Freemasons support NHS heroes

21 local Masonic Lodges have shown support for their NHS heroes by donating £12,500 to Bournemouth Hospital Charity’s NHS Heroes Appeal.

From cleaners, to catering staff, porters, back office administrators, nurses, health care assistants, registrars, paramedics, Doctors or Consultants – NHS staff have been going above and beyond during this health emergency.

To support NHS staff throughout the pandemic, Bournemouth Hospital Charity set up a staff health and wellbeing fund and encouraged organisations, businesses and individuals across the area to fundraise for this incredible workforce.

The South West Area of Hampshire Freemasons began to receive donations for the Charity after starting a monthly magazine called the ‘Lockdown Lowdown’, in which they asked if members would like to support the NHS as thank you for everything they have been doing throughout the pandemic.

Leanne Aggas, Head of Nursing and Quality Medical Care Group at The Royal Bournemouth Hospital, said: ‘Coronavirus has made our work more complicated; no one could have predicted this. The generosity of our community has allowed us to provide the big and small things that help make a difference. It also motivates us to get up in the morning, despite the challenges that come with social distancing, self-isolating staff and ensuring the safety of our patients.

‘With the pressure on staff coupled with coronavirus restrictions, it makes a difference knowing that you can refer your staff to physiological support if they need someone to talk to, or you can provide them with a wellbeing pack. Thank you for your kindness and for raising so much.’

Karen Smith, Fundraising Manager at Bournemouth Hospital Charity, said: ‘This fundraising by the Masonic Lodges has shown incredible initiative. They immediately responded to our call for support in March and have helped provide not only essential items during lockdown for our incredible staff, but also funding towards psychological support for them both now and in the future. Thank you to all of the Lodges that have donated to our appeal.’

Assistant Provincial Grand Master, Leon Whitfield, said: ‘One of the main activities of the Freemasons is our support to charitable causes in the community and during the lockdown our members raised money to support local hospital staff and key workers. 

‘Promoting health and well-being amongst our members and in the local community is an important part of what we do. We value the chance to provide ongoing support for the work of the hospital to care for our local community.’

Richard Renuat, Chief of Strategy and Transformation at University Hospitals Dorset, said: ‘It is wonderful to see local organisations coming together to support their NHS heroes during these exceptional times. Thank you to the South West Area of Hampshire Freemasons for their support.’

Thanks to kind donations and fundraising by the local community, Bournemouth Hospital Charity has worked with the hospital’s Organisational Development department to support staff at the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals in a number of ways. This has included 546 reusable whiteboards to help staff communicate with patients whilst wearing PPE, thousands of wellbeing packs that included refreshments, sleep masks and hand cream, mindfulness books to promote positive mental health, and access to a psychologist and mental health nurse.

For more information on how Bournemouth Hospital Charity is supporting its NHS heroes, visit BHCharity.org/nhs-heroes/ or call the Charity Office on 0300 019 4060.

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