x

News & Events

A major milestone in the development of the COUCH Wellness Centre took place last week, with the much-anticipated sod-turning ceremony to mark the start of construction and what is set be a huge turning-point for Far North Queenslanders impacted by cancer.

Representatives of the Carpentaria District Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland attended the event, alongside health officials, members of the Cairns business community and other prominent figures.

The development, which is the first of its kind for the Cairns region, will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care, to improve the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers. The services will include allied health and complementary therapies, as well as a focus on skills and education on how to live with cancer, group support and other well-being and beauty services. A library, café and dining area, children’s playground and therapy pool will also form part of the precinct.

The Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was an honour to attend and witness history being made, knowing that the Freemasons had played an important part in making this happen.

“For the people of our region who are impacted by cancer, they will be able to get the holistic support they need in a unique rainforest environment rather a clinical hospital environment,” Henry said.

“We are proud to support a locally-focused project that will improve cancer-sufferers’ overall health outlook,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland supported the regional initiative by providing a grant for half a million dollars on behalf of its members last year. The funds will go towards the construction of a large double pavilion, the first of the pavilions to be built on the Manoora site, to house specialist and support service providers.

COUCH Chair Ron Holden said the sod-turning ceremony was a wonderful example of a community rallying behind a dream to make it a reality.

“This milestone has been achieved by a most amazing range of dedicated fundraisers, donors, volunteers, and supporters from across the community pulling together and I sincerely thank them one and all on behalf of the cancer suffers in our region,” he said.

The Woodward family donated a 2.5-hectare property on Reservoir Rd in 2008, but it wasn’t until a $500,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the confirmation of $1.5 million from the Australian Government that the project could fully get underway.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was fantastic that stage one of the construction was underway.

“The decision to support the development of the COUCH Wellness Centre was made in consultation with the Carpentaria District Freemasons who brought this initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

“Our values are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives. We also look to support charitable projects that have limited access to funding and will make a significant impact on the community, so this initiative was perfect for the charity of Freemasons Queensland to support,” he said.

The Woodward family are well known for their commitment to the development of the region, dating back over 100 years. Charles, Gordon and Jack Woodward, were integral in the early development of the Carpentaria Freemasons’ Homes in the 1970s and Woodward Retirement Village in the 1980s, both previously owned by Masonic Care Queensland.

“Gordon and Jack were Freemasons, and the donation is also a great way for us to continue to support the charitable work of Freemasons in the District,” said Gary.

“We are proud to be one of the many supporters of this incredible Centre that will empower families in Far North Queensland impacted by cancer to lead better lives,” he said.

Construction of the $3 million stage 1 facility is now underway, with the opening due in April 2019.

Photo: Members of the Carpentaria District and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland attended the COUCH sod-turning ceremony – seen here alongside COUCH representatives and Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.

Find out who we help

Responding to calls for help is what the Southport Volunteer Coast Guard does every day, but they were the ones receiving a hand up, after the local Freemasons came to their rescue.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge, has granted $10k to the Southport Volunteer Coast Guard.

As one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round, Southport Volunteer Coast Guard will allocate the funds towards the purchase of a new motor for its 4100 Noosa Cat rescue vessel known as Coast Guard 2. It’s the only vessel large enough to carry out the evacuation of injured mariners on the Coast.

Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge representative Neil Orr said while the initiative is expected to cost $142k in total, it was a pleasure to secure the grant.

“The engines in use are a decade old and have done around 4,100 hours each, so it’s time they were replaced,” Neil said.

“The $10k in funding will contribute to making this vital service sustainable, ensuring our waterways remain safe – all the way from Jumpinin to Tweed Heads and 20 km out to sea,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for other charities was its focus.

“For 50 years the Southport Coast Guard has been there for people in their time of need out on the water – contributing some 30,000-man hours each year,” Gary said.

“Giving a hand up to those that encounter misfortune aligns with our values which is why we were keen to support this initiative,” he said.

“By working closely with Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge, who identified this worthy cause, we have collectively maximised their charitable footprint in the community,” he said.

Photo: Members of Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge hand over a cheque for $10k to the Southport Volunteer Coast Guard – one of the recipients of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Rockhampton’s most vulnerable are in line to benefit from a $10k grant awarded to the local arm of Anglicare.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of the local Freemasons, provided the funding for the organisation – making it one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

Anglicare Central Queensland will channel the funds towards their essential programs and services which range from homelessness, emergency relief, foster care, child protection, mental health and financial counselling services.

Central Queensland Daylight Masonic Lodge representative Randall Borg said it’s wonderful that this funding will directly impact those in immediate need.

“Helping people to get back on their feet is something we as Freemasons strive to do throughout our lives and it’s the reason why we were so keen to champion the work of Anglicare Central Queensland,” Randall said.

“We’re delighted that through the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference in our community.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said Anglicare’s efforts to provide a hand up for those most vulnerable in the community aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives.

“Similarly, support for initiatives that promote men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security are equally important to us, as this forms part of our long-term strategy,” Gary said.

“A big thank you to Central Queensland Daylight Lodge for being attentive to the needs of their community and putting Anglicare forward for this grant,” he said.

Photo: Central Queensland Daylight Masonic Lodge representative Arthur Kelly hands over a cheque for $10k to Suzie Christensen CEO Anglicare CQ – one of the recipients of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Members are invited to join us at our ‘Year in Review’ event where we will outline our achievements over the past year against our strategy, and hear about the impact of our support from our charitable partners.

When: Monday November 12, 2018
            5.15pm (for a 6pm start)

Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
             Merivale Street, South Brisbane

Places are limited and will be allocated by region. Subsidised transport is being organised for the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Bayside, Logan and Gympie regions.

To express your interest in attending, please email info@handheartpocket.org.au

 

 

People living on the streets in Mackay will get a better night’s sleep after the Mackay District Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland teamed up to donate 40 swags to Community Accommodation & Support Agency (CASA).

Mackay Freemason David Willans said while the ultimate goal was to help people get a roof over their head, for those sleeping rough, having access to these waterproof and sturdy swags will ensure they are a little less exposed to the elements, especially during our harsh summers and chilly winters.

“We’re incredibly proud to have made the largest donation of swags that CASA has ever received,” David said.

“We raised our portion through our street stall at the local eat street, as well as our members working as parking controllers and keeping all the bins emptied. The other half of the funds were generously contributed by Hand Heart Pocket,” he said.

“Being charitable and being in tune with the needs of one’s community is an integral part of Freemasonry. So, it is our pleasure to help support this vital community service.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support for the homeless aligned with the organisation’s values.

“Helping people overcome misfortune is what we advocate,” Gary said.

“Through our combined efforts, The Mackay District Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket will be empowering the city’s homeless to get back on their feet and lead better lives,” he said.

Photo: Mackay District Freemasons Graeme Cowley of Calen Lodge, Dave Willans of Walkerston Lodge, Lorraine Wirth Manager of CASA (Mackay), Mark Marshall and Graham Townsend both of Calen Lodge.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

Students with disability in the Brisbane Bayside, Logan City and Brisbane’s southside will be empowered to transition into meaningful employment by the time they finish high school, as plans for a multi-million-dollar disability employment and skills hub and supply chain services business get underway.

It follows today’s announcement of a philanthropic partnership with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, who will contribute one million dollars, to assist Help Enterprises to cover the funding gap, with the purchase and fit out of the new $3.3 million-dollar HELP Centre of Excellence Community Disability Hub in Crestmead.

Upon completion, schools will be able to refer students with disability in Years 10-12, to the Centre’s early intervention programs, to build both skills and confidence, to maximise employment opportunities in time for when they finish their schooling.

The 2,500 sqm Supply Chain Services facility will also provide valuable work experience and permanent supported employment for up to 100 people with disability.

