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News & Events

Fraser Coast waterways are set to become safer for all to enjoy with Volunteer Marine Rescue (VMR) Hervey Bay preparing to build a new $1.3 million marine rescue vessel. The construction of Rescue I, will finally get underway thanks to a $400,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland. 

With increased tourist numbers and boating activity off the Fraser Coast, VMR identified a need for the 11.94 metre vessel, raising more than $767,000 and securing $160,000 of State Government funding via Marine Rescue Queensland. Despite their best efforts they remained under budget, until now.

Commodore of VMR Hervey Bay John Smith said Rescue I would enable the organisation to be sustainable in the long-term and continue its life-saving work.

“We are the third busiest VMR site in Queensland, providing essential marine search and waterside assistance services to the boating public off Queensland’s Fraser Coast,” Mr Smith said.

“In the past year alone, we have helped 409 people, responded to 124 calls for assistance from disabled vessels, responded to four sinking or sunk vessels, rescued 5 grounded vessels and conducted 50 medical evacuations and 13 search and rescue missions.

 “This marks a new era for VMR Hervey Bay and we thank all those who have helped bring this initiative to fruition, particularly the Masonic Lodges of the Wide Bay region for championing this grant and Hand Heart Pocket for making it a reality.”

Wide Bay Freemason Peter Keller said the Masonic Lodges of the Wide Bay region recognised the incredible work VMR Hervey Bay does for the local community and supported the Hand Heart Pocket Significant Grant.

“Over the years, Lodges in the Wide Bay region have provided grassroots support to a range of charitable initiatives, with the help of Hand Heart Pocket,” said Mr Keller.

“We are appreciative of Hand Heart Pocket for providing this Significant Grant on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland to help cover the funding gap. It’s a proud day for us, knowing that this will have a lasting impact on our community for many years to come.”

Hand Heart Pocket’s Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said Hand Heart Pocket was dedicated to assisting charitable organisations to deliver essential services.

“We believe in providing sustainable support by giving a hand up – not a handout – to communities, charities and individuals that would otherwise have limited access to other funding sources,” Mr Mark said.

“VMR Hervey Bay provides the Fraser Coast community with life-saving services and Hand Heart Pocket is delighted to help bring this project to fruition.”  

Photo: Representatives of the Wide Bay Freemasons alongside Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark and Commodore of Volunteer Marine Rescue Hervey Bay John Smith.  

Find out who we help

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has entered into a three-year agreement with River 2 Reef Ride as its new Naming Rights Sponsor.

The event, now in its 9th year, has raised over $450,000 since its inception and attracted 1500 riders last year alone.

Event Organiser Evan Corry welcomed the partnership.

“We are excited to work with a new sponsor and very thankful to our previous Naming Rights Sponsor Glencore Hail Creek for their support,” Evan said. 

The new sponsorship agreement will see Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland contribute $25,000 each year towards the event from 2019-2021. In addition, the Freemason charity has agreed to match the first $50,000 raised through the event, dollar-for-dollar, each year during the sponsorship period.

“This means that the more participants who get involved in the event, the more funds that will be raised for our local charities RACQ CQ Rescue and Mackay and District Sporting Wheelies,” Evan said. 

“A third local charity, selected by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, will also be supported through the event over the next three years as a result of this partnership,” said Evan.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark said that they are looking to select a charity who works to improve men’s mental and physical health in the region.

“One of our charitable focuses is about improving men’s mental and physical health. We are in the process of selecting a suitable charity and hope to be able to announce this shortly.” 

“We are proud to be the new sponsors for such a worthy community event,” said Gary. 

This year, the event will be held on Saturday 14th September.

Registrations for the 2019 Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland River 2 Reef Ride will open at midday on Friday 24th May 2019. To register go to www.river2reefride.com.au

Thousands of Sunshine Coast cancer patients will soon have access to additional wellness facilities at Bloomhill Cancer Care, thanks to a $570,000 Flagship Grant plus a $130,000 interest-free loan from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Bloomhill, which provides specialised support to people living on the Sunshine Coast, west to Kilcoy, north to Gympie and south to Burpengary will undergo a major expansion to meet growing demand for its services.

