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Residents at Karingal Nursing Home in Dalby have been empowered to maintain their independence, after the local Freemasons donated two specialised mattresses.

Dalby United Masonic Lodge together with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated the mattresses which will help to reduce residents’ chances of getting pressure sores.

Dalby United Lodge Secretary David Wheelehen said improving the quality of life of elderly residents was the intent behind the donation.

“We’ve developed a great relationship with the nursing home and are keen to provide a helping hand where-ever we can,” David said.

“These mattresses will help to enhance residents’ overall well-being, so that they can continue to enjoy their older years,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said by working together the Lodge’s impact could be maximised at a grassroots level.

“Empowering people to lead better lives is what we stand for – so this initiative was the perfect fit,” Gary said.

“Similarly, funding for an ageing population is one of the key areas we’re supporting as part of our long-term strategy.”

“So, I thank the local Freemasons for bringing the worthy cause to our attention,” he said.

Photo: Members of Dalby United Lodge Peter Horn (second from left), Brian Towers and David Wheelehen, Clinical Nurse Consultant Mickie Namour and nursing home residents.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Visitors wanting to stay by the bedside of a loved one at Atherton Hospital, won’t have to worry about their sleeping arrangements after the Yungaburra Freemasons gifted a new overnight recliner lounge.

Barrine Masonic Lodge along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $3,200 towards the lounge, which by day is a normal two-seater recliner, that can be converted into a double bed at night.

What’s also unique about the lounge is that each side operates independently of each other, with a total of nine different positions to provide optimal comfort.

Barrine Lodge representative Bob Jessop said the donation would allow visitors to focus on their loved one and spend quality time with them.

“It’s one less thing for them to worry about – especially for someone keeping a bedside vigil,” Bob said.

“The lounge fits perfectly in the rooms and can be wheeled around depending on where it is needed at the time,” he said.

“We’re pleased to be able to make a difference in this way, to help create a comfortable environment where families can remain close to their loved ones while they are in hospital,” he said.

Atherton Hospital serves a large remote area of the Tablelands, accessible to around 45,000 residents.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives was what they championed.

“Improving the quality of life of patients at Atherton Hospital, by allowing them to have their loved ones nearby in a comfortable manner aligns with our purpose which is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes,” Gary said.

“It’s been our pleasure to have matched the efforts of Barrine Masonic Lodge in support of with this worthy local initiative,” he said.

Photo: Barrine Masonic Lodge Freemasons Mil Clay, Bob Jessop and Bruce Herriot (seated), with Atherton Hospital’s Joyde Peterson (standing, centre back row) and Louise DeMarzi (seated).

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Staff and volunteers at the Bundaberg and District Meals on Wheels have been given a helping hand to carry out their essential work in the community, with the local Freemasons stepping in to purchase new equipment.

Tyrian Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated $5,373 towards a range of kitchen and office equipment to support the organisation’s day-to-day operations, including a security equipment upgrade, office chairs, a stainless-steel sandwich trolley, food processor and several stainless-steel flat trays.

Tyrian Masonic Lodge Secretary John Richardson said the local Meals on Wheels branch played a pivotal role in the community, impacting those who due to age, disability or other circumstances are unable to prepare their own meals.

“Locally, Meals on Wheels prepares 160 meals a day, five days a week for 51 weeks of the year. That’s no easy task, but it’s made possible because of the hardworking staff and volunteers,” John said.

“Many of their clients live alone and look forward to a cooked meal and a chat, so Tyrian Masonic Lodge wanted to show its support and empower Meals on Wheels to continue their important work.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that the organisation focused on providing sustainable support that delivered positive outcomes for charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding.

“Support for initiatives that improve quality of life for the elderly forms part of our organisation’s long-term charitable intent.”

“By teaming up with Tyrian Lodge, we have been able to maximise the impact of their charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Bundaberg and District Meals on Wheels Service Manager Brendon Searle, Head Chef Michelle and Tyrian Masonic Lodge representative Ben Martelli.

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Palliative care patients at Toowoomba Hospice will be kept in additional comfort after the Toowoomba and District Masonic Council and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $11,000 for six new adjustable beds.

