Group's members raise £1m and volunteer 18 million hours in pandemic

Colin Breckons holding a certificate

Freemason Colin Breckons, of Norwich, won national recognition for making thousands of free face shield - Credit: FREEMASONS

Rising to the challenge of Covid-19 has been an effort of huge proportions around the globe – but one group has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help others. 

When faced with an unprecedented global pandemic, the Freemasons came together in 2020 and donated a total of £1m and millions of hours of their time to help those in need. 

The donations were used to help communities in various critical areas, including food banks, support for unpaid carers, personal protective equipment (PPE), supplies for hospitals and hospices, support for women’s refuges, and funds 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, and producing scrubs, PPE, and hand sanitiser. 

In Norwich, Freemason Colin Breckons won national recognition for making thousands of free face shields for NHS and home care staff using his home 3D printers. The dad-of-six received support online and in the community, gaining his first donation from his own lodge towards buying materials. 

Elsewhere in Norfolk, volunteers in Great Yarmouth, King’s Lynn, and Sheringham assisted councils and local charities in packing and distributing food to the elderly, disabled, and low-income families. 

Head of Norfolk Freemasons, Stephen Allen, praised the efforts of its 3,000 members in helping reduce Covid-19 levels to among the lowest in the country. 

Head of Norfolk Freemasons, Stephen Allen

Head of Norfolk Freemasons, Stephen Allen - Credit: FREEMASONS

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He 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.” 

Dr David Staples, chief executive of the United Grand Lodge of England added: "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.” 

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