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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

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is gearing up to raise funds for Men’s Sheds across Queensland while increasing awareness for men’s physical and mental health through its 2018 Father’s Day Appeal.

Running throughout September and October 2018, the Hand Heart Pocket Father’s Day Appeal will see Masonic Lodge’s rally together to hold men’s health events at Masonic Centres across Queensland, while also raising funds for local Men’s Sheds.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“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,” Gary said.

AMSA and local Men’s Sheds will team up to support events throughout the 2018 Appeal and in some locations will deliver free men’s health checks as part of AMSA’s Spanner in the Works? men’s health initiative.

“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.

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.

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.

Donate to our Father's Day Appeals and help Australian Men's Shed Association to support Men's Shed activities and programs across Queensland throughout 2019.

A hand up has been provided to a family in Bundaberg, to help their Autistic son lead a more independent life, with the help of a Smart Pup Assistance Dog.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges, provided a $10k Grassroots Community Grant towards the endeavour – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round. In addition, the fundraising efforts of the Lodges was matched, followed by a final top up to ensure the family reached its $20k target.

Tyrian Lodge Secretary John Richardson said the specially trained pup would make a significant difference to Mitchell’s quality of life.

“We’re very proud to have been able to help Mitchell and to have expedited this fundraising initiative with the help of Hand Heart Pocket. The Smart Pup will become part of the family and be by Mitchell’s side every day,” John said.

“Being so calm in nature, the pup will help to lower anxiety levels and help Mitchell adapt to different social settings. It might even give Mitchell the confidence to experience new things,” he said.

It will be a little while though before the family can take the Smart Pup home, as it typically takes up to a year to train the canine and ensure it completes the necessary home placement sessions.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it’s great to see Lodges working together to respond to need within the community.

“Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges brought this worthy cause to our attention which we were able to support through our Grassroots Grants initiatives,” Gary said.

“Empowering people to lead more independent lives is what we’re known for. Our focus, as we have done in this instance, is to provide sustainable support for charitable causes that have limited access to other funding sources,” he said.

“It’s our pleasure to provide this life-changing support,” he said.

Photo: Bundaberg family welcomes Smart Pup Assistance Dog with the help of Hand Heart Pocket's Grassroots Community Grant. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

There was plenty to celebrate at Tynwald Masonic Lodge’s centenary celebrations, earlier this month, including the handover of $10k to empower disadvantaged locals to lead more independent lives.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of Tynwald Masonic Lodge, provided the $10k grant to the Sandgate and Bracken Ridge Action Group (SANDBAG Inc) – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

The funds will allow SANDBAG to purchase vital office equipment such as laptops and furniture, to provide an enhanced learning environment for the upskilling of those doing it tough, in search of meaningful work.

Tynwald Masonic Lodge representative Peter Taylor said they were elated that their submission had been successful.

“This really was the perfect way to celebrate our 100 years in the local area. In all that time, Tynwald Lodge has been active in the community, supporting various causes that make a difference at a local level.” Peter said.

“In relation to SANDBAG, whether it’s a domestic violence victim looking to rebuild his or her life, a recently retrenched person needing to upskill, a disadvantaged person looking for a job or a senior citizen requiring some administrative assistance –every one of them can lead a better life with the support of this local organisation. Knowledge is power, and we are proud to champion that,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were all for supporting education initiatives that help to alleviate misfortune and empower people to lead more independent lives.

“Giving people a hand up to get back on their feet through education is what resonated with us,” Gary said.

“It’s our pleasure to have provided a hand up for SANDBAG, to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level together with Tynwald Masonic Lodge, as they celebrate such a significant milestone in their history,” he said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Domestic violence victims in the Moreton Bay region have been given a hand up by the local Freemasons, empowering them to start over.

The Centre Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) will be able to provide more care packages for victims, after Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket donated $1000 towards the emergency relief scheme.

Pine Rivers Lodge Secretary, Ross Patching OAM said when a victim makes the brave decision to leave an abusive relationship, packing essential items like food, toiletries, clothing and toys is the last thing on their mind.

“We want victims to know that they are not alone and with support, they can lead a better life,” Ross said.

“We hope our donation shows clients that despite their recent experiences there are good non-violent men in society.”

“As well as setting a good example, we might even inspire the next generation of Freemasons in the region,” he said.

Last financial year CADA received over 3000 DV referrals from police, provided close to 6000 adults with crisis and counselling support, helped close to 2000 children access their child and youth services, while more than 6500 individuals were given court assistance.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark gave Pine Rivers Lodge the credit for identifying a worthy local cause.

