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Wednesday, 23 September 2020


Freemasons give £5,000 boost to Harrogate Scrubbers community sewers

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A Harrogate community group making personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors at the town’s District Hospital has been given a £5,000 boost from the Freemasons.

Over the last two months the Harrogate Scrubbers – an army of volunteers led by teacher Fran Taylor – has been busy making scrubs, laundry bags, scrub caps and waterproof gowns, to help ensure the medics are protected when treating Coronavirus patients.

Fran created the group in response to the national shortage of scrubs, and recently the 2,000th set – made by the 750-strong team – was delivered to the hospital. The volunteers are now on phase two, with scrubs being made for a host of Community Clinical Settings, including doctors’ surgeries, dentists and hospices.

And with a set of scrubs costing £27, the donations by the Freemasons will result in another 185 benefitting key workers in the town.

£2,500 was donated by the Province of Yorkshire West Riding’s Provincial Grand Master’s Fund, following an application by Harlow Lodge, which meets at Harrogate Masonic Hall.

This, in turn, has been match-funded by the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which recently donated dozens of smart tablets to three Yorkshire hospices, including Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa.

In addition, a number of Harrogate Masonic Lodges have supported the Harrogate Scrubbers to the tune of £700.

David S Pratt, the Provincial Grandmaster of the Province of Yorkshire West Riding – whose geographical area is based on the old West Riding, ranging from Sheffield in the South to Ripon in the North – said:

“I’m absolutely delighted that we are able to support the Harrogate Scrubbers in this way.

“At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we set up a special COVID-19 relief fund to help organisations respond to the crisis in their own communities, and the Harrogate Scrubbers is a shining example of this.

“It’s also worth mentioning that a number of Freemasons and their wives are part of the Harrogate Scrubbers.

“Whilst our lodges are unable to meet, our members are continuing to demonstrate the values our organisation was founded on more than 300 years ago – brotherly love, relief and truth.”

Fran said:

“I’d like to thank the Freemasons for their incredible generosity, which means even more frontline care staff will receive the protective equipment they need and deserve.

“Since setting up this group just over two months ago, the support I’ve had has been overwhelming. I have a fantastic team of volunteers – sewing, delivering and fundraising – and a donation of this size will certainly give them all a boost.”

Further information about The Harrogate Scrubbers can be found at: www.harrogatescrubbers.org

Additional information regarding the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding is available from its website https://www.wrprovince.org.uk/

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