The Masonic Council, which represents 16 Masonic Lodges from the Darling Downs region instigated the donation, with their President Barry Hennessy personally contributing $5,000 towards the total.

Secretary Craig Reimers said the mobility features within the beds would not only enable patients in the final stages of life to be as comfortable as possible but would also help care staff by reducing manual handling.

“When we met with the Toowoomba Hospice to see if we could help in any way, it was identified that some new adjustable beds would be most helpful for the six-bed facility,” Craig said.

“The Masonic Council has a long history of supporting local charities and has donated to the Hospice in the past. We also have firsthand experience of the wonderful support the Hospice has provided to our family and friends, making their final time with us as comfortable as possible.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the provision of quality end of life care aligned with their values.

“We look to support charitable initiatives that help to alleviate suffering and improve people’s quality of life, particularly where there is limited access to other funding,” Gary said.

“Our support has been able to maximise the impact of the Masonic Council’s charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: The Toowoomba Hospice’s Graham Barron, Eugenie Corbett and Ray Pern (back), with representatives of the Toowoomba and District Masonic Council Barry Hennessy, David Gwynne and Ken Stephen.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

For over three decades Trinity Centre Pantry in Fortitude Valley has been providing a hand up for those in need, through food assistance and financial emergency relief.

The local service which helps over 1000 people a year, recently received a $700 donation from the team at Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland. Funds were raised throughout the year as part of the organisation’s casual Friday gold coin donation initiative, which was later matched dollar-for-dollar to provide a greater impact.

Situated not far from the Hand Heart Pocket Executive Office, the Trinity Centre Pantry is open four days a week, ensuring those that have fallen on hard times can pick up non-perishable food for free and access temporary financial emergency relief.

With this donation, the Pantry will be able to purchase a months’ worth of food, plus put some aside for financial emergency relief.

“Christmas is a time for giving. Also, our values and what we stand for as an organisation aligns with the Trinity Centre Pantry’s work in the community,” said Hand Heart Pocket Executive Officer Commercial and Company Secretary Robert Qualtrough.

“Supporting initiatives that alleviate misfortune and empower people to lead more independent lives is a large part of what we do,” he said.

Photo: The team at Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $700 to the Trinity Centre Pantry.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

More aged people and people with disabilities on Brisbane’s northside will be able to enjoy being out on the water after Sailability Shorncliffe was gifted a new wheelchair-accessible pontoon boat.

The 6.2m vessel which was christened ‘Grumpy Walker’ earlier this week, was donated by Mt Pleasant Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland. Having raised $5,000, the Lodge looked to Hand Heart Pocket, who initially matched their efforts, before providing an additional $50,250 to bring the initiative to fruition.

Sailability Shorncliffe President Ted Balneaves said the customised boat will be a huge asset to the organisation, which celebrated 10 years last year.

“We had wanted to get one for some time. Our clients, many of whom have limited mobility, can now be wheeled straight onto the boat, compared to being transferred into our sailing dinghies with a winch and sling,” Ted said.

“The pontoon boat can hold up to eight seated clients or up to four wheelchair-bound clients and four seated clients, with two crew members,” he said.

“They might not be able to touch the water because of the height of the boat, but they’ll still be able to feel the wind in their hair and take in the sights and sounds around them, as they sail along Cabbage Tree Creek.”

As for Mt Pleasant Lodge, this was the perfect way to make a difference while honouring the memory of the late Ron Walker – who was a member of their Lodge and a past president of Sailability Shorncliffe.

“It’s been said that Ron had three passions in life – Sailing, Sailability and Freemasonry. It was very moving to see the Grumpy Walker in action, knowing that we had played a key role in making this happen,” Mt Pleasant Lodge representative Mike Mifsud said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark commended Mt Pleasant Lodge for bringing this initiative to his organisation’s attention.

“Support for initiatives that help to improve the quality of life of the aged, aligns with our strategic charitable intent. By partnering with Mt Pleasant Lodge, we have been able to get this initiative over the line, so that more aged people and people with disabilities are empowered to lead better lives,” he said.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Sailability Shorncliffe Treasurer Phillipa Bolt, Mt Pleasant Masonic Lodge representative Mike Mifsud and Sailability Shorncliffe President Ted Balneaves.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

More young people in need will be given the tools to build their own future after TRACTION, a community-based youth mentoring program in South East Queensland, received a hand up to expand their reach.

