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Young people with high care needs will be able to stay socially connected as Youngcare looks to launch a new phone service with a $20,000 COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The unrestricted funding will allow the organisation to set up the service and deploy its volunteer base to maintain regular phone contact with their clients, many of whom have been in isolation for the past several months as a result of the pandemic.

Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan said this funding would help the charity to respond to the needs of their community, who are more vulnerable than most.

“The service will help to alleviate the heightened level of anxiety and feelings of loneliness currently experienced by many of our clients,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having social contact and a forum for meaningful conversations will significantly improve their mental health and well-being.

“We’re grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for this funding which ensures the delivery of this service for at least the next five months.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, we have provided more than $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” said Gary.

“Youngcare has previously been a charity partner of ours, with Hand Heart Pocket having provided half-a-million-dollars’ worth of grants and helping more than 90 young people with high care needs to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing from 2016 to 2018.

“Youngcare provides an essential service, and we are glad we could step in and provide this extra support at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Organisations that aim to help improve outcomes for youth at risk in the Sunshine state will be able to apply for funding as part of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland’s latest Significant and Flagship grant round, which opened today. 

The independent charity and philanthropic foundation which was founded by the Freemasons of Queensland over 110 years ago, will accept applications until the end of June, with a view to supporting evidence-based programs and initiatives that align with their Theory of Change.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the organisation had decided in late 2019 to commit the majority of its grant funding to support the youth at risk cohort for at least the next three years.

“By focusing our resources on this area and partnering with other charities and philanthropists who have the same focus, we hope to help improve outcomes for these young people and indeed their future prospects,” Mr Mark said.

“We have found that at-risk youth can be re-engaged to have hope for their futures if they are helped to gain skills and an education, build support networks, find a stable job and home and ultimately contribute to society.

“This will be the second Significant and Flagship grant round where we will be awarding funding to charities that help improve outcomes for youth at risk.

“We have also identified areas like Logan, Ipswich and Caboolture as hotspots for youth homelessness and would be keen to hear from organisations that provide holistic, evidence-based programs or initiatives to address this problem in those areas.”

Hand Heart Pocket’s current focus couldn’t be more different from its work a mere four years ago. In 2016, the charity came into greater significance after selling its aged care and retirement living business, which had been its main function for well over 90 years. The sale enabled the charity to refocus its efforts and map out a way forward as a grant-making organisation with the ability to make a bigger difference for more Queenslanders. 

This included the commencement of their long-term strategy in 2018, which forms the basis of their current work. Their strategy also supports initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health, women’s financial and physical security and the ageing population. They also give a hand up to individuals and families in times of extreme need to help them get back on their feet.

“At a grassroots level, we also work with Freemason Lodges across Queensland and in Papua New Guinea who identify needs in their communities that require support, amounting to hundreds of different initiatives each year,” Mr Mark said.

“Indeed, we’ve marked many milestones over the past four years, including the appointment of additional board members who have significant expertise.

 “As we embark on this new chapter, we’re very much looking forward to partnering with like-minded impactful charities and philanthropists to help create brighter futures for young people at risk.”

Registered charitable organisations or businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems are invited to apply. Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s Significant and Flagship grants.

Residents at Kaloma Home for the Aged will stay connected with family and friends using technology, thanks to a $6,906 COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Strict social distancing rules have resulted in many aged care facilities minimising visitors to stop the spread of COVID-19, forcing elderly residents into isolation with limited access to families and friends.

In a bid to help these elderly residents to stay socially connected, McIntyre Freemasons Lodge nominated Kaloma Home for the Aged for the grant.

McIntyre Freemasons Lodge Secretary George Sloss said the funds would be used to purchase additional iPads, accessories and trolleys so that residents can keep in touch with family and friends, particularly during COVID-19.

“Social isolation has been difficult for many people, but it is our most vulnerable who are suffering the most, as many of them are not well-versed in using social media and technology,” Mr Sloss said.

