Freemasons donate nearly 1,200 tablets to hospitals and care homes to provide vital contact between loved ones and coronavirus patients
Thousands of tablets are being donated by Freemasons across England and Wales to help families stay in touch with their loved ones during the coronavirus crisis.
Freemasons have provided the tablets to more than 50 hospitals, care homes and hospices across their regions at the start of a new nation-wide initiative.
During the current crisis, NHS hospitals have been forced to limit visits to patients in an attempt to control infections. Some of those suffering from the virus can be in intensive care for two to three weeks or more, with one-to-one visits only being allowed for dying patients.
This has led hospitals to try to find a way to help patients communicate with their families during this difficult time. Freemasons have risen to the challenge and gifted more than a thousand devices to help patients see and hear their loved ones and provide much-needed comfort.
The donations were coordinated through a new Covid-19 Response Group, which was formed by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) as an emergency structure in response to Covid-19. Its purpose is to work together to deliver life-changing initiatives – on a national scale – to those in need. Using the full capability of its network, the Freemasons have been able to draw together suppliers to source the tablets quickly and efficiently.
Dr David Staples, CEO of the United Grand Lodge of England, said: “At this time of national crisis we will work together – within our local communities – to provide charity and support to those in need, as we have done for the last 300 years. To ensure what we do is both effective and targeted, we have – for the first time in our history – coordinated our activity on a national level though the newly formed Covid-19 Response Group.
“Our 200,000 members have united to make a significant difference to the lives of people in these very stressful circumstances.”
Care homes in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire will receive 50 tablets. Freemasons also purchased 15 tablets to be distributed between Milton Keynes University Hospital, Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Amersham Hospital and High Wycombe Hospital.
All of the donated devices will continue to be used by the hospitals after the coronavirus crisis is over.