The organisation recently received a $15,000 grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, to engage a specialist to guide the development of their long-term strategy, business plan and governance program, positioning them to grow to meet the needs of the community into the future.

TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch said the funding couldn’t have come at a better time.

“This grant will allow us to take that next step – to take our program further and to be sustainable in the long-term, so more vulnerable young people are empowered to create their own powerful futures,” Sandy said.

“Since launching the program in 2015, 700 young people aged 12-15 have graduated from TRACTION, leaving with a new sense of purpose and confidence, that if they put their mind to something, they can achieve it,” he said.

Delivering its programs at Alexandra Hills, Moorooka, Inala, Logan and Beaudesert, TRACTION works with schools and other agencies to identify and re-engage youngsters that are not excelling in the classroom – equipping them with lifelong skills. By attending TRACTION one day a week for an entire school term, students can undertake projects like restoring an old bike with the help of a mentor, as part of the Bicycle Build Program. Many of the participants come from disadvantaged backgrounds, may be experiencing insecure housing, have a disability or could have been in the youth justice system.

“Seeing the transformation in these young people is by far the best part – seeing them come to the realisation that they have potential. Their behaviour changes and their teachers see an improvement in rates, effort and engagement at school, as a result our program,” he said.

“They are resilient kids who need to be given a chance. We are grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for believing in what we do.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that empower young people in necessitous circumstances to lead more independent lives aligns with his organisation’s purpose.

“Providing funding and financial assistance for education and training initiatives for young people in need, forms part of our long-term strategy,” Gary said.

“Early intervention programs that allow vulnerable youth to develop life skills, instead of slipping through the cracks provides them with a hand up through sustainable support,” Gary said.

“We are excited about the life-changing impacts that this partnership will bring for young people in need over the years to come,” he said.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark with TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch and TRACTION Development Manager Mark Van Den Boogaart.

Find out more about who we help

More Queenslanders with low or no vision will be empowered to lead more independent lives, with Guide Dogs Queensland being given a hand up to meet the demand for its services into the future.

Just recently, the not-for-profit organisation received a $230,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland which will go towards the construction of an on-site veterinary clinic at their Bald Hills breeding and training centre.

With guide dog breeding numbers set to grow by 70% over the next couple of years, a dedicated onsite clinic will help to reduce expenses by as much as 60%. Currently external vet bills are costing the organisation close to $220,000 each year.

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said the initiative would have a lasting impact on the organisation – setting them up for the future.

“When it costs $50,000 to breed, raise, train and match a Guide Dog with an individual with low or no vision, these savings could be translated to an additional 24 Guide Dogs over the next five years,” Michael Said.

“Having an in-house veterinary program will also mean that we would be able to offer comprehensive healthcare to all working Guide Dogs in the greater Brisbane region, not just those in the breeding and training program.”

“These savings will allow us to develop innovative new programs and strengthen existing programs to empower our clients to lead safer, more independent lives,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were already aware of the difference Guide Dogs Queensland was making in the community, through its Masonic Lodges who have provided grassroots support over many years, in particular United Tradesmen’s Lodge (Ipswich) and later Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge (Redcliffe) with their Dining in the Dark fundraisers.

“At a grassroots level, Masonic Lodges and Hand Heart Pocket have collectively donated well over $50,000 to Guide Dogs Queensland to help purchase vital equipment,” Gary said.

“Our support of this latest initiative, will help to fill the funding gap, enabling Guide Dogs Queensland to meet the demand and be sustainable in the long term. It’s our pleasure to provide a hand up so that more Queenslanders with low or no vision can lead better lives,” he said.

Photo: Following many years of support at a grassroots level, Guide Dogs Queensland has received a $230,000 Significant Grant towards the construction of an on-site veterinary clinic. 

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More people living with dementia in the Maranoa region will be able to remain close to their loved ones and support networks, as their condition progresses, with Pinaroo Roma Inc. having recently received a hand up to make dementia specific residential care more accessible.

The 60-bed not-for-profit aged care facility, managed by the Rotary Club of Roma, will put a $250,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland towards the conversion of an existing wing into a second secure dementia specific wing, to accommodate 11 additional dementia residents.

