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Bundaberg Freemasons and Bargara Men’s Shed, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), hosted a morning tea and sausage sizzle in October to support men’s health in the region.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Shed Association. Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Stan Lindsay, a local Freemason, believes it is advantageous for both organisations to unite in support of men’s health. 

“We know that men are more likely to engage in risky behaviour and are also less likely to visit the GP for a check-up,” he said.

“The morning tea and sausage sizzle will bring people together and it’s fantastic Hand Heart Pocket can help us address men’s health and support Men’s Sheds at the same time,” Stan said.

Photo: Bundaberg Freemasons and Bargara Men's Shed united for a morning tea and sausage sizzle in support of men's health.

Find out more about the support provided by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland

For young people with high care needs like Belinda, the risk of entering inappropriate housing such as aged care is very real if you don’t have the right equipment and support.

When her father Pat ran short of funds to modify the bathroom in the family home, that thought became even more real. While the house was otherwise fully renovated to accommodate Belinda’s high care needs, Pat had many sleepless nights, having to help her to and from the bathroom, as it was not safe for her to go on her own.

Fortunately, Belinda received an At Home Care Grant (AHCG) from Youngcare last year which ensured a new toilet was installed, the bathtub removed, and the tiles replaced with a non-slip surface, along with other features to give her the confidence and independence to go to the bathroom unassisted.

Now more young people like Belinda will be empowered to lead better lives, with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently providing another significant grant of $200,000 towards Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants program in the state.

Since 2016, Hand Heart Pocket has provided $500,000 worth of grants, helping more than 90 young people with high care needs to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing.

Youngcare’s AHCGs provide one-off funding between $2,000 and $10,000 for equipment, home modifications and emergency respite for young people aged 18-65, who are at risk of entering inappropriate housing such as aged care, allowing them to remain at home with their families, for as long as possible.

“Belinda would always say to me and her mum, “I just hope I can live in my own home”, so that was a long-term plan to eventually put our last home into a trust for her,” said Pat.

“We’d set it up so that it could be her home and she could have a choice of who lived with her, what staff goes into the house and cares for her, you don’t get that choice in a supported housing kind of model. The best way for Belinda to actually enjoy her life is to be able to live in her own home.”

Youngcare Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan said young people, regardless of their care needs deserve to choose how they live their lives.

“We all have a role to play to ensure young people with high care needs lead young lives with greater choice, dignity and independence,” Anthony said.

“Each year, our Queensland AHCGs are over-subscribed with many young people missing out. Through their generous support Hand Heart Pocket has helped to ensure this life-changing support is available to more families so that their loved one has a dignified and safe place to live,” he said.

“The program has also been a catalyst for identifying gaps in funding for specialised equipment and support, enabling us to get a clearer picture of what’s really needed to allow a young person with high care needs to remain at home. From this information, we can look to put things in place to create change for more young people with high care needs.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing a hand up for individuals and other charities that have limited access to other funding was their focus.

“Initiatives that empower people to lead more independent lives resonates with us. By providing this additional funding over the years, more young people have been able to thrive in the family home instead of going into inappropriate housing,” Gary said.

“It is great that our support is not just helping those who directly receive the grants, but it is also giving Youngcare a hand up to create change for all young people with high care needs across the state.”

Photo: More young people with high care needs will be empowered to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing, following a $200,000 grant from Hand Heart Pocket to Youngcare.

Find out who we help

Since the mid-1990s, North Queensland children with hearing loss have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

Just recently the Hear and Say Centre in Townsville received a visit from the local Freemasons, who met with staff to hear how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground. 

The grant, handed over earlier this year, will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year – till the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is known in late 2018.

District Grand Master of North Queensland Les Keane who attended the special morning tea said it was a privilege to hear from those at the forefront of delivering this innovative support to local families.

“It really put into perspective, the impact that this state-wide grant is having at a grassroots level,” Mr Keane said.

“As well as a tour of the facility, we sat down to learn how local children are being empowered to hear, listen and speak, with the help of Hear and Say – going on to have the same opportunities in life as their peers with good hearing,” Mr Keane said.

“We are so proud that this grant was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland, for what it has made possible for children in North Queensland and throughout the state,” he said.

