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News & Events

Young Queenslanders living with physical or mental health injuries will soon have new pathways to paid or volunteer employment thanks to a grant of almost a half-a-million dollars announced today by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Brisbane-based charity Happy Paws Happy Hearts is set to receive the funding boost to allow them to establish an Employment Pathways program at Wacol, to service the Greater Brisbane and Ipswich community.

Happy Paws Happy Hearts CEO and co-founder Zoe Black said the new Employment Pathways program would be an extension to their current program, allowing them to achieve even better outcomes for the young people they work with.

“We currently work with people who, due to physical or mental health injuries, have become socially isolated. We re-engage them socially through our revolutionised animal therapy model that brings groups together to learn how to care for and train animals in rescue shelters and wildlife sanctuaries,” Ms Black said.

“The program helps them break down barriers and gives participants new skills, support and the confidence to create their own futures.”

Although the program has been a catalyst for change for many, the organisation hasn’t had the resources to transition young participants who had become job-ready into suitable paid or volunteer employment.

“Many of our young participants grow significantly in their time at Happy Paws Happy Hearts, and it’s fantastic that we will now be able to go that one step further to ensure they achieve longer-lasting outcomes through a structured employment pathway,” Ms Black said.

“The grant from Hand Heart Pocket will help us establish the new Employment Pathways program with a sustainable business model so that as an organisation, we can achieve deeper impact over the long-term.”

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark said the grant aligns well with their refined philanthropic focus to help improve outcomes for youth at risk and would give Happy Paws Happy Hearts a significant boost to assist young people to realise their full potential.

“Our refined focus was launched late last year and will see Hand Heart Pocket take a more proactive approach in facilitating better outcomes to meet the needs of contemporary families, by building the right partnerships with charities and other philanthropists who are aligned with our focus on youth at risk,” Mr Mark said.

“We are excited to be partnering with Happy Paws Happy Hearts who are dedicated to providing sustainable outcomes for at risk youth and giving them the opportunity to make proactive decisions about their future.”

To find out more about Happy Paws Happy Hearts please visit www.hphhfoundation.org

Young carers living in Queensland will receive extra support to overcome barriers to education with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland announcing a $380,000 Significant Grant to the Little Dreamers Young Carer Project pilot.

Little Dreamers, Australia’s leading young carer support organisation, will work with school communities to build kind, safe and supportive environments for young carers, to give them every chance of completing their education, thanks to the generous grant.

The Young Carer Project pilot, which has already been successfully trialled in Victoria, will focus on Townsville, Bundaberg and Brisbane due to their high populations of young carers.

A young carer is someone under the age of 25 who provides unpaid care or assistance to a family member who suffers from a chronic illness, mental illness, disability or addiction.

Little Dreamers Founder and CEO Madeleine Buchner OAM said the organisation was turning its sights to support more young carers in Queensland following the success of the initiative in Victoria.

“Young carers have the highest rates of school attrition and their caring role can also impact substantially on their social life, later-life employment and overall health,” Ms Buchner said.

“Through the Queensland pilot of the Young Carer Project, the broader school community will have more inclusive schools, where every student will be more visible, regardless of their personal circumstances.

“Our vision is that all young carers are enabled and encouraged to attend and enjoy school and have equal access to their education, like their peers.”

Each school in the pilot program will nominate a Young Carer Champion, who will be supported by trained ambassadors to work with other educators in their school to complete the program’s modules and workshops and embed the necessary changes.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark said that presenting Little Dreamers with the grant would assist the one in 10 Australian youths who were at risk of not completing school due to their role as carers.

“As young carers have been named in the top four most marginalised youth groups in Australia, we recognised the need to be supporting such an impactful program,” Mr Mark said.

“This grant is one of the first in Hand Heart Pocket’s recent move towards helping to improve outcomes for youth at risk.”

To find out more about Little Dreamers visit www.littledreamers.org.au

Men’s Sheds across the state have shared in a substantial funding boost provided by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, helping to support Men’s Shed activities and programs, and men’s health initiatives in 2019.

In late 2018, the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) was gifted a $150,000 Significant Grant as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s inaugural Fathers’ Day Appeal.

The first $10,000 enabled AMSA, with the help of health professionals, to run 15 Spanner in the Works? men’s health check events for Freemason Lodges, Men’s Sheds and their communities around Queensland during September and October 2018. Designed to raise awareness and encourage men to focus on their mental and physical health, many of the sessions included checking weight / BMI, blood pressure, eyes, stability checks and general mental health. Whilst other events also had guest speakers who provided information on topics related to men’s health.