Pinaroo Roma Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ian Murphy said the grant would help to ensure the ongoing sustainability of aged care in the regional community.

“Our current 12-bed dementia wing has had 100% occupancy since 2013, plus we currently have 15 people on our waiting list, so this second dementia wing, will make all the difference – allowing us to care for a total of 23 residents with the cognitive illness,” Ian said.

“Over the years many locals have had no option but to move far away from their loved ones and community, to access dementia specific residential care, due to a lack of local services. With an ageing population and dementia rates on the rise, this would only have gotten worse. We are pleased that as a result of this partnership with Hand Heart Pocket, we’ll be able to finally address this issue and ensure more residents are able to stay in Roma,” he said.

The converted wing will have 11 private single rooms, each with an ensuite. A lounge room, meals area and landscaped gardens will help to give the wing a homely feel, while being fully secure with key pad access.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this was the first Significant Grant for the Maranoa region, due in part to the local Freemasons, who were vocal supporters of this initiative.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources, so we thank the Freemasons of Roma for the role they played in highlighting this regional issue,” Gary said.

“Efforts to provide more dementia specific places in a regional community such as Roma, aligns with our values which are about empowering people to lead better lives. Plus, initiatives that improve the quality of life of the ageing population forms part of our long-term strategic focus.”

“We are proud to partner with Pinaroo Roma Inc. to ensure more dementia specific care places are accessible to South West Queenslanders,” he said.

Photo: Pinaroo Roma Inc. will be able to accommodate more dementia residents in a safe and comfortable space, with Hand Heart Pocket providing a $250,000 Significant Grant towards the conversion of an existing wing into a second dementia specific wing.

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Almost 150 guests including members, supporters and charity partners of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, attended the Year in Review event last month, to hear about the organisation’s impact on families and communities in 2018. Held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the event was a resounding success with guests embracing the format of the night.  

Official proceedings began with a Welcome to Country before Chairman Tom Wiltshire addressed the audience. He provided a high-level overview of the organisation’s charitable impacts as it follows the path of its long-term strategy. He also spoke about how the organisation’s sustainable business model is allowing it to provide more impacts now and into the future.

In the 2017/2018 financial year, Hand Heart Pocket provided almost $2.8 million in financial and in-kind support to a range of charitable causes and individuals in need, impacting more Queenslanders than ever before. A whiteboard video was shown to explain how the organisation has built on its 110-year history and some of the recent impacts it has made.

Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark also addressed the audience, focusing on the charity’s achievements and how the organisation is delivering on the board’s strategy. This included the growth of their benevolent work at a grassroots level and building stronger relationships with Masonic Lodges, to provide approximately $375,000 in grassroots grants for 83 local initiatives. Similarly, almost $1.57 million in Significant Grants were provided to support key initiatives where gaps in funding were evident. While a $1 million Flagship Grant was given to help provide vital infrastructure for education and employment, to empower young people with a disability to be job ready. A highlights video helped to put these sizable figures into perspective, showing some of the positive impacts being made.

In keeping with this theme, guests took part in a Gallery Walk to hear directly from Hand Heart Pocket’s charity partners, who spoke about the challenges they face, the support they received from Hand Heart Pocket and the impact of this support. These charity partners included Help Enterprises, Hear and Say, YellowBridge QLD, Trojan’s Trek and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA). The latter organisation, as the beneficiary of Hand Heart Pocket’s Inaugural Father’s Day Appeal, received a $150,000 Significant Grant on the night to support Men’s Shed activities and programs across Queensland in 2019 in the area of men’s mental and physical health which is one of Hand Heart Pocket’s key areas of focus.

Hand Heart Pocket is appreciative of those that attended the Year in Review event and looks forward to working with those who share their passion and vision to make a bigger difference for more families and communities in 2019.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket celebrated its charitable impact in 2018 at the Year in Review event. Official proceedings began with a Welcome to Country from Shannon Ruska, a descendent of the Yuggera and Turbul people of Brisbane, Logan and Ipswich regions.

Read Hand Heart Pocket's Annual Review 2018

Residents at Karingal Nursing Home in Dalby have been empowered to maintain their independence, after the local Freemasons donated two specialised mattresses.

