Freemasons in Barry have opened the doors of their hall to local medical practices to help in the mass vaccination of Barry residents against Covid-19.
The Vale Group Practice is a group of four local surgeries, and it started vaccinating its patients at Barry Masonic Hall on Wednesday 21 January.
Seventy-seven vaccines were administered on the first day of operation, and delivery will be ramped up over the coming weeks, until all patients requiring inoculation receive their two injections.
The handover of Barry Masonic Hall to the Vale Group Practice is initially for two days a week, increasing if needed when additional vaccine distribution expands.
The Barry Freemasons have also extended the invitation to use the hall to all other GP practices in the Barry area for the remaining days of the week so that the hall can be fully utilised for the vaccination programme.
Allen Oliver, the Chair of the Board of Directors of Barry Masonic Hall said: “The hall is not currently being used for Freemasons’ activities, weddings, parties and the like, and so makes perfect sense for it to be used as a centre for the vaccination of the residents of Barry.”
“It’s vitally important that the local GP practices can set up in a suitably spacious and accessible building, and Barry Masonic Hall fits this requirement perfectly. The hall has been set up with spaced seating, screened vaccination areas and plenty of ventilation. A one-way system is also in place to ensure the safety and comfort of every visitor.”
Oliver went on to say: “The hall will be available, without charge, to the local GP surgeries for as long as is feasible, and we’re pleased that the local Freemasons are at the heart of the community and with this simple gesture we are again able to help where it is most needed, even though our fundraising and donations have not been so prolific since April 2020.”
Rob Baron, NHS manager at the Vale Group Practice said: “The Vale Group Practice is very grateful to Barry Masonic Hall for agreeing to allow us to use the hall to deliver Covid-19 vaccinations to our patients. It provides a safe environment for the delivery of vaccinations and the feedback from patients that attended for their vaccine on Wednesday was extremely positive. We are awaiting confirmation from Cardiff & Vale Health Board on delivery schedules moving forward, and we hope to be able to continue using the Masonic Hall to deliver the vaccines. It allows us to use our surgery buildings to continue seeing unwell patients and keeping our vulnerable patients away from the surgery will help reduce the likelihood of them contracting Covid-19.”
For further information on the Vale Group Practice:
For further information on the South Wales Freemasons:
About the South Wales Freemasons
- South Wales Freemasons, or more formally the Provincial Grand Lodge (PGL) of South Wales, was founded in the 1720s.
- Today, the PGL of South Wales has almost 6000 members, based in over 160 lodges within the old counties of Glamorgan, Brecknockshire and Radnorshire.
- PGL of South Wales has 23 masonic centres, where Lodge meetings take place, in the cities of Swansea and Cardiff and also in smaller towns from Barry in the south to Llandridnod Wells in the north.
- PGL of South Wales is one of 47 Provincial Grand Lodges in England and Wales, which are governed by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE).
- 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 was undertaken by Freemasons in 2018.