FREEMASONS across Hampshire are helping to donate more than £550,000 to support people experiencing mental health issues.

Over 1.4 million people with mental health problems are due to be helped by the scheme which is running across Hampshire and the whole of England.

According to NHS Prevalence Data 2020, one in six young people has a probable mental disorder, while the Young Minds Survey 2020 found 83% of young people said the pandemic had made their mental health worse.

Now though, The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), the governing body for Freemasonry in England and Wales is aiming to help the population exit the pandemic in a better state of mental health by supporting various institutions, schools and universities.

Donations from The UGLE and the Masonic Charitable Foundation’s (MCF) will help 100,000 children and young people to access information, support and guidance online and elsewhere, 2,188 children and young people will be supported with mentoring and skills workshops.

The Freemasons’ donations will also support at least 600 teachers, professionals and parents, who will be provided with support offering mental health first aid training, learning events and parental support.

Jon Whitaker, who heads the Freemasons in Hampshire and Isle of Wight said: “Through the pandemic we have been working in our communities. Our members have been active in all areas of the national response and we know that the pandemic’s legacy will continue to affect people.

“We are committed to continue doing what we can to help those who are struggling and need support.”

During almost two years of the pandemic, Freemasons have donated millions of pounds to support people in need.

They have donated food, electronic tablets for hospitals, ambulances and PPE, as well as supporting carers, women’s refuges, care homes, hospitals, hospices and funds for NHS workers.