Dalby United Masonic Lodge together with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated the mattresses which will help to reduce residents’ chances of getting pressure sores.

Dalby United Lodge Secretary David Wheelehen said improving the quality of life of elderly residents was the intent behind the donation.

“We’ve developed a great relationship with the nursing home and are keen to provide a helping hand where-ever we can,” David said.

“These mattresses will help to enhance residents’ overall well-being, so that they can continue to enjoy their older years,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said by working together the Lodge’s impact could be maximised at a grassroots level.

“Empowering people to lead better lives is what we stand for – so this initiative was the perfect fit,” Gary said.

“Similarly, funding for an ageing population is one of the key areas we’re supporting as part of our long-term strategy.”

“So, I thank the local Freemasons for bringing the worthy cause to our attention,” he said.

Photo: Members of Dalby United Lodge Peter Horn (second from left), Brian Towers and David Wheelehen, Clinical Nurse Consultant Mickie Namour and nursing home residents.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Visitors wanting to stay by the bedside of a loved one at Atherton Hospital, won’t have to worry about their sleeping arrangements after the Yungaburra Freemasons gifted a new overnight recliner lounge.

Barrine Masonic Lodge along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $3,200 towards the lounge, which by day is a normal two-seater recliner, that can be converted into a double bed at night.

What’s also unique about the lounge is that each side operates independently of each other, with a total of nine different positions to provide optimal comfort.

Barrine Lodge representative Bob Jessop said the donation would allow visitors to focus on their loved one and spend quality time with them.

“It’s one less thing for them to worry about – especially for someone keeping a bedside vigil,” Bob said.

“The lounge fits perfectly in the rooms and can be wheeled around depending on where it is needed at the time,” he said.

“We’re pleased to be able to make a difference in this way, to help create a comfortable environment where families can remain close to their loved ones while they are in hospital,” he said.

Atherton Hospital serves a large remote area of the Tablelands, accessible to around 45,000 residents.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives was what they championed.

“Improving the quality of life of patients at Atherton Hospital, by allowing them to have their loved ones nearby in a comfortable manner aligns with our purpose which is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes,” Gary said.

“It’s been our pleasure to have matched the efforts of Barrine Masonic Lodge in support of with this worthy local initiative,” he said.

Photo: Barrine Masonic Lodge Freemasons Mil Clay, Bob Jessop and Bruce Herriot (seated), with Atherton Hospital’s Joyde Peterson (standing, centre back row) and Louise DeMarzi (seated).

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Staff and volunteers at the Bundaberg and District Meals on Wheels have been given a helping hand to carry out their essential work in the community, with the local Freemasons stepping in to purchase new equipment.

Tyrian Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated $5,373 towards a range of kitchen and office equipment to support the organisation’s day-to-day operations, including a security equipment upgrade, office chairs, a stainless-steel sandwich trolley, food processor and several stainless-steel flat trays.

Tyrian Masonic Lodge Secretary John Richardson said the local Meals on Wheels branch played a pivotal role in the community, impacting those who due to age, disability or other circumstances are unable to prepare their own meals.

“Locally, Meals on Wheels prepares 160 meals a day, five days a week for 51 weeks of the year. That’s no easy task, but it’s made possible because of the hardworking staff and volunteers,” John said.

“Many of their clients live alone and look forward to a cooked meal and a chat, so Tyrian Masonic Lodge wanted to show its support and empower Meals on Wheels to continue their important work.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that the organisation focused on providing sustainable support that delivered positive outcomes for charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding.

“Support for initiatives that improve quality of life for the elderly forms part of our organisation’s long-term charitable intent.”

“By teaming up with Tyrian Lodge, we have been able to maximise the impact of their charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Bundaberg and District Meals on Wheels Service Manager Brendon Searle, Head Chef Michelle and Tyrian Masonic Lodge representative Ben Martelli.

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Palliative care patients at Toowoomba Hospice will be kept in additional comfort after the Toowoomba and District Masonic Council and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $11,000 for six new adjustable beds.

The Masonic Council, which represents 16 Masonic Lodges from the Darling Downs region instigated the donation, with their President Barry Hennessy personally contributing $5,000 towards the total.

