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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

Enhancing the wellbeing of patients at the Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville was top of mind when the local Freemasons made their latest donation.

St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently joined forces to replace two recliner chairs in the self-contained unit complex on the grounds of Townsville Hospital – donating $3000.

Lodge representative Bob Heritage said supporting the families that stay at the complex for the duration of their treatment has always been important to the Lodge.

“What this facility does is allow families to stay together, instead of having to be apart, as they undergo treatment, so it’s vital that their stay is comfortable and homely,” Bob said.

“Indeed, the Freemasons of Queensland have played an integral role in the complex since day dot, having donated $1.2 million towards its construction 15 years ago – of which St Andrew of Townsville Lodge contributed $120k.”

“So, from time to time, we look to provide a hand up to strengthen the special bond that we have with the place,” Bob said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said by working closely with St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge, a bigger difference could be made at a grassroots level.

“Providing a hand up to Leukaemia patients by making their home away from home more comfortable aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“Therefore, we were proud to double the impact of the Lodge’s charity work,” he said.

Photo: (standing) St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge representative Bob Heritage, (seated) Village client Bill Flynn from Clermont and Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village Centre Manager Marie Morris.

Find out who we help

A young schoolgirl has been empowered to lead a more independent life after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of the Mackay Freemasons, helped to get her a new, specialised wheelchair.

Young Chloe, whose family is originally from Mackay, urgently needed to upgrade her wheelchair, having been born with Spina Bifida, when the local Freemasons became aware of her situation.

Mackay District Freemasons representative David Willans said even though the family lived in Brisbane, the Freemasons wanted to do their bit.

“We always look to provide a hand up in our community and when we saw the plea for donations from Chloe’s Grandma, who lives in Mackay, we wanted to help,” David said.

“If Chloe had waited until the NDIS was rolled out, she would have well and truly outgrown her old wheelchair – so our support came at the right time.”

“While we couldn’t be there in Brisbane to see Chloe using her new wheelchair, we are immensely grateful to the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland for meeting with Chloe’s family on our behalf,” David said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this is a fine example of the difference that can be made at a grassroots level when Lodge’s and Hand Heart Pocket work together.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives are what we stand for and improving the quality of life of a young girl with Spina Bifida aligns with that,” Gary said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for bringing this worthy initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

Photo: Chloe (center) and her parents Naomi (second left) and Robert (far right), with the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson (far left) and the Grand Secretary Ian Tomlinson (center right).

Find out who we help

Angel Flight has been empowered to keep their planes flying in Central Queensland after the local Freemasons made a generous contribution towards the organisation’s fuel costs.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge, with the help of several other Lodges in the region and Hand Heart Pocket, donated $1,200 towards what is ‘liquid gold’ to Angel Flight – enabling the transportation of country Queenslanders to specialist medical appointments and ongoing treatment, which would otherwise be inaccessible.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge Secretary, Philip Livingston said caring for those in your community was part and parcel of what it means to be a Freemason.

“We facilitated an Open Day for Angel Flight to give locals an insight into how this essential service improves people’s quality of life,” Philip said.

“Everyone that came was asked to donate if they could,” he said.

Locally, Angel Flight has completed 106 missions in and out of Rockhampton and 51 out of Gladstone. These numbers are set to increase with the opening of the new cancer unit at Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark was appreciative of Yeppoon Masonic Lodge for bringing the work of Angel Flight to its attention, helping to make specialist healthcare accessible for the region’s sick.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for organisations that have limited access to other funding,” Gary said.

“Helping Angel Flight to remain in the sky over Central Queensland tallies with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives – so it was only right that we matched the donation made by Yeppoon Masonic Lodge,” he said.

Photo: A young patient and her mum on board an Angel Flight plane. Photo courtesy of Angel Flight.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket 

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

More children with hearing loss in Queensland will be empowered to reach their full learning potential, after Hear and Say received a grant for half a million dollars from the state’s Masonic charity.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year.

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy said that without this funding, Queensland children could miss out on vital services and programs that build their potential.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from Hand Heart Pocket, which has come at a critical time to help cover our funding gap as we await the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme roll-out later this year,” Mr McCarthy said.