Collectively, the grant will mean that 200 children across the state will continue to have access to Hear and Say’s Audiology Services, and 300 children can take part in the Early Intervention Program at Hear and Say’s Centres in Townsville, Brisbane, Toowoomba and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

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

“It can take up to six years to teach a profoundly deaf child to listen, process language, and speak, using the latest technology and an Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach, so it’s vital that our services remain accessible – for children to be ready for mainstream schooling,” Mr McCarthy said.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: The Freemasons of Townsville recently visited the local Hear and Say Centre to hear how Hand Heart Pocket’s half-a-million-dollar state-wide grant is impacting local children.

Find out who we help

Warwick Freemasons and Warwick Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), recently teamed up to address men’s health through a barbeque sausage sizzle. 

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Shed Association. Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Local Freemason Murray Sondergeld said he believes the Father’s Day Appeal places emphasis on topics men need to address.

“Physical health and stress can significantly impact mental health, so it’s important to shine a light on the entire picture and get the conversation flowing,” he said.

“We need to invest time and effort into men’s health and Men’s Sheds and it is fantastic that Hand Heart Pocket are helping us support these initiatives,” said Murray.

Photo: The Freemasons of Warwick and the local Men's Shed took time to focus on their health for a good cause.   

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Helping drought-affected Queenslanders is a cause Beaudesert Freemasons are passionate about, having recently presented Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland with a cheque for $250 towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal. 

With Hand Heart Pocket donating an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, the Beaudesert Freemasons' contribution was multiplied to a total of $750. 

Beaudesert Freemason Len Undy said even though Masonic Lodges are well-known for supporting initiatives in their local area when a crisis of this magnitude occurs, they are quick to lend a hand to the wider community.

“When we see an opportunity to make a difference, we Freemasons are quick to roll up our sleeves and do what we can,” Len said.

“It’s great to know that our combined efforts will help struggling families and communities in drought-affected Queensland to get back on their feet,” he said. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark who accepted the cheque at a recent information session he held in Beaudesert, said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Beaudesert Freemasons for their efforts,” Gary said.

“Freemasons across the state have rallied to make a significant contribution towards providing a hand-up for drought-affected families and communities – collectively contributing over $300,000 with Hand Heart Pocket over the past six weeks. This takes the total funds distributed over the last four years, on behalf of Freemasons, to over $1.3 million, this is an extraordinary effort across our membership”.

With this money, Hand Heart Pocket will provide Eftpos cards to be distributed through its partners on the ground so that funds can get to where they are needed most, helping to put food on the table and pay for essential bills. 

“We’ll be working with the Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group to distribute the Eftpos cards to where they are needed most,” said Gary.  

Photo: Beaudesert Freemasons donate $750 towards Hand Heart Pocket's Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.

Find out more about the Drought Disaster Relief Appeal

Barcaldine Freemasons and Barcaldine Men’s Shed recently cast light on men’s health through a morning tea, supported by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA).

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Shed Association. Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Local Freemason Kevin Kerr said men’s health is a large area of societal need that should be focused on and openly discussed. 

“Sitting down and talking to someone about your physical and mental health and asking a mate about theirs can really make a difference,” he said.

“The morning tea, which was supported by Hand Heart Pocket and the Australian Men’s Sheds Association, was a great way to get conversations going in a relaxed environment,” said Kevin. 

Photo: Freemason John Moller (right) sits down with CW Health Service's Stephen Dancy (left) and Community Nurse Steph Winter (centre) for a free health check. 

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Since the mid-1990s, children with hearing loss in Cairns have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of Queensland charity, Hear and Say.

On a recent visit to meet with families in the Far North as part of their Telepractice program, clinicians from the organisation also made time to meet with the local Freemasons, to share how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground.

The grant, handed over earlier this year, will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year – till the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is known in late 2018.

Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon said hearing directly from the Listening and Spoken Language Specialists that deliver this life-changing support to local children was invaluable.

“It’s not until you speak with those at the coalface that you get a true understanding of the impact this state-wide grant is having on children in our community,” Henry said.

“We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Hear and Say’s Telepractice service has been proven to be just as effective as receiving face-to-face support, considering that this is how many families in the Far North access these vital programs,” he said.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that this grant, which was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland, will contribute towards efforts to empower children with hearing difficulty, not just in our community but throughout the state, to hear, listen and speak and go on to lead independent lives like their typically hearing peers,” said Henry.

Collectively, the grant will mean that 200 children across the state will continue to have access to Hear and Say’s Audiology Services, and 300 children can take part in the Early Intervention Program.

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

“It can take up to six years to teach a profoundly deaf child to listen, process language, and speak, using the latest technology and an Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach, so it’s vital that our services remain accessible – for children to be ready for mainstream schooling,” Mr McCarthy said.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon, Hear and Say, Clinical Manager – Listening and Spoken Language Jessica Balfour-Ogilvy, Hear and Say, Acting Senior Clinician Amy Russell and Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan.