The $570,000 grant will help fund construction of a new two-storey therapy wing in Buderim providing eight additional multi-functional rooms for assessments and individual therapies. The bottom floor will accommodate a functional medical gymnasium and when additional funding is secured, will be further developed to include a commercial gymnasium, hydrotherapy pool and multi-functional group activity centre.

Improvements to the site’s entrance will also be made and 40 additional parking spaces developed to improve access and safety as well as enable regular fresh produce and artisan markets to be held on site. This will provide an opportunity for Bloomhill to create additional income streams within its social enterprise business to fund more patient services.

Bloomhill Cancer Care Chief Executive Officer Chris Franck said the grant had come at an opportune time in Bloomhill’s journey, with the organisation set to double its client base in the next ten years.

“We currently support around 1,228 clients going through immensely difficult times in their lives, and this number is likely to increase to 4,000 clients by 2030,” Mr Franck said.

Also, Hand Heart Pocket will provide Bloomhill with a $130,000 interest-free loan to build the infrastructure to relocate its distribution centre, which supports its Op shop social enterprise business, onsite. This is expected to save the organisation $60,000 per year in leasing expenses, increase the profitability of its social enterprise and free up funding to deliver more patient services.

“Working with Hand Heart Pocket has helped us to grow as an organisation and has prompted us to think differently about how we will achieve our long-term goals in a sustainable way.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and are well positioned to grab hold of it with both hands. The support we have received from Hand Heart Pocket really is a hand up.”

Bloomhill Cancer Care patron Raelene Boyle AM MBE, Australian Olympian and cancer survivor, has been involved with Bloomhill for two decades. She said the funding would have an enormous impact on the lives of cancer patients in the region.

“Bloomhill has helped thousands of people with cancer to live well, and now even more families will have access to this support and a better quality of life,” Ms Boyle said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the grant was an extension of the grassroots support that the organisation provided over many years in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Masonic Lodges.

“Our flagship grants help charitable organisations meet large areas of unmet need so that they can provide more positive outcomes to the community. This support will allow Bloomhill Cancer Care to enhance the lives of people living with cancer and their families in the region for many years to come.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to live a better life is a core value of Hand Heart Pocket and we’re incredibly proud to be able to provide this support to Bloomhill Cancer Care on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland.”

Photo: Representatives of the Sunshine Coast Freemasons along with Bloomhill Cancer Care Chief Executive Officer Chris Franck, Bloomhill Board Chair Michelle McGrath, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Bloomhill Client Daphne Nasir, Bloomhill Patron and cancer survivor Raelene Boyle AM MBE and Bloomhill Immediate Past Chair Michael Hurley. 

Find out who we help

A helping hand has been extended to Toowoomba Hospice to assist with efforts to maintain a home-like setting for the region’s palliative care patients.

The Queensland Masonic Touring Club (QMTC) and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently handed over $4,000 towards the Adopt a Room program.

QMTC President Mel Binnington said the funds would help with the upkeep of patient facilities and the provision of quality palliative care.

“The Hospice offers its services for free, so it’s vital that the public supports their work,” Mel said.

“Our contribution will enable patients and their families to focus on what’s most important.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were able to match the efforts of the Queensland Masonic Touring Club because initiatives that aim to improve a person’s quality of life, align with their long-term charitable focus.

“We work with our members to provide sustainable support for charitable initiatives that receive limited funding from other sources, such as this six-bed Hospice,” he said.

“Having heard about the Club’s intentions, we were keen to double their impact at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Jeanette McDonald, Peter McDonald, Lorraine Binnington and Mel Binnington of the Queensland Masonic Touring Club alongside Toowoomba Hospice Chairman Graham Barron. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Queenslanders living with Parkinson’s disease will have additional resources available to them, to help them live well, despite their diagnosis.

Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated $4,000 to Parkinson’s Queensland, with a portion of funds going towards the purchase of books, journal articles and DVDs for the Maureen Platt Library.

The other portion of funds will support the organisation’s nurse education grants program to help fund the postgraduate studies of Parkinson’s care nurses in Queensland.

