Charity Update – London Freemasons support the Wimbledon Guild during lockdown

W Bro John Little SLGR finds out more

A donation of £4,000 from the London Freemasons’ Charity is being used during the Coronavirus pandemic to assist the work of the Wimbledon Guild, a local charity supporting people in the London Borough of Merton.

The donation arrived just as the COVID
-19 outbreak started and was used to
help quickly adapt their services to
support people across Merton.
Wimbledon Guild has been able to assist
hundreds of local people coping with
social isolation, mental health concerns
and financial hardship over the lockdown

The Guild, established in 1907 from
several local charities, has a mission to
reduce social isolation and loneliness in
the area, help people who are
experiencing a broad range of difficulties,
and enable older people to be active and

The charity supported 128 families and
individuals with supermarket and food
bank vouchers and has delivered 74 fresh
food parcels. The charity also helped set
up Merton’s Community Fridge and are
now a delivery partner, continuing their
work to tackle food poverty in the

Garden gate visits have started for
customers at most risk of social isolation.
Staff and volunteers wear masks and
gloves to speak to customers whilst they
stand in their doorway to observe social

The Guild also provides a Talking
Therapies team which has been providing
individual counselling and psychotherapy
services via telephone and online.

Commenting on the donation, a
Wimbledon Guild spokesperson said:
“We received over 500 requests for help
during the lockdown, and 245 people
are receiving shopping and practical
support from our volunteers. Volunteer
befrienders are keeping in touch with
their friends over the phone, and are
making regular “stay in touch” calls to
308 people who attended activities at
our head office before lockdown.

“We are most grateful to London
Freemasons for their generous gift, which
couldn’t have been better timed.”

Following are quotes from
beneficiaries of the Guild’s work:

“I needed help with my shopping and felt so
guilty about having to keep asking people.
My daughter lived in Essex and rang the
Covid-19 Merton Support Helpline. Now I
have a wonderful volunteer from Wimbledon
Guild who does my shopping once a week.
And I don’t feel guilty anymore because she
says it’s no problem!”
June, Colliers Wood.

“I’m in the most clinically vulnerable shielding
category and have been told not to leave the
house, even with new lockdown rules.

“With a few days to go until our next food
parcel arrives, we had already run out of
food. I called Wimbledon Guild who arranged
for a volunteer to start food shopping for us
and they also kindly provided a supermarket
voucher to help with the cost.

“Without the Wimbledon Guild, I don’t know
what I would have done.”

Joe, Wimbledon

This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 42 October 2020 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 42.