, they donated 300,000 meals and 38 tonnes of food to homeless people, women’s refuges and vulnerable people, supporting more than 120,000 people in total. Moreover, £560,000 was donated to provide meals and help numerous food banks.

In addition to the £1m donated in 2020, the Freemasons have committed a further fund of £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 UGLE 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.