Help Enterprises Managing Director Kerry Browne said that without early intervention more young people with disability would fall through the cracks, heading for long-term unemployment and social isolation.

“Having a job that you enjoy doing brings with it greater independence, a greater sense of self-worth, confidence, as well as personal and professional development – which are things we all want in life,” he said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, through their generosity, will enable us to promote an inclusive community and improve the lives of hundreds of young people with disability in the region each year,” Kerry said.

“We’ll be embedded and integrated within 21 schools in the Bayside, Logan City and southside catchment areas which have special education units. We’ll also be working closely with local employers to facilitate valuable work experience for students that have completed the program,” he said.

In addition to the 2,500sqm warehouse for HELP’s Supply Chain Services business, the hub will feature training rooms including a life skills training room, a function room, lunch room, storage facilities and administration offices.

“I really wanted to get a job and have somewhere to go after I finished Year 12,” HELP Employee Mitchell Grey said.

“After a few months doing work experience one day a week, they came to me and offered me a job. Now I have somewhere to go. I’m really thankful for that. It’s such a welcoming place – you know you’re respected.” Mitchell said.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out in Brisbane and Logan, more people with disability will have the opportunity to receive support to gain and maintain employment just like Mitchell.

“Help Enterprises is an employer of choice and has vacancies for staff within its network of businesses, including this new facility in Crestmead,” said Kerry.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education and employment for young people with disability aligned with the organisation’s focus.

“Bridging the gap to equip students with disability with the skills to find and maintain gainful employment throughout their adult life resonates with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives,” Gary said.

“We are thrilled to partner with Help Enterprises on this important initiative that will empower young people with disability to write their own future.”

Photo: Supported employees celebrate the announcement of a $1-million-dollar Flagship Grant to Help Enterprises. 

Find out who we help

 

Queensland families impacted by Huntington’s disease have been given a helping hand from the Mackay Freemasons for reasons that are very close to home.

Calen, Hamilton and Walkerston Masonic Lodges joined forces with Hand Heart Pocket to donate $2,000 to Huntington’s Queensland, having seen firsthand the fighting spirit of the wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge, who is living with the disease.

Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend said the donation would empower the organisation to deliver essential programs and services that improve the quality of life of hundreds of Queenslanders in the same position.

“With no known cure, it’s important that families are given the support they need to adjust to life with Huntington’s disease,” Graham said.

“Education is key and so is knowing that they are not alone, hence, why we wanted to make this contribution,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education to support people with a disability was an initiative within the organisation’s strategy.

“Helping to improve the wellbeing of people with Huntington’s disease and their families through education resonated with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for turning their personal experience into something positive, by bringing this cause to our attention, so that we could work together to make a bigger difference for more families,” he said.

Photo: Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend alongside wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge Karen Astley.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Disabled youth with complex care needs have been empowered to lead more independent lives, following recent upgrades at Horizons Respite & Recreation Association Inc (Horizons) on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland – who provide the site to Horizons for a nominal rent through the Rex Elson Estate – commissioned the upgrades, including a new all-weather covered ramp and reverse cycle air-conditioning in the client day use areas.

The majority of the $200k plus upgrades were funded through the Rex Elson Estate, with Hand Heart Pocket providing a $35k Grassroots Grant to ensure the project could come to fruition.

Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle said improvements to the built environment meant that they could continue to provide an inclusive service, where clients of varying care needs could get the most out of their programs to lead more independent lives.

“We’re committed to improving the quality of life of young people with physical and intellectual disabilities, by giving them opportunities to mix with others their own age, learn life skills and have fun together,” Roxanne said.

“Replacing the old stairs and ramp with a longer, all-weather covered ramp, complete with hand and curb rails, two safety landings and lighting throughout, provides a safe path for staff and families to move wheelchair-bound clients between buildings on the site,” she said.

“Similarly, now that the day use areas have reverse cycle air-conditioning, those of our clients that have difficulty regulating their body temperature won’t have to miss out during certain activities.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding these upgrades was a way of honouring the wishes of the late Rex Elson, a long-time local resident whose generous bequest to Hand Heart Pocket many years ago, enabled the purchase of this very facility.