“More children and their families are turning to us than ever before, and this funding is vital for continuing our services, delivering the essential listening and spoken language therapy required to enable a child to hear, speak and live to their potential.”

“It can take up to six years to teach a profoundly deaf child to listen, process language, and speak, using the latest technology and an Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach, so it’s vital that our services remain accessible – for children to be ready for mainstream schooling,” Mr McCarthy said.

Hand Heart Pocket’s generosity will mean that 200 children across the state will continue to have access to Hear and Say’s Audiology Services, and 300 children can take part in the Early Intervention Program at their centres in Brisbane, Townsville, Toowoomba and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Hear and Say Vice-Patron and rugby league legend Wally Lewis whose daughter Jamie-Lee Lewis, was one of the first six children to be supported by the organisation, attended the funding announcement, to highlight the importance of improving life outcomes for these children.

“It’s amazing to think just how many families will be touched by this significant contribution. Jamie-Lee is living proof that it is possible for deaf children to go on to lead a normal life and take on whatever they put their mind to,” Mr Lewis said.

Brisbane Freemason Gary Golding similarly approved, having supported the service along with Enoggera Masonic Lodge at a grassroots level.

“Our granddaughter Audrey was born profoundly deaf, and with the support of Hear and Say at three-and-a-half, had mastered the language skills of a five-year-old,” Mr Golding said.

“As Freemasons we are incredibly proud that this grant has been made on our behalf, to impact children with hearing disabilities right across the state.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to organisations that have limited access to other funding sources was their focus.

“The commitment shown by Hear and Say to give deaf children the precious gifts of sound and speech aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We are delighted that this partnership will ensure more children in Queensland have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: (from left) Hand Heart Pocket Board Member John Aronis, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Hear and Say Vice-Patron Wally Lewis, Hear and Say Founder Dr Dimity Dornan AO, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson, Hear and Say parent Amy Hawke, Enoggera Lodge Freemasons Gary Golding and Robert Burns, children from Hear and Say, (back row) Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire and Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy. 

Find out who we help

The campaign for a dedicated palliative care room at a local Aged Care facility in Mareeba, will soon be realised, after the local Freemasons donated $42,500 towards the project.

Granite Masonic Lodge with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, came up with the funds, which will allow terminally ill residents at Mareeba Gardens Blue Care to have the opportunity to use this area with their loved ones.

The funds that have been donated will enable Mareeba Gardens Settlement to purchase specialised equipment and furnish the room to facilitate a homely setting appropriate for palliation.

Granite Masonic Lodge representative, Roy Blakeney, said this was an important first step for the region, where local palliative care support in general has been limited.

“Granite Lodge is very proud to have contributed to this project which will help to improve the quality of life of terminally ill nursing home residents at Mareeba Gardens,” Roy said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Granite Masonic Lodge for giving back to the community in this way.

“It’s evident that Granite Lodge has the best interests of its community at heart,” Gary said.

“Providing vital support for those nearing the end of life aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering. That’s why we were so keen to support this local initiative,” Gary said.

Photo: Granite Masonic Lodge representatives Carl Richardson and Roy Blakeney with Mareeba Garden Settlement Service Manager Sam Bugat and Facility Manager Brian Ashfield.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

More Queensland veterans who have overcome the psychological effects of active service, will be given the tools to help their peers get on the path to a better life, after the state’s Masonic charity provided a hand up.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has funded the training of 21 former Trojan’s Trek participants, who themselves are veterans, to conduct week-long wilderness based support intervention programs for their peers including one at Millmerran on the Darling Downs, later this year – helping participants to adapt to life after deployment.

Trojan’s Trek spokesperson Peter Keith said that settling back into civilian life was challenging for many who have been in active service and that one of the best ways to help change mindsets was through peer support.

“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can be incredibly debilitating, so for veterans to want to participate in this peer support program, shows that they are keen to hear from others who have been through similar experiences and have turned their lives around,” said Peter.

“This $15,000 grant will help empower these former participants to make a powerful impact on their peers and potentially help save lives.”

“It’s a trek of the mind more than anything, with veterans helping veterans in a setting where everyone is equal and can express their feelings, learn how to communicate and harness the tools to navigate a meaningful life after service – for them and their families,” he said.

Former participant and now mentor, Michael Harding, welcomed the grant saying backing of this kind would send a strong signal to the veteran community that they are not forgotten.

