x

News & Events

Muttaburra’s very own Men’s Shed is one step closer, after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of the local Freemasons, contributed a $10k grant towards the project.

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, the funds will assist with establishing a hub for men – where they can get together to apply their trade skills and form meaningful friendships.

Muttaburra Masonic Lodge representative David Gray said the initiative would be a vital community investment which would contribute to improving the mental and physical health of the town’s men.

“We’re just so excited to have secured this funding for the Muttaburra Men’s Shed and to finally see the project come to fruition. It’s a big deal for a community of 130 people,” David said.

“This is about creating an inclusive environment where men have a place to go and feel like they belong while undertaking hands-on projects, whether they’re retired, out of work, struggling with mental illness or disadvantaged,” he said.

“Especially in a community the size of ours and as isolated as ours, it’s more important than ever for this kind of support to be available to enhance men’s overall wellbeing.”

The proposed Men’s Shed will be situated in the heart of Muttaburra next to the Primary Health Centre. It’s expected that membership will grow from the 22 existing participants.

“We’ve been incredibly fortunate. In addition to the support of the local Freemasons through Hand Heart Pocket, The Barcaldine Regional Council has purchased the Shed and land for the project,” said Muttaburra Men’s Shed President John Lillico.

“We’re thankful for all the support,” he said.

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

“Providing a hand up and empowering people to lead better lives is what we do,” Gary said.

“The impact that this initiative will have on Muttaburra as a whole, will be immeasurable, significantly improving community life,” he said.

“It is our pleasure to support the local Freemasons to help put men’s mental and physical health on the map in Muttaburra,” he said.

Photo: President of the Muttaburra Men’s Shed John Lillico accepts a $10,000 Hand Heart Pocket Community Grant from the Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Chris Pyke, in the presence of Deputy CEO of Barcaldine Regional Council Brett Walsh, and Deputy Mayor of the Barcaldine Regional Council Jenni Gray.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Since the early 2000s children with hearing loss in Toowoomba have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

Just last week the Hear and Say centre on Ruthven Street received a visit from the local Freemasons, who met with families and staff to hear how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground.

The grant which was handed over earlier this year 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 – till the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is known in late 2018.

Toowoomba and District Masonic Council Acting Secretary Gordon O’Donohue described the visit as eye-opening.

“In addition to meeting families and staff at a special morning tea, we also got a tour of the facilities and sat in on a group social skills playgroup,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“This gave us a real insight into the life-changing work being carried out at the Centre to empower children with hearing loss to hear, listen and speak and ultimately go on to lead a more independent life,” he said.

“Seeing just how many local families have been touched by the state-wide grant was incredible, not to mention, how many more families stand to benefit in the coming months,” he said.

“We’re just proud that this grant was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland to impact children in communities across Queensland including those in our local area, ensuring they go on to have the same opportunities in life as their peers.”

Collectively, the grant 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 Hear and Say’s centres in Toowoomba, Brisbane, Townsville and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy stressed how important essential listening and spoken language therapy is to a child’s development.

“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.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from Hand Heart Pocket. Without this, Queensland children could miss out on vital services and programs that build their potential.”

“We also thank the local Freemasons for their show of support for our local Hear and Say families. It truly means a lot to them to know the local Freemasons are supportive of the grant.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to charitable initiatives that have limited access to other funding sources was the organisation’s focus.

“Our values are centred around empowering people to lead better lives,” Mr Mark said.

“Support for education initiatives for children with a disability aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s long term strategy, and we are delighted that this partnership is enabling more children in Toowoomba and throughout Queensland to have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: Members of the Toowoomba and District Masonic Council recently visited the local Hear and Say Centre to meet with families impacted by Hand Heart Pocket’s $500k state-wide grant, including young Sam and Evie with their grandfather Ron (pictured far left). 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Redcliffe’s less fortunate will be empowered to lead more independent lives after the local Freemasons provided a helping hand.

Encircle Redcliffe Neighbourhood Centre will be able to cover the essential public transport costs and pharmacy scripts of its clientele after receiving a $1,000 donation from Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Encircle Chief Executive Officer Patrick Bulman said the hand up could be just what the clients need to turn over a new leaf.

“This donation has the potential to change lives,” Patrick said.

“For instance, having access to public transport, to get to a job interview, could put a person on the path to financial independence. Similarly, being able to take their medication when they need it, can vastly improve a person’s sense of wellbeing and community participation,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said supporting causes that improve men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy and the reason why they were quick to support Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge with this initiative.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support to charitable organisations that get limited funding from other sources but can provide a significant impact,” Gary said.

“By working with Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge we’ve been able to make a bigger difference, which is a wonderful outcome,” he said.

Photo: Encircle CEO Patrick Bulman with Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge representative Chris Brown.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

 

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. Gordon and Jack Woodward and their father Charles (Snr), 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.