Find out who we help

Up to 100 guests are expected to attend the annual Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser, later this month, where they will get a taste of what it’s like to be blind or vision impaired.

Hosted by the Freemasons of Ipswich in support of Guide Dogs Queensland, guests will sit down to a hearty two-course meal while blindfolded, play sensory games, be part of a dynamic live auction and take home some incredible raffle prizes.

United Tradesmen’s Masonic Lodge representative Ian Brown said this year guests would also be able to put on their blindfolds and have a go at being guided through an obstacle course by a guide dog in training.

“While the event is good fun, we’re there to raise funds for a very important cause. The activities are designed to allow people to walk in the shoes of someone with low or no vision, to get an idea of the challenges they face,” Ian said.

“The funds we raise on the night will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and donated to Guide Dogs Queensland to help provide services like guide dog mobility, occupational therapy, orientation and mobility, and counselling to Queenslanders with low or no vision,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead more independent lives aligned with the organisation’s values and is the reason why they continue to support the event, which has gone from strength to strength, collectively raising over $38K in the last four years.

“We strive to support initiatives that alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives. We also look to provide a hand up for charitable organisations that have limited access to other avenues of funding, as is the case with Guide Dogs Queensland,” Gary said.

“By working closely with United Tradesmen’s Lodge, we will be increasing the impact of their charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

The fifth annual Dining in the Dark event will be held at the Ipswich Reception Centre at the Ipswich Showgrounds on Saturday 13 October. Guest must be seated by 6:30pm for a 7pm start. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Ian Brown on 0431 034 852 or Jim Williams on 0428 874 911. Please note, only 20 spots are available for guests wanting to have a go at being guided by a guide dog in-training, so book now and be sure to arrive by 5pm.

Photo: Ian Brown and Jim Williams of United Tradesmen’s Lodge have been hard at work promoting the Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Kidney Support Network’s Op-Shop on the Sunshine Coast will save over a hundred dollars in commercial removalist costs each week, after being gifted a new tipping trailer to dispose of unwanted goods left at the store.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Landsborough Masonic Lodge, provided a Grassroots Community Grant for the initiative – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

Landsborough Masonic Lodge representative Des Rauber said they were thrilled that their submission had been successful.

“This will make such a difference for the Kidney Support Network. Trips to the dump or to the recyclers will now be carried out by the Op-Shop volunteers – providing a huge saving,” Des said.

“These savings will be passed down to customers who are often doing it tough,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources was part of their focus.

“It’s our pleasure to provide a hand up to the Kidney Support Network. We believe in empowering people to lead better lives and this funding will help the Kidney Support Network to achieve this,” Gary said.

“In addition to ensuring locals doing it tough can access second-hand goods for less, the grant will indirectly impact their core mission which is to support people with renal failure to lead better lives through a range of support services.”

“By working closely with Landsborough Masonic Lodge who identified this initiative, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Alan Holdsworth, Hand Heart Pocket Champion Colin Elrington, Kidney Support Network Sunshine Coast Branch Coordinator Kathy Rayner and Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Rick Joyce. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemason and Secretary of Stanley Masonic Lodge at Stones Corner Ron Anderson said it was beneficial for both organisations, who regularly support men at many levels, to join forces and shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor or to talk about how we feel. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health and checking in with each other can go a long way,” he said.

“It is great that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative as well as support Men’s Sheds at both a statewide and a local level,” said Ron.

Photo: Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed came together to cast a spotlight on Men's Health as part of the Hand Heart Pocket 2018 Father's Day Appeal.

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Bundaberg Freemasons and Bargara Men’s Shed, with the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), hosted a morning tea and sausage sizzle in October to support men’s health in the region.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Shed Association. Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Stan Lindsay, a local Freemason, believes it is advantageous for both organisations to unite in support of men’s health. 

“We know that men are more likely to engage in risky behaviour and are also less likely to visit the GP for a check-up,” he said.

“The morning tea and sausage sizzle will bring people together and it’s fantastic Hand Heart Pocket can help us address men’s health and support Men’s Sheds at the same time,” Stan said.

Photo: Bundaberg Freemasons and Bargara Men's Shed united for a morning tea and sausage sizzle in support of men's health.

Find out more about the support provided by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland

For young people with high care needs like Belinda, the risk of entering inappropriate housing such as aged care is very real if you don’t have the right equipment and support.

