Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland was today awarded the inaugural Queensland Community Foundation’s Board of Governors’ Award for Outstanding Achievement at the Philanthropy of the Year Awards for 2019.
Having significantly increased its philanthropic footprint in recent years, the award recognises an individual or organisation for their exceptional and sustained Queensland philanthropy.
Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire said he was honoured to accept this award on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland.
“I wish to acknowledge our members throughout the state – our work is built on the legacy of Freemasonry, dating back more than 110 years,” Tom said.
Following the sale of their aged care and retirement living business in 2016, the organisation returned to its philanthropic roots. Guided by their long-term strategy, Hand Heart Pocket has identified six key areas of support. These include men’s mental and physical health, employment for youth with mental health issues, women’s financial and physical security, the ageing population, education initiatives for those with a disability or in necessitous circumstance, and funding and financial assistance for families and individuals in need.
“Today, we are making a bigger difference for more Queenslanders than ever before. Over the past three years, we have provided $8.3 million in grants and in-kind support to other non-profit organisations.”
In addition to working with their members at a grassroots level, the Freemason charity provides Significant and Flagship Grants to other charities, where there is an unmet need, helping them to fill gaps in funding or ensure that essential services can continue. Its holistic approach has incorporated a sponsored staff volunteer day and the organisation has also provided in-kind support and expertise to some of their charity partners to maximise the impact of their grant.
“Everything we do is about providing a hand up, to help alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives, so it’s wonderful to be recognised in this way,” he said.
"Thank you also to our charity partners Help Enterprises, Hear and Say, YellowBridge QLD and Trojan’s Trek who nominated us for this wonderful award."
Photo: (from left) Hear and Say CEO Chris McCarthy, YellowBridge QLD CEO Penny Hamilton, Hand Heart Pocket Director Dr Jason Bingham and Chairman Tom Wiltshire, Trojan's Trek's Peter Keith, Help Enterprises CEO Kerry Browne and Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark at the QCF Philanthropist of the Year Awards.