Organisations that aim to help improve outcomes for youth at risk in the Sunshine state will be able to apply for funding as part of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland’s latest Significant and Flagship grant round, which opened today.
The independent charity and philanthropic foundation which was founded by the Freemasons of Queensland over 110 years ago, will accept applications until the end of June, with a view to supporting evidence-based programs and initiatives that align with their Theory of Change.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the organisation had decided in late 2019 to commit the majority of its grant funding to support the youth at risk cohort for at least the next three years.
“By focusing our resources on this area and partnering with other charities and philanthropists who have the same focus, we hope to help improve outcomes for these young people and indeed their future prospects,” Mr Mark said.
“We have found that at-risk youth can be re-engaged to have hope for their futures if they are helped to gain skills and an education, build support networks, find a stable job and home and ultimately contribute to society.
“This will be the second Significant and Flagship grant round where we will be awarding funding to charities that help improve outcomes for youth at risk.
“We have also identified areas like Logan, Ipswich and Caboolture as hotspots for youth homelessness and would be keen to hear from organisations that provide holistic, evidence-based programs or initiatives to address this problem in those areas.”
Hand Heart Pocket’s current focus couldn’t be more different from its work a mere four years ago. In 2016, the charity came into greater significance after selling its aged care and retirement living business, which had been its main function for well over 90 years. The sale enabled the charity to refocus its efforts and map out a way forward as a grant-making organisation with the ability to make a bigger difference for more Queenslanders.
This included the commencement of their long-term strategy in 2018, which forms the basis of their current work. Their strategy also supports initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health, women’s financial and physical security and the ageing population. They also give a hand up to individuals and families in times of extreme need to help them get back on their feet.
“At a grassroots level, we also work with Freemason Lodges across Queensland and in Papua New Guinea who identify needs in their communities that require support, amounting to hundreds of different initiatives each year,” Mr Mark said.
“Indeed, we’ve marked many milestones over the past four years, including the appointment of additional board members who have significant expertise.
“As we embark on this new chapter, we’re very much looking forward to partnering with like-minded impactful charities and philanthropists to help create brighter futures for young people at risk.”
Registered charitable organisations or businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems are invited to apply.