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Watch footage of the official cheque handover

Students with disability in the Brisbane Bayside, Logan City and Brisbane’s southside will be empowered to transition into meaningful employment by the time they finish high school, as plans for a multi-million-dollar disability employment and skills hub and supply chain services business get underway.

It follows today’s announcement of a philanthropic partnership with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, who will contribute one million dollars, to assist Help Enterprises to cover the funding gap, with the purchase and fit out of the new $3.3 million-dollar HELP Centre of Excellence Community Disability Hub in Crestmead.

Upon completion, schools will be able to refer students with disability in Years 10-12, to the Centre’s early intervention programs, to build both skills and confidence, to maximise employment opportunities in time for when they finish their schooling.

The 2,500 sqm Supply Chain Services facility will also provide valuable work experience and permanent supported employment for up to 100 people with disability.

Help Enterprises Managing Director Kerry Browne said that without early intervention more young people with disability would fall through the cracks, heading for long-term unemployment and social isolation.

“Having a job that you enjoy doing brings with it greater independence, a greater sense of self-worth, confidence, as well as personal and professional development – which are things we all want in life,” he said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, through their generosity, will enable us to promote an inclusive community and improve the lives of hundreds of young people with disability in the region each year,” Kerry said.

“We’ll be embedded and integrated within 21 schools in the Bayside, Logan City and southside catchment areas which have special education units. We’ll also be working closely with local employers to facilitate valuable work experience for students that have completed the program,” he said.

In addition to the 2,500sqm warehouse for HELP’s Supply Chain Services business, the hub will feature training rooms including a life skills training room, a function room, lunch room, storage facilities and administration offices.

“I really wanted to get a job and have somewhere to go after I finished Year 12,” HELP Employee Mitchell Gray said.

“After a few months doing work experience one day a week, they came to me and offered me a job. Now I have somewhere to go. I’m really thankful for that. It’s such a welcoming place – you know you’re respected.” Mitchell said.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out in Brisbane and Logan, more people with disability will have the opportunity to receive support to gain and maintain employment just like Mitchell.

“Help Enterprises is an employer of choice and has vacancies for staff within its network of businesses, including this new facility in Crestmead,” said Kerry.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education and employment for young people with disability aligned with the organisation’s focus.

“Bridging the gap to equip students with disability with the skills to find and maintain gainful employment throughout their adult life resonates with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives,” Gary said.

“We are thrilled to partner with Help Enterprises on this important initiative that will empower young people with disability to write their own future.”

Photo: Supported employees celebrate the announcement of a $1-million-dollar Flagship Grant to Help Enterprises. 

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Queensland families impacted by Huntington’s disease have been given a helping hand from the Mackay Freemasons for reasons that are very close to home.

Calen, Hamilton and Walkerston Masonic Lodges joined forces with Hand Heart Pocket to donate $2,000 to Huntington’s Queensland, having seen firsthand the fighting spirit of the wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge, who is living with the disease.

Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend said the donation would empower the organisation to deliver essential programs and services that improve the quality of life of hundreds of Queenslanders in the same position.

“With no known cure, it’s important that families are given the support they need to adjust to life with Huntington’s disease,” Graham said.

“Education is key and so is knowing that they are not alone, hence, why we wanted to make this contribution,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education to support people with a disability was an initiative within the organisation’s strategy.

“Helping to improve the wellbeing of people with Huntington’s disease and their families through education resonated with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for turning their personal experience into something positive, by bringing this cause to our attention, so that we could work together to make a bigger difference for more families,” he said.

Photo: Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend alongside wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge Karen Astley.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Disabled youth with complex care needs have been empowered to lead more independent lives, following recent upgrades at Horizons Respite & Recreation Association Inc (Horizons) on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland – who provide the site to Horizons for a nominal rent through the Rex Elson Estate – commissioned the upgrades, including a new all-weather covered ramp and reverse cycle air-conditioning in the client day use areas.