“This grant will allow Kaloma Home for the Aged to bring social connection and fun into the facility without risking the health of residents.”

Kaloma Home for the Aged Chief Executive Officer Penni Roberts said loneliness was harmful to residents’ mental health.

“Social isolation is key to minimising the spread of COVID-19 but stress, loneliness and poor mental health can lead to a weakened immune system, which is the last thing vulnerable residents need,” Ms Roberts said.

“This technology unlocks the world for our residents and brings much-needed connection to their families who are missing them.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided more than $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Kaloma Home for the Aged provides an essential service for the region, and we are glad we could provide this extra support to its residents at a time when they needed it the most.”

Photo: More residents will soon be able to stay in touch with family and friends with the donation of additional iPads to Kaloma Home for the Aged.

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

The Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre will soon provide more support to at-risk youth and their families, thanks to a COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The $9,353 grant will allow the centre to roll-out a new Seasons of Youth Program to build the emotional and mental health of young people and their parents who are dealing with grief and loss.

The centre plays a crucial role in providing counselling and other programs for young people in the area.

Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre representative Fran Hodgson said the pandemic was yet another traumatic experience for the region that was already doing it tough.

“The last three years of drought and the severe bushfire season has made life incredibly difficult for numerous families and, with the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety is at an all-time high,” Ms Hodgson said.

“These funds will enable our youth worker to undertake training in Brisbane and gain access to all the necessary resources to deliver the program on the Granite Belt.”

Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy said they nominated the centre for the grant.

“Mental health is extremely important, especially right now, our community has been through so much and it is imperative we continue to support those struggling during this time,” Mr Liddy said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Mr Mark said.

“The Seasons of Youth program will help at-risk youth to lead better lives. We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support to the Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Photo: Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy and Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre Youth Worker Desley Hedges.

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

More at-risk youth in Charleville will be given a helping hand to be job-ready, with Charleville Neighbourhood Centre securing a $10,000 Grassroots Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The funding will support the centre to continue its work assisting at-risk youth gain local employment at a time when unemployment levels across the country are very high.

Charleville Neighbourhood Centre representative Angela Young said it was important to keep young people from the small rural community in local jobs wherever possible.

“By assisting our youth in finding local employment, the community benefits from flow-on effects such as retention of family units, increased income through additional wages spent within the community, and the development of future community leaders,” Angela said.

“We are so grateful to Charleville Freemasons Lodge for nominating us for this grant.”

Charleville Freemasons Lodge Secretary said the Charleville Neighbourhood Centre provided a crucial service to the community.

“Supporting local young people, local families and the local economy is always extremely important, but especially right now, during this pandemic. We cannot afford to lose this service,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were pleased to be able to provide this support to the Charleville Neighbourhood Centre to help them continue to work with at-risk youth during these tough times.

“This year we received a greater number of applications with a large geographical spread, particularly in regional Queensland. Fifteen charities shared in almost $120,000 as part this year’s Community Grants round,” Gary said.

“Although the grant round was oversubscribed, we wanted to make sure we maximised our support at a time the community needed it the most.

“Among the causes we’ve been able to support are youth at risk, our ageing population, men’s mental and physical health, and women’s financial and physical security.”

The grant was announced amid the Freemason charity providing close to $700,000 in emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.

Photo: Charleville Neighbourhood Centre Youth Support Worker Rebecca Horton.

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Members are invited to our ‘Year in Review’ event to hear about our achievements over the past year and from some of our charity partners. Places are limited.

When: Monday 2 November, 2020
            5.15pm (for a 6pm start)

Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
            Glenelg St, South Brisbane.

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 

More at-risk youth in Emerald will gain skills for the future and contribute to the community, with the local PCYC being awarded a $10,000 Grassroots Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The centre will put the funds towards new equipment and the fit-out of a new space on club grounds, which will become a mentoring hub for young people on community service orders.