Secretary Craig Reimers said the mobility features within the beds would not only enable patients in the final stages of life to be as comfortable as possible but would also help care staff by reducing manual handling.

“When we met with the Toowoomba Hospice to see if we could help in any way, it was identified that some new adjustable beds would be most helpful for the six-bed facility,” Craig said.

“The Masonic Council has a long history of supporting local charities and has donated to the Hospice in the past. We also have firsthand experience of the wonderful support the Hospice has provided to our family and friends, making their final time with us as comfortable as possible.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the provision of quality end of life care aligned with their values.

“We look to support charitable initiatives that help to alleviate suffering and improve people’s quality of life, particularly where there is limited access to other funding,” Gary said.

“Our support has been able to maximise the impact of the Masonic Council’s charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: The Toowoomba Hospice’s Graham Barron, Eugenie Corbett and Ray Pern (back), with representatives of the Toowoomba and District Masonic Council Barry Hennessy, David Gwynne and Ken Stephen.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

For over three decades Trinity Centre Pantry in Fortitude Valley has been providing a hand up for those in need, through food assistance and financial emergency relief.

The local service which helps over 1000 people a year, recently received a $700 donation from the team at Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland. Funds were raised throughout the year as part of the organisation’s casual Friday gold coin donation initiative, which was later matched dollar-for-dollar to provide a greater impact.

Situated not far from the Hand Heart Pocket Executive Office, the Trinity Centre Pantry is open four days a week, ensuring those that have fallen on hard times can pick up non-perishable food for free and access temporary financial emergency relief.

With this donation, the Pantry will be able to purchase a months’ worth of food, plus put some aside for financial emergency relief.

“Christmas is a time for giving. Also, our values and what we stand for as an organisation aligns with the Trinity Centre Pantry’s work in the community,” said Hand Heart Pocket Executive Officer Commercial and Company Secretary Robert Qualtrough.

“Supporting initiatives that alleviate misfortune and empower people to lead more independent lives is a large part of what we do,” he said.

Photo: The team at Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $700 to the Trinity Centre Pantry.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

More aged people and people with disabilities on Brisbane’s northside will be able to enjoy being out on the water after Sailability Shorncliffe was gifted a new wheelchair-accessible pontoon boat.

The 6.2m vessel which was christened ‘Grumpy Walker’ earlier this week, was donated by Mt Pleasant Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland. Having raised $5,000, the Lodge looked to Hand Heart Pocket, who initially matched their efforts, before providing an additional $50,250 to bring the initiative to fruition.

Sailability Shorncliffe President Ted Balneaves said the customised boat will be a huge asset to the organisation, which celebrated 10 years last year.

“We had wanted to get one for some time. Our clients, many of whom have limited mobility, can now be wheeled straight onto the boat, compared to being transferred into our sailing dinghies with a winch and sling,” Ted said.

“The pontoon boat can hold up to eight seated clients or up to four wheelchair-bound clients and four seated clients, with two crew members,” he said.

“They might not be able to touch the water because of the height of the boat, but they’ll still be able to feel the wind in their hair and take in the sights and sounds around them, as they sail along Cabbage Tree Creek.”

As for Mt Pleasant Lodge, this was the perfect way to make a difference while honouring the memory of the late Ron Walker – who was a member of their Lodge and a past president of Sailability Shorncliffe.

“It’s been said that Ron had three passions in life – Sailing, Sailability and Freemasonry. It was very moving to see the Grumpy Walker in action, knowing that we had played a key role in making this happen,” Mt Pleasant Lodge representative Mike Mifsud said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark commended Mt Pleasant Lodge for bringing this initiative to his organisation’s attention.

“Support for initiatives that help to improve the quality of life of the aged, aligns with our strategic charitable intent. By partnering with Mt Pleasant Lodge, we have been able to get this initiative over the line, so that more aged people and people with disabilities are empowered to lead better lives,” he said.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Sailability Shorncliffe Treasurer Phillipa Bolt, Mt Pleasant Masonic Lodge representative Mike Mifsud and Sailability Shorncliffe President Ted Balneaves.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

More young people in need will be given the tools to build their own future after TRACTION, a community-based youth mentoring program in South East Queensland, received a hand up to expand their reach.

