Bournemouth, Charity, Christchurch, Latest News | Posted: Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020 at 4:00 pm | return to news

Local Freemasons contribute to £1m Covid-19 fundraising

Freemasons in Bournemouth and Christchurch, who come under the Province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight, have contributed towards a fundraising effort by Freemasons across the country to support those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. So far £1 million has been raised, but this could double as donations continue to flood in.

Jon Whitaker, Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons
Jon Whitaker, Provincial Grand Master of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons

The £500,000 raised from individual Freemasons and their Lodges is being matched by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the fraternity’s charity, bringing the total to more than £1 million.

Jon Whitaker, who recently took over as the head of the Freemasons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight, is a long-standing senior St John Ambulance volunteer and an NHS Covid-19 responder.

He said, “This is a wonderful amount raised by Freemasons across the country.

“And I know that across the province of Hampshire and Isle of Wight our members have been donating to this fundraising effort and they have also raised large sums for specific charities and good causes within their own communities.”

This £1m raised is in addition to the £2.5 million the MCF has already allocated to fund more than 50 local projects around the country, and a major grant of £250,000 to Age UK’s coronavirus emergency appeal.

Projects that Freemasons have chosen to support involve the provision of much needed face visors, and other PPE, to health workers in hospitals and care homes.

They have also donated more than 1,000 electronic tablets to hospitals, made thousands of food donations to food banks on a weekly basis, and cooked meals for the vulnerable and isolated.

In several cases, Freemasons have been directly involved in the manufacture of PPE using laser printers and cutters, while others have been delivering supplies to food banks and meals to vulnerable people.

All this is in addition to the estimated £45 million that Freemasons across England and Wales give to charity every year and the 18.5 million hours of practical assistance they provide to those in need.

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