PCYC Emerald Branch Manager Sgt Julia Henderson said under the enhanced program, they will be able to mentor more at-risk youth who are undertaking community service and give them new skills to have hope for their futures.

“The young people in the program will gain a range of life skills like painting, gardening, resume writing, interview skills, and PCYC online training, so having this dedicated space will make an immense difference,” Julia said.

Alexandra Freemasons Lodge representative Andrew Farquhar said they nominated PCYC Emerald for the grant.

“Supporting local young people at pivotal times in their lives is always extremely important,” Andrew said.

“PCYC Emerald plays a role in providing practical outcomes for our young people who need support to develop skills that will ultimately improve their lives.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were pleased to be able to provide this support to PCYC Emerald to help empower and nurture at-risk youth.

“Fifteen charities shared in almost $120,000 as part this year’s Community Grants round. We also received a greater number of applications with a large geographical spread, particularly in regional Queensland,” Gary said.

“Although the grant round was oversubscribed, we wanted to make sure we maximised our support at a time the community needed it the most.

“Among the causes we’ve been able to support are youth at risk, our ageing population, men’s mental and physical health, and women’s financial and physical security.”

The grant was announced amid the Freemason charity providing close to $700,000 in emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.

Photo: Emerald Freemasons Bill Crosse and Pierre Oelofse with Sgt Julia Henderson (centre).

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) in Bundaberg will take to the skies with essential supplies and equipment to keep their crew safe amid COVID-19.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has provided a $9,220 COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant to the aeromedical operator to purchase personal protective equipment to help minimise the spread of COVID-19.

The grant will also be used in purchasing a disinfectant fog machine, which will allow for more thorough cleaning of the aircraft.

RFDS Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said the new equipment was essential in their fight against the spread of COVID-19.

“The disinfectant fog machine is particularly valuable as it will allow us to quickly but thoroughly clean the aircraft before and after we transport patients.

“We have seen a surge in demand for our services since the beginning of the pandemic and minimising its spread to remote and rural communities is paramount.”

Corinthian Royal Arch Chapter representative Col Hay said they nominated the Bundaberg Royal Flying Doctor Service for the grant.

“This is an organisation that we have supported over many years here in the Wide Bay, so it’s wonderful to know that we’ve been able to make a difference during these difficult times,” Mr Hay said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Bundaberg RFDS provides an essential service for the region, and we are glad we could provide this extra support to frontline staff at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Isolated families in Barcaldine will continue to receive support from Outback Futures during the pandemic with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland providing a $9,900 COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant.

Outback Futures is a not-for-profit organisation providing mental health and wellbeing support for outback Queensland communities. The grant will support the delivery of the Stay with Me program in the Barcaldine region.

Outback Futures Chief Executive Officer Selena Gomersall said the program aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those in isolated areas.

“There is an increasing demand for our services in rural and remote communities, and this funding will allow us to expand our offering and provide more video-connect therapy and clinical support sessions,” Ms Gomersall said.

“The program, on the whole, will deliver 55 hours of clinical support, education development, mental health and psychological support for rural and remote families in Central West Queensland who have limited access to mental health services.”

Comet Lodge Secretary Jason Ricks said the Barcaldine Freemasons nominated Outback Futures because mental health was an ongoing/growing concern amid the pandemic.

“With the heightened uneasiness and anxiety due to the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 crisis, families are more vulnerable than ever to mental health issues, and many may need extra emotional support,” Mr Ricks said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Those living in remote areas face unique challenges in accessing adequate physical health support as well as mental health and emotional support, so it is imperative we are able to help fund critical services like Outback Futures.”

“We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support to Outback Futures at a time when communities need them the most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Veterans experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to receive a hand up from Wounded Heroes following a $10,000 Emergency Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The funding will contribute to Wounded Heroes’ emergency relief program which provides accommodation, food and mental health treatment for veterans and their families experiencing financial, personal, emotional, and mental difficulties.

