WITH Wales slowly coming out of the Covid pandemic it’s important to highlight the help and support still out there.

Our Still Together campaign focuses on this, along with sharing stories of kindness and compassion within the community – it’s not all doom and gloom.

This week we spoke with Huw Davies, who is vice chairman at Barry Masonic Hall Trust, about how their facilities helped people throughout the pandemic – with 2,653 people attending their vaccine clinic.

They now have future plans to aid the flu vaccine efforts later this year.

Mr Davies said: “While the past 18 months has seen most of the country placed into a lockdown situation, whereby little or no masonic or private functions have been able to take place, Barry Masonic Hall took the opportunity to become proactive during this bleak period to use the time effectively.”

Chairman of the Board of Directors of Barry Masonic Hall, Allen Oliver, contacted medical practices – including the Vale Group Practice (Ravenscourt Surgery, Porthceri Surgery, St Brides Surgery, and Rhoose Surgery) – to offer free use of Barry Masonic Hall for the vaccination effort.

The Vale Group practice manager Rob Baron accepted the offer, with Barry Masonic Hall helping the vaccine effort along with Vale of Glamorgan’s only mass vaccination centre, Holm View Immunisation Centre in Barry.

“The hall has now established an on-going relationship with the Vale Group and has recently supported a new initiative where newly diagnosed Diabetic Mellitus Type 2 patients were invited to the hall to meet with Dr Ben Roper and his team to discuss patient management techniques,” added Mr Davies.

“Plus, flu clinics will be scheduled at Barry Masonic Hall in October and November to assist with what is expected to be a high demand. These activities are very important to Barry Masonic Hall as it aims to work with and support the local community as best as it can.”

Freemasons from Barry, and across the country, have also managed to raise more than £1 million to support those affected by the Covid pandemic and have played an active role in assisting with PPE manufacture, donations of smartphones, laptops, food deliveries and care support.

The Board of Directors have also taken advantage of the down time by refurbishing and improving the facilities and arrangements within Barry Masonic Hall.

Working with local tradesmen, (Alex Maggs Plumbing, 2K2 Fire & Security Systems, Newlife Cleaning Services and LNC Flooring Coverings) several projects were undertaken to improve services and facilities at Barry Masonic Hall.

  • New disabled toilet facilities created
  • New disabled access facilities created
  • Total refurbishment of Gents & Ladies toilets
  • Refurbishment of kitchen
  • Refurbishment of stage area
  • Dance floor stripped back and repolished
  • Redecoration of hall and entrance area

All the works have now been completed and – as of September 1 – Barry Masonic Hall is now available for hire.