When her father Pat ran short of funds to modify the bathroom in the family home, that thought became even more real. While the house was otherwise fully renovated to accommodate Belinda’s high care needs, Pat had many sleepless nights, having to help her to and from the bathroom, as it was not safe for her to go on her own.

Fortunately, Belinda received an At Home Care Grant (AHCG) from Youngcare last year which ensured a new toilet was installed, the bathtub removed, and the tiles replaced with a non-slip surface, along with other features to give her the confidence and independence to go to the bathroom unassisted.

Now more young people like Belinda will be empowered to lead better lives, with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently providing another significant grant of $200,000 towards Youngcare’s At Home Care Grants program in the state.

Since 2016, Hand Heart Pocket has provided $500,000 worth of grants, helping more than 90 young people with high care needs to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing.

Youngcare’s AHCGs provide one-off funding between $2,000 and $10,000 for equipment, home modifications and emergency respite for young people aged 18-65, who are at risk of entering inappropriate housing such as aged care, allowing them to remain at home with their families, for as long as possible.

“Belinda would always say to me and her mum, “I just hope I can live in my own home”, so that was a long-term plan to eventually put our last home into a trust for her,” said Pat.

“We’d set it up so that it could be her home and she could have a choice of who lived with her, what staff goes into the house and cares for her, you don’t get that choice in a supported housing kind of model. The best way for Belinda to actually enjoy her life is to be able to live in her own home.”

Youngcare Chief Executive Officer Anthony Ryan said young people, regardless of their care needs deserve to choose how they live their lives.

“We all have a role to play to ensure young people with high care needs lead young lives with greater choice, dignity and independence,” Anthony said.

“Each year, our Queensland AHCGs are over-subscribed with many young people missing out. Through their generous support Hand Heart Pocket has helped to ensure this life-changing support is available to more families so that their loved one has a dignified and safe place to live,” he said.

“The program has also been a catalyst for identifying gaps in funding for specialised equipment and support, enabling us to get a clearer picture of what’s really needed to allow a young person with high care needs to remain at home. From this information, we can look to put things in place to create change for more young people with high care needs.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing a hand up for individuals and other charities that have limited access to other funding was their focus.

“Initiatives that empower people to lead more independent lives resonates with us. By providing this additional funding over the years, more young people have been able to thrive in the family home instead of going into inappropriate housing,” Gary said.

“It is great that our support is not just helping those who directly receive the grants, but it is also giving Youngcare a hand up to create change for all young people with high care needs across the state.”

Photo: More young people with high care needs will be empowered to stay at home and out of inappropriate housing, following a $200,000 grant from Hand Heart Pocket to Youngcare.

Find out who we help

Since the mid-1990s, North Queensland children with hearing loss have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

Just recently the Hear and Say Centre in Townsville received a visit from the local Freemasons, who met with staff to hear how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground. 

The grant, handed over earlier this year, will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year – till the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is known in late 2018.

District Grand Master of North Queensland Les Keane who attended the special morning tea said it was a privilege to hear from those at the forefront of delivering this innovative support to local families.

“It really put into perspective, the impact that this state-wide grant is having at a grassroots level,” Mr Keane said.

“As well as a tour of the facility, we sat down to learn how local children are being empowered to hear, listen and speak, with the help of Hear and Say – going on to have the same opportunities in life as their peers with good hearing,” Mr Keane said.

“We are so proud that this grant was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland, for what it has made possible for children in North Queensland and throughout the state,” he said.

Collectively, the grant will mean that 200 children across the state will continue to have access to Hear and Say’s Audiology Services, and 300 children can take part in the Early Intervention Program at Hear and Say’s Centres in Townsville, Brisbane, Toowoomba and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

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

“It can take up to six years to teach a profoundly deaf child to listen, process language, and speak, using the latest technology and an Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach, so it’s vital that our services remain accessible – for children to be ready for mainstream schooling,” Mr McCarthy said.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: The Freemasons of Townsville recently visited the local Hear and Say Centre to hear how Hand Heart Pocket’s half-a-million-dollar state-wide grant is impacting local children.

Find out who we help

Warwick Freemasons and Warwick Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), recently teamed up to address men’s health through a barbeque sausage sizzle. 

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Shed Association. Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Local Freemason Murray Sondergeld said he believes the Father’s Day Appeal places emphasis on topics men need to address.

“Physical health and stress can significantly impact mental health, so it’s important to shine a light on the entire picture and get the conversation flowing,” he said.

