22nd FEBRUARY 2022

Freemasons donate almost £5m to help UK overcome the pandemic

The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) has awarded more than £4.7m through four Covid-19 relief programmes, focusing on community support, food support, domestic abuse, homelessness and mental health. Covid-related donations from Freemasons began in 2020 and since then they have contributed a total of £4.7m to help those in need. The donations are being used to help communities in various critical areas, including foodbanks, support for unpaid carers, personal protective equipment (PPE), schools, mental health, homelessness, supplies for hospitals and hospices, domestic abuse, tablets, funds for NHS workers, ambulances and equipment. To support the community, 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 and organising care packages, as well as producing scrubs, PPE and hand sanitiser.

The UGLE, governing body for Freemasons in England and Wales, helped to provide essentials to vulnerable people and those that were shielding, activity packs for isolated older people and young children, podcast recordings for those affected by vision impairment. They also donated care packages for care home and NHS staff, hardship grants for those in need, home comforts for Covid-19 patients, and transport and equipment provision for medical professionals responding in the community. In addition, at least 141,150 visors and face masks have been donated, alongside more than 3,000 sets of scrubs and gowns to hospitals, care settings and hospices. Also, more than 130,000 meals have been provided for those in need and approximately 60 food banks have been supported. Meanwhile, to help protect women and children from domestic abuse, Freemasons donated more than £165,000 in 2020. During the Covid-19 lockdowns, the donations helped more than 2,000 women, with parcels containing essential items for those fleeing domestic abuse.

To support mental health issues, more than 130,000 children and young people are currently being supported by the Freemasons. Alongside this, almost 1,400 adults benefited from better support. The programme is assisting those in need by giving 100,000 children and young people access to information, support and guidance online. In addition, children are also being supported with mentoring and skills workshops. Teachers, professionals and parents are being supported via three projects, offering mental health first-aid training, learning events and parental support.

Concurrently, Freemasons are supporting homeless people with more than 30 different initiatives. A total of 39 charities have been helped. Of these, 15 individual Emmaus organisations have received grants. The funds have provided accommodation to 1,080 individuals, while 300 people have been supplied with food daily and 250 with food weekly. They have also been given access to services such as counselling, and employment and training opportunities. Elsewhere, to support thousands of families struggling during the crisis, Freemasons donated 300,000 meals and 38 tonnes of food to homeless people, women’s refuges and vulnerable people, supporting more than 120,000 individuals in total. Moreover, £560,000 was donated to provide meals and help numerous foodbanks.

Dr David Staples, chief executive of the UGLE, said: “During these last two years, we set out to donate at least £3m to Covid-related causes and we have exceeded our expectations by donating almost £5m. It is with great pride that I see all Freemasons have rolled up their sleeves and worked hard to do their best and help those most in need.” He continued: “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. Freemasons have been doing this for more than 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.”

Livia Ferreira, public relations manager, United Grand Lodge of England Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Telephone: +44 (0)20 7395 9208 | Mobile: +44 (0)7539 578699

11th FEBRUARY 2022

Haiti earthquake survivors can rebuild their lives and access safe drinking water thanks to Freemasons

Hundreds of families badly affected by the recent earthquake in Haiti will be able to will be able to recover from the tragedy and access clean, safe drinking water thanks to a grant of £25,000 from Suffolk Freemasons and other Provinces, to the Red Cross.

Following the earthquake, at least 650,000 people across Haiti are in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. The structural devastation has been enormous, especially in the cities of Jérémie and Les Cayes on the southern peninsula of the country, where around 53,000 homes have been destroyed and a further 77,000 damaged, along with severe damage to major infrastructure like roads and bridges. Extensive damage to health facilities and worsening access to safe water and sanitation from mudslides and flooding has exacerbated the crisis.

Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding to the emergency by providing support  to the Red Cross Movement’s work such as distributing relief goods, ensuring good water, sanitation and hygiene to prevent the outbreak of diseases as well as providing access to healthcare to those most in need.

The earthquake was centred 12km northeast of the town of Saint-Louis du Sud. Registering a magnitude of 7.2. Tremors were felt hundreds of kilometres away in Jamaica and Cuba. It is the strongest earthquake to hit the country since 2010, when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the capital city of Port-au-Prince, and the third major earthquake to hit the country in the past decade. Alongside improving access to clean water, the Red Cross has reached over 40,000 people with blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen kits and hygiene kits to provide essential shelter and hygiene support.

Luke Tredget, Head of Emergencies, Surge and Technical Advisory at the Red Cross, said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which makes a major contribution to the Red Cross relief effort in Haiti.  “Providing clean water is one of the absolutely essential steps to prevent the spread of cholera and other deadly water-borne disease, which can have a devastating effect, especially on children and other vulnerable people.”

Bob Lee, Assistant Provincial Grand Master for Suffolk Freemasons, added “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the Red Cross with their vital work in Haiti. Tens of thousands of people are in desperate need of help and there’s nothing more important than clean water after a disaster like this. I’m proud the Freemasons are keeping up our proud record of helping people around the world when disaster strikes.”

This further grant is made in addition to the £2000 emergency funding Suffolk Freemasons provided to K1 Britannia Foundation’s disaster relief and crisis team to assist its relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake on August 14 last year.

About the British Red Cross For over 150 years, the British Red Cross has helped people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies. We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them recover and move on with their lives.

For more information on the British Red Cross please visit

13th January 2022

Philippines typhoon victims to receive essential supplies thanks to Freemasons

Photo shows a Plan International staff member hearing the story of 15-year-old Francine. Francine and her family experienced the full range of the super typhoon which swept into their community in Southern Leyte and lasted for three hours.

Hundreds of families across the Philippines in desperate need of help in the aftermath of Typhoon Rai will be receiving essential supplies thanks to a grant of £25,000 to Plan International from Suffolk Freemasons and other Provinces.

Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding with Plan International to support affected communities at this critical time. These funds will be used to provide hygiene kits, including soap, shampoo, towels, toothpaste and brushes to 851 families to help them keep clean and healthy in the aftermath of the devastating typhoon.

Typhoon Rai hit the Philippines on 16 December, making landfall on islands across the country, leaving almost 400 people dead and causing massive damage. Winds of up to 120mph, heavy rain and storm surges battered the islands, leaving entire villages submerged in floodwater, trees uprooted from the ground and hundreds of thousands of people seeking shelter. Communication routes, power lines, bridges and roads were also either damaged or blocked with debris, making it difficult for emergency responders to get to the worst hit areas. Reports have described scenes of ‘complete carnage’, with homes, schools and community buildings throughout the region being levelled to the ground. People affected by the typhoon still require urgent relief and long-term support, such as housing and livelihood assistance.

The grant from (add name of Province) Freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales. Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said: “We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow Plan International to provide essential support to thousands of people in the aftermath of this terribly destructive typhoon. It’s critical that we act now to help those most at risk” 

Rick Orme, Charity Steward for Suffolk said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Plan International with their relief effort in the Philippines. This is a desperate situation and Plan and the other organisations helping on the ground need all the help and support we in the outside world can offer.”

For further information about Plan International UK, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..