“I, like many of our strongest men and women, returned from service feeling broken and very alone, not knowing how to deal with my emotions. While there is no quick fix, the range of support I received including Trojan’s Trek allowed me to change my mentality from victim to warrior,” he said.

“Other veterans need the opportunity to take that first step towards a better life,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that support men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security are part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“This grant will help Trojan’s Trek to continue to alleviate suffering and improve the quality of life of ex-service personnel, empowering them to lead better lives – having already helped over 200 ex-servicemen and more than 60 ex-servicewomen in the last 9 years,” he said.

Photo: Representatives of Trojan’s Trek accept a grant for $15,000 from Hand Heart Pocket.

Find out who we help

More residents at Karingal Nursing Home in Dalby will be able to sit in greater comfort following the
proactiveness of the local Freemasons.

Dalby United Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently
donated just over $4,000 through the Dalby Hospital Auxiliary, for the purchase of two Ashley Luxor
mobile recliners, for residents at the 80-bed facility – where a growing number struggle with their mobility.

Dalby United Lodge Secretary David Wheelehen said the chairs were at the top of the Nursing Home’s
wish list which is why they were so keen to lend a hand.

“A fellow Lodge member’s mother is a resident there. Upon hearing that there was a shortage of these recliners, we decided to raise funds through cent auctions,” David said.

“The Australian-made chairs are specially designed with foam to support those with pressure care needs,
ensuring that they can sit more comfortably and participate in activities alongside fellow residents,” he
said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark commended Dalby United Lodge for responding to need within the community.

“Investing in appropriate seating to minimise discomfort and improve the quality of life of the elderly,
resonates with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about equipping people to lead better lives,” he
said.

“Similarly, support for an ageing population is one of nine key areas that Hand Heart Pocket focuses our
support, so it was fitting that we matched the efforts of the Lodge,” he said.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Dalby United Lodge on this initiative and to have made a difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Lodge representatives Jeff Parkes, David Wheelehen and Peter Horn look on as residents at Karingal Nursing Home try out the new recliners.  

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket

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

Enhancing the wellbeing of patients at the Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville was top of mind when the local Freemasons made their latest donation.

St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently joined forces to replace two recliner chairs in the self-contained unit complex on the grounds of Townsville Hospital – donating $3000.

Lodge representative Bob Heritage said supporting the families that stay at the complex for the duration of their treatment has always been important to the Lodge.

“What this facility does is allow families to stay together, instead of having to be apart, as they undergo treatment, so it’s vital that their stay is comfortable and homely,” Bob said.

“Indeed, the Freemasons of Queensland have played an integral role in the complex since day dot, having donated $1.2 million towards its construction 15 years ago – of which St Andrew of Townsville Lodge contributed $120k.”

“So, from time to time, we look to provide a hand up to strengthen the special bond that we have with the place,” Bob said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said by working closely with St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge, a bigger difference could be made at a grassroots level.

“Providing a hand up to Leukaemia patients by making their home away from home more comfortable aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“Therefore, we were proud to double the impact of the Lodge’s charity work,” he said.

Photo: (standing) St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge representative Bob Heritage, (seated) Village client Bill Flynn from Clermont and Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village Centre Manager Marie Morris.

Find out who we help

A young schoolgirl has been empowered to lead a more independent life after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of the Mackay Freemasons, helped to get her a new, specialised wheelchair.

Young Chloe, whose family is originally from Mackay, urgently needed to upgrade her wheelchair, having been born with Spina Bifida, when the local Freemasons became aware of her situation.

Mackay District Freemasons representative David Willans said even though the family lived in Brisbane, the Freemasons wanted to do their bit.

“We always look to provide a hand up in our community and when we saw the plea for donations from Chloe’s Grandma, who lives in Mackay, we wanted to help,” David said.

“If Chloe had waited until the NDIS was rolled out, she would have well and truly outgrown her old wheelchair – so our support came at the right time.”

