The news below details how Freemasons across the Country are helping provide PPE for Care Homes. If you are a Bedfordshire business and might be able help in production of any type of PPE please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Freemasons across England and Wales are coming together to provide vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for care homes to protect older people, following health secretary Matt Hancock’s call for a ‘Herculean effort’ to protect critical NHS staff.
The Government is currently supplying 58,000 separate organisations including pharmacies, care homes and GP surgeries with PPE, which has led to logistical issues due to sheer demand.
While the NHS has been prioritised, care homes are struggling to source PPE equipment. The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasons, has 18 care homes and 1,000 residents, through its Royal Masonic Benevolent Institution (RMBI).
Dr David Staples, CEO of UGLE, said: ‘Freemasons have a proud history of providing care to older people, and as a number of our members fall into the vulnerable category, we are stepping forward to help in their time of need. No older people – or the staff who care for them – should believe their life is at risk due to the lack of essential equipment. And no parent or grandchild should feel their loved ones were left unprotected during this national emergency.’
He continued: ‘Freemasons across the country are already taking steps to safeguard our vulnerable loved ones and the millions of carers who help protect and care for them during this time.
‘Not only can we help provide physical protection but we can also – through our core values of friendship, respect, integrity and charity – help provide monetary support though Age UK, the ability to provide cross-generational friendship; and highlight our respect for this generation by providing for them in their hour of need.’
In just two days, Scunthorpe Freemasons made 1,000 St Lawrence full-face visors to protect carers working for the RMBI. The work was done at the premises of Cymarc Engineering, which normally makes components for the rail sector and the motorbike industry.
North Wales Freemasons donated £2,250 to help produce PPE face visors, after Joseph Mearman – from St David’s Lodge – set up a 3D printer system to make visors for local hospitals.
UGLE’s Dr Staples added: ‘I am extremely proud of how our members have helped to step into the breach during this national crisis. This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the support we will be providing. We are now galvanising the membership on a national level to help ramp up demand, and we aim to be supplying thousands of new items of PPE in the next few weeks.’
Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing more than £48m to deserving causes in 2018 alone. And Freemasons do not only donate money – more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work was undertaken by Freemasons in 2018.