“We need to invest time and effort into men’s health and Men’s Sheds and it is fantastic that Hand Heart Pocket are helping us support these initiatives,” said Murray.

Photo: The Freemasons of Warwick and the local Men's Shed took time to focus on their health for a good cause.   

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Helping drought-affected Queenslanders is a cause Beaudesert Freemasons are passionate about, having recently presented Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland with a cheque for $250 towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal. 

With Hand Heart Pocket donating an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, the Beaudesert Freemasons' contribution was multiplied to a total of $750. 

Beaudesert Freemason Len Undy said even though Masonic Lodges are well-known for supporting initiatives in their local area when a crisis of this magnitude occurs, they are quick to lend a hand to the wider community.

“When we see an opportunity to make a difference, we Freemasons are quick to roll up our sleeves and do what we can,” Len said.

“It’s great to know that our combined efforts will help struggling families and communities in drought-affected Queensland to get back on their feet,” he said. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark who accepted the cheque at a recent information session he held in Beaudesert, said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Beaudesert Freemasons for their efforts,” Gary said.

“Freemasons across the state have rallied to make a significant contribution towards providing a hand-up for drought-affected families and communities – collectively contributing over $300,000 with Hand Heart Pocket over the past six weeks. This takes the total funds distributed over the last four years, on behalf of Freemasons, to over $1.3 million, this is an extraordinary effort across our membership”.

With this money, Hand Heart Pocket will provide Eftpos cards to be distributed through its partners on the ground so that funds can get to where they are needed most, helping to put food on the table and pay for essential bills. 

“We’ll be working with the Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group to distribute the Eftpos cards to where they are needed most,” said Gary.  

Photo: Beaudesert Freemasons donate $750 towards Hand Heart Pocket's Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.

Find out more about the Drought Disaster Relief Appeal

Barcaldine Freemasons and Barcaldine Men’s Shed recently cast light on men’s health through a morning tea, supported by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA).

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Shed Association. Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Local Freemason Kevin Kerr said men’s health is a large area of societal need that should be focused on and openly discussed. 

“Sitting down and talking to someone about your physical and mental health and asking a mate about theirs can really make a difference,” he said.

“The morning tea, which was supported by Hand Heart Pocket and the Australian Men’s Sheds Association, was a great way to get conversations going in a relaxed environment,” said Kevin. 

Photo: Freemason John Moller (right) sits down with CW Health Service's Stephen Dancy (left) and Community Nurse Steph Winter (centre) for a free health check. 

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Since the mid-1990s, children with hearing loss in Cairns have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of Queensland charity, Hear and Say.

On a recent visit to meet with families in the Far North as part of their Telepractice program, clinicians from the organisation also made time to meet with the local Freemasons, to share how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground.

The grant, handed over earlier this year, will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year – till the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme is known in late 2018.

Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon said hearing directly from the Listening and Spoken Language Specialists that deliver this life-changing support to local children was invaluable.

“It’s not until you speak with those at the coalface that you get a true understanding of the impact this state-wide grant is having on children in our community,” Henry said.

“We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Hear and Say’s Telepractice service has been proven to be just as effective as receiving face-to-face support, considering that this is how many families in the Far North access these vital programs,” he said.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled that this grant, which was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland, will contribute towards efforts to empower children with hearing difficulty, not just in our community but throughout the state, to hear, listen and speak and go on to lead independent lives like their typically hearing peers,” said Henry.

Collectively, the grant will mean that 200 children across the state will continue to have access to Hear and Say’s Audiology Services, and 300 children can take part in the Early Intervention Program.

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

“It can take up to six years to teach a profoundly deaf child to listen, process language, and speak, using the latest technology and an Auditory-Verbal Therapy approach, so it’s vital that our services remain accessible – for children to be ready for mainstream schooling,” Mr McCarthy said.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Carpentaria District Grand Master Henry Condon, Hear and Say, Clinical Manager – Listening and Spoken Language Jessica Balfour-Ogilvy, Hear and Say, Acting Senior Clinician Amy Russell and Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan.

Find out who we help

Up to 100 guests are expected to attend the annual Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser, later this month, where they will get a taste of what it’s like to be blind or vision impaired.

Hosted by the Freemasons of Ipswich in support of Guide Dogs Queensland, guests will sit down to a hearty two-course meal while blindfolded, play sensory games, be part of a dynamic live auction and take home some incredible raffle prizes.

