Since the formation of Action Group COUCH in 2006, Charles and Pip Woodward have been leading the campaign for better services for people living with cancer and their families in the Cairns region.
Now, their vision of a COUCH Wellbeing Centre in Cairns is one step closer to being achieved with the announcement of a $500,000 donation from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland towards this life-changing project.
The COUCH Wellbeing Centre, is a proposed development for the Far North Queensland region which will deliver services that provide a holistic approach to cancer care with the primary goal of improving the quality of life for people living with cancer (and beyond) as well as their carers.
“The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be modelled on the successful Bloomhill Cancer Care Centre located on the Sunshine Coast which has been operating for 20 years. The COUCH Wellbeing Centre will be a great addition to the cancer facilities available for people affected by cancer in the Cairns region,” said Charles Woodward, Chairman Cairns COUCH Ltd.
The funds will specifically go towards the construction of a large double pavilion, the first of the pavilions to be built on the Manoora site, which will house specialist and support service providers.
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, said that the decision to support this project was made in consultation with the Freemasons in the District, who helped to identify a deserving cause that Hand Heart Pocket could support and would benefit the people of Far North Queensland long into the future.
“This Centre will be the first of its kind in Cairns and will without a doubt be an asset to the region. Hand Heart Pocket is proud to support this regional initiative that will help to empower people living with cancer and their families, improving their quality of life,” Gary said.
The Woodward family, who also donated 2.1 hectares of land for the proposed Wellbeing Centre, are well known for their commitment to the development of the region, dating back over 100 years.
“Charles, Gordon and Jack Woodward, were integral in the early development of the Carpentaria Freemasons’ Homes in the 1970s and Woodward Retirement Village in the 1980s, both previously owned by Masonic Care Queensland. Gordon and Jack were Freemasons and the donation is also a great way for us to continue to support the charitable work of Freemasons in the District,” said Gary.
Hand Heart Pocket is the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and provides sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes by giving a hand up not a hand out to communities, to other charities and to individuals. It works with its network of Masonic Lodges to identify grassroots needs in local communities around Queensland.
“Although we are one step closer, more funds are needed to ensure our vision is achieved,” said Charles.
Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark, Hand Heart Pocket Chairman, Tom Wiltshire, COUCH Chairman, Charles Woodward and COUCH Director, Ron Holden.