A pool of $100,000 helped to support AMSA’s Men’s Shed Grants program in Queensland in 2019, which was shared across 78 sheds, enabling them to deliver grassroots health and wellbeing initiatives for men across the state. Whilst an amount of $40,000 helped to deliver ‘safeTALK’ community suicide readiness sessions and ‘Shedders Big BBQ Brunch’ networking events to provide men’s health and wellbeing information and support.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said men’s health and wellbeing was an important aspect of the charity’s work.

“Men’s mental and physical health is a critical issue in the community, but there is still a lot of stigma when it comes to men talking about health issues and seeking help when they need it,” Mr Mark said.

“Through our partnership with AMSA, we are proud to be doing our bit to overcome those barriers by supporting outstanding programs, like Men’s Sheds, as well as contributing to other men’s health initiatives.”

AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers said the support from Hand Heart Pocket had helped Men’s Sheds to add significant value to Queensland communities through these initiatives.

“Men’s Sheds provide practical support, specialised services and resources to thousands of men across Australia from all ages and backgrounds – connecting men in the communities so they can help themselves and each other.”

“This can be a challenge particularly in small and remote locations where fundraising opportunities are limited; therefore the assistance from Hand Heart Pocket has been invaluable,” he said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Around 40 men and their families from across the region gathered at the Gympie Masonic Centre on Monday to talk about men’s mental and physical health, with the aim of improving the lives of men across the Gympie region.

The event, hosted by the Gympie Freemasons, was part of a series of state-wide Men’s Health Matters sessions run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP, focusing on improving men’s mental and physical health.

The awareness campaign was launched in September last year and has travelled across the state, visiting towns and supporting local communities. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering people to lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health both at a state-wide and grassroots level is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially life-saving initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, in partnership with CheckUP, is committed to providing the support and encouragement men need in order to lead better lives through these crucial local events.”

The free information session was delivered by a registered psychologist and covered a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a safe forum for men to talk about their experiences and health journey.

“Through this event, attendees were encouraged to put their health first and actually have a conversation about how they are feeling both mentally and physically,” Ms Liddy said.

Gympie Freemason Murray Wegner said the lodge was proud to have facilitated the delivery of the Hand Heart Pocket and CheckUP’s Men’s Health Matters event.

“It was fantastic to be able to provide such an informative and valuable event to the people of Gympie, highlighting how men and their families can take a more proactive approach to address men’s physical and mental health,” Mr Wegner said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Maryborough Freemasons recently hosted an event where over 30 men and their families came together to put men’s overall wellbeing and mental health first.

Held at the Maryborough Masonic Centre, the Men’s Health Matters event was part of a series of state-wide sessions run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland in partnership with community health non-profit CheckUP.

The free information session was delivered by a registered psychologist and covered a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

The campaign was launched in September last year and is visiting towns and supporting local communities across the state.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering men to lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“A big part of our charitable focus is centred around improving men’s mental and physical health, both at a state-wide and grassroots level, which is why we’ve partnered with CheckUP to bring this critical initiative to regional Queensland communities,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, in partnership with CheckUP, is committed to providing the support and encouragement men need in order to lead better lives.”

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a supportive forum for men to talk about their life experiences and health journeys.

“Through this event men from across the Fraser Coast region were encouraged to open up their hearts and minds by putting their own health first in both a physical and mental sense,” Ms Liddy said.

Maryborough Freemason Russell Darcy said the Men’s Health Matters event was crucial in showing men in the community that it was not a weakness to express their feelings and seek help in living better lives.

“This event, really helped educate local residents about the importance of shining a light on men’s health and the harmful impact not talking about these things can have on individuals,” Mr Darcy said.

"The workbook was particularly popular among the attendees and will be a good source to refer back to." 

“The session was vital in showing how our community could all work together to support the men in our lives through the tough times and into the good times.”

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Last month, 14 men and their families in Cairns gathered to put men’s health first at a Men’s Health Matters session hosted by the local Freemasons.

Held at the Freshwater Masonic Centre, the event was part of a series of state-wide events run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP.

With a focus on improving the overall wellbeing of Queensland men, the series was launched in September 2019 and has traveled across the state, visiting towns and supporting local communities.

