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Since the late 1990s, children with hearing loss on the Gold Coast have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

Joining Loud Shirt Day celebrations at the Hear and Say Centre in Varsity Lakes just recently, was local Freemason Dave Henry, who met with families to hear how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground. 

The grant, handed over earlier this year, will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year.

Gold Coast Freemason Dave Henry who dressed for the occasion said he now has a greater appreciation for what it takes to ensure a child with hearing loss can hear, listen, and speak.  

“As well spending time with local families to hear how the statewide grant has impacted them, I sat in on a Listen Little Stars baby playgroup and toured the facility,” Dave said.

“It’s only when you see with your own eyes, that you begin to understand just how lifechanging this statewide grant is. For children with hearing loss in our own community and throughout Queensland, to be empowered to be anything they want to be when they grow up, is something we’re proud to be involved with,” he said.

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

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 on the Gold Coast and throughout Queensland to have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: Gold Coast Freemason Dave Henry (second from left) dropped by the local Hear and Say Centre in Varsity Lakes to hear how Hand Heart Pocket’s half-a-million-dollar state-wide grant is impacting local children.

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A new multi-million dollar employment hub opening today will create jobs for more than 100 young people living with a disability across Logan.

The search is on for teenagers from local high schools and young people with disability to begin on-the-job training in administration and supply chain roles, including forklift driver, administration officer, packaging, product assembly, and warehousing.

Queensland’s leading disability employment charity, Help Enterprises, has spent $3.3 million on the Crestmead Centre of Excellence, which it says will tackle youth unemployment head-on.

Help Enterprises CEO Kerry Browne said it was designed to be a place where students in Years 10 to 12 build skills and confidence, so they can transition into full-time work once they graduate from high school. Currently, there are 3000 students with a disability who attend schools in the Logan and Brisbane Southside area.

“These are young adults who might otherwise fall through the cracks,” Mr Browne said.

“Through the centre, they’re getting hands-on experience and skills that they can continue to take into the workforce, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer 100 jobs.”

Mitchell Grey is one of the many job seekers who has been employed by Help Enterprises.

“I really wanted to get a job and get money and have somewhere to go after I finish Year 12 and now I do have somewhere to go,” he said. “I’m really thankful for that.”

The facility has been made possible thanks to a $1 million donation from Queensland charity Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark said they were proud to support an organisation which helped give young adults with disability the same opportunities as other people their age.

“Help Enterprises is not only providing employment opportunities but educational opportunities to suitably equip young people with a disability to forge a future for themselves,” Mr Mark said.

Help Enterprises has been helping people with a disability for 50 years. The organisation, which is headquartered at Eagle Farm, employs more than 950 people, 350 of whom have a disability. Jobs include building metal rubbish bin enclosures supplied to Brisbane City Council and assembling airline travel kits. HELP has 6 Employment Offices in and around Logan to assist job seekers with their journey to open employment.

Photo: Freemasons and HELP employees celebrate the official opening of Help Enterprises' $3.3 million dollar Crestmead Centre of Excellence.

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Through the combined efforts of the Mackay Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland an incredible $72,000 has been donated towards the organisation’s Drought Disaster Relief Appeal to assist drought-affected Queenslanders.

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Mackay District Freemasons’ $24,000 contribution has been tripled.

Mackay Freemason Graham Townsend said the money raised is indicative of Freemasons’ community spirit and commitment to helping others.    

“Freemasons of the Mackay region actively support local causes, but with the drought affecting so many Queenslanders across the state, we knew we had to get behind them,” Graham said.

“It’s great to know that with the help of Hand Heart Pocket so many people will benefit from our efforts,” he said. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Mackay District Freemasons for their efforts – they’ve been phenomenal,” 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 $435,000 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 almost $1.44 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: Lodge Secretaries of the District - Alan Hutchison of Mackay Lodge, Graham Townsend of Hamilton-Calen Lodge, Col Ritchie  of Walkerston Lodge, Ken Bayliss of Star of the North Lodge and Alan Cameron of Sarina Lodge.