“Rex’s bequest was to benefit a community service in the Redcliffe region and since moving into the Margate facility, Horizons has grown from 8 to 50+ clients, proving to be a vital part of the community.”

“We continue to support Horizons through the Elson Estate to keep Rex’s generous spirit alive, while improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable members of the community, empowering them to lead better lives,” Gary said.

Photo: Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle (back row center) and Chairman Stuart Macnish (back row far right) alongside Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark (back row center right) at a special morning tea for clients and their families to celebrate the upgrades.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

 

People living with renal failure in the Mackay region have been given a hand up, after Sarina Masonic Lodge along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated just over $1,600 to the Kidney Support Network.

The funds have been allocated towards the purchase of a new computer system which will be used to manage bookings as part of the transportation of patients to and from treatment, at Mackay Base Hospital.

Lodge Secretary Alan Cameron said with over 96,000 km travelled and over 4,100 patient trips made last year, it was vital that a reliable computer system was in place.

“We are proud to have provided sustainable support to an organisation that helps so many in the community of Mackay and surrounds,” Alan said.

“This essential service empowers people with kidney failure and their families to not be defined by their illness – which is why we want to support them,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead a better life was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“Upgrading essential equipment so that the Kidney Support Network can continue reaching out to its clients aligns with our charitable intent which includes providing funding and financial assistance,” Gary said.

“I thank the members of Sarina Masonic Lodge for identifying this important local initiative. Through our combined efforts we’ve been able to have a greater impact at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Sarina Masonic Lodge representatives Vic Clarendon (far left), Neil Wales (second from right) and Ron Payne (far right) with Trish Bryant (second from left), Lyn Wales and Trevor Waldron from the Kidney Support Network (centre).

Find out who we help

 

It’s not often that you get to meet those that have directly benefited from your philanthropy, but that’s exactly what the Carpentaria Freemasons did recently.

The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from the state’s Masonic charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

It was one of dozens of camps held around Queensland in the last year, which were funded by the grant, enabling children impacted by cancer and their families to create memories outside of hospital.

District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon described the visit, as a special experience, where they were able to meet with families and see firsthand the impact of the program. 

“We enjoyed a puppet show provided for the children entitled Laughter is the best medicine, which gave them a chance to forget the stresses of hospital visits,” Henry said.

“Our discussions with volunteers and parents, and interaction with children, really emphasised the importance of the significant assistance that Hand Heart Pocket provided,” he said.

“What a privilege to be part of a such a generous, caring group –  and – to realise that we have the capacity to help those in need!”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was hugely important for the Freemasons of Queensland to see how the contribution, made on their behalf, was enhancing lives.

“It’s been our pleasure to support Camp Quality this past year to enhance the lives of 725 Queensland families impacted by cancer throughout the state,” he said.

Camp Quality CEO, Kylea Tink, was quick to echo how important the support from the Freemasons across Queensland has been for kids impacted by cancer and their families in the past year.

“Thanks in large part to this funding, Camp Quality has been able to support a growing number of families across the state, focusing on what we do best - bringing them laughter, light and fun during a period of darkness,” she said.

Photo: The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan recently visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from, Hand Heart Pocket.

Find out more about our partners

A major milestone in the development of the COUCH Wellness Centre took place last week, with the much-anticipated sod-turning ceremony to mark the start of construction and what is set be a huge turning-point for Far North Queenslanders impacted by cancer.

Representatives of the Carpentaria District Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland attended the event, alongside health officials, members of the Cairns business community and other prominent figures.

The development, which is the first of its kind for the Cairns region, will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care, to improve the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers. The services will include allied health and complementary therapies, as well as a focus on skills and education on how to live with cancer, group support and other well-being and beauty services. A library, café and dining area, children’s playground and therapy pool will also form part of the precinct.

The Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was an honour to attend and witness history being made, knowing that the Freemasons had played an important part in making this happen.

“For the people of our region who are impacted by cancer, they will be able to get the holistic support they need in a unique rainforest environment rather a clinical hospital environment,” Henry said.

“We are proud to support a locally-focused project that will improve cancer-sufferers’ overall health outlook,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland supported the regional initiative by providing a grant for half a million dollars on behalf of its members last year. The funds will go towards the construction of a large double pavilion, the first of the pavilions to be built on the Manoora site, to house specialist and support service providers.

COUCH Chair Ron Holden said the sod-turning ceremony was a wonderful example of a community rallying behind a dream to make it a reality.

“This milestone has been achieved by a most amazing range of dedicated fundraisers, donors, volunteers, and supporters from across the community pulling together and I sincerely thank them one and all on behalf of the cancer suffers in our region,” he said.

The Woodward family donated a 2.5-hectare property on Reservoir Rd in 2008, but it wasn’t until a $500,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the confirmation of $1.5 million from the Australian Government that the project could fully get underway.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was fantastic that stage one of the construction was underway.

“The decision to support the development of the COUCH Wellness Centre was made in consultation with the Carpentaria District Freemasons who brought this initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

“Our values are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives. We also look to support charitable projects that have limited access to funding and will make a significant impact on the community, so this initiative was perfect for the charity of Freemasons Queensland to support,” he said.

The Woodward family are well known for their commitment to the development of the region, dating back over 100 years. Charles, Gordon and Jack Woodward, were integral in the early development of the Carpentaria Freemasons’ Homes in the 1970s and Woodward Retirement Village in the 1980s, both previously owned by Masonic Care Queensland.

“Gordon and Jack were Freemasons, and the donation is also a great way for us to continue to support the charitable work of Freemasons in the District,” said Gary.

“We are proud to be one of the many supporters of this incredible Centre that will empower families in Far North Queensland impacted by cancer to lead better lives,” he said.

Construction of the $3 million stage 1 facility is now underway, with the opening due in April 2019.

Photo: Members of the Carpentaria District and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland attended the COUCH sod-turning ceremony – seen here alongside COUCH representatives and Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.

Find out who we help

Responding to calls for help is what the Southport Volunteer Coast Guard does every day, but they were the ones receiving a hand up, after the local Freemasons came to their rescue.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge, has granted $10k to the Southport Volunteer Coast Guard.

As one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round, Southport Volunteer Coast Guard will allocate the funds towards the purchase of a new motor for its 4100 Noosa Cat rescue vessel known as Coast Guard 2. It’s the only vessel large enough to carry out the evacuation of injured mariners on the Coast.

Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge representative Neil Orr said while the initiative is expected to cost $142k in total, it was a pleasure to secure the grant.

“The engines in use are a decade old and have done around 4,100 hours each, so it’s time they were replaced,” Neil said.

“The $10k in funding will contribute to making this vital service sustainable, ensuring our waterways remain safe – all the way from Jumpinin to Tweed Heads and 20 km out to sea,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for other charities was its focus.

“For 50 years the Southport Coast Guard has been there for people in their time of need out on the water – contributing some 30,000-man hours each year,” Gary said.

“Giving a hand up to those that encounter misfortune aligns with our values which is why we were keen to support this initiative,” he said.

“By working closely with Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge, who identified this worthy cause, we have collectively maximised their charitable footprint in the community,” he said.

Photo: Members of Broadwater Surfers Paradise Lodge hand over a cheque for $10k to the Southport Volunteer Coast Guard – one of the recipients of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Rockhampton’s most vulnerable are in line to benefit from a $10k grant awarded to the local arm of Anglicare.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of the local Freemasons, provided the funding for the organisation – making it one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

Anglicare Central Queensland will channel the funds towards their essential programs and services which range from homelessness, emergency relief, foster care, child protection, mental health and financial counselling services.

Central Queensland Daylight Masonic Lodge representative Randall Borg said it’s wonderful that this funding will directly impact those in immediate need.

