The Freemasons are encouraging its 200,000 members to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help vaccinate the population. To help protect all UK citizens during this difficult time, the Freemasons have also offered their masonic centres 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.
Cambridgeshire Freemasons are playing their part.
Lee Mitchell, member of a lodge in the Fenland town of March said:
I have just finished my first volunteer shift at a vaccination centre in Huntingdon – it was an amazing day and I feel so privileged to work alongside other volunteers and health care professionals to deliver the vaccine - I can’t wait until the next assignment.
David Robertson (pictured below), member of a lodge in Cambridge, is volunteering at the new Grafton Centre Cambridge large scale vaccine hub. He describes his shift last week:
It was the busiest day since opening the previous Thursday and we completed an amazing 350-plus vaccinations in the first session alone! Although very exhausting, it was absolutely brilliant to be involved and helping so many people at once to get protected. My role was to direct and control the public after they had been assessed for having the vaccination by a trained medical professional. This took about 10-15 minutes. Every chair and even the notices put on them then had to be fully sanitised after each use.
Jonathan Lambert (pictured below) is a member of a lodge in Newmarket and has been volunteering at the Lavenham Vaccine Centre in Suffolk. He says:
I have currently undertaken 4 shifts as a steward. Lavenham is primarily a drive-in centre so people arriving for their vaccines are registered in their cars and wait there until they are called in. This is managed by the stewards and so far the centre has been vaccinating 450-500 people per day. Stewards are also posted in a waiting room to monitor people after they have had the vaccine. The overwhelmingly gratitude of the people receiving their vaccines has been the greatest reward for volunteering. To be part of that process has been fantastic and very worthwhile.
Tim Cox (main picture above), member of a lodge in Whittlesey, is volunteering in Lincolnshire:
Very pleased to have had the opportunity to support the delivery of Covid vaccinations at Springfields centre in Spalding, Lincs. We have a great band of helpers and it is a joy to see the happy faces of those arriving to get their vaccinations, particularly the ones who have not been out of their homes since March 2020. It is heartening to see the daily vaccination totals rising steadily and before long we will be welcoming back those who are due their second jab. It really does feel like light at the end of a very long tunnel.
Steve Morgan, member of a lodge in Cambridge, is volunteering at Cley Farm vaccine centre in Trumpington.
As of this time I have only fulfilled the position of Car Park Marshal. Standing in the cold for hours on end waving your arms about is not the most glamorous of jobs, but knowing that I am helping, albeit in a small way, to support the NHS beat this virus is fulfilling and it is better than doing nothing.
Dr David Staples, chief executive of the United Grand Lodge of England and a Cambridge Freemason 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.
According to the NHS, more than thirteen million people have received a vaccine. Britain has ordered 140 million vaccine doses – enough to protect the entire population. But the NHS faces a race against time to protect everyone before a possible new wave.
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
NHS - https://nhsvolunteerresponders.org.uk
About Cambridgeshire Freemasonry:
The Masonic Province of Cambridgeshire is relatively small, with Masonic Centres in Cambridge, Ely, Newmarket, March, Chatteris, Whittlesey and Wisbech. There are around 1500 Freemasons and 30 individual lodges. We pride ourselves on our friendliness and inclusivity, with members drawn from all walks of life and professional backgrounds. We welcome enquiries from anyone who is curious about our values and our history.
More information is available on our website and enquiries should be directed to our Provincial Office in Cambridge via https://www.cambridgeshirefreemasons.org.uk/ or to our Provincial Information Officer:
About the United Grand Lodge of England:
• The Premier Grand Lodge, which became the United Grand Lodge of England, was founded at the Goose and Gridiron Pub in London in 1717.
• It has 48 Provinces across the country and more than 7,000 Lodges, with students over the age of 18 able to join one of the 85 University Scheme Lodges.
• Freemasons use four important guiding principles to help define their path through life: integrity, friendship, respect and charity.
• One of the oldest social and charitable organisations in the world, Freemasonry’s roots lie in the traditions of the medieval stonemasons who built our cathedrals and castles.
• Membership is open to people from all backgrounds and the organisation’s aim is to empower members to be the best they can be – it’s about building character, supporting members as individuals and helping them make a positive contribution to society.
• Freemasonry is one of the largest charitable givers in the country, contributing more than £48m to deserving causes in 2018 alone. Freemasons do not only donate money – more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work were undertaken by Freemasons in 2018.
Livia Ferreira, Public Relations Manager, United Grand Lodge of England
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7395 9208 | Mobile: +44 (0)7539 578699
Michelle Worvell, Director of Communications and Marketing, United Grand Lodge of England
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7395 9290 | Mobile: +44 (0)7538 512669