The majority of the $200k plus upgrades were funded through the Rex Elson Estate, with Hand Heart Pocket providing a $35k Grassroots Grant to ensure the project could come to fruition.

Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle said improvements to the built environment meant that they could continue to provide an inclusive service, where clients of varying care needs could get the most out of their programs to lead more independent lives.

“We’re committed to improving the quality of life of young people with physical and intellectual disabilities, by giving them opportunities to mix with others their own age, learn life skills and have fun together,” Roxanne said.

“Replacing the old stairs and ramp with a longer, all-weather covered ramp, complete with hand and curb rails, two safety landings and lighting throughout, provides a safe path for staff and families to move wheelchair-bound clients between buildings on the site,” she said.

“Similarly, now that the day use areas have reverse cycle air-conditioning, those of our clients that have difficulty regulating their body temperature won’t have to miss out during certain activities.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding these upgrades was a way of honouring the wishes of the late Rex Elson, a long-time local resident whose generous bequest to Hand Heart Pocket many years ago, enabled the purchase of this very facility.

“Rex’s bequest was to benefit a community service in the Redcliffe region and since moving into the Margate facility, Horizons has grown from 8 to 50+ clients, proving to be a vital part of the community.”

“We continue to support Horizons through the Elson Estate to keep Rex’s generous spirit alive, while improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable members of the community, empowering them to lead better lives,” Gary said.

Photo: Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle (back row center) and Chairman Stuart Macnish (back row far right) alongside Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark (back row center right) at a special morning tea for clients and their families to celebrate the upgrades.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

 

People living with renal failure in the Mackay region have been given a hand up, after Sarina Masonic Lodge along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated just over $1,600 to the Kidney Support Network.

The funds have been allocated towards the purchase of a new computer system which will be used to manage bookings as part of the transportation of patients to and from treatment, at Mackay Base Hospital.

Lodge Secretary Alan Cameron said with over 96,000 km travelled and over 4,100 patient trips made last year, it was vital that a reliable computer system was in place.

“We are proud to have provided sustainable support to an organisation that helps so many in the community of Mackay and surrounds,” Alan said.

“This essential service empowers people with kidney failure and their families to not be defined by their illness – which is why we want to support them,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead a better life was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“Upgrading essential equipment so that the Kidney Support Network can continue reaching out to its clients aligns with our charitable intent which includes providing funding and financial assistance,” Gary said.

“I thank the members of Sarina Masonic Lodge for identifying this important local initiative. Through our combined efforts we’ve been able to have a greater impact at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Sarina Masonic Lodge representatives Vic Clarendon (far left), Neil Wales (second from right) and Ron Payne (far right) with Trish Bryant (second from left), Lyn Wales and Trevor Waldron from the Kidney Support Network (centre).

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It’s not often that you get to meet those that have directly benefited from your philanthropy, but that’s exactly what the Carpentaria Freemasons did recently.

The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from the state’s Masonic charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

It was one of dozens of camps held around Queensland in the last year, which were funded by the grant, enabling children impacted by cancer and their families to create memories outside of hospital.

District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon described the visit, as a special experience, where they were able to meet with families and see firsthand the impact of the program. 

“We enjoyed a puppet show provided for the children entitled Laughter is the best medicine, which gave them a chance to forget the stresses of hospital visits,” Henry said.

“Our discussions with volunteers and parents, and interaction with children, really emphasised the importance of the significant assistance that Hand Heart Pocket provided,” he said.

“What a privilege to be part of a such a generous, caring group –  and – to realise that we have the capacity to help those in need!”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was hugely important for the Freemasons of Queensland to see how the contribution, made on their behalf, was enhancing lives.

“It’s been our pleasure to support Camp Quality this past year to enhance the lives of 725 Queensland families impacted by cancer throughout the state,” he said.

Camp Quality CEO, Kylea Tink, was quick to echo how important the support from the Freemasons across Queensland has been for kids impacted by cancer and their families in the past year.