The organisation recently received a $15,000 grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, to engage a specialist to guide the development of their long-term strategy, business plan and governance program, positioning them to grow to meet the needs of the community into the future.

TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch said the funding couldn’t have come at a better time.

“This grant will allow us to take that next step – to take our program further and to be sustainable in the long-term, so more vulnerable young people are empowered to create their own powerful futures,” Sandy said.

“Since launching the program in 2015, 700 young people aged 12-15 have graduated from TRACTION, leaving with a new sense of purpose and confidence, that if they put their mind to something, they can achieve it,” he said.

Delivering its programs at Alexandra Hills, Moorooka, Inala, Logan and Beaudesert, TRACTION works with schools and other agencies to identify and re-engage youngsters that are not excelling in the classroom – equipping them with lifelong skills. By attending TRACTION one day a week for an entire school term, students can undertake projects like restoring an old bike with the help of a mentor, as part of the Bicycle Build Program. Many of the participants come from disadvantaged backgrounds, may be experiencing insecure housing, have a disability or could have been in the youth justice system.

“Seeing the transformation in these young people is by far the best part – seeing them come to the realisation that they have potential. Their behaviour changes and their teachers see an improvement in rates, effort and engagement at school, as a result our program,” he said.

“They are resilient kids who need to be given a chance. We are grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for believing in what we do.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that empower young people in necessitous circumstances to lead more independent lives aligns with his organisation’s purpose.

“Providing funding and financial assistance for education and training initiatives for young people in need, forms part of our long-term strategy,” Gary said.

“Early intervention programs that allow vulnerable youth to develop life skills, instead of slipping through the cracks provides them with a hand up through sustainable support,” Gary said.

“We are excited about the life-changing impacts that this partnership will bring for young people in need over the years to come,” he said.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark with TRACTION Founder and Program Director Sandy Murdoch and TRACTION Development Manager Mark Van Den Boogaart.

Find out more about who we help

More Queenslanders with low or no vision will be empowered to lead more independent lives, with Guide Dogs Queensland being given a hand up to meet the demand for its services into the future.

Just recently, the not-for-profit organisation received a $230,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland which will go towards the construction of an on-site veterinary clinic at their Bald Hills breeding and training centre.

With guide dog breeding numbers set to grow by 70% over the next couple of years, a dedicated onsite clinic will help to reduce expenses by as much as 60%. Currently external vet bills are costing the organisation close to $220,000 each year.

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said the initiative would have a lasting impact on the organisation – setting them up for the future.

“When it costs $50,000 to breed, raise, train and match a Guide Dog with an individual with low or no vision, these savings could be translated to an additional 24 Guide Dogs over the next five years,” Michael Said.

“Having an in-house veterinary program will also mean that we would be able to offer comprehensive healthcare to all working Guide Dogs in the greater Brisbane region, not just those in the breeding and training program.”

“These savings will allow us to develop innovative new programs and strengthen existing programs to empower our clients to lead safer, more independent lives,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were already aware of the difference Guide Dogs Queensland was making in the community, through its Masonic Lodges who have provided grassroots support over many years, in particular United Tradesmen’s Lodge (Ipswich) and later Redcliffe First Settlement Lodge (Redcliffe) with their Dining in the Dark fundraisers.

“At a grassroots level, Masonic Lodges and Hand Heart Pocket have collectively donated well over $50,000 to Guide Dogs Queensland to help purchase vital equipment,” Gary said.

“Our support of this latest initiative, will help to fill the funding gap, enabling Guide Dogs Queensland to meet the demand and be sustainable in the long term. It’s our pleasure to provide a hand up so that more Queenslanders with low or no vision can lead better lives,” he said.

Photo: Following many years of support at a grassroots level, Guide Dogs Queensland has received a $230,000 Significant Grant towards the construction of an on-site veterinary clinic. 

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More people living with dementia in the Maranoa region will be able to remain close to their loved ones and support networks, as their condition progresses, with Pinaroo Roma Inc. having recently received a hand up to make dementia specific residential care more accessible.

The 60-bed not-for-profit aged care facility, managed by the Rotary Club of Roma, will put a $250,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland towards the conversion of an existing wing into a second secure dementia specific wing, to accommodate 11 additional dementia residents.

