The Freemasons are encouraging its 200,000 members to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help vaccinate the population.
In Leighton Buzzard, for example, members of Leighton Cross Lodge have been helping at the vaccination centre set up at their local rugby club (pictured).
To help protect all UK citizens during this difficult time, the Freemasons have also offered their lodges to administer the vital jabs and many buildings are being used as Covid-19 vaccination centres.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales, is encouraging Freemasons to donate their time and efforts to help fight the virus. It also emphasised that those volunteering should not participate if they are in an at-risk group.
Freemason Alec Hurley is a retired RAF senior medical officer and a self-employed medical examiner for the Civil Aviation Authority. During these difficult times, 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.
More than 100 Freemasons from Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire have volunteered with St John’s Ambulance to help the NHS Covid-19 vaccination team. St John’s Ambulance is providing full training for the volunteers, while the Freemasons have made their buildings available to the St John’s logistics team.
The UGLE campaign is being carried out through its monthly email to members and official social media channels. The idea is to reach as members as possible, to encourage them to help immunise the population.
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, said: “In 2018, more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work were undertaken by Freemasons. Now that we have the vaccine in the UK, it is crucial that we help in every way we can to protect the population. If the NHS needs people, then we are happy to encourage and emphasise the importance of this to our members.
“We want to support the NHS and show our gratitude for its people’s efforts and the amazing job they have done during the pandemic. Freemasons always stand behind our core values of friendship, integrity, charity and respect – and we are proud to help so many people.”
More than ever, efforts to vaccinate those most at risk from serious illness are now paramount, and there is a need to ensure that the NHS has as many volunteers as possible. To help the NHS in the vaccination campaign, volunteers should sign up at: https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
Volunteers will then receive an email with login details to sign up online and be asked to download the GoodSAM app, which will match the person to their area.