“Thanks in large part to this funding, Camp Quality has been able to support a growing number of families across the state, focusing on what we do best - bringing them laughter, light and fun during a period of darkness,” she said.

Photo: The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan recently visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from, Hand Heart Pocket.

Find out more about our partners

Elderly patients at Mitchell Hospital will benefit the most from the new vein finder donated by the local Freemasons.

Mitchell Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated the device which will assist nursing staff to find veins in elderly patients in a timelier manner – reducing discomfort.

The easy to use, hand-held device works by pinpointing the location of the vein, when held against the skin, using infrared technology.

Mitchell Lodge Secretary Bill Saul said they had been approached by the Mitchell Hospital Auxiliary for assistance to purchase the device, which is used in many hospitals around Australia.

“It is our pleasure to help Mitchell Hospital in this way,” Bill said.

“Staff at the Hospital are dedicated to alleviating the suffering of patients, so to help make their jobs that little bit easier is the least we can do,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding for an ageing population was one of nine keys areas where the organisation focuses its support as part of its long-term strategy.

“Our aim is to provide sustainable support to other charities, and our values are about alleviating suffering to help people lead better lives,” said Gary.

“Funding the purchase of a new vein finder for Mitchell Hospital is something that would be over and above what other funding sources would normally cover, so we are glad that this Grassroot Grant initiative was brought to our attention by Mitchell Masonic Lodge. It is a great cause to support,” he said.

Photo: Secretary of the Mitchell Hospital Auxiliary Barbara Brennan, Director of Nursing Kate Field and the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Enhancing the wellbeing of patients at the Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville was top of mind when the local Freemasons made their latest donation.

St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently joined forces to replace two recliner chairs in the self-contained unit complex on the grounds of Townsville Hospital – donating $3000.

Lodge representative Bob Heritage said supporting the families that stay at the complex for the duration of their treatment has always been important to the Lodge.

“What this facility does is allow families to stay together, instead of having to be apart, as they undergo treatment, so it’s vital that their stay is comfortable and homely,” Bob said.

“Indeed, the Freemasons of Queensland have played an integral role in the complex since day dot, having donated $1.2 million towards its construction 15 years ago – of which St Andrew of Townsville Lodge contributed $120k.”

“So, from time to time, we look to provide a hand up to strengthen the special bond that we have with the place,” Bob said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said by working closely with St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge, a bigger difference could be made at a grassroots level.

“Providing a hand up to Leukaemia patients by making their home away from home more comfortable aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“Therefore, we were proud to double the impact of the Lodge’s charity work,” he said.

Photo: (standing) St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge representative Bob Heritage, (seated) Village client Bill Flynn from Clermont and Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village Centre Manager Marie Morris.

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A young schoolgirl has been empowered to lead a more independent life after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of the Mackay Freemasons, helped to get her a new, specialised wheelchair.

Young Chloe, whose family is originally from Mackay, urgently needed to upgrade her wheelchair, having been born with Spina Bifida, when the local Freemasons became aware of her situation.

Mackay District Freemasons representative David Willans said even though the family lived in Brisbane, the Freemasons wanted to do their bit.

“We always look to provide a hand up in our community and when we saw the plea for donations from Chloe’s Grandma, who lives in Mackay, we wanted to help,” David said.

“If Chloe had waited until the NDIS was rolled out, she would have well and truly outgrown her old wheelchair – so our support came at the right time.”

“While we couldn’t be there in Brisbane to see Chloe using her new wheelchair, we are immensely grateful to the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland for meeting with Chloe’s family on our behalf,” David said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this is a fine example of the difference that can be made at a grassroots level when Lodge’s and Hand Heart Pocket work together.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives are what we stand for and improving the quality of life of a young girl with Spina Bifida aligns with that,” Gary said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for bringing this worthy initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

Photo: Chloe (center) and her parents Naomi (second left) and Robert (far right), with the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson (far left) and the Grand Secretary Ian Tomlinson (center right).