“We’re excited to help improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s Queenslands’ 1,366 clients,” Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge representative Gary Golding said.

“As someone who has Parkinson’s, I know how empowering information can be, as do several other members of our Lodge.”

“Information, education and peer support are key to living well after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, which along with treatment can help a person with the disease to maintain their independence.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that empower the ageing population to lead more independent lives is part of their long-term strategic focus.

“It was clear that these two initiatives aligned with our charitable intent, especially because Parkinson’s is typically an older person’s disease. The average age of diagnosis is 65,” Mr Mark said.

“Together with Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge, we’ve been able to have a bigger impact for more Queenslanders,” he said.

Photo: Parkinson’s QLD CEO Mark Hindle, Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge representatives John Zamofing and Gary Golding, Parkinson’s QLD President Professor George Mellick and Frances Golding. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Refurbishments to the Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) headquarters are complete thanks to a Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The refurbished facilities, which officially re-opened late last month, will provide the infrastructure for WLSQ to offer an additional 2000 free legal appointments each year for women suffering the devastating effects of domestic violence and abuse.

In March 2018, Hand Heart Pocket provided $340,000 to help refurbish the WLSQ headquarters in Annerley.  The grant, the biggest ever received by the legal service, has been used to remodel their office interior to allow for six extra fully equipped, private offices for confidential legal appointments.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the refurbished facilities would provide a safe, comfortable and accessible space for Queensland women in need.

“Hand Heart Pocket plays a critical role in the community. Every year, we provide millions in much needed funding to help other charities grow and extend the valuable services they provide,” Mr Mark said.

“This project is directly in line with our goal of making an impact on financial and physical security for women – a critical issue in our community today.”

Women’s Legal Service Queensland Chief Executive Officer Angela Lynch said the organisation had been helping women experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault or family law issues for more than 35 years and demand for its services was rising.

“We help over 16,000 clients a year, but the need for free legal assistance is growing,” said Ms Lynch.

“The statistics are staggering. One in three clients hold fears for their safety or the safety of their children, and 25 percent are at risk of homelessness. One in five Queensland women experience domestic violence.

“Thanks to our refurbishments, more women who are impacted by domestic violence and abuse will be able to access our services.”

In 1996, the not-for-profit service moved to its historic Annerley premises in order to extend its community reach. The building has a rich history of women supporting other women and was previously a hospice for war widows. 

Hand Heart Pocket is pleased to support the vital work of Women’s Legal Service Queensland.  For more information visit https://wlsq.org.au/

Photo: (from left) Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson; The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO; and Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire cut the cake to celebrate the office re-opening of the Women's Legal Service Queensland office.

 

The notion that good things come in small packages certainly was the case at the Hear and Say Sunshine Coast Centre in Nambour last week, as a small but critical piece of equipment was unveiled.

The organisation which empowers children with hearing loss to reach their full learning potential was gifted a new Phonak Roger touchscreen wireless communication device and microphone by the local Masonic Lodges and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Freemason Mike Aldrich said the $1,100 device would be used during the early intervention playgroup sessions.

“A Listening and Spoken Language Specialist can wear the microphone around their neck or place it in the middle of a table during these sessions and sound will be streamed directly into the children’s cochlear impacts or hearing aids, providing greater clarity as they learn to hear, listen and speak,” Mike said.

“The results achieved at the Centre are nothing short of impressive, which is why we took an interest in funding this upgrade,” Mike said.

In August last year, representatives of Waverley-Palmwoods, Landsborough, Maroochy, Nambour and Rosslyn Masonic Lodges visited the Centre to see firsthand the difference a statewide grant for half-a-million-dollars from the state’s Masonic charity was having on the ground.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this latest grassroots support shows how committed Lodges are to supporting local initiatives.

“By working together, the Sunshine Coast Freemasons have provided a helping hand for a deserving local charity,” Gary said.

“We were able to match their efforts because education initiatives that empower children with disabilities to lead more independent lives, aligns with our long-term charitable intent,” he said.