Since March, Wounded Heroes’ budget revenue has dropped by $188,000 because of the government’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Wounded Heroes Chief Executive Officer Martin Shaw said the grant would allow the organisation to meet the increasing demand for its services.

“Between January and March, we have provided assistance to 181 veterans and their families - a 250 per cent increase from the same period last year,” Mr Shaw said.

Camp Hill Freemasons Lodge representative John Arnold said it now was more important than ever for services like Wounded Heroes to be able to operate in the community.

“We nominated Wounded Heroes for the grant because many veterans and their families are already at a higher risk of becoming homeless,” Mr Arnold said.

“It is important that those who have fought for our country do not slip through the cracks and can continue to receive support.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Wounded Heroes’ work is essential to our community. We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support at a time when they need it most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Young people with high care needs will be able to stay socially connected as Youngcare looks to launch a new phone service with a $20,000 COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The unrestricted funding will allow the organisation to set up the service and deploy its volunteer base to maintain regular phone contact with their clients, many of whom have been in isolation for the past several months as a result of the pandemic.

Youngcare CEO Anthony Ryan said this funding would help the charity to respond to the needs of their community, who are more vulnerable than most.

“The service will help to alleviate the heightened level of anxiety and feelings of loneliness currently experienced by many of our clients,” Mr Ryan said.

“Having social contact and a forum for meaningful conversations will significantly improve their mental health and well-being.

“We’re grateful to Hand Heart Pocket for this funding which ensures the delivery of this service for at least the next five months.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, we have provided more than $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” said Gary.

“Youngcare has previously been a charity partner of ours, with Hand Heart Pocket having provided half-a-million-dollars’ worth of grants and helping more than 90 young people with high care needs to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing from 2016 to 2018.

“Youngcare provides an essential service, and we are glad we could step in and provide this extra support at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Organisations that aim to help improve outcomes for youth at risk in the Sunshine state will be able to apply for funding as part of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland’s latest Significant and Flagship grant round, which opened today. 

The independent charity and philanthropic foundation which was founded by the Freemasons of Queensland over 110 years ago, will accept applications until the end of June, with a view to supporting evidence-based programs and initiatives that align with their Theory of Change.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the organisation had decided in late 2019 to commit the majority of its grant funding to support the youth at risk cohort for at least the next three years.

“By focusing our resources on this area and partnering with other charities and philanthropists who have the same focus, we hope to help improve outcomes for these young people and indeed their future prospects,” Mr Mark said.

“We have found that at-risk youth can be re-engaged to have hope for their futures if they are helped to gain skills and an education, build support networks, find a stable job and home and ultimately contribute to society.

“This will be the second Significant and Flagship grant round where we will be awarding funding to charities that help improve outcomes for youth at risk.

“We have also identified areas like Logan, Ipswich and Caboolture as hotspots for youth homelessness and would be keen to hear from organisations that provide holistic, evidence-based programs or initiatives to address this problem in those areas.”

Hand Heart Pocket’s current focus couldn’t be more different from its work a mere four years ago. In 2016, the charity came into greater significance after selling its aged care and retirement living business, which had been its main function for well over 90 years. The sale enabled the charity to refocus its efforts and map out a way forward as a grant-making organisation with the ability to make a bigger difference for more Queenslanders. 

This included the commencement of their long-term strategy in 2018, which forms the basis of their current work. Their strategy also supports initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health, women’s financial and physical security and the ageing population. They also give a hand up to individuals and families in times of extreme need to help them get back on their feet.

“At a grassroots level, we also work with Freemason Lodges across Queensland and in Papua New Guinea who identify needs in their communities that require support, amounting to hundreds of different initiatives each year,” Mr Mark said.

“Indeed, we’ve marked many milestones over the past four years, including the appointment of additional board members who have significant expertise.

 “As we embark on this new chapter, we’re very much looking forward to partnering with like-minded impactful charities and philanthropists to help create brighter futures for young people at risk.”