“Helping people to get back on their feet is something we as Freemasons strive to do throughout our lives and it’s the reason why we were so keen to champion the work of Anglicare Central Queensland,” Randall said.

“We’re delighted that through the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference in our community.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said Anglicare’s efforts to provide a hand up for those most vulnerable in the community aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives.

“Similarly, support for initiatives that promote men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security are equally important to us, as this forms part of our long-term strategy,” Gary said.

“A big thank you to Central Queensland Daylight Lodge for being attentive to the needs of their community and putting Anglicare forward for this grant,” he said.

Photo: Central Queensland Daylight Masonic Lodge representative Arthur Kelly hands over a cheque for $10k to Suzie Christensen CEO Anglicare CQ – one of the recipients of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

People living on the streets in Mackay will get a better night’s sleep after the Mackay District Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland teamed up to donate 40 swags to Community Accommodation & Support Agency (CASA).

Mackay Freemason David Willans said while the ultimate goal was to help people get a roof over their head, for those sleeping rough, having access to these waterproof and sturdy swags will ensure they are a little less exposed to the elements, especially during our harsh summers and chilly winters.

“We’re incredibly proud to have made the largest donation of swags that CASA has ever received,” David said.

“We raised our portion through our street stall at the local eat street, as well as our members working as parking controllers and keeping all the bins emptied. The other half of the funds were generously contributed by Hand Heart Pocket,” he said.

“Being charitable and being in tune with the needs of one’s community is an integral part of Freemasonry. So, it is our pleasure to help support this vital community service.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support for the homeless aligned with the organisation’s values.

“Helping people overcome misfortune is what we advocate,” Gary said.

“Through our combined efforts, The Mackay District Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket will be empowering the city’s homeless to get back on their feet and lead better lives,” he said.

Photo: Mackay District Freemasons Graeme Cowley of Calen Lodge, Dave Willans of Walkerston Lodge, Lorraine Wirth Manager of CASA (Mackay), Mark Marshall and Graham Townsend both of Calen Lodge.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

Students with disability in the Brisbane Bayside, Logan City and Brisbane’s southside will be empowered to transition into meaningful employment by the time they finish high school, as plans for a multi-million-dollar disability employment and skills hub and supply chain services business get underway.

It follows today’s announcement of a philanthropic partnership with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, who will contribute one million dollars, to assist Help Enterprises to cover the funding gap, with the purchase and fit out of the new $3.3 million-dollar HELP Centre of Excellence Community Disability Hub in Crestmead.

Upon completion, schools will be able to refer students with disability in Years 10-12, to the Centre’s early intervention programs, to build both skills and confidence, to maximise employment opportunities in time for when they finish their schooling.

The 2,500 sqm Supply Chain Services facility will also provide valuable work experience and permanent supported employment for up to 100 people with disability.

Help Enterprises Managing Director Kerry Browne said that without early intervention more young people with disability would fall through the cracks, heading for long-term unemployment and social isolation.

“Having a job that you enjoy doing brings with it greater independence, a greater sense of self-worth, confidence, as well as personal and professional development – which are things we all want in life,” he said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, through their generosity, will enable us to promote an inclusive community and improve the lives of hundreds of young people with disability in the region each year,” Kerry said.

“We’ll be embedded and integrated within 21 schools in the Bayside, Logan City and southside catchment areas which have special education units. We’ll also be working closely with local employers to facilitate valuable work experience for students that have completed the program,” he said.

In addition to the 2,500sqm warehouse for HELP’s Supply Chain Services business, the hub will feature training rooms including a life skills training room, a function room, lunch room, storage facilities and administration offices.

“I really wanted to get a job and have somewhere to go after I finished Year 12,” HELP Employee Mitchell Grey said.

“After a few months doing work experience one day a week, they came to me and offered me a job. Now I have somewhere to go. I’m really thankful for that. It’s such a welcoming place – you know you’re respected.” Mitchell said.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out in Brisbane and Logan, more people with disability will have the opportunity to receive support to gain and maintain employment just like Mitchell.