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Those doing it tough in drought-affected parts of the state have received the support of the Kenilworth Freemasons, who along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $3,000 towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.  

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Kenilworth Freemasons’ $1000 contribution has been tripled.

Kenilworth Masonic Lodge representative Colin Elrington said members were quick to turn their charitable efforts towards the cause.    

“Fundraising for drought-affected Queenslanders aligns with our goal of helping those in need, and with Hand Heart Pocket’s addition to our donation, we’ve been able to provide $3000,” Colin said.

“It’s really good to know that our contribution will be going towards supporting both families and communities impacted by the drought.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Kenilworth 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 $435,000 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 almost $1.44 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: Freemasons Queensland representative Chris Pyke and Kenilworth Masonic Lodge representative Colin Elrington.

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Sizzling sausages and sharing food is how Roma Freemasons and Roma Men’s Shed addressed men’s health in October. 

The barbeque lunch is one of many events organised by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) across Queensland throughout September and October.  It is 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.

Brian Reardon, a local Freemason, said he was looking forward to attending the lunch and shining a light on men’s health.

“The lunch was a wonderful way to get people talking about the issue as I know sometimes we ignore physical problems and don’t discuss how we feel,” he said.

“Working with Hand Heart Pocket to support men’s health can really make a local and state-wide impact,” said Brian. 

Photo: The Freemasons of Roma and the local Men’s Shed fired up the barbeque yesterday to support men’s health. 

Find out more about the support Hand Heart Pocket provides 

Queenslanders impacted by the drought have received a helping hand from the Freemasons of Childers, who together with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland have donated $6000 towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Childers Freemasons’ $2000 contribution has been tripled.

Childers Isis Masonic Lodge representative Ben Goding said while local initiatives are their main focus, when a crisis of this scale occurs in the broader community, they never hesitate to lend a hand.

“The Freemasons of Childers are quick to respond in times of need. We’re proud that with the help of Hand Heart Pocket we’ve been able to contribute $6,000,” Ben said.

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

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Childers 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 $435,000 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 almost $1.44 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: The Freemasons of Childers raised $6,000 for drought-affected Queenslanders with the help of Hand Heart Pocket.

Find out more about who we help

Those living through the worst drought in Queensland’s history haven’t been forgotten, with the Gatton Freemasons joining forces with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to donate $4650 to their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Gatton Freemasons’ $1550 contribution has been tripled.

Gatton’s Lodge representative David Green said helping others in the local and wider community is an important part of Freemasonry.

“Here at our Gatton Lodge, we don’t hesitate to provide a hand to others in times of need. We’re thrilled to have been involved in raising $4650 with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket,” David said.

“The drought has affected so many Queenslanders and we hope our contribution will help struggling communities to get back on their feet,” he said. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Gatton 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: Gatton Freemasons raised $4650 for drought-affected Queenslanders with the help of Hand Heart Pocket.

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Proceeds from the sale of their pocket diary have helped Stanley Lodge to support Queenslanders impacted by the drought. Along with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, $10,560 was donated towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal. 

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Stanley Lodge Freemasons’ (meeting at the Stones Corner Masonic Centre) $3520 contribution has been tripled.

Stanley Masonic Lodge Secretary Ron Anderson said with so many Queenslanders struggling as a direct result of the drought, they wanted to do their bit to help.

“We decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of our Stanley Pocket Diary,” Ron said.

“We are really pleased that with the help of Hand Heart Pocket we’ve been able to provide $10,560 to support drought-affected communities. It’s great to know our efforts will go towards helping so many people,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to Stanley Masonic Lodge 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: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark and General Manager Marketing and Public Relations Karen Tilke with Stanley Masonic Lodge representatives John Irwin and Ron Anderson as they discuss the impact of their donation to drought-affected Queenslanders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Find out who we help

Since the late 1990s, children with hearing loss on the Gold Coast have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

Joining Loud Shirt Day celebrations at the Hear and Say Centre in Varsity Lakes just recently, was local Freemason Dave Henry, who met with families to hear how a state-wide grant for half-a-million-dollars from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is making a difference on the ground. 