“They 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 Gray 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

 

Muttaburra’s very own Men’s Shed is one step closer, after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of the local Freemasons, contributed a $10k grant towards the project.

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, the funds will assist with establishing a hub for men – where they can get together to apply their trade skills and form meaningful friendships.

Muttaburra Masonic Lodge representative David Gray said the initiative would be a vital community investment which would contribute to improving the mental and physical health of the town’s men.

“We’re just so excited to have secured this funding for the Muttaburra Men’s Shed and to finally see the project come to fruition. It’s a big deal for a community of 130 people,” David said.

“This is about creating an inclusive environment where men have a place to go and feel like they belong while undertaking hands-on projects, whether they’re retired, out of work, struggling with mental illness or disadvantaged,” he said.

“Especially in a community the size of ours and as isolated as ours, it’s more important than ever for this kind of support to be available to enhance men’s overall wellbeing.”

The proposed Men’s Shed will be situated in the heart of Muttaburra next to the Primary Health Centre. It’s expected that membership will grow from the 22 existing participants.

“We’ve been incredibly fortunate. In addition to the support of the local Freemasons through Hand Heart Pocket, The Barcaldine Regional Council has purchased the Shed and land for the project,” said Muttaburra Men’s Shed President John Lillico.

“We’re thankful for all the support,” he said.

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

“Providing a hand up and empowering people to lead better lives is what we do,” Gary said.

“The impact that this initiative will have on Muttaburra as a whole, will be immeasurable, significantly improving community life,” he said.

“It is our pleasure to support the local Freemasons to help put men’s mental and physical health on the map in Muttaburra,” he said.

Photo: President of the Muttaburra Men’s Shed John Lillico accepts a $10,000 Hand Heart Pocket Community Grant from the Assistant Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Chris Pyke, in the presence of Deputy CEO of Barcaldine Regional Council Brett Walsh, and Deputy Mayor of the Barcaldine Regional Council Jenni Gray.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Since the early 2000s children with hearing loss in Toowoomba have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

Just last week the Hear and Say centre on Ruthven Street received a visit from the local Freemasons, who met with families and staff to hear how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground.

The grant which was handed over earlier this year 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 – till the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is known in late 2018.

Toowoomba and District Masonic Council Acting Secretary Gordon O’Donohue described the visit as eye-opening.

“In addition to meeting families and staff at a special morning tea, we also got a tour of the facilities and sat in on a group social skills playgroup,” Mr O’Donohue said.

“This gave us a real insight into the life-changing work being carried out at the Centre to empower children with hearing loss to hear, listen and speak and ultimately go on to lead a more independent life,” he said.

“Seeing just how many local families have been touched by the state-wide grant was incredible, not to mention, how many more families stand to benefit in the coming months,” he said.

“We’re just proud that this grant was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland to impact children in communities across Queensland including those in our local area, ensuring they go on to have the same opportunities in life as their peers.”

Collectively, the grant 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 Hear and Say’s centres in Toowoomba, Brisbane, Townsville and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy stressed how important essential listening and spoken language therapy is to a child’s development.

“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.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from Hand Heart Pocket. Without this, Queensland children could miss out on vital services and programs that build their potential.”

“We also thank the local Freemasons for their show of support for our local Hear and Say families. It truly means a lot to them to know the local Freemasons are supportive of the grant.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to charitable initiatives that have limited access to other funding sources was the organisation’s focus.

“Our values are centred around empowering people to lead better lives,” Mr Mark said.

“Support for education initiatives for children with a disability aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s long term strategy, and we are delighted that this partnership is enabling more children in Toowoomba and throughout Queensland to have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: Members of the Toowoomba and District Masonic Council recently visited the local Hear and Say Centre to meet with families impacted by Hand Heart Pocket’s $500k state-wide grant, including young Sam and Evie with their grandfather Ron (pictured far left). 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Redcliffe’s less fortunate will be empowered to lead more independent lives after the local Freemasons provided a helping hand.

Encircle Redcliffe Neighbourhood Centre will be able to cover the essential public transport costs and pharmacy scripts of its clientele after receiving a $1,000 donation from Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Encircle Chief Executive Officer Patrick Bulman said the hand up could be just what the clients need to turn over a new leaf.

“This donation has the potential to change lives,” Patrick said.

“For instance, having access to public transport, to get to a job interview, could put a person on the path to financial independence. Similarly, being able to take their medication when they need it, can vastly improve a person’s sense of wellbeing and community participation,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said supporting causes that improve men’s mental and physical health and women’s financial and physical security was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy and the reason why they were quick to support Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge with this initiative.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support to charitable organisations that get limited funding from other sources but can provide a significant impact,” Gary said.

“By working with Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge we’ve been able to make a bigger difference, which is a wonderful outcome,” he said.

Photo: Encircle CEO Patrick Bulman with Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge representative Chris Brown.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

 

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. Gordon and Jack Woodward and their father Charles (Snr), 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.

“They 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 Gray 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