Photos: Representatives of Waverley-Palmwoods, Landsborough, Maroochy, Nambour and Rosslyn Masonic Lodges visited the Hear and Say Sunshine Coast Centre for the unveiling of a critical piece of equipment which they donated. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Watch footage from the official sod turning

Guide Dogs Queensland turned the first sod on a new veterinary clinic at its Bald Hills Breeding and Training Centre on Friday 5 April 2019, thanks to a $230,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Guide Dog breeding is set to increase by 70 percent over the next couple of years to meet the growing demand for working Guide Dogs and having a dedicated onsite clinic will cut expenses by more than half. Currently external vet bills cost the charity almost $220,000 each year.

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said the savings would make it possible for Guide Dogs Queensland to train an additional 24 dogs over the next five years.

“There are currently more than 30 people on the wait list for a Guide Dog,” Mr Kightley said.

“The new clinic will help us meet this growing demand while providing a full-service facility with comprehensive healthcare for Guide Dogs from the day they’re born and through their working life.

“The grant we received from Hand Heart Pocket is making a significant difference to our organisation and helping us improve the lives of more people with low or no vision. We are thrilled that work will soon start on the clinic and eagerly await its opening at the end of the year.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the grant would help Guide Dogs Queensland extend its service, providing invaluable resources and guiding companions for people with vision impairments.

“We look forward to watching the veterinary clinic take shape over the coming months so that working Guide Dogs and puppies-in-training will have better access to on-site healthcare,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket and Masonic Lodges have been supporting Guide Dogs Queensland for some time. We are proud to grow this successful partnership and extend our grassroots contribution to a Significant Grant.

“It is an excellent example of the charity grant funding Hand Heart Pocket provides to assist existing charities and help them make a bigger impact in the community.”

Photo: Members of United Tradesmen’s and Redcliffe First Settlement Lodges joined Hand Heart Pocket and Guide Dogs Queensland at the sod turning event.

Find out who we help

Hand Heart Pocket has announced the appointment of thought leader and social innovator Sandy Blackburn-Wright to its board of directors.  Ms Blackburn-Wright’s appointment brings a new level of independence and diversity to the current board and is the first appointment of a female director in the organisations 110-year history.

Ms Blackburn-Wright brings more than 35 years’ local and international experience in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors, and a passion for building bridges between the social and financial.

Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire said Ms Blackburn-Wright’s appointment is part of the organisation’s contemporary approach of challenging existing paradigms, thereby helping to ensure that the support it gives remains relevant and that impacts are maximised.  

“Masonic charity has a rich history in Queensland spanning more than 110 years, but we recognise the importance of constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of our communities,” Mr Wiltshire said.  

“Sandy’s expertise, strength and diversity will prove valuable as Hand Heart Pocket looks to further shape and refine its approach to philanthropy in practical and innovative ways.   

“As a leader who has helped to grow the impact investing, shared value and social enterprise sectors in Australia and abroad, Sandy’s insight into how to maximise the tangible value of our support will be invaluable.”

Ms Blackburn-Wright said she was keen to be part of an organisation that had recently become one of the largest grant-making charities in Queensland and who is looking to embrace strategic philanthropy focused on measurable impact.

“For philanthropists, solving social problems is about working with our charity partners to help them deepen their impact, and I’m looking forward to drawing on my own experience in this regard to help Hand Heart Pocket shape its future,” Ms Blackburn-Wright said.

Ms Blackburn-Wright is the founder and Managing Director of Social Outcomes, a business that uses social and financial innovation to create and fund quality outcomes for its partners.

The bestselling author also sits on the Australian Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investment Global Steering Group and the advisory board of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.

Mundubbera Hospital has been empowered to provide additional facilities for palliation after the local Freemasons generously provided a $4000 donation.

The funds donated by Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will go towards the conversion of a quiet room into a palliative care room, as well as revitalising the plant nursery.

Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge Secretary Peter Keller said when patients reach the stage of palliative care, it’s all about keeping them comfortable and enhancing their quality of life by providing a peaceful environment.

“The plant nursery, in particular, will help to create a serene environment,” Peter said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark thanked Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge for identifying this important regional initiative which will enable more palliative care patients to remain close to their loved ones.

“Enhancing the built environment to improve patients’ quality of life tallies with our values which are about alleviating suffering,” Gary said.