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Angel Flight has been empowered to keep their planes flying in Central Queensland after the local Freemasons made a generous contribution towards the organisation’s fuel costs.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge, with the help of several other Lodges in the region and Hand Heart Pocket, donated $1,200 towards what is ‘liquid gold’ to Angel Flight – enabling the transportation of country Queenslanders to specialist medical appointments and ongoing treatment, which would otherwise be inaccessible.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge Secretary, Philip Livingston said caring for those in your community was part and parcel of what it means to be a Freemason.

“We facilitated an Open Day for Angel Flight to give locals an insight into how this essential service improves people’s quality of life,” Philip said.

“Everyone that came was asked to donate if they could,” he said.

Locally, Angel Flight has completed 106 missions in and out of Rockhampton and 51 out of Gladstone. These numbers are set to increase with the opening of the new cancer unit at Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark was appreciative of Yeppoon Masonic Lodge for bringing the work of Angel Flight to its attention, helping to make specialist healthcare accessible for the region’s sick.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for organisations that have limited access to other funding,” Gary said.

“Helping Angel Flight to remain in the sky over Central Queensland tallies with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives – so it was only right that we matched the donation made by Yeppoon Masonic Lodge,” he said.

Photo: A young patient and her mum on board an Angel Flight plane. Photo courtesy of Angel Flight.

Find out why you should support Hand Heart Pocket 

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

More children with hearing loss in Queensland will be empowered to reach their full learning potential, after Hear and Say received a grant for half a million dollars from the state’s Masonic charity.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland 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.

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy said that without this funding, Queensland children could miss out on vital services and programs that build their potential.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from Hand Heart Pocket, which has come at a critical time to help cover our funding gap as we await the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme roll-out later this year,” Mr McCarthy said.

“More children and their families are turning to us than ever before, and this funding is vital for continuing our services, delivering the essential listening and spoken language therapy required to enable a child to hear, speak and live to their potential.”

“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.

Hand Heart Pocket’s generosity 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 their centres in Brisbane, Townsville, Toowoomba and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Hear and Say Vice-Patron and rugby league legend Wally Lewis whose daughter Jamie-Lee Lewis, was one of the first six children to be supported by the organisation, attended the funding announcement, to highlight the importance of improving life outcomes for these children.

“It’s amazing to think just how many families will be touched by this significant contribution. Jamie-Lee is living proof that it is possible for deaf children to go on to lead a normal life and take on whatever they put their mind to,” Mr Lewis said.

Brisbane Freemason Gary Golding similarly approved, having supported the service along with Enoggera Masonic Lodge at a grassroots level.

“Our granddaughter Audrey was born profoundly deaf, and with the support of Hear and Say at three-and-a-half, had mastered the language skills of a five-year-old,” Mr Golding said.

“As Freemasons we are incredibly proud that this grant has been made on our behalf, to impact children with hearing disabilities right across the state.”

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

“The commitment shown by Hear and Say to give deaf children the precious gifts of sound and speech aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We are delighted that this partnership will ensure more children in Queensland have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: (from left) Hand Heart Pocket Board Member John Aronis, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Hear and Say Vice-Patron Wally Lewis, Hear and Say Founder Dr Dimity Dornan AO, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson, Hear and Say parent Amy Hawke, Enoggera Lodge Freemasons Gary Golding and Robert Burns, children from Hear and Say, (back row) Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire and Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy. 

Find out who we help

Watch footage of the official cheque handover

Students with disability in the Brisbane Bayside, Logan City and Brisbane’s southside will be empowered to transition into meaningful employment by the time they finish high school, as plans for a multi-million-dollar disability employment and skills hub and supply chain services business get underway.

It follows today’s announcement of a philanthropic partnership with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, who will contribute one million dollars, to assist Help Enterprises to cover the funding gap, with the purchase and fit out of the new $3.3 million-dollar HELP Centre of Excellence Community Disability Hub in Crestmead.