The free information session at Cairns was delivered by a registered psychologist and explored a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease as well as mental health and relationships.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said educating people on how they could lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving the mental and physical health of Queensland men is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially life-saving initiative to communities across the sunshine state,” Mr Mark said.

“Through these informative local events, Hand Heart Pocket and CheckUP provided the support, encouragement and education many men need to lead better, healthier lives.”

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a confidential and supportive forum for men to talk about their life experience and health journey.

“Attendees were encouraged to talk about how they were feeling both mentally and physically, and to seek help from their local community,” Ms Liddy said.

Cairns Freemason Raja Chohan said the local event was a key conversation starter for men’s health.

“The Men’s Health Matters event was great for our community, highlighting the importance of taking men’s mental and physical health seriously,” Mr Chohan said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Men on the Atherton Tablelands came prepared to discuss all thing related to men’s mental and physical health, at the recent Men’s Health Matters information session.

Hosted by the local Freemasons at the Yungaburra Masonic Centre, the event saw 16 people attend and was part of a series of state-wide events run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP.

The awareness campaign was launched in September last year, visiting towns and supporting local communities across the state, with a focus on improving men’s mental and physical health.

The session at Yungaburra was delivered by a registered psychologist covering a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships to educate men in their own wellbeing.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said supporting and providing people in regional communities with the tools to help them lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health both at a state-wide and grassroots level is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided an informal and welcoming forum for men to talk about their health journey and experiences.

“Attendees were encouraged to have a conversation about how they were feeling both mentally and physically,” Ms Liddy said.

“It was important for these men to see they are not alone and the whole community is here to help them.”

Barrine Freemasons Lodge Master Vincent Mantio said the Lodge was proud to have opened its doors for the delivery of the Men’s Health Matters event.

“It was fantastic to be able to provide such an informative and valuable event to the people of the Atherton Tablelands,” Mr Mantio said.

“To see the men walk away with the information and tools needed to be proactive about their own wellbeing and happiness goes to show the event was of great benefit to our community.”

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Last Saturday, the Emerald Freemasons were joined by 12 men and their families from across the region to talk about the importance of men’s mental and physical health at the Men’s Health Matters event hosted by the local Freemasons.

Held at the Emerald Masonic Centre, the event was part of a series of state-wide sessions run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP, focusing on improving men’s mental and physical health.

The awareness campaign was launched in September last year and has travelled across the state, visiting towns and supporting local communities. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering people to lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health both at a state-wide and grassroots level is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially life-saving initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, in partnership with CheckUP, is committed to providing the support and encouragement men need in order to lead better lives through these crucial local events.”

The free information session was delivered by a registered psychologist and covered a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a safe forum for men to talk about their experiences and health journey.

“Through this event, attendees were encouraged to put their health first and actually have a conversation about how they are feeling both mentally and physically,” Ms Liddy said.

Emerald Freemason Andrew Farquhar said the event was a great success and thanked Hand Heart Pocket and CheckUP for providing the community with such a valuable forum to address men’s health.

“As local Freemasons, it is our mission to serve our community and provide support – and that’s exactly what the Men’s Health Matters event allowed us to do for the people of Emerald,” Mr Farquhar said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Guide Dogs Queensland opened the doors of its new onsite veterinary clinic to supporters and guests at its Bald Hills Breeding and Training Centre yesterday evening.

Over $500,000 was invested into the new clinic, including a $230,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, to provide state-of-the-art facilities to care for Queensland’s hardest working dogs. 

80 other major sponsors and over a thousand individual Queensland donors contributed to fund the build and fit-out of this new facility.

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said the new clinic would help Guide Dogs achieve its plans to double the number of puppies it breeds over the next couple of years to meet the growing demand for working Guide Dogs in our community.

“There are currently more than 35 people on the waitlist for a Guide Dog, which is just too many lives on hold,” Mr Kightley said.

“Currently external vet bills cost the charity almost $220,000 each year.  Having this dedicated onsite clinic will cut expenses by more than half, allowing funding for an additional 24 Guide Dogs to be trained for Queenslanders over the next five years.

“But this clinic is more than that for us,” he said.  “The new clinic will also provide a full-service facility with comprehensive healthcare for Guide Dogs from the day they’re born and through their working life, ensuring our Guide Dogs live a happy and healthy life. 

“I have to express my heartfelt thanks to the many major supporters and the many Queenslanders that came together to show their support and make this new clinic possible. 