“Help Enterprises is an employer of choice and has vacancies for staff within its network of businesses, including this new facility in Crestmead,” said Kerry.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education and employment for young people with disability aligned with the organisation’s focus.

“Bridging the gap to equip students with disability with the skills to find and maintain gainful employment throughout their adult life resonates with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives,” Gary said.

“We are thrilled to partner with Help Enterprises on this important initiative that will empower young people with disability to write their own future.”

Photo: Supported employees celebrate the announcement of a $1-million-dollar Flagship Grant to Help Enterprises. 

Find out who we help

 

Queensland families impacted by Huntington’s disease have been given a helping hand from the Mackay Freemasons for reasons that are very close to home.

Calen, Hamilton and Walkerston Masonic Lodges joined forces with Hand Heart Pocket to donate $2,000 to Huntington’s Queensland, having seen firsthand the fighting spirit of the wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge, who is living with the disease.

Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend said the donation would empower the organisation to deliver essential programs and services that improve the quality of life of hundreds of Queenslanders in the same position.

“With no known cure, it’s important that families are given the support they need to adjust to life with Huntington’s disease,” Graham said.

“Education is key and so is knowing that they are not alone, hence, why we wanted to make this contribution,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education to support people with a disability was an initiative within the organisation’s strategy.

“Helping to improve the wellbeing of people with Huntington’s disease and their families through education resonated with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for turning their personal experience into something positive, by bringing this cause to our attention, so that we could work together to make a bigger difference for more families,” he said.

Photo: Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend alongside wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge Karen Astley.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Disabled youth with complex care needs have been empowered to lead more independent lives, following recent upgrades at Horizons Respite & Recreation Association Inc (Horizons) on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland – who provide the site to Horizons for a nominal rent through the Rex Elson Estate – commissioned the upgrades, including a new all-weather covered ramp and reverse cycle air-conditioning in the client day use areas.

The majority of the $200k plus upgrades were funded through the Rex Elson Estate, with Hand Heart Pocket providing a $35k Grassroots Grant to ensure the project could come to fruition.

Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle said improvements to the built environment meant that they could continue to provide an inclusive service, where clients of varying care needs could get the most out of their programs to lead more independent lives.

“We’re committed to improving the quality of life of young people with physical and intellectual disabilities, by giving them opportunities to mix with others their own age, learn life skills and have fun together,” Roxanne said.

“Replacing the old stairs and ramp with a longer, all-weather covered ramp, complete with hand and curb rails, two safety landings and lighting throughout, provides a safe path for staff and families to move wheelchair-bound clients between buildings on the site,” she said.

“Similarly, now that the day use areas have reverse cycle air-conditioning, those of our clients that have difficulty regulating their body temperature won’t have to miss out during certain activities.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding these upgrades was a way of honouring the wishes of the late Rex Elson, a long-time local resident whose generous bequest to Hand Heart Pocket many years ago, enabled the purchase of this very facility.

“Rex’s bequest was to benefit a community service in the Redcliffe region and since moving into the Margate facility, Horizons has grown from 8 to 50+ clients, proving to be a vital part of the community.”

“We continue to support Horizons through the Elson Estate to keep Rex’s generous spirit alive, while improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable members of the community, empowering them to lead better lives,” Gary said.

Photo: Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle (back row center) and Chairman Stuart Macnish (back row far right) alongside Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark (back row center right) at a special morning tea for clients and their families to celebrate the upgrades.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

 

People living with renal failure in the Mackay region have been given a hand up, after Sarina Masonic Lodge along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated just over $1,600 to the Kidney Support Network.

The funds have been allocated towards the purchase of a new computer system which will be used to manage bookings as part of the transportation of patients to and from treatment, at Mackay Base Hospital.

Lodge Secretary Alan Cameron said with over 96,000 km travelled and over 4,100 patient trips made last year, it was vital that a reliable computer system was in place.