Upon completion, schools will be able to refer students with disability in Years 10-12, to the Centre’s early intervention programs, to build both skills and confidence, to maximise employment opportunities in time for when they finish their schooling.

The 2,500 sqm Supply Chain Services facility will also provide valuable work experience and permanent supported employment for up to 100 people with disability.

Help Enterprises Managing Director Kerry Browne said that without early intervention more young people with disability would fall through the cracks, heading for long-term unemployment and social isolation.

“Having a job that you enjoy doing brings with it greater independence, a greater sense of self-worth, confidence, as well as personal and professional development – which are things we all want in life,” he said.

“Hand Heart Pocket, through their generosity, will enable us to promote an inclusive community and improve the lives of hundreds of young people with disability in the region each year,” Kerry said.

“We’ll be embedded and integrated within 21 schools in the Bayside, Logan City and southside catchment areas which have special education units. We’ll also be working closely with local employers to facilitate valuable work experience for students that have completed the program,” he said.

In addition to the 2,500sqm warehouse for HELP’s Supply Chain Services business, the hub will feature training rooms including a life skills training room, a function room, lunch room, storage facilities and administration offices.

“I really wanted to get a job and have somewhere to go after I finished Year 12,” HELP Employee Mitchell Gray said.

“After a few months doing work experience one day a week, they came to me and offered me a job. Now I have somewhere to go. I’m really thankful for that. It’s such a welcoming place – you know you’re respected.” Mitchell said.

As the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out in Brisbane and Logan, more people with disability will have the opportunity to receive support to gain and maintain employment just like Mitchell.

“Help Enterprises is an employer of choice and has vacancies for staff within its network of businesses, including this new facility in Crestmead,” said Kerry.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education and employment for young people with disability aligned with the organisation’s focus.

“Bridging the gap to equip students with disability with the skills to find and maintain gainful employment throughout their adult life resonates with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead more independent lives,” Gary said.

“We are thrilled to partner with Help Enterprises on this important initiative that will empower young people with disability to write their own future.”

Photo: Supported employees celebrate the announcement of a $1-million-dollar Flagship Grant to Help Enterprises. 

Find out who we help

 

Queensland families impacted by Huntington’s disease have been given a helping hand from the Mackay Freemasons for reasons that are very close to home.

Calen, Hamilton and Walkerston Masonic Lodges joined forces with Hand Heart Pocket to donate $2,000 to Huntington’s Queensland, having seen firsthand the fighting spirit of the wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge, who is living with the disease.

Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend said the donation would empower the organisation to deliver essential programs and services that improve the quality of life of hundreds of Queenslanders in the same position.

“With no known cure, it’s important that families are given the support they need to adjust to life with Huntington’s disease,” Graham said.

“Education is key and so is knowing that they are not alone, hence, why we wanted to make this contribution,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said education to support people with a disability was an initiative within the organisation’s strategy.

“Helping to improve the wellbeing of people with Huntington’s disease and their families through education resonated with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for turning their personal experience into something positive, by bringing this cause to our attention, so that we could work together to make a bigger difference for more families,” he said.

Photo: Calen Masonic Lodge Secretary Graham Townsend alongside wife of the Master of Walkerston Lodge Karen Astley.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Disabled youth with complex care needs have been empowered to lead more independent lives, following recent upgrades at Horizons Respite & Recreation Association Inc (Horizons) on the Redcliffe Peninsula.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland – who provide the site to Horizons for a nominal rent through the Rex Elson Estate – commissioned the upgrades, including a new all-weather covered ramp and reverse cycle air-conditioning in the client day use areas.

The majority of the $200k plus upgrades were funded through the Rex Elson Estate, with Hand Heart Pocket providing a $35k Grassroots Grant to ensure the project could come to fruition.

Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle said improvements to the built environment meant that they could continue to provide an inclusive service, where clients of varying care needs could get the most out of their programs to lead more independent lives.