United Tradesmen’s Masonic Lodge representative Ian Brown said this year guests would also be able to put on their blindfolds and have a go at being guided through an obstacle course by a guide dog in training.

“While the event is good fun, we’re there to raise funds for a very important cause. The activities are designed to allow people to walk in the shoes of someone with low or no vision, to get an idea of the challenges they face,” Ian said.

“The funds we raise on the night will be matched dollar-for-dollar by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and donated to Guide Dogs Queensland to help provide services like guide dog mobility, occupational therapy, orientation and mobility, and counselling to Queenslanders with low or no vision,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead more independent lives aligned with the organisation’s values and is the reason why they continue to support the event, which has gone from strength to strength, collectively raising over $38K in the last four years.

“We strive to support initiatives that alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives. We also look to provide a hand up for charitable organisations that have limited access to other avenues of funding, as is the case with Guide Dogs Queensland,” Gary said.

“By working closely with United Tradesmen’s Lodge, we will be increasing the impact of their charity work at a grassroots level,” he said.

The fifth annual Dining in the Dark event will be held at the Ipswich Reception Centre at the Ipswich Showgrounds on Saturday 13 October. Guest must be seated by 6:30pm for a 7pm start. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by contacting Ian Brown on 0431 034 852 or Jim Williams on 0428 874 911. Please note, only 20 spots are available for guests wanting to have a go at being guided by a guide dog in-training, so book now and be sure to arrive by 5pm.

Photo: Ian Brown and Jim Williams of United Tradesmen’s Lodge have been hard at work promoting the Ipswich Dining in the Dark fundraiser. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Kidney Support Network’s Op-Shop on the Sunshine Coast will save over a hundred dollars in commercial removalist costs each week, after being gifted a new tipping trailer to dispose of unwanted goods left at the store.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Landsborough Masonic Lodge, provided a Grassroots Community Grant for the initiative – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

Landsborough Masonic Lodge representative Des Rauber said they were thrilled that their submission had been successful.

“This will make such a difference for the Kidney Support Network. Trips to the dump or to the recyclers will now be carried out by the Op-Shop volunteers – providing a huge saving,” Des said.

“These savings will be passed down to customers who are often doing it tough,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing sustainable support to charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources was part of their focus.

“It’s our pleasure to provide a hand up to the Kidney Support Network. We believe in empowering people to lead better lives and this funding will help the Kidney Support Network to achieve this,” Gary said.

“In addition to ensuring locals doing it tough can access second-hand goods for less, the grant will indirectly impact their core mission which is to support people with renal failure to lead better lives through a range of support services.”

“By working closely with Landsborough Masonic Lodge who identified this initiative, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Alan Holdsworth, Hand Heart Pocket Champion Colin Elrington, Kidney Support Network Sunshine Coast Branch Coordinator Kathy Rayner and Landsborough Masonic Lodge’s Rick Joyce. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed, in conjunction with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA), joined forces to celebrate Father’s Day at a special morning tea held this morning to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

The event is one of many being held across Queensland throughout September and October as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Father’s Day Appeal where AMSA will deliver its Spanner in the Works? men’s health checks and funds will be raised for local Men’s Sheds.

“We’re excited to be launching our Father’s Day Appeal this year with our charity partner, Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA). Together, we hope to empower more Queensland men to take control of their health,” said Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark.

“Support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health aligns with the organisation’s long-term strategy,” he said. 

The events will provide communities with information about proactive approaches to positive physical and mental health and will raise funds for local Men’s Sheds on event days.

“It’s a real privilege to be the chosen charity partner of Hand Heart Pocket’s Father’s Day Appeal this year as there are some real synergies between the community values prized within Masonic Lodges and Men’s Sheds,” said AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers.

At the conclusion of the 2018 Appeal, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland will provide AMSA with significant grant funding to support Men’s Sheds in Queensland in 2019.

“The support of the Father’s Day Appeal will go a long way in assisting us to provide financial assistance as well as access to health and wellbeing initiatives to Men’s Sheds and their communities across Queensland,” said Mr Helmers.

Freemason and Secretary of Stanley Masonic Lodge at Stones Corner Ron Anderson said it was beneficial for both organisations, who regularly support men at many levels, to join forces and shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor or to talk about how we feel. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health and checking in with each other can go a long way,” he said.

“It is great that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative as well as support Men’s Sheds at both a statewide and a local level,” said Ron.

Photo: Brisbane Freemasons and Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed came together to cast a spotlight on Men's Health as part of the Hand Heart Pocket 2018 Father's Day Appeal.

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal