W Bro David Varney SLGR explains how he has got involved
Having retired from the Metropolitan Police in 2019, my new career as an artist was coming on nicely and I had begun to see regular sales of my artwork.
But when Covid struck and with time on
hands, I looked at how I could help others.
Locally, we set up a ‘WhatsApp’ Group
for our neighbourhood to ensure the
elderly and vulnerable were looked after,
and to co-ordinate our efforts in doing
shopping, going on general errands and
checking their wellbeing. Some of the
group expanded their efforts into
volunteering for the local Borough’s
Covid-19 Mutual Aid Group, where I
helped with collecting and delivering
furniture for vulnerable families in the
Borough, and assisting with food bank
We got involved with local charitable
causes such as having a bake-off to raise
funds for a children’s hospice called
‘Haven House’, part of a wider event
which raised an astounding £21,000! I
donated some artwork to Haven House
and another to a local care home, who
had looked after my father-in-law prior
to him passing away in 2019.
When the Masonic Charitable Foundation
announced its Covid-19 appeal, I
immediately set up a fundraising page,
and promoted their efforts. When the
call came for the MCF and UGLE
initiative to distribute protective visors
within the community, I jumped at the
chance to help.
I took great pride in contacting care homes
and hospices in and around London to
offer them PPE on behalf of local
Freemasons, and it was extremely
humbling to deliver them across my local
Borough. I delivered some 1,800 visors,
but it was especially rewarding to again
assist Haven House by delivering visors
there. I feel extremely privileged that as
a London Freemason, I could help in some
small way across my neighbourhood and
my Borough and will look back on this
time with pride.
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.