“We simply couldn’t have done it without you.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were proud to have supported such a worthwhile initiative on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland. 

“Hand Heart Pocket helps people in need and supports charitable programs and initiatives that help to improve outcomes for individuals across the state,” Gary said.

 “Our Significant and Flagship Grants help organisations to deliver essential services, as well as enabling us to address strategic areas of unmet need in the community.”

 “Our Lodges have long supported Guide Dogs Queensland at a grassroots level as well, so this partnership was an extension of that support, to empower more Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead more independent lives,” he said.

The opening of the new Guide Dogs Vet Clinic marked the start of Guide Dogs Queensland’s 60th Birthday celebrations in 2020.

Photo: McNab Construction’s Ryan Tunney, Hand Heart Pocket Executive Officer Commercial and Company Secretary Robert Qualtrough and Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Men in Gympie are being encouraged to be more proactive in putting their health first thanks to the latest in a series of state-wide events focussed on improving men’s mental and physical wellbeing.

On March 9, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, and the Gympie Freemasons, in partnership with community health non-profit CheckUP, will run an information session as part of the Men’s Health Matters awareness campaign.

The state-wide campaign began in September 2019 and is visiting towns all over Queensland until March this year.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said Men’s Health Matters was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health, both at a state-wide and grassroots level, is part of our charitable focus, which is why we’ve partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially lifesaving initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

The free information session will be delivered by a healthcare provider and will cover a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said this format is the perfect vehicle to spread awareness about men’s health and wellbeing.

“We are delighted to have formed this partnership with Hand Heart Pocket and Freemason Lodges throughout the state to deliver this campaign,” Ms Liddy said.

“The importance of mental and physical health can’t be ignored and providing a safe environment for attendees to have conversations about these matters is essential.”

Gympie Freemason Murray Wegner said the Men’s Health Matters session was a valuable event in tackling the stigma surrounding men’s health in the area.

“Gympie Freemasons are excited to be helping facilitate such an important event that will be of benefit to our entire community,” Mr Wegner said.

“I would encourage everyone to take the time to attend this free event to help better the lives of those dear to us.”

The Gympie Men’s Health Matters information session will take place from 7pm on Monday, 9 March at the Gympie Masonic Centre at 37 Channon Street.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Young carers living in Queensland will receive extra support to overcome barriers to education with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland announcing a $380,000 Significant Grant to the Little Dreamers Young Carer Project pilot.

Little Dreamers, Australia’s leading young carer support organisation, will work with school communities to build kind, safe and supportive environments for young carers, to give them every chance of completing their education, thanks to the generous grant.

The Young Carer Project pilot, which has already been successfully trialled in Victoria, will focus on Townsville, Bundaberg and Brisbane due to their high populations of young carers.

A young carer is someone under the age of 25 who provides unpaid care or assistance to a family member who suffers from a chronic illness, mental illness, disability or addiction.

Little Dreamers Founder and CEO Madeleine Buchner OAM said the organisation was turning its sights to support more young carers in Queensland following the success of the initiative in Victoria.

“Young carers have the highest rates of school attrition and their caring role can also impact substantially on their social life, later-life employment and overall health,” Ms Buchner said.

“Through the Queensland pilot of the Young Carer Project, the broader school community will have more inclusive schools, where every student will be more visible, regardless of their personal circumstances.

“Our vision is that all young carers are enabled and encouraged to attend and enjoy school and have equal access to their education, like their peers.”

Each school in the pilot program will nominate a Young Carer Champion, who will be supported by trained ambassadors to work with other educators in their school to complete the program’s modules and workshops and embed the necessary changes.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark said that presenting Little Dreamers with the grant would assist the one in 10 Australian youths who were at risk of not completing school due to their role as carers.

“As young carers have been named in the top four most marginalised youth groups in Australia, we recognised the need to be supporting such an impactful program,” Mr Mark said.

“This grant is one of the first in Hand Heart Pocket’s recent move towards helping to improve outcomes for youth at risk.”

To find out more about Little Dreamers visit www.littledreamers.org.au

Men’s Sheds across the state have shared in a substantial funding boost provided by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, helping to support Men’s Shed activities and programs, and men’s health initiatives in 2019.

In late 2018, the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) was gifted a $150,000 Significant Grant as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s inaugural Fathers’ Day Appeal.