Pinaroo Roma Inc. Chief Executive Officer Ian Murphy said the grant would help to ensure the ongoing sustainability of aged care in the regional community.

“Our current 12-bed dementia wing has had 100% occupancy since 2013, plus we currently have 15 people on our waiting list, so this second dementia wing, will make all the difference – allowing us to care for a total of 23 residents with the cognitive illness,” Ian said.

“Over the years many locals have had no option but to move far away from their loved ones and community, to access dementia specific residential care, due to a lack of local services. With an ageing population and dementia rates on the rise, this would only have gotten worse. We are pleased that as a result of this partnership with Hand Heart Pocket, we’ll be able to finally address this issue and ensure more residents are able to stay in Roma,” he said.

The converted wing will have 11 private single rooms, each with an ensuite. A lounge room, meals area and landscaped gardens will help to give the wing a homely feel, while being fully secure with key pad access.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this was the first Significant Grant for the Maranoa region, due in part to the local Freemasons, who were vocal supporters of this initiative.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources, so we thank the Freemasons of Roma for the role they played in highlighting this regional issue,” Gary said.

“Efforts to provide more dementia specific places in a regional community such as Roma, aligns with our values which are about empowering people to lead better lives. Plus, initiatives that improve the quality of life of the ageing population forms part of our long-term strategic focus.”

“We are proud to partner with Pinaroo Roma Inc. to ensure more dementia specific care places are accessible to South West Queenslanders,” he said.

Photo: Pinaroo Roma Inc. will be able to accommodate more dementia residents in a safe and comfortable space, with Hand Heart Pocket providing a $250,000 Significant Grant towards the conversion of an existing wing into a second dementia specific wing.

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Almost 150 guests including members, supporters and charity partners of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, attended the Year in Review event last month, to hear about the organisation’s impact on families and communities in 2018. Held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, the event was a resounding success with guests embracing the format of the night.  

Official proceedings began with a Welcome to Country before Chairman Tom Wiltshire addressed the audience. He provided a high-level overview of the organisation’s charitable impacts as it follows the path of its long-term strategy. He also spoke about how the organisation’s sustainable business model is allowing it to provide more impacts now and into the future.

In the 2017/2018 financial year, Hand Heart Pocket provided almost $2.8 million in financial and in-kind support to a range of charitable causes and individuals in need, impacting more Queenslanders than ever before. A whiteboard video was shown to explain how the organisation has built on its 110-year history and some of the recent impacts it has made.

Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark also addressed the audience, focusing on the charity’s achievements and how the organisation is delivering on the board’s strategy. This included the growth of their benevolent work at a grassroots level and building stronger relationships with Masonic Lodges, to provide approximately $375,000 in grassroots grants for 83 local initiatives. Similarly, almost $1.57 million in Significant Grants were provided to support key initiatives where gaps in funding were evident. While a $1 million Flagship Grant was given to help provide vital infrastructure for education and employment, to empower young people with a disability to be job ready. A highlights video helped to put these sizable figures into perspective, showing some of the positive impacts being made.

In keeping with this theme, guests took part in a Gallery Walk to hear directly from Hand Heart Pocket’s charity partners, who spoke about the challenges they face, the support they received from Hand Heart Pocket and the impact of this support. These charity partners included Help Enterprises, Hear and Say, YellowBridge QLD, Trojan’s Trek and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA). The latter organisation, as the beneficiary of Hand Heart Pocket’s Inaugural Father’s Day Appeal, received a $150,000 Significant Grant on the night to support Men’s Shed activities and programs across Queensland in 2019 in the area of men’s mental and physical health which is one of Hand Heart Pocket’s key areas of focus.

Hand Heart Pocket is appreciative of those that attended the Year in Review event and looks forward to working with those who share their passion and vision to make a bigger difference for more families and communities in 2019.

Photo: Hand Heart Pocket celebrated its charitable impact in 2018 at the Year in Review event. Official proceedings began with a Welcome to Country from Shannon Ruska, a descendent of the Yuggera and Turbul people of Brisbane, Logan and Ipswich regions.

Read Hand Heart Pocket's Annual Review 2018