The grant, handed over earlier this year, will help to cover the funding gap to deliver critical early intervention services, ensuring continuity of support for deaf children throughout Queensland for the next year.

Gold Coast Freemason Dave Henry who dressed for the occasion said he now has a greater appreciation for what it takes to ensure a child with hearing loss can hear, listen, and speak.  

“As well spending time with local families to hear how the statewide grant has impacted them, I sat in on a Listen Little Stars baby playgroup and toured the facility,” Dave said.

“It’s only when you see with your own eyes, that you begin to understand just how lifechanging this statewide grant is. For children with hearing loss in our own community and throughout Queensland, to be empowered to be anything they want to be when they grow up, is something we’re proud to be involved with,” he said.

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

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 on the Gold Coast and throughout Queensland to have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

Photo: Gold Coast Freemason Dave Henry (second from left) dropped by the local Hear and Say Centre in Varsity Lakes to hear how Hand Heart Pocket’s half-a-million-dollar state-wide grant is impacting local children.

Find out who we help

A new multi-million dollar employment hub opening today will create jobs for more than 100 young people living with a disability across Logan.

The search is on for teenagers from local high schools and young people with disability to begin on-the-job training in administration and supply chain roles, including forklift driver, administration officer, packaging, product assembly, and warehousing.

Queensland’s leading disability employment charity, Help Enterprises, has spent $3.3 million on the Crestmead Centre of Excellence, which it says will tackle youth unemployment head-on.

Help Enterprises CEO Kerry Browne said it was designed to be a place where students in Years 10 to 12 build skills and confidence, so they can transition into full-time work once they graduate from high school. Currently, there are 3000 students with a disability who attend schools in the Logan and Brisbane Southside area.

“These are young adults who might otherwise fall through the cracks,” Mr Browne said.

“Through the centre, they’re getting hands-on experience and skills that they can continue to take into the workforce, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer 100 jobs.”

Mitchell Grey is one of the many job seekers who has been employed by Help Enterprises.

“I really wanted to get a job and get money and have somewhere to go after I finish Year 12 and now I do have somewhere to go,” he said. “I’m really thankful for that.”

The facility has been made possible thanks to a $1 million donation from Queensland charity Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

Hand Heart Pocket CEO Gary Mark said they were proud to support an organisation which helped give young adults with disability the same opportunities as other people their age.

“Help Enterprises is not only providing employment opportunities but educational opportunities to suitably equip young people with a disability to forge a future for themselves,” Mr Mark said.

Help Enterprises has been helping people with a disability for 50 years. The organisation, which is headquartered at Eagle Farm, employs more than 950 people, 350 of whom have a disability. Jobs include building metal rubbish bin enclosures supplied to Brisbane City Council and assembling airline travel kits. HELP has 6 Employment Offices in and around Logan to assist job seekers with their journey to open employment.

Photo: Freemasons and HELP employees celebrate the official opening of Help Enterprises' $3.3 million dollar Crestmead Centre of Excellence.

Find out more about who we help

Through the combined efforts of the Mackay Freemasons and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland an incredible $72,000 has been donated towards the organisation’s Drought Disaster Relief Appeal to assist drought-affected Queenslanders.

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Mackay District Freemasons’ $24,000 contribution has been tripled.

Mackay Freemason Graham Townsend said the money raised is indicative of Freemasons’ community spirit and commitment to helping others.    

“Freemasons of the Mackay region actively support local causes, but with the drought affecting so many Queenslanders across the state, we knew we had to get behind them,” Graham said.

“It’s great to know that with the help of Hand Heart Pocket so many people will benefit from our efforts,” he said. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Mackay District Freemasons for their efforts – they’ve been phenomenal,” 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 $435,000 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 almost $1.44 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: Lodge Secretaries of the District - Alan Hutchison of Mackay Lodge, Graham Townsend of Hamilton-Calen Lodge, Col Ritchie  of Walkerston Lodge, Ken Bayliss of Star of the North Lodge and Alan Cameron of Sarina Lodge.

