Local Freemasons visited South-East Queensland youth charity, TRACTION this morning, to see how a recent funding boost, is empowering more young people, at risk of not completing school to build their own future.
Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of its members provided a $100,000 Significant Grant to TRACTION, a community-based youth mentoring program, in November last year.
The funds went towards TRACTION’s internal scholarship program to re-engage 38 more young people aged 12-15 in an alternative action-based learning environment. A portion of the grant is also helping the non-profit to measure its outcomes, build its capacity and better understand, manage and measure the impact they are making. The option for recurrent funding for a further two years will also be considered following a review of the program outcomes each year.
TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch said the Masons visit to their Redlands workshop allowed them to see the program in action, whilst hearing directly from participants and mentors.
“We really are very grateful to the Freemasons for championing our work. This funding is already being put to use to help us build our capacity and offering, so that we can provide more and better services to those young people in our community who need our help the most,” Sandy said.
Since launching in 2015, over 1,035 young people aged 12-15 have been helped to re-engage in learning and the community to lead better lives. With workshops and delivery points in Alexandra Hills, Moorooka, Inala, Logan and Beaudesert, TRACTION works with schools and other agencies to identify at risk youth to undertake their program. Participants attend one day a week for an entire school term to work on various projects like restoring an old bike with the help of a mentor, as part of the Bicycle Build Program. Many come from disadvantaged backgrounds, may be experiencing trauma or insecure housing, have a disability or have been involved with the youth justice system.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said several Freemason Lodges had supported TRACTION at a grassroots level in the past, so it was especially fitting for them to be part of this event.
“This partnership is an extension of their support. Indeed, Hand Heart Pocket will be doing more to support initiatives and programs that improve outcomes for youth at risk, with a commitment to direct the majority of our Significant and Flagship funding, towards this particular area of work over the next three years,” Gary said.
“We’re excited to continue our support of TRACTION and look forward to seeing the positive impact the organisation has in empowering more young people at risk to have hope for their own futures, build a support network and to gain an education and skills for the future,” he said.
This grant from Hand Heart Pocket is the second time the Freemasons charity has provided a helping hand to TRACTION, after providing a $15,000 capacity building grant in 2018.
Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark with Freemason representatives from Brisbane’s southside (Wynnum, Redlands and Logan-Beenleigh) and Hand Heart Pocket Champion Thomas Christensen, alongside TRACTION participants, TRACTION Mentor Oscar and TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch.