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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about the Drought Disaster Relief Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out who we help

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Freemasons from around the state have rallied with their charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to again support drought-affected families and communities.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that the charity had previously worked with Freemasons throughout the state from 2015 to 2017 and was able to donate $1 million to drought-affected families and communities.

“With over half of the state drought-declared and some parts of Queensland not seeing rain for more than five years, some of our members recognised the urgency to support these communities again,” said Gary.

“We also wanted to show drought-affected Queenslanders that they were not forgotten and therefore have agreed to donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by our Freemason members and Masonic Lodges for an eight-week period until October 5 this year,” he said.

Already, from the support of Freemasons throughout the state and the charity pitching in double what they are donating, Hand Heart Pocket has almost $120,000 ready to distribute to drought-affected families and communities.

The organisation will provide Eftpos cards to be distributed through its partners on the ground such as The Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group, to ensure they get quickly to where they are needed most.

“The cards are designed to be spent locally, to put food on the table and to pay essential bills such as electricity,” said Gary.

“We hope that by October 5 we will be able to make a greater impact on drought-affected families and communities.”

Donate to our Drought Appeal and support drought-affected families and communities in Queensland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was great that both organisations could work together to shine a spotlight on men’s health, considering they both regularly support men at many levels.

“It’s important for us men to make sure that we look after our physical and mental health, even though we don’t like going to the doctor or talking about how we are feeling. Regular check-ups and checking in with each other can help identify preventable illness early.”

“We are proud that we can focus on men’s health and have the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland at a local and statewide level,” said Henry.

Photo: Atherton Community Health Clinical Nurse Mal Fraser, AMSA Marty Leist alongside Atherton Freemasons Mil Clay and Barry Nichols.

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freemasons Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan said it was encouraging that both organisations, who support men at many levels on a regular basis, could join forces to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor, to make healthy lifestyle choices and talk about our feelings. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health can significantly reduce your chances of developing a preventable illness.”

“We are proud that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative at both a statewide and a grassroots level,” said Raja.

Photo: Australian Men’s Shed Association representative Marty Leist, Cairns Hospital Cardiac Rehab Unit representative Megan Warncke, Cairns Men's Shed representative Clive Lee alongside the Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan and Past District Grand Master Phil Starr. 

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about the Drought Disaster Relief Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

Freemasons from around the state have rallied with their charity, Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to again support drought-affected families and communities.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said that the charity had previously worked with Freemasons throughout the state from 2015 to 2017 and was able to donate $1 million to drought-affected families and communities.

“With over half of the state drought-declared and some parts of Queensland not seeing rain for more than five years, some of our members recognised the urgency to support these communities again,” said Gary.

“We also wanted to show drought-affected Queenslanders that they were not forgotten and therefore have agreed to donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by our Freemason members and Masonic Lodges for an eight-week period until October 5 this year,” he said.

Already, from the support of Freemasons throughout the state and the charity pitching in double what they are donating, Hand Heart Pocket has almost $120,000 ready to distribute to drought-affected families and communities.

The organisation will provide Eftpos cards to be distributed through its partners on the ground such as The Western Drought Appeal and their associated distribution channels, the Rural Financial Counselling Service, Queensland Education and the School of Distant Education parent support group, to ensure they get quickly to where they are needed most.

“The cards are designed to be spent locally, to put food on the table and to pay essential bills such as electricity,” said Gary.

“We hope that by October 5 we will be able to make a greater impact on drought-affected families and communities.”

Donate to our Drought Appeal and support drought-affected families and communities in Queensland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freemasons District Grand Master Henry Condon said it was great that both organisations could work together to shine a spotlight on men’s health, considering they both regularly support men at many levels.

“It’s important for us men to make sure that we look after our physical and mental health, even though we don’t like going to the doctor or talking about how we are feeling. Regular check-ups and checking in with each other can help identify preventable illness early.”

“We are proud that we can focus on men’s health and have the support of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland at a local and statewide level,” said Henry.

Photo: Atherton Community Health Clinical Nurse Mal Fraser, AMSA Marty Leist alongside Atherton Freemasons Mil Clay and Barry Nichols.

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Freemasons Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan said it was encouraging that both organisations, who support men at many levels on a regular basis, could join forces to shine a spotlight on men’s health.

“It’s no secret that we men are less likely to go to the doctor, to make healthy lifestyle choices and talk about our feelings. However, keeping a check of your physical and mental health can significantly reduce your chances of developing a preventable illness.”

“We are proud that Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland can help us support such an important initiative at both a statewide and a grassroots level,” said Raja.

Photo: Australian Men’s Shed Association representative Marty Leist, Cairns Hospital Cardiac Rehab Unit representative Megan Warncke, Cairns Men's Shed representative Clive Lee alongside the Carpentaria Deputy District Grand Master Raja Chohan and Past District Grand Master Phil Starr. 

 Find out more about our Father's Day Appeal