The first $10,000 enabled AMSA, with the help of health professionals, to run 15 Spanner in the Works? men’s health check events for Freemason Lodges, Men’s Sheds and their communities around Queensland during September and October 2018. Designed to raise awareness and encourage men to focus on their mental and physical health, many of the sessions included checking weight / BMI, blood pressure, eyes, stability checks and general mental health. Whilst other events also had guest speakers who provided information on topics related to men’s health.

A pool of $100,000 helped to support AMSA’s Men’s Shed Grants program in Queensland in 2019, which was shared across 78 sheds, enabling them to deliver grassroots health and wellbeing initiatives for men across the state. Whilst an amount of $40,000 helped to deliver ‘safeTALK’ community suicide readiness sessions and ‘Shedders Big BBQ Brunch’ networking events to provide men’s health and wellbeing information and support.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said men’s health and wellbeing was an important aspect of the charity’s work.

“Men’s mental and physical health is a critical issue in the community, but there is still a lot of stigma when it comes to men talking about health issues and seeking help when they need it,” Mr Mark said.

“Through our partnership with AMSA, we are proud to be doing our bit to overcome those barriers by supporting outstanding programs, like Men’s Sheds, as well as contributing to other men’s health initiatives.”

AMSA Executive Officer David Helmers said the support from Hand Heart Pocket had helped Men’s Sheds to add significant value to Queensland communities through these initiatives.

“Men’s Sheds provide practical support, specialised services and resources to thousands of men across Australia from all ages and backgrounds – connecting men in the communities so they can help themselves and each other.”

“This can be a challenge particularly in small and remote locations where fundraising opportunities are limited; therefore the assistance from Hand Heart Pocket has been invaluable,” he said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Around 40 men and their families from across the region gathered at the Gympie Masonic Centre on Monday to talk about men’s mental and physical health, with the aim of improving the lives of men across the Gympie region.

The event, hosted by the Gympie Freemasons, was part of a series of state-wide Men’s Health Matters sessions run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP, focusing on improving men’s mental and physical health.

The awareness campaign was launched in September last year and has travelled across the state, visiting towns and supporting local communities. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering people to lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health both at a state-wide and grassroots level is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially life-saving initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, in partnership with CheckUP, is committed to providing the support and encouragement men need in order to lead better lives through these crucial local events.”

The free information session was delivered by a registered psychologist and covered a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a safe forum for men to talk about their experiences and health journey.

“Through this event, attendees were encouraged to put their health first and actually have a conversation about how they are feeling both mentally and physically,” Ms Liddy said.

Gympie Freemason Murray Wegner said the lodge was proud to have facilitated the delivery of the Hand Heart Pocket and CheckUP’s Men’s Health Matters event.

“It was fantastic to be able to provide such an informative and valuable event to the people of Gympie, highlighting how men and their families can take a more proactive approach to address men’s physical and mental health,” Mr Wegner said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Maryborough Freemasons recently hosted an event where over 30 men and their families came together to put men’s overall wellbeing and mental health first.

Held at the Maryborough Masonic Centre, the Men’s Health Matters event was part of a series of state-wide sessions run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland in partnership with community health non-profit CheckUP.

The free information session was delivered by a registered psychologist and covered a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

The campaign was launched in September last year and is visiting towns and supporting local communities across the state.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering men to lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“A big part of our charitable focus is centred around improving men’s mental and physical health, both at a state-wide and grassroots level, which is why we’ve partnered with CheckUP to bring this critical initiative to regional Queensland communities,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, in partnership with CheckUP, is committed to providing the support and encouragement men need in order to lead better lives.”

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a supportive forum for men to talk about their life experiences and health journeys.

“Through this event men from across the Fraser Coast region were encouraged to open up their hearts and minds by putting their own health first in both a physical and mental sense,” Ms Liddy said.

Maryborough Freemason Russell Darcy said the Men’s Health Matters event was crucial in showing men in the community that it was not a weakness to express their feelings and seek help in living better lives.

“This event, really helped educate local residents about the importance of shining a light on men’s health and the harmful impact not talking about these things can have on individuals,” Mr Darcy said.

"The workbook was particularly popular among the attendees and will be a good source to refer back to." 

“The session was vital in showing how our community could all work together to support the men in our lives through the tough times and into the good times.”

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Last month, 14 men and their families in Cairns gathered to put men’s health first at a Men’s Health Matters session hosted by the local Freemasons.