“While we couldn’t be there in Brisbane to see Chloe using her new wheelchair, we are immensely grateful to the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland for meeting with Chloe’s family on our behalf,” David said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this is a fine example of the difference that can be made at a grassroots level when Lodge’s and Hand Heart Pocket work together.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives are what we stand for and improving the quality of life of a young girl with Spina Bifida aligns with that,” Gary said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for bringing this worthy initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

Photo: Chloe (center) and her parents Naomi (second left) and Robert (far right), with the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson (far left) and the Grand Secretary Ian Tomlinson (center right).

Find out who we help

Angel Flight has been empowered to keep their planes flying in Central Queensland after the local Freemasons made a generous contribution towards the organisation’s fuel costs.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge, with the help of several other Lodges in the region and Hand Heart Pocket, donated $1,200 towards what is ‘liquid gold’ to Angel Flight – enabling the transportation of country Queenslanders to specialist medical appointments and ongoing treatment, which would otherwise be inaccessible.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge Secretary, Philip Livingston said caring for those in your community was part and parcel of what it means to be a Freemason.

“We facilitated an Open Day for Angel Flight to give locals an insight into how this essential service improves people’s quality of life,” Philip said.

“Everyone that came was asked to donate if they could,” he said.

Locally, Angel Flight has completed 106 missions in and out of Rockhampton and 51 out of Gladstone. These numbers are set to increase with the opening of the new cancer unit at Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark was appreciative of Yeppoon Masonic Lodge for bringing the work of Angel Flight to its attention, helping to make specialist healthcare accessible for the region’s sick.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for organisations that have limited access to other funding,” Gary said.

“Helping Angel Flight to remain in the sky over Central Queensland tallies with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives – so it was only right that we matched the donation made by Yeppoon Masonic Lodge,” he said.

Photo: A young patient and her mum on board an Angel Flight plane. Photo courtesy of Angel Flight.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket 

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

More children with hearing loss in Queensland will be empowered to reach their full learning potential, after Hear and Say received a grant for half a million dollars from the state’s Masonic charity.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year.

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy said that without this funding, Queensland children could miss out on vital services and programs that build their potential.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from Hand Heart Pocket, which has come at a critical time to help cover our funding gap as we await the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme roll-out later this year,” Mr McCarthy said.

“More children and their families are turning to us than ever before, and this funding is vital for continuing our services, delivering the essential listening and spoken language therapy required to enable a child to hear, speak and live to their potential.”

“It can take up to six years to teach a profoundly deaf child to listen, process language, and speak, using the latest technology and an Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach, so it’s vital that our services remain accessible – for children to be ready for mainstream schooling,” Mr McCarthy said.

Hand Heart Pocket’s generosity will mean that 200 children across the state will continue to have access to Hear and Say’s Audiology Services, and 300 children can take part in the Early Intervention Program at their centres in Brisbane, Townsville, Toowoomba and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Hear and Say Vice-Patron and rugby league legend Wally Lewis whose daughter Jamie-Lee Lewis, was one of the first six children to be supported by the organisation, attended the funding announcement, to highlight the importance of improving life outcomes for these children.

“It’s amazing to think just how many families will be touched by this significant contribution. Jamie-Lee is living proof that it is possible for deaf children to go on to lead a normal life and take on whatever they put their mind to,” Mr Lewis said.

Brisbane Freemason Gary Golding similarly approved, having supported the service along with Enoggera Masonic Lodge at a grassroots level.

“Our granddaughter Audrey was born profoundly deaf, and with the support of Hear and Say at three-and-a-half, had mastered the language skills of a five-year-old,” Mr Golding said.

“As Freemasons we are incredibly proud that this grant has been made on our behalf, to impact children with hearing disabilities right across the state.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to organisations that have limited access to other funding sources was their focus.

“The commitment shown by Hear and Say to give deaf children the precious gifts of sound and speech aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We are delighted that this partnership will ensure more children in Queensland have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: (from left) Hand Heart Pocket Board Member John Aronis, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Hear and Say Vice-Patron Wally Lewis, Hear and Say Founder Dr Dimity Dornan AO, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson, Hear and Say parent Amy Hawke, Enoggera Lodge Freemasons Gary Golding and Robert Burns, children from Hear and Say, (back row) Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire and Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy. 

Find out who we help

The campaign for a dedicated palliative care room at a local Aged Care facility in Mareeba, will soon be realised, after the local Freemasons donated $42,500 towards the project.