“We’re committed to improving the quality of life of young people with physical and intellectual disabilities, by giving them opportunities to mix with others their own age, learn life skills and have fun together,” Roxanne said.

“Replacing the old stairs and ramp with a longer, all-weather covered ramp, complete with hand and curb rails, two safety landings and lighting throughout, provides a safe path for staff and families to move wheelchair-bound clients between buildings on the site,” she said.

“Similarly, now that the day use areas have reverse cycle air-conditioning, those of our clients that have difficulty regulating their body temperature won’t have to miss out during certain activities.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding these upgrades was a way of honouring the wishes of the late Rex Elson, a long-time local resident whose generous bequest to Hand Heart Pocket many years ago, enabled the purchase of this very facility.

“Rex’s bequest was to benefit a community service in the Redcliffe region and since moving into the Margate facility, Horizons has grown from 8 to 50+ clients, proving to be a vital part of the community.”

“We continue to support Horizons through the Elson Estate to keep Rex’s generous spirit alive, while improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable members of the community, empowering them to lead better lives,” Gary said.

Photo: Horizon’s Chief Executive Officer Roxanne Quayle (back row center) and Chairman Stuart Macnish (back row far right) alongside Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark (back row center right) at a special morning tea for clients and their families to celebrate the upgrades.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

 

People living with renal failure in the Mackay region have been given a hand up, after Sarina Masonic Lodge along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated just over $1,600 to the Kidney Support Network.

The funds have been allocated towards the purchase of a new computer system which will be used to manage bookings as part of the transportation of patients to and from treatment, at Mackay Base Hospital.

Lodge Secretary Alan Cameron said with over 96,000 km travelled and over 4,100 patient trips made last year, it was vital that a reliable computer system was in place.

“We are proud to have provided sustainable support to an organisation that helps so many in the community of Mackay and surrounds,” Alan said.

“This essential service empowers people with kidney failure and their families to not be defined by their illness – which is why we want to support them,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead a better life was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“Upgrading essential equipment so that the Kidney Support Network can continue reaching out to its clients aligns with our charitable intent which includes providing funding and financial assistance,” Gary said.

“I thank the members of Sarina Masonic Lodge for identifying this important local initiative. Through our combined efforts we’ve been able to have a greater impact at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Sarina Masonic Lodge representatives Vic Clarendon (far left), Neil Wales (second from right) and Ron Payne (far right) with Trish Bryant (second from left), Lyn Wales and Trevor Waldron from the Kidney Support Network (centre).

Find out who we help

 

It’s not often that you get to meet those that have directly benefited from your philanthropy, but that’s exactly what the Carpentaria Freemasons did recently.

The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from the state’s Masonic charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

It was one of dozens of camps held around Queensland in the last year, which were funded by the grant, enabling children impacted by cancer and their families to create memories outside of hospital.

District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon described the visit, as a special experience, where they were able to meet with families and see firsthand the impact of the program. 

“We enjoyed a puppet show provided for the children entitled Laughter is the best medicine, which gave them a chance to forget the stresses of hospital visits,” Henry said.

“Our discussions with volunteers and parents, and interaction with children, really emphasised the importance of the significant assistance that Hand Heart Pocket provided,” he said.

“What a privilege to be part of a such a generous, caring group –  and – to realise that we have the capacity to help those in need!”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it was hugely important for the Freemasons of Queensland to see how the contribution, made on their behalf, was enhancing lives.

“It’s been our pleasure to support Camp Quality this past year to enhance the lives of 725 Queensland families impacted by cancer throughout the state,” he said.

Camp Quality CEO, Kylea Tink, was quick to echo how important the support from the Freemasons across Queensland has been for kids impacted by cancer and their families in the past year.

“Thanks in large part to this funding, Camp Quality has been able to support a growing number of families across the state, focusing on what we do best - bringing them laughter, light and fun during a period of darkness,” she said.