Find out more about who we help

Those doing it tough in drought-affected parts of the state have received the support of the Kenilworth Freemasons, who along with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland donated $3,000 towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.  

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Kenilworth Freemasons’ $1000 contribution has been tripled.

Kenilworth Masonic Lodge representative Colin Elrington said members were quick to turn their charitable efforts towards the cause.    

“Fundraising for drought-affected Queenslanders aligns with our goal of helping those in need, and with Hand Heart Pocket’s addition to our donation, we’ve been able to provide $3000,” Colin said.

“It’s really good to know that our contribution will be going towards supporting both families and communities impacted by the drought.”

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Kenilworth 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 $435,000 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 almost $1.44 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: Freemasons Queensland representative Chris Pyke and Kenilworth Masonic Lodge representative Colin Elrington.

Find out more about who we help

Sizzling sausages and sharing food is how Roma Freemasons and Roma Men’s Shed addressed men’s health in October. 

The barbeque lunch is one of many events organised by Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland and the Australian Men’s Shed Association (AMSA) across Queensland throughout September and October.  It is 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.

Brian Reardon, a local Freemason, said he was looking forward to attending the lunch and shining a light on men’s health.

“The lunch was a wonderful way to get people talking about the issue as I know sometimes we ignore physical problems and don’t discuss how we feel,” he said.

“Working with Hand Heart Pocket to support men’s health can really make a local and state-wide impact,” said Brian. 

Photo: The Freemasons of Roma and the local Men’s Shed fired up the barbeque yesterday to support men’s health. 

Find out more about the support Hand Heart Pocket provides 

Queenslanders impacted by the drought have received a helping hand from the Freemasons of Childers, who together with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland have donated $6000 towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Childers Freemasons’ $2000 contribution has been tripled.

Childers Isis Masonic Lodge representative Ben Goding said while local initiatives are their main focus, when a crisis of this scale occurs in the broader community, they never hesitate to lend a hand.

“The Freemasons of Childers are quick to respond in times of need. We’re proud that with the help of Hand Heart Pocket we’ve been able to contribute $6,000,” Ben said.

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

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Childers 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 $435,000 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 almost $1.44 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: The Freemasons of Childers raised $6,000 for drought-affected Queenslanders with the help of Hand Heart Pocket.

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Those living through the worst drought in Queensland’s history haven’t been forgotten, with the Gatton Freemasons joining forces with Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland to donate $4650 to their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal.

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Gatton Freemasons’ $1550 contribution has been tripled.

Gatton’s Lodge representative David Green said helping others in the local and wider community is an important part of Freemasonry.

“Here at our Gatton Lodge, we don’t hesitate to provide a hand to others in times of need. We’re thrilled to have been involved in raising $4650 with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket,” David said.

“The drought has affected so many Queenslanders and we hope our contribution will help struggling communities to get back on their feet,” he said. 

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to the Gatton 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: Gatton Freemasons raised $4650 for drought-affected Queenslanders with the help of Hand Heart Pocket.

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Proceeds from the sale of their pocket diary have helped Stanley Lodge to support Queenslanders impacted by the drought. Along with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, $10,560 was donated towards their Drought Disaster Relief Appeal. 

The initiative, which has seen Hand Heart Pocket donate an additional two dollars for every one dollar donated by its members and Masonic Lodges, meant that the Stanley Lodge Freemasons’ (meeting at the Stones Corner Masonic Centre) $3520 contribution has been tripled.

Stanley Masonic Lodge Secretary Ron Anderson said with so many Queenslanders struggling as a direct result of the drought, they wanted to do their bit to help.

“We decided to donate the proceeds from the sale of our Stanley Pocket Diary,” Ron said.

“We are really pleased that with the help of Hand Heart Pocket we’ve been able to provide $10,560 to support drought-affected communities. It’s great to know our efforts will go towards helping so many people,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the response has been amazing.

“We are grateful to Stanley Masonic Lodge 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: Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark and General Manager Marketing and Public Relations Karen Tilke with Stanley Masonic Lodge representatives John Irwin and Ron Anderson as they discuss the impact of their donation to drought-affected Queenslanders.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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