Freemasons throughout England came together in 2020 to challenge Covid and support their communities. Donating £1M, as well as their time, to help those in need. 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 Sussex, Freemasons provided wide ranging and much needed support to charities across the counties to enable them to continue their work during the pandemic. These included:
Supplying 50 Samsung Galaxy Android Tablets to hospices in East and West Sussex to help Covid patients stay in touch with their families.
Helping fund CPR machines for Chichester and Worthing Hospitals.
Providing mobile phones to support remote working in the NHS, £30,000 to directly support NHS staff working in the major hospitals across the county (St Richards in Chichester, Worthing Hospital, the Royal Sussex County in Brighton, the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath, the Eastbourne District General Hospital and the Conquest Hospital in Hastings) and PPE to a wide range of charities and hospices.
Supporting the work of Domestic Violence charities.
Providing £28,000 cash support to food banks in Brighton and Hove City Mission, Portslade, Burgess Hill, Horsham, Crawley, East Grinstead, Worthing, Littlehampton, Chichester, Rye, Bexhill, Battle, Seaford and Newhaven.
Supplying a four wheel drive car to St Wilfrids ‘Hospice at Home’ team to help their team of Rehabilitation Assistants, Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists to reach patients in outlying areas.
Christopher Moore, Head of Sussex Freemasons said “I am very proud of the way in which Sussex Freemasons have come together to support our communities in so many different ways, from sourcing and producing PPE to providing and delivering hot food to those in crisis and supporting those who are vulnerable”
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.
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), said “Our response to the Pandemic shows what Freemasonry is all about; supporting those in need, giving back to our communities and volunteering where it can make a real difference. Freemasons have been doing this for over 300 years and I am proud of the time and commitment that our members have given to support the nation in its fight against Covid-19.”