Photo: The District Grand Master of Carpentaria Henry Condon and his Deputy Raja Chohan recently visited one of Camp Quality’s family camps in Cairns to see the impact of the $290k grant announced last year from, Hand Heart Pocket.

Find out more about our partners

Elderly patients at Mitchell Hospital will benefit the most from the new vein finder donated by the local Freemasons.

Mitchell Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland recently donated the device which will assist nursing staff to find veins in elderly patients in a timelier manner – reducing discomfort.

The easy to use, hand-held device works by pinpointing the location of the vein, when held against the skin, using infrared technology.

Mitchell Lodge Secretary Bill Saul said they had been approached by the Mitchell Hospital Auxiliary for assistance to purchase the device, which is used in many hospitals around Australia.

“It is our pleasure to help Mitchell Hospital in this way,” Bill said.

“Staff at the Hospital are dedicated to alleviating the suffering of patients, so to help make their jobs that little bit easier is the least we can do,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said funding for an ageing population was one of nine keys areas where the organisation focuses its support as part of its long-term strategy.

“Our aim is to provide sustainable support to other charities, and our values are about alleviating suffering to help people lead better lives,” said Gary.

“Funding the purchase of a new vein finder for Mitchell Hospital is something that would be over and above what other funding sources would normally cover, so we are glad that this Grassroot Grant initiative was brought to our attention by Mitchell Masonic Lodge. It is a great cause to support,” he said.

Photo: Secretary of the Mitchell Hospital Auxiliary Barbara Brennan, Director of Nursing Kate Field and the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Enhancing the wellbeing of patients at the Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village in Townsville was top of mind when the local Freemasons made their latest donation.

St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, recently joined forces to replace two recliner chairs in the self-contained unit complex on the grounds of Townsville Hospital – donating $3000.

Lodge representative Bob Heritage said supporting the families that stay at the complex for the duration of their treatment has always been important to the Lodge.

“What this facility does is allow families to stay together, instead of having to be apart, as they undergo treatment, so it’s vital that their stay is comfortable and homely,” Bob said.

“Indeed, the Freemasons of Queensland have played an integral role in the complex since day dot, having donated $1.2 million towards its construction 15 years ago – of which St Andrew of Townsville Lodge contributed $120k.”

“So, from time to time, we look to provide a hand up to strengthen the special bond that we have with the place,” Bob said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said by working closely with St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge, a bigger difference could be made at a grassroots level.

“Providing a hand up to Leukaemia patients by making their home away from home more comfortable aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“Therefore, we were proud to double the impact of the Lodge’s charity work,” he said.

Photo: (standing) St Andrew of Townsville Masonic Lodge representative Bob Heritage, (seated) Village client Bill Flynn from Clermont and Leukaemia Foundation Queensland Freemasons Village Centre Manager Marie Morris.

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A young schoolgirl has been empowered to lead a more independent life after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of the Mackay Freemasons, helped to get her a new, specialised wheelchair.

Young Chloe, whose family is originally from Mackay, urgently needed to upgrade her wheelchair, having been born with Spina Bifida, when the local Freemasons became aware of her situation.

Mackay District Freemasons representative David Willans said even though the family lived in Brisbane, the Freemasons wanted to do their bit.

“We always look to provide a hand up in our community and when we saw the plea for donations from Chloe’s Grandma, who lives in Mackay, we wanted to help,” David said.

“If Chloe had waited until the NDIS was rolled out, she would have well and truly outgrown her old wheelchair – so our support came at the right time.”

“While we couldn’t be there in Brisbane to see Chloe using her new wheelchair, we are immensely grateful to the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland for meeting with Chloe’s family on our behalf,” David said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said this is a fine example of the difference that can be made at a grassroots level when Lodge’s and Hand Heart Pocket work together.

“Alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives are what we stand for and improving the quality of life of a young girl with Spina Bifida aligns with that,” Gary said.