Registered charitable organisations or businesses that trade to intentionally tackle social problems are invited to apply. Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s Significant and Flagship grants.

Residents at Kaloma Home for the Aged will stay connected with family and friends using technology, thanks to a $6,906 COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Strict social distancing rules have resulted in many aged care facilities minimising visitors to stop the spread of COVID-19, forcing elderly residents into isolation with limited access to families and friends.

In a bid to help these elderly residents to stay socially connected, McIntyre Freemasons Lodge nominated Kaloma Home for the Aged for the grant.

McIntyre Freemasons Lodge Secretary George Sloss said the funds would be used to purchase additional iPads, accessories and trolleys so that residents can keep in touch with family and friends, particularly during COVID-19.

“Social isolation has been difficult for many people, but it is our most vulnerable who are suffering the most, as many of them are not well-versed in using social media and technology,” Mr Sloss said.

“This grant will allow Kaloma Home for the Aged to bring social connection and fun into the facility without risking the health of residents.”

Kaloma Home for the Aged Chief Executive Officer Penni Roberts said loneliness was harmful to residents’ mental health.

“Social isolation is key to minimising the spread of COVID-19 but stress, loneliness and poor mental health can lead to a weakened immune system, which is the last thing vulnerable residents need,” Ms Roberts said.

“This technology unlocks the world for our residents and brings much-needed connection to their families who are missing them.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided more than $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Kaloma Home for the Aged provides an essential service for the region, and we are glad we could provide this extra support to its residents at a time when they needed it the most.”

Photo: More residents will soon be able to stay in touch with family and friends with the donation of additional iPads to Kaloma Home for the Aged.

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

The Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre will soon provide more support to at-risk youth and their families, thanks to a COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The $9,353 grant will allow the centre to roll-out a new Seasons of Youth Program to build the emotional and mental health of young people and their parents who are dealing with grief and loss.

The centre plays a crucial role in providing counselling and other programs for young people in the area.

Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre representative Fran Hodgson said the pandemic was yet another traumatic experience for the region that was already doing it tough.

“The last three years of drought and the severe bushfire season has made life incredibly difficult for numerous families and, with the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety is at an all-time high,” Ms Hodgson said.

“These funds will enable our youth worker to undertake training in Brisbane and gain access to all the necessary resources to deliver the program on the Granite Belt.”

Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy said they nominated the centre for the grant.

“Mental health is extremely important, especially right now, our community has been through so much and it is imperative we continue to support those struggling during this time,” Mr Liddy said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Mr Mark said.

“The Seasons of Youth program will help at-risk youth to lead better lives. We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support to the Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Photo: Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy and Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre Youth Worker Desley Hedges.

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

More at-risk youth in Charleville will be given a helping hand to be job-ready, with Charleville Neighbourhood Centre securing a $10,000 Grassroots Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The funding will support the centre to continue its work assisting at-risk youth gain local employment at a time when unemployment levels across the country are very high.

Charleville Neighbourhood Centre representative Angela Young said it was important to keep young people from the small rural community in local jobs wherever possible.

“By assisting our youth in finding local employment, the community benefits from flow-on effects such as retention of family units, increased income through additional wages spent within the community, and the development of future community leaders,” Angela said.

“We are so grateful to Charleville Freemasons Lodge for nominating us for this grant.”

Charleville Freemasons Lodge Secretary said the Charleville Neighbourhood Centre provided a crucial service to the community.

“Supporting local young people, local families and the local economy is always extremely important, but especially right now, during this pandemic. We cannot afford to lose this service,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were pleased to be able to provide this support to the Charleville Neighbourhood Centre to help them continue to work with at-risk youth during these tough times.

“This year we received a greater number of applications with a large geographical spread, particularly in regional Queensland. Fifteen charities shared in almost $120,000 as part this year’s Community Grants round,” Gary said.