Granite Masonic Lodge with the help of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, came up with the funds, which will allow terminally ill residents at Mareeba Gardens Blue Care to have the opportunity to use this area with their loved ones.

The funds that have been donated will enable Mareeba Gardens Settlement to purchase specialised equipment and furnish the room to facilitate a homely setting appropriate for palliation.

Granite Masonic Lodge representative, Roy Blakeney, said this was an important first step for the region, where local palliative care support in general has been limited.

“Granite Lodge is very proud to have contributed to this project which will help to improve the quality of life of terminally ill nursing home residents at Mareeba Gardens,” Roy said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, commended Granite Masonic Lodge for giving back to the community in this way.

“It’s evident that Granite Lodge has the best interests of its community at heart,” Gary said.

“Providing vital support for those nearing the end of life aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering. That’s why we were so keen to support this local initiative,” Gary said.

Photo: Granite Masonic Lodge representatives Carl Richardson and Roy Blakeney with Mareeba Garden Settlement Service Manager Sam Bugat and Facility Manager Brian Ashfield.

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More Queensland veterans who have overcome the psychological effects of active service, will be given the tools to help their peers get on the path to a better life, after the state’s Masonic charity provided a hand up.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has funded the training of 21 former Trojan’s Trek participants, who themselves are veterans, to conduct week-long wilderness based support intervention programs for their peers including one at Millmerran on the Darling Downs, later this year – helping participants to adapt to life after deployment.

Trojan’s Trek spokesperson Peter Keith said that settling back into civilian life was challenging for many who have been in active service and that one of the best ways to help change mindsets was through peer support.

“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mental illnesses like depression and anxiety can be incredibly debilitating, so for veterans to want to participate in this peer support program, shows that they are keen to hear from others who have been through similar experiences and have turned their lives around,” said Peter.

“This $15,000 grant will help empower these former participants to make a powerful impact on their peers and potentially help save lives.”

“It’s a trek of the mind more than anything, with veterans helping veterans in a setting where everyone is equal and can express their feelings, learn how to communicate and harness the tools to navigate a meaningful life after service – for them and their families,” he said.

Former participant and now mentor, Michael Harding, welcomed the grant saying backing of this kind would send a strong signal to the veteran community that they are not forgotten.

“I, like many of our strongest men and women, returned from service feeling broken and very alone, not knowing how to deal with my emotions. While there is no quick fix, the range of support I received including Trojan’s Trek allowed me to change my mentality from victim to warrior,” he said.

“Other veterans need the opportunity to take that first step towards a better life,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that support men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security are part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“This grant will help Trojan’s Trek to continue to alleviate suffering and improve the quality of life of ex-service personnel, empowering them to lead better lives – having already helped over 200 ex-servicemen and more than 60 ex-servicewomen in the last 9 years,” he said.

Photo: Representatives of Trojan’s Trek accept a grant for $15,000 from Hand Heart Pocket.

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More residents at Karingal Nursing Home in Dalby will be able to sit in greater comfort following the
proactiveness of the local Freemasons.

Dalby United Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently
donated just over $4,000 through the Dalby Hospital Auxiliary, for the purchase of two Ashley Luxor
mobile recliners, for residents at the 80-bed facility – where a growing number struggle with their mobility.

Dalby United Lodge Secretary David Wheelehen said the chairs were at the top of the Nursing Home’s
wish list which is why they were so keen to lend a hand.

“A fellow Lodge member’s mother is a resident there. Upon hearing that there was a shortage of these recliners, we decided to raise funds through cent auctions,” David said.

“The Australian-made chairs are specially designed with foam to support those with pressure care needs,
ensuring that they can sit more comfortably and participate in activities alongside fellow residents,” he
said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark commended Dalby United Lodge for responding to need within the community.

“Investing in appropriate seating to minimise discomfort and improve the quality of life of the elderly,
resonates with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about equipping people to lead better lives,” he
said.

“Similarly, support for an ageing population is one of nine key areas that Hand Heart Pocket focuses our
support, so it was fitting that we matched the efforts of the Lodge,” he said.

“We are delighted to have partnered with Dalby United Lodge on this initiative and to have made a difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Lodge representatives Jeff Parkes, David Wheelehen and Peter Horn look on as residents at Karingal Nursing Home try out the new recliners.  

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