“We thank the Freemasons of Mackay for bringing this worthy initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

Photo: Chloe (center) and her parents Naomi (second left) and Robert (far right), with the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson (far left) and the Grand Secretary Ian Tomlinson (center right).

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Angel Flight has been empowered to keep their planes flying in Central Queensland after the local Freemasons made a generous contribution towards the organisation’s fuel costs.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge, with the help of several other Lodges in the region and Hand Heart Pocket, donated $1,200 towards what is ‘liquid gold’ to Angel Flight – enabling the transportation of country Queenslanders to specialist medical appointments and ongoing treatment, which would otherwise be inaccessible.

Yeppoon Masonic Lodge Secretary, Philip Livingston said caring for those in your community was part and parcel of what it means to be a Freemason.

“We facilitated an Open Day for Angel Flight to give locals an insight into how this essential service improves people’s quality of life,” Philip said.

“Everyone that came was asked to donate if they could,” he said.

Locally, Angel Flight has completed 106 missions in and out of Rockhampton and 51 out of Gladstone. These numbers are set to increase with the opening of the new cancer unit at Rockhampton Base Hospital.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark was appreciative of Yeppoon Masonic Lodge for bringing the work of Angel Flight to its attention, helping to make specialist healthcare accessible for the region’s sick.

“Our focus is to provide sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes for organisations that have limited access to other funding,” Gary said.

“Helping Angel Flight to remain in the sky over Central Queensland tallies with our values which are about alleviating suffering and empowering people to lead better lives – so it was only right that we matched the donation made by Yeppoon Masonic Lodge,” he said.

Photo: A young patient and her mum on board an Angel Flight plane. Photo courtesy of Angel Flight.

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Watch footage of the official cheque handover

More children with hearing loss in Queensland will be empowered to reach their full learning potential, after Hear and Say received a grant for half a million dollars from the state’s Masonic charity.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland 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.

Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy said that without this funding, Queensland children could miss out on vital services and programs that build their potential.

“We are extremely grateful for this funding from Hand Heart Pocket, which has come at a critical time to help cover our funding gap as we await the full financial impact of the National Disability Insurance Scheme roll-out later this year,” Mr McCarthy said.

“More children and their families are turning to us than ever before, and this funding is vital for continuing our services, delivering the essential listening and spoken language therapy required to enable a child to hear, speak and live to their potential.”

“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.

Hand Heart Pocket’s generosity 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 their centres in Brisbane, Townsville, Toowoomba and on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts.

Hear and Say Vice-Patron and rugby league legend Wally Lewis whose daughter Jamie-Lee Lewis, was one of the first six children to be supported by the organisation, attended the funding announcement, to highlight the importance of improving life outcomes for these children.

“It’s amazing to think just how many families will be touched by this significant contribution. Jamie-Lee is living proof that it is possible for deaf children to go on to lead a normal life and take on whatever they put their mind to,” Mr Lewis said.

Brisbane Freemason Gary Golding similarly approved, having supported the service along with Enoggera Masonic Lodge at a grassroots level.

“Our granddaughter Audrey was born profoundly deaf, and with the support of Hear and Say at three-and-a-half, had mastered the language skills of a five-year-old,” Mr Golding said.

“As Freemasons we are incredibly proud that this grant has been made on our behalf, to impact children with hearing disabilities right across the state.”

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

“The commitment shown by Hear and Say to give deaf children the precious gifts of sound and speech aligns with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about empowering people to lead better lives,” he said.

“We are delighted that this partnership will ensure more children in Queensland have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: (from left) Hand Heart Pocket Board Member John Aronis, Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark, Hear and Say Vice-Patron Wally Lewis, Hear and Say Founder Dr Dimity Dornan AO, Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Queensland Alan Townson, Hear and Say parent Amy Hawke, Enoggera Lodge Freemasons Gary Golding and Robert Burns, children from Hear and Say, (back row) Hand Heart Pocket Chairman Tom Wiltshire and Hear and Say Chief Executive Officer Chris McCarthy. 

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