“Although the grant round was oversubscribed, we wanted to make sure we maximised our support at a time the community needed it the most.

“Among the causes we’ve been able to support are youth at risk, our ageing population, men’s mental and physical health, and women’s financial and physical security.”

The grant was announced amid the Freemason charity providing close to $700,000 in emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.

Photo: Charleville Neighbourhood Centre Youth Support Worker Rebecca Horton.

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

More at-risk youth in Emerald will gain skills for the future and contribute to the community, with the local PCYC being awarded a $10,000 Grassroots Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The centre will put the funds towards new equipment and the fit-out of a new space on club grounds, which will become a mentoring hub for young people on community service orders.

PCYC Emerald Branch Manager Sgt Julia Henderson said under the enhanced program, they will be able to mentor more at-risk youth who are undertaking community service and give them new skills to have hope for their futures.

“The young people in the program will gain a range of life skills like painting, gardening, resume writing, interview skills, and PCYC online training, so having this dedicated space will make an immense difference,” Julia said.

Alexandra Freemasons Lodge representative Andrew Farquhar said they nominated PCYC Emerald for the grant.

“Supporting local young people at pivotal times in their lives is always extremely important,” Andrew said.

“PCYC Emerald plays a role in providing practical outcomes for our young people who need support to develop skills that will ultimately improve their lives.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were pleased to be able to provide this support to PCYC Emerald to help empower and nurture at-risk youth.

“Fifteen charities shared in almost $120,000 as part this year’s Community Grants round. We also received a greater number of applications with a large geographical spread, particularly in regional Queensland,” Gary said.

“Although the grant round was oversubscribed, we wanted to make sure we maximised our support at a time the community needed it the most.

“Among the causes we’ve been able to support are youth at risk, our ageing population, men’s mental and physical health, and women’s financial and physical security.”

The grant was announced amid the Freemason charity providing close to $700,000 in emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.

Photo: Emerald Freemasons Bill Crosse and Pierre Oelofse with Sgt Julia Henderson (centre).

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) in Bundaberg will take to the skies with essential supplies and equipment to keep their crew safe amid COVID-19.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland has provided a $9,220 COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant to the aeromedical operator to purchase personal protective equipment to help minimise the spread of COVID-19.

The grant will also be used in purchasing a disinfectant fog machine, which will allow for more thorough cleaning of the aircraft.

RFDS Chief Executive Officer Meredith Staib said the new equipment was essential in their fight against the spread of COVID-19.

“The disinfectant fog machine is particularly valuable as it will allow us to quickly but thoroughly clean the aircraft before and after we transport patients.

“We have seen a surge in demand for our services since the beginning of the pandemic and minimising its spread to remote and rural communities is paramount.”

Corinthian Royal Arch Chapter representative Col Hay said they nominated the Bundaberg Royal Flying Doctor Service for the grant.

“This is an organisation that we have supported over many years here in the Wide Bay, so it’s wonderful to know that we’ve been able to make a difference during these difficult times,” Mr Hay said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Bundaberg RFDS provides an essential service for the region, and we are glad we could provide this extra support to frontline staff at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Isolated families in Barcaldine will continue to receive support from Outback Futures during the pandemic with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland providing a $9,900 COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant.

Outback Futures is a not-for-profit organisation providing mental health and wellbeing support for outback Queensland communities. The grant will support the delivery of the Stay with Me program in the Barcaldine region.

Outback Futures Chief Executive Officer Selena Gomersall said the program aims to improve the mental health and wellbeing of those in isolated areas.

“There is an increasing demand for our services in rural and remote communities, and this funding will allow us to expand our offering and provide more video-connect therapy and clinical support sessions,” Ms Gomersall said.

“The program, on the whole, will deliver 55 hours of clinical support, education development, mental health and psychological support for rural and remote families in Central West Queensland who have limited access to mental health services.”

