Freemasons encourage their 200,000 UK members to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help vaccinate the nation. To help protect all UK citizens during this difficult time, the Freemasons have also offered their meeting rooms to administer the vital jabs, with many buildings set up as Covid-19 vaccination centres. In Hertfordshire, Halsey Hall in Cheshunt is being used as a vaccination centre supporting three local GP surgeries. It has been operational since 15 January, and, once fully-scaled, there will be up to 1,000 vaccinations given each day at the centre.
Across Hertfordshire, Freemasons like Alec Hurley and Nick Tessier are playing their part. Alec is a retired RAF senior medical officer and a self-employed medical examiner for the Civil Aviation Authority. Alec is back on duty working 12-hour shifts three times a week for clinical Covid-19 assessment and as a clinical supervisor at the Stevenage super hub for vaccinations. Nick is a Superintendent Radiographer at Watford General Hospital and now works extra shifts to administer jabs. Using Watford football club as their base, Nick and his team are vaccinating staff so they can be protected from COVID-19.
The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales, encourages Freemasons to donate their time and efforts to help fight the virus.
Paul Gower, Provincial Grand Master for Hertfordshire, said: ‘Hertfordshire Freemasons have been keen to support their local communities by volunteering and making premises available as Vaccination Centres. The use of our Cheshunt building is a welcome step in assisting the NHS in its fight against Covid-19.’
Dr David Staples, Chief Executive of the UGLE, said: ‘In 2018, more than 18.5 million hours of volunteer work were given by Freemasons. Now that we have the vaccine in the UK, we must help in every way we can to protect the population. If the NHS needs people, we are happy to encourage and emphasise this importance to our members. 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 17.7 million people had received a vaccine by 23 February. 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.