Held at the Freshwater Masonic Centre, the event was part of a series of state-wide events run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP.

With a focus on improving the overall wellbeing of Queensland men, the series was launched in September 2019 and has traveled across the state, visiting towns and supporting local communities.

The free information session at Cairns was delivered by a registered psychologist and explored a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease as well as mental health and relationships.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said educating people on how they could lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving the mental and physical health of Queensland men is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially life-saving initiative to communities across the sunshine state,” Mr Mark said.

“Through these informative local events, Hand Heart Pocket and CheckUP provided the support, encouragement and education many men need to lead better, healthier lives.”

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a confidential and supportive forum for men to talk about their life experience and health journey.

“Attendees were encouraged to talk about how they were feeling both mentally and physically, and to seek help from their local community,” Ms Liddy said.

Cairns Freemason Raja Chohan said the local event was a key conversation starter for men’s health.

“The Men’s Health Matters event was great for our community, highlighting the importance of taking men’s mental and physical health seriously,” Mr Chohan said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Men on the Atherton Tablelands came prepared to discuss all thing related to men’s mental and physical health, at the recent Men’s Health Matters information session.

Hosted by the local Freemasons at the Yungaburra Masonic Centre, the event saw 16 people attend and was part of a series of state-wide events run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP.

The awareness campaign was launched in September last year, visiting towns and supporting local communities across the state, with a focus on improving men’s mental and physical health.

The session at Yungaburra was delivered by a registered psychologist covering a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships to educate men in their own wellbeing.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said supporting and providing people in regional communities with the tools to help them lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health both at a state-wide and grassroots level is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided an informal and welcoming forum for men to talk about their health journey and experiences.

“Attendees were encouraged to have a conversation about how they were feeling both mentally and physically,” Ms Liddy said.

“It was important for these men to see they are not alone and the whole community is here to help them.”

Barrine Freemasons Lodge Master Vincent Mantio said the Lodge was proud to have opened its doors for the delivery of the Men’s Health Matters event.

“It was fantastic to be able to provide such an informative and valuable event to the people of the Atherton Tablelands,” Mr Mantio said.

“To see the men walk away with the information and tools needed to be proactive about their own wellbeing and happiness goes to show the event was of great benefit to our community.”

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Last Saturday, the Emerald Freemasons were joined by 12 men and their families from across the region to talk about the importance of men’s mental and physical health at the Men’s Health Matters event hosted by the local Freemasons.

Held at the Emerald Masonic Centre, the event was part of a series of state-wide sessions run by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, in collaboration with community health non-profit CheckUP, focusing on improving men’s mental and physical health.

The awareness campaign was launched in September last year and has travelled across the state, visiting towns and supporting local communities. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said empowering people to lead better lives was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health both at a state-wide and grassroots level is part of our charitable focus, which is why we partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially life-saving initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, in partnership with CheckUP, is committed to providing the support and encouragement men need in order to lead better lives through these crucial local events.”

The free information session was delivered by a registered psychologist and covered a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said the event provided a safe forum for men to talk about their experiences and health journey.

“Through this event, attendees were encouraged to put their health first and actually have a conversation about how they are feeling both mentally and physically,” Ms Liddy said.

Emerald Freemason Andrew Farquhar said the event was a great success and thanked Hand Heart Pocket and CheckUP for providing the community with such a valuable forum to address men’s health.

“As local Freemasons, it is our mission to serve our community and provide support – and that’s exactly what the Men’s Health Matters event allowed us to do for the people of Emerald,” Mr Farquhar said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Guide Dogs Queensland opened the doors of its new onsite veterinary clinic to supporters and guests at its Bald Hills Breeding and Training Centre yesterday evening.

Over $500,000 was invested into the new clinic, including a $230,000 Significant Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, to provide state-of-the-art facilities to care for Queensland’s hardest working dogs. 

80 other major sponsors and over a thousand individual Queensland donors contributed to fund the build and fit-out of this new facility.

Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley said the new clinic would help Guide Dogs achieve its plans to double the number of puppies it breeds over the next couple of years to meet the growing demand for working Guide Dogs in our community.

“There are currently more than 35 people on the waitlist for a Guide Dog, which is just too many lives on hold,” Mr Kightley said.

“Currently external vet bills cost the charity almost $220,000 each year.  Having this dedicated onsite clinic will cut expenses by more than half, allowing funding for an additional 24 Guide Dogs to be trained for Queenslanders over the next five years.