Comet Lodge Secretary Jason Ricks said the Barcaldine Freemasons nominated Outback Futures because mental health was an ongoing/growing concern amid the pandemic.

“With the heightened uneasiness and anxiety due to the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 crisis, families are more vulnerable than ever to mental health issues, and many may need extra emotional support,” Mr Ricks said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Those living in remote areas face unique challenges in accessing adequate physical health support as well as mental health and emotional support, so it is imperative we are able to help fund critical services like Outback Futures.”

“We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support to Outback Futures at a time when communities need them the most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Veterans experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to receive a hand up from Wounded Heroes following a $10,000 Emergency Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The funding will contribute to Wounded Heroes’ emergency relief program which provides accommodation, food and mental health treatment for veterans and their families experiencing financial, personal, emotional, and mental difficulties.

Since March, Wounded Heroes’ budget revenue has dropped by $188,000 because of the government’s strict COVID-19 restrictions.

Wounded Heroes Chief Executive Officer Martin Shaw said the grant would allow the organisation to meet the increasing demand for its services.

“Between January and March, we have provided assistance to 181 veterans and their families - a 250 per cent increase from the same period last year,” Mr Shaw said.

Camp Hill Freemasons Lodge representative John Arnold said it now was more important than ever for services like Wounded Heroes to be able to operate in the community.

“We nominated Wounded Heroes for the grant because many veterans and their families are already at a higher risk of becoming homeless,” Mr Arnold said.

“It is important that those who have fought for our country do not slip through the cracks and can continue to receive support.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Gary said.

“Wounded Heroes’ work is essential to our community. We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support at a time when they need it most.”

Find out more about our support during COVID-19

Bloomhill Cancer Care’s calls for help have been answered by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to ensure Sunshine Coast cancer patients can continue to receive much-needed care.

The Freemason charity has provided a COVID-19 Emergency Grant of $200,000 in unrestricted funding to help support Bloomhill Cancer Care’s operating costs in the wake of the pandemic.

The grant comes a year after the service received a $570,000 Flagship Grant and $130,000 interest-free loan from Hand Heart Pocket to expand its capabilities as a wellness facility in Buderim and relocate the warehouse for its op shop social enterprise.

The funding comes at a crucial time for Bloomhill Cancer Care, with social distancing regulations significantly reducing its primary source of trading revenue. The forced trade suspensions of 11 of its 12 social enterprise op shops has impacted the organisation’s ability to continue running its cancer wellness services.

To further lessen the financial burden of the pandemic, Hand Heart Pocket has also provided Bloomhill Cancer Care with more flexibility around the repayment of last year’s interest-free loan.

Bloomhill Cancer Care CEO Chris Frank said the grant, along with generous community support, would help the organisation get through this rough patch so it can continue providing specialised support to thousands of cancer patients living on the Sunshine Coast, Kilcoy, Gympie and Burpengary.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been completely debilitating for our organisation,” Chris said.

“This grant, as well as the flexibility Hand Heart Pocket has afforded us around our existing loan, will alleviate some of our financial stress, allow us to keep staff on, and help preserve the business during this difficult period so we can focus on improving outcomes over the long-term.

“It will also continue to tide us through while we undergo a trial period to conservatively start to build up op shop revenue once again.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 “Hand Heart Pocket is committed to ensuring its existing charity partners can continue providing support to the community during this challenging time,” Gary said.

“So far, we have provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic.

“Bloomhill Cancer Care provides an essential service for its region, and we are glad we could step in and provide this extra support at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Photo: Bloomhill Cancer Care CEO Chris Franck discusses their partnership with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland at an event last year.

To find out more about Bloomhill Cancer Care go to www.bloomhill.com.au 

Members are invited to our ‘Year in Review’ event to hear about our achievements over the past year and from some of our charity partners. Places are limited.

When: Monday 2 November, 2020
            5.15pm (for a 6pm start)

Where: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
            Glenelg St, South Brisbane.

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