“We are proud to have provided sustainable support to an organisation that helps so many in the community of Mackay and surrounds,” Alan said.

“This essential service empowers people with kidney failure and their families to not be defined by their illness – which is why we want to support them,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead a better life was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“Upgrading essential equipment so that the Kidney Support Network can continue reaching out to its clients aligns with our charitable intent which includes providing funding and financial assistance,” Gary said.

“I thank the members of Sarina Masonic Lodge for identifying this important local initiative. Through our combined efforts we’ve been able to have a greater impact at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Sarina Masonic Lodge representatives Vic Clarendon (far left), Neil Wales (second from right) and Ron Payne (far right) with Trish Bryant (second from left), Lyn Wales and Trevor Waldron from the Kidney Support Network (centre).

Find out who we help

 

It’s not often that you get to meet those that have directly benefited from your philanthropy, but that’s exactly what the Carpentaria Freemasons did recently.

The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from the state’s Masonic charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

It was one of dozens of camps held around Queensland in the last year, which were funded by the grant, enabling children impacted by cancer and their families to create memories outside of hospital.

District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon described the visit, as a special experience, where they were able to meet with families and see firsthand the impact of the program. 

“We enjoyed a puppet show provided for the children entitled Laughter is the best medicine, which gave them a chance to forget the stresses of hospital visits,” Henry said.

“Our discussions with volunteers and parents, and interaction with children, really emphasised the importance of the significant assistance that Hand Heart Pocket provided,” he said.

“What a privilege to be part of a such a generous, caring group –  and – to realise that we have the capacity to help those in need!”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was hugely important for the Freemasons of Queensland to see how the contribution, made on their behalf, was enhancing lives.

“It’s been our pleasure to support Camp Quality this past year to enhance the lives of 725 Queensland families impacted by cancer throughout the state,” he said.

Camp Quality CEO, Kylea Tink, was quick to echo how important the support from the Freemasons across Queensland has been for kids impacted by cancer and their families in the past year.

“Thanks in large part to this funding, Camp Quality has been able to support a growing number of families across the state, focusing on what we do best - bringing them laughter, light and fun during a period of darkness,” she said.

Photo: The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan recently visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from, Hand Heart Pocket.

Find out more about our partners

Elderly patients at Mitchell Hospital will benefit the most from the new vein finder donated by the local Freemasons.

Mitchell Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated the device which will assist nursing staff to find veins in elderly patients in a timelier manner – reducing discomfort.

The easy to use, hand-held device works by pinpointing the location of the vein, when held against the skin, using infrared technology.

Mitchell Lodge Secretary Bill Saul said they had been approached by the Mitchell Hospital Auxiliary for assistance to purchase the device, which is used in many hospitals around Australia.

“It is our pleasure to help Mitchell Hospital in this way,” Bill said.

“Staff at the Hospital are dedicated to alleviating the suffering of patients, so to help make their jobs that little bit easier is the least we can do,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding for an ageing population was one of nine keys areas where the organisation focuses its support as part of its long-term strategy.

“Our aim is to provide sustainable support to other charities, and our values are about alleviating suffering to help people lead better lives,” said Gary.

“Funding the purchase of a new vein finder for Mitchell Hospital is something that would be over and above what other funding sources would normally cover, so we are glad that this Grassroot Grant initiative was brought to our attention by Mitchell Masonic Lodge. It is a great cause to support,” he said.

Photo: Secretary of the Mitchell Hospital Auxiliary Barbara Brennan, Director of Nursing Kate Field and the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Members are invited to join us at our ‘Year in Review’ event where we will outline our achievements over the past year against our strategy, and hear about the impact of our support from our charitable partners.

When: Monday November 12, 2018
            5.15pm (for a 6pm start)

Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
             Merivale Street, South Brisbane

Places are limited and will be allocated by region. Subsidised transport is being organised for the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Bayside, Logan and Gympie regions.

To express your interest in attending, please email info@handheartpocket.org.au