“Together, the Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket have been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level.”

Photo: Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge has provided a hand up for Mundubbera Hospital. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has entered into a three-year agreement with River 2 Reef Ride as its new Naming Rights Sponsor.

The event, now in its 9th year, has raised over $450,000 since its inception and attracted 1500 riders last year alone.

Event Organiser Evan Corry welcomed the partnership.

“We are excited to work with a new sponsor and very thankful to our previous Naming Rights Sponsor Glencore Hail Creek for their support,” Evan said. 

The new sponsorship agreement will see Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland contribute $25,000 each year towards the event from 2019-2021. In addition, the Freemason charity has agreed to match the first $50,000 raised through the event, dollar-for-dollar, each year during the sponsorship period.

“This means that the more participants who get involved in the event, the more funds that will be raised for our local charities RACQ CQ Rescue and Mackay and District Sporting Wheelies,” Evan said. 

“A third local charity, selected by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, will also be supported through the event over the next three years as a result of this partnership,” said Evan.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark said that they are looking to select a charity who works to improve men’s mental and physical health in the region.

“One of our charitable focuses is about improving men’s mental and physical health. We are in the process of selecting a suitable charity and hope to be able to announce this shortly.” 

“We are proud to be the new sponsors for such a worthy community event,” said Gary. 

This year, the event will be held on Saturday 14th September.

Registrations for the 2019 Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland River 2 Reef Ride will open at midday on Friday 24th May 2019. To register go to www.river2reefride.com.au

Thousands of Sunshine Coast cancer patients will soon have access to additional wellness facilities at Bloomhill Cancer Care, thanks to a $570,000 Flagship Grant plus a $130,000 interest-free loan from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Bloomhill, which provides specialised support to people living on the Sunshine Coast, west to Kilcoy, north to Gympie and south to Burpengary will undergo a major expansion to meet growing demand for its services.

The $570,000 grant will help fund construction of a new two-storey therapy wing in Buderim providing eight additional multi-functional rooms for assessments and individual therapies. The bottom floor will accommodate a functional medical gymnasium and when additional funding is secured, will be further developed to include a commercial gymnasium, hydrotherapy pool and multi-functional group activity centre.

Improvements to the site’s entrance will also be made and 40 additional parking spaces developed to improve access and safety as well as enable regular fresh produce and artisan markets to be held on site. This will provide an opportunity for Bloomhill to create additional income streams within its social enterprise business to fund more patient services.

Bloomhill Cancer Care Chief Executive Officer Chris Franck said the grant had come at an opportune time in Bloomhill’s journey, with the organisation set to double its client base in the next ten years.

“We currently support around 1,228 clients going through immensely difficult times in their lives, and this number is likely to increase to 4,000 clients by 2030,” Mr Franck said.

Also, Hand Heart Pocket will provide Bloomhill with a $130,000 interest-free loan to build the infrastructure to relocate its distribution centre, which supports its Op shop social enterprise business, onsite. This is expected to save the organisation $60,000 per year in leasing expenses, increase the profitability of its social enterprise and free up funding to deliver more patient services.

“Working with Hand Heart Pocket has helped us to grow as an organisation and has prompted us to think differently about how we will achieve our long-term goals in a sustainable way.

“We are extremely grateful for the opportunity and are well positioned to grab hold of it with both hands. The support we have received from Hand Heart Pocket really is a hand up.”

Bloomhill Cancer Care patron Raelene Boyle AM MBE, Australian Olympian and cancer survivor, has been involved with Bloomhill for two decades. She said the funding would have an enormous impact on the lives of cancer patients in the region.

“Bloomhill has helped thousands of people with cancer to live well, and now even more families will have access to this support and a better quality of life,” Ms Boyle said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the grant was an extension of the grassroots support that the organisation provided over many years in conjunction with the Sunshine Coast Masonic Lodges.

“Our flagship grants help charitable organisations meet large areas of unmet need so that they can provide more positive outcomes to the community. This support will allow Bloomhill Cancer Care to enhance the lives of people living with cancer and their families in the region for many years to come.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to live a better life is a core value of Hand Heart Pocket and we’re incredibly proud to be able to provide this support to Bloomhill Cancer Care on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland.”