“But this clinic is more than that for us,” he said.  “The new clinic will also provide a full-service facility with comprehensive healthcare for Guide Dogs from the day they’re born and through their working life, ensuring our Guide Dogs live a happy and healthy life. 

“I have to express my heartfelt thanks to the many major supporters and the many Queenslanders that came together to show their support and make this new clinic possible. 

“We simply couldn’t have done it without you.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were proud to have supported such a worthwhile initiative on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland. 

“Hand Heart Pocket helps people in need and supports charitable programs and initiatives that help to improve outcomes for individuals across the state,” Gary said.

 “Our Significant and Flagship Grants help organisations to deliver essential services, as well as enabling us to address strategic areas of unmet need in the community.”

 “Our Lodges have long supported Guide Dogs Queensland at a grassroots level as well, so this partnership was an extension of that support, to empower more Queenslanders with low or no vision to lead more independent lives,” he said.

The opening of the new Guide Dogs Vet Clinic marked the start of Guide Dogs Queensland’s 60th Birthday celebrations in 2020.

Photo: McNab Construction’s Ryan Tunney, Hand Heart Pocket Executive Officer Commercial and Company Secretary Robert Qualtrough and Guide Dogs Queensland Chief Executive Officer Michael Kightley.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Men in Gympie are being encouraged to be more proactive in putting their health first thanks to the latest in a series of state-wide events focussed on improving men’s mental and physical wellbeing.

On March 9, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, and the Gympie Freemasons, in partnership with community health non-profit CheckUP, will run an information session as part of the Men’s Health Matters awareness campaign.

The state-wide campaign began in September 2019 and is visiting towns all over Queensland until March this year.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said Men’s Health Matters was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health, both at a state-wide and grassroots level, is part of our charitable focus, which is why we’ve partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially lifesaving initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

The free information session will be delivered by a healthcare provider and will cover a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said this format is the perfect vehicle to spread awareness about men’s health and wellbeing.

“We are delighted to have formed this partnership with Hand Heart Pocket and Freemason Lodges throughout the state to deliver this campaign,” Ms Liddy said.

“The importance of mental and physical health can’t be ignored and providing a safe environment for attendees to have conversations about these matters is essential.”

Gympie Freemason Murray Wegner said the Men’s Health Matters session was a valuable event in tackling the stigma surrounding men’s health in the area.

“Gympie Freemasons are excited to be helping facilitate such an important event that will be of benefit to our entire community,” Mr Wegner said.

“I would encourage everyone to take the time to attend this free event to help better the lives of those dear to us.”

The Gympie Men’s Health Matters information session will take place from 7pm on Monday, 9 March at the Gympie Masonic Centre at 37 Channon Street.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Men in Emerald are being urged to make their health a priority as the local Freemasons get ready to host the latest in a series of state-wide events focussed on improving men’s mental and physical health.

On March 7, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, and the Emerald Freemasons, in partnership with community health non-profit CheckUP, will run a free public information session as part of the ‘Men’s Health Matters’ awareness campaign.

The state-wide campaign began in September 2019 and is visiting towns all over Queensland until March this year.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said Men’s Health Matters was an important part of the charity’s work in the community.

“Improving men’s mental and physical health, both at a state-wide and grassroots level, is part of our charitable focus, which is why we’ve partnered with CheckUP to bring this potentially lifesaving initiative to communities across Queensland,” Mr Mark said.

 The free public information session will be delivered by a healthcare provider and will cover a range of topics such as nutrition and physical activity, early detection of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, mental health and relationships.

CheckUP CEO Ann Maree Liddy said this format is the perfect vehicle to spread awareness about men’s health and wellbeing.

 “We are delighted to have formed this partnership with Hand Heart Pocket and Freemason Lodges throughout the state to deliver this campaign,” Ms Liddy said.

“The importance of mental and physical health can’t be ignored and providing a safe environment for attendees to have conversations about these matters is essential.”

Emerald Freemason Malcolm Crozier said they were excited to be hosting such an important event that will be of benefit to the wider community.

“Many of us are time-poor these days and struggle to stay on top of our health, so this will be a good opportunity for us to get together and make some positive changes,” Mr Crozier said.

The Emerald Men’s Health Matters information session will take place from 5pm on Saturday, 7 March at the Alexandra Masonic Lodge at 66 Borilla Street.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

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