Photo: Representatives of the Sunshine Coast Freemasons along with Bloomhill Cancer Care Chief Executive Officer Chris Franck, Bloomhill Board Chair Michelle McGrath, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Bloomhill Client Daphne Nasir, Bloomhill Patron and cancer survivor Raelene Boyle AM MBE and Bloomhill Immediate Past Chair Michael Hurley. 

Find out who we help

A helping hand has been extended to Toowoomba Hospice to assist with efforts to maintain a home-like setting for the region’s palliative care patients.

The Queensland Masonic Touring Club (QMTC) and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently handed over $4,000 towards the Adopt a Room program.

QMTC President Mel Binnington said the funds would help with the upkeep of patient facilities and the provision of quality palliative care.

“The Hospice offers its services for free, so it’s vital that the public supports their work,” Mel said.

“Our contribution will enable patients and their families to focus on what’s most important.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were able to match the efforts of the Queensland Masonic Touring Club because initiatives that aim to improve a person’s quality of life, align with their long-term charitable focus.

“We work with our members to provide sustainable support for charitable initiatives that receive limited funding from other sources, such as this six-bed Hospice,” he said.

“Having heard about the Club’s intentions, we were keen to double their impact at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Jeanette McDonald, Peter McDonald, Lorraine Binnington and Mel Binnington of the Queensland Masonic Touring Club alongside Toowoomba Hospice Chairman Graham Barron. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Queenslanders living with Parkinson’s disease will have additional resources available to them, to help them live well, despite their diagnosis.

Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated $4,000 to Parkinson’s Queensland, with a portion of funds going towards the purchase of books, journal articles and DVDs for the Maureen Platt Library.

The other portion of funds will support the organisation’s nurse education grants program to help fund the postgraduate studies of Parkinson’s care nurses in Queensland.

“We’re excited to help improve the quality of life of Parkinson’s Queenslands’ 1,366 clients,” Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge representative Gary Golding said.

“As someone who has Parkinson’s, I know how empowering information can be, as do several other members of our Lodge.”

“Information, education and peer support are key to living well after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, which along with treatment can help a person with the disease to maintain their independence.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that empower the ageing population to lead more independent lives is part of their long-term strategic focus.

“It was clear that these two initiatives aligned with our charitable intent, especially because Parkinson’s is typically an older person’s disease. The average age of diagnosis is 65,” Mr Mark said.

“Together with Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge, we’ve been able to have a bigger impact for more Queenslanders,” he said.

Photo: Parkinson’s QLD CEO Mark Hindle, Enoggera-Thistle Masonic Lodge representatives John Zamofing and Gary Golding, Parkinson’s QLD President Professor George Mellick and Frances Golding. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Refurbishments to the Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLSQ) headquarters are complete thanks to a Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The refurbished facilities, which officially re-opened late last month, will provide the infrastructure for WLSQ to offer an additional 2000 free legal appointments each year for women suffering the devastating effects of domestic violence and abuse.

In March 2018, Hand Heart Pocket provided $340,000 to help refurbish the WLSQ headquarters in Annerley.  The grant, the biggest ever received by the legal service, has been used to remodel their office interior to allow for six extra fully equipped, private offices for confidential legal appointments.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the refurbished facilities would provide a safe, comfortable and accessible space for Queensland women in need.

“Hand Heart Pocket plays a critical role in the community. Every year, we provide millions in much needed funding to help other charities grow and extend the valuable services they provide,” Mr Mark said.

“This project is directly in line with our goal of making an impact on financial and physical security for women – a critical issue in our community today.”

Women’s Legal Service Queensland Chief Executive Officer Angela Lynch said the organisation had been helping women experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault or family law issues for more than 35 years and demand for its services was rising.

“We help over 16,000 clients a year, but the need for free legal assistance is growing,” said Ms Lynch.

“The statistics are staggering. One in three clients hold fears for their safety or the safety of their children, and 25 percent are at risk of homelessness. One in five Queensland women experience domestic violence.

“Thanks to our refurbishments, more women who are impacted by domestic violence and abuse will be able to access our services.”

In 1996, the not-for-profit service moved to its historic Annerley premises in order to extend its community reach. The building has a rich history of women supporting other women and was previously a hospice for war widows. 

Hand Heart Pocket is pleased to support the vital work of Women’s Legal Service Queensland.  For more information visit https://wlsq.org.au/

Photo: (from left) Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson; The Honourable Dame Quentin Bryce AD CVO; and Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire cut the cake to celebrate the office re-opening of the Women's Legal Service Queensland office.

 

The notion that good things come in small packages certainly was the case at the Hear and Say Sunshine Coast Centre in Nambour last week, as a small but critical piece of equipment was unveiled.

The organisation which empowers children with hearing loss to reach their full learning potential was gifted a new Phonak Roger touchscreen wireless communication device and microphone by the local Masonic Lodges and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Sunshine Coast Freemason Mike Aldrich said the $1,100 device would be used during the early intervention playgroup sessions.

“A Listening and Spoken Language Specialist can wear the microphone around their neck or place it in the middle of a table during these sessions and sound will be streamed directly into the children’s cochlear impacts or hearing aids, providing greater clarity as they learn to hear, listen and speak,” Mike said.

“The results achieved at the Centre are nothing short of impressive, which is why we took an interest in funding this upgrade,” Mike said.

In August last year, representatives of Waverley-Palmwoods, Landsborough, Maroochy, Nambour and Rosslyn Masonic Lodges visited the Centre to see firsthand the difference a statewide grant for half-a-million-dollars from the state’s Masonic charity was having on the ground.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this latest grassroots support shows how committed Lodges are to supporting local initiatives.

“By working together, the Sunshine Coast Freemasons have provided a helping hand for a deserving local charity,” Gary said.

“We were able to match their efforts because education initiatives that empower children with disabilities to lead more independent lives, aligns with our long-term charitable intent,” he said.

Photos: Representatives of Waverley-Palmwoods, Landsborough, Maroochy, Nambour and Rosslyn Masonic Lodges visited the Hear and Say Sunshine Coast Centre for the unveiling of a critical piece of equipment which they donated. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Watch footage from the official sod turning

Guide Dogs Queensland turned the first sod on a new veterinary clinic at its Bald Hills Breeding and Training Centre on Friday 5 April 2019, thanks to a $230,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Guide Dog breeding is set to increase by 70 percent over the next couple of years to meet the growing demand for working Guide Dogs and having a dedicated onsite clinic will cut expenses by more than half. Currently external vet bills cost the charity almost $220,000 each year.

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said the savings would make it possible for Guide Dogs Queensland to train an additional 24 dogs over the next five years.

“There are currently more than 30 people on the wait list for a Guide Dog,” Mr Kightley said.

“The new clinic will help us meet this growing demand while providing a full-service facility with comprehensive healthcare for Guide Dogs from the day they’re born and through their working life.

“The grant we received from Hand Heart Pocket is making a significant difference to our organisation and helping us improve the lives of more people with low or no vision. We are thrilled that work will soon start on the clinic and eagerly await its opening at the end of the year.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the grant would help Guide Dogs Queensland extend its service, providing invaluable resources and guiding companions for people with vision impairments.

“We look forward to watching the veterinary clinic take shape over the coming months so that working Guide Dogs and puppies-in-training will have better access to on-site healthcare,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket and Masonic Lodges have been supporting Guide Dogs Queensland for some time. We are proud to grow this successful partnership and extend our grassroots contribution to a Significant Grant.

“It is an excellent example of the charity grant funding Hand Heart Pocket provides to assist existing charities and help them make a bigger impact in the community.”

Photo: Members of United Tradesmen’s and Redcliffe First Settlement Lodges joined Hand Heart Pocket and Guide Dogs Queensland at the sod turning event.

Find out who we help

Hand Heart Pocket has announced the appointment of thought leader and social innovator Sandy Blackburn-Wright to its board of directors.  Ms Blackburn-Wright’s appointment brings a new level of independence and diversity to the current board and is the first appointment of a female director in the organisations 110-year history.

Ms Blackburn-Wright brings more than 35 years’ local and international experience in the philanthropic and non-profit sectors, and a passion for building bridges between the social and financial.

Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire said Ms Blackburn-Wright’s appointment is part of the organisation’s contemporary approach of challenging existing paradigms, thereby helping to ensure that the support it gives remains relevant and that impacts are maximised.  

“Masonic charity has a rich history in Queensland spanning more than 110 years, but we recognise the importance of constantly adapting to meet the changing needs of our communities,” Mr Wiltshire said.  

“Sandy’s expertise, strength and diversity will prove valuable as Hand Heart Pocket looks to further shape and refine its approach to philanthropy in practical and innovative ways.   

“As a leader who has helped to grow the impact investing, shared value and social enterprise sectors in Australia and abroad, Sandy’s insight into how to maximise the tangible value of our support will be invaluable.”

Ms Blackburn-Wright said she was keen to be part of an organisation that had recently become one of the largest grant-making charities in Queensland and who is looking to embrace strategic philanthropy focused on measurable impact.

“For philanthropists, solving social problems is about working with our charity partners to help them deepen their impact, and I’m looking forward to drawing on my own experience in this regard to help Hand Heart Pocket shape its future,” Ms Blackburn-Wright said.

Ms Blackburn-Wright is the founder and Managing Director of Social Outcomes, a business that uses social and financial innovation to create and fund quality outcomes for its partners.

The bestselling author also sits on the Australian Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investment Global Steering Group and the advisory board of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.

Mundubbera Hospital has been empowered to provide additional facilities for palliation after the local Freemasons generously provided a $4000 donation.

The funds donated by Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will go towards the conversion of a quiet room into a palliative care room, as well as revitalising the plant nursery.

Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge Secretary Peter Keller said when patients reach the stage of palliative care, it’s all about keeping them comfortable and enhancing their quality of life by providing a peaceful environment.

“The plant nursery, in particular, will help to create a serene environment,” Peter said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark thanked Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge for identifying this important regional initiative which will enable more palliative care patients to remain close to their loved ones.

“Enhancing the built environment to improve patients’ quality of life tallies with our values which are about alleviating suffering,” Gary said.

“Together, the Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket have been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level.”

Photo: Mundubbera-Burnett Masonic Lodge has provided a hand up for Mundubbera Hospital. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Royal Flying Doctor Service in Far North Queensland will take to the skies with $10,800 worth of new medical equipment donated by Murray Masonic Lodge, with the help of members of the District of Carpentaria and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Murray Masonic Lodge Worshipful Master Alan Sims said rural and remote communities are heavily reliant on this service for their primary healthcare as well as in times of a medical emergency.

“Whether it’s a checkup or an emergency evacuation, you know you’re in good hands when the RFDS is involved,” Alan said.

“Fifteen years ago, my grandson was transported to Brisbane in a critical condition. Then in September last year, my son Greg was medevaced from the Gulf of Carpentaria to the intensive care unit at the Cairns Base Hospital. So our family as well as many remote families know full well the life-saving role that the RFDS plays in our community,” he said.

Last financial year, the four aircraft at the Cairns base collectively covered over 989,000 km.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that by partnering with Murray Masonic Lodge they were able to increase the impact of their charity work at a grassroots level.

“This is about giving the RFDS a hand up, to empower them to continue providing essential services that alleviate suffering – something which they’ve been doing for over 90 years,” Gary said.

Photo: President District Board of Benevolence Robert Lackey (second from left), Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon (fourth from left), Murray Lodge representative Alan Sims (second from right) and the team at the Royal Flying Doctor Service in Cairns.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Members are invited to our ‘Year in Review’ event where we will outline our achievements over the past year and hear from some of our charity partners.

When: Monday November 4, 2019
            5.15pm (for a 6pm start)

Where: Brisbane Airport Conference Centre
             2 Dryandra Road, Brisbane Q 4008

Places are limited. Subsidised transport will be available from Gympie, Cooroy, Maroochydore, Caboolture, Toowoomba and Ipswich. 

To express your interest in attending, please email info@handheartpocket.org.au by Thursday 24th October 2019.