“Giving domestic violence victims a hand up when they most need it, lines up with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to lead a better life,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket was delighted to match the Lodge’s fundraising to help vulnerable women rebuild their lives,” he said.

Photo: Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge hands overs a cheque for $1000 to Centre Against Domestic Abuse representative Estrella H. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Proserpine Meals on Wheels is set to get a new vehicle to help with the delivery of hundreds of meals in the community, following the efforts of the local Freemasons.

Needing a total of $27k for the new vehicle, Proserpine-Whitsunday Masonic Lodge contributed $5k while securing $22k from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland through their Grassroots Grants initiatives.

Proserpine-Whitsundays Masonic Lodge Secretary Anton Yuskan said they were proud to help the local service in this way.

“We’re really pleased to be able to provide a hand up to Proserpine Meals on Wheels. In addition to delivering meals around Proserpine, Airlie Beach and Cannonvale, the new vehicle will allow Meals on Wheels to potentially expand its service to Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Beach, Conway and Wilson’s beaches and even Midge Point down the track,” Anton said.

“A more reliable and economical vehicle will help Meals on Wheels to reach out to more of those in our community that need not just a good meal but companionship – significantly improving their quality of life and enabling them to remain at home for longer,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support services that seek to empower people to lead better lives aligned with the organisation’s purpose.

“We’re all for providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes to charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources,” Gary said.

“Also supporting initiatives that help the aged members of our community is a key area that we seek to support as part of our long-term strategy.”

“Thanks to the local knowledge of Proserpine-Whitsundays Masonic Lodge, who identified this important initiative, we’ve been able to work together to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Proserpine-Whitsunday Freemason Ross Hughes, Proserpine Meals on Wheels representatives Helen Maynard-Turner and Paul Eakin and Proserpine-Whitsunday Freemason Anton Yuskan.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Since the mid-2000s, children with hearing loss on the Sunshine Coast have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

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

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

Sunshine Coast Freemason Mike Aldrich who was present at the special morning tea said nothing compares to hearing directly from the families that have benefited.

“It was incredibly special for us to have been able to meet with these local families and to see the centre in action, Mr Aldrich said. 

“We sat in on a group social skills playgroup and toured the facility as well, which gave us a glimpse into the innovative work being done to empower these young children to lead a normal life, with the ability to hear, listen and speak, better than their typically hearing peers in most cases,” Mr Aldrich said.

“The visit put things into perspective for us, to see the difference this funding is making at a grassroots level. We’re only too proud that children on the Sunshine Coast and throughout the state are benefiting from this grant which was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland,” 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 Sunshine and Gold Coasts, Brisbane, Townsville 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 Sunshine Coast and throughout Queensland to have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

 

Photo: The Sunshine Coast Freemasons recently visited the local Hear and Say Centre to meet with families impacted by Hand Heart Pocket’s half-a-million-dollar state-wide grant.

Find out more about the Significant Grant announcement to Hear and Say in April this year or watch footage of the official cheque handover.

Aged Care residents at Gunther Village have been empowered to lead better lives after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Gayndah Masonic Lodge, provided a $10k grant.

As one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round, the funds will go towards the purchase of three adjustable floor-line beds – improving residents’ quality of life.

Gayndah Masonic Lodge representative Bill Turner said the beds would help to prevent falls as well as improve residents’ chances of not developing bed sores.

“We’re thrilled to have secured this grant for Gunther Village,” Bill said.

“Prevention is always better than a cure. These beds will allow residents to continue enjoying their older years. Plus, being adjustable, the beds will make a difference for the staff that care for the residents,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing funding to support an ageing population was one of the key areas that the organisation is focusing on as part of its long-term strategy.

“Initiatives that improve the quality of life of our ageing population, such as what Gayndah Lodge has identified, aligns with our values, which include empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“By working closely with the local Freemasons we’ve been able to provide additional support at a grassroots level,” Gary said.

Photo: Gayndah Masonic Lodge representative Bill Turner and Hand Heart Pocket Champion Russell Darcy with representatives of Gunther Village Aged Care. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Queensland arm of a support group for families grieving the loss of a child has been given a hand up.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of the local Freemasons, provided the $10k grant to help The Compassionate Friends, Queensland (TCF) to raise its profile in the community and reach more families in need of support.

TCF is one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round. Scotia Masonic Lodge was instrumental in bringing the work of the TCF to Hand Heart Pocket’s attention.

Lodge representative Kerry LeBoutillier said having made a long-term commitment to supporting TCF, there is no other organisation they would have nominated for the grant.

“Losing a child suddenly or through prolonged illness is a hugely traumatic experience, so it’s important for families to know that support is available,” Kerry said.

“This grant will allow TCF, which is based in New Farm, to market their services to the wider Queensland community, so more grieving families are aware of the support they can provide through such a difficult time.”

“What’s unique about TCF is that you’re being supported by people who’ve walked in your shoes, they know that it takes time to heal,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that help to alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives is what they look to back.

“Support for contemporary families is at the heart of our charitable intent,” Gary said.

“We fulfil this by providing sustainable support to charitable organisations that have limited access to other sources of funding,” Gary said.

“Having worked closely with Scotia Masonic Lodge, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level – touching hundreds of families, to improve their mental health and wellbeing as they look to rebuild their lives,” he said.

Photo: Scotia Masonic Lodge representative Kerry LeBoutillier and The Compassionate Friends Queensland Coordinator Kristie McGrath.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Students with impaired hearing at Miles State Primary School have been given a helping hand from the local Freemasons, allowing them to thrive in the classroom.

Murilla Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland went halves in donating more than $1630 towards three new sound field systems, while Miles Lions Club put in the other half towards the initiative.

Murilla Lodge Secretary Ted Gibbons said the new equipment works by amplifying the teacher’s voice and blocking out background noise, enabling those with a hearing impairment to hear the teacher with greater clarity – empowering them to be more engaged.

“Thanks to these devices, students with a hearing impairment will have the same learning opportunities as their typically hearing peers,” Ted said.

“Also, an improvement in student behaviour will be a by-product of the devices, with less disengaged students,” he said.

“When all these benefits were outlined to us, we knew we had to support the school,” Ted said,

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said helping to improve the education outcomes of children with a hearing impairment aligns with the organisation’s values which focuses on empowering people to lead more independent lives.

“It’s been our pleasure to work with Murilla Masonic Lodge at a grassroots level to fulfil this unmet need in the Miles community,” he said.

“May the hearing-impaired students of Miles State School flourish in their new and improved learning environment,” he said.

Photo: Murilla Masonic Lodge representative Dale Searle, Miles State School Principal Steven Bennett and Miles Lions Club representative Michelle Kerry with Miles State School students. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

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

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland is gearing up to raise funds for Men’s Sheds across Queensland while increasing awareness for men’s physical and mental health through its 2018 Father’s Day Appeal.

Running throughout September and October 2018, the Hand Heart Pocket Father’s Day Appeal will see Masonic Lodge’s rally together to hold men’s health events at Masonic Centres across Queensland, while also raising funds for local Men’s Sheds.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support for initiatives that improve men’s mental and physical health was part of the organisation’s long-term strategy.

“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,” Gary said.

AMSA and local Men’s Sheds will team up to support events throughout the 2018 Appeal and in some locations will deliver free men’s health checks as part of AMSA’s Spanner in the Works? men’s health initiative.

“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.

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.

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.

Donate to our Father's Day Appeals and help Australian Men's Shed Association to support Men's Shed activities and programs across Queensland throughout 2019.

A hand up has been provided to a family in Bundaberg, to help their Autistic son lead a more independent life, with the help of a Smart Pup Assistance Dog.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges, provided a $10k Grassroots Community Grant towards the endeavour – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of its 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round. In addition, the fundraising efforts of the Lodges was matched, followed by a final top up to ensure the family reached its $20k target.

Tyrian Lodge Secretary John Richardson said the specially trained pup would make a significant difference to Mitchell’s quality of life.

“We’re very proud to have been able to help Mitchell and to have expedited this fundraising initiative with the help of Hand Heart Pocket. The Smart Pup will become part of the family and be by Mitchell’s side every day,” John said.

“Being so calm in nature, the pup will help to lower anxiety levels and help Mitchell adapt to different social settings. It might even give Mitchell the confidence to experience new things,” he said.

It will be a little while though before the family can take the Smart Pup home, as it typically takes up to a year to train the canine and ensure it completes the necessary home placement sessions.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said it’s great to see Lodges working together to respond to need within the community.

“Continuity and Tyrian Masonic Lodges brought this worthy cause to our attention which we were able to support through our Grassroots Grants initiatives,” Gary said.

“Empowering people to lead more independent lives is what we’re known for. Our focus, as we have done in this instance, is to provide sustainable support for charitable causes that have limited access to other funding sources,” he said.

“It’s our pleasure to provide this life-changing support,” he said.

Photo: Bundaberg family welcomes Smart Pup Assistance Dog with the help of Hand Heart Pocket's Grassroots Community Grant. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

There was plenty to celebrate at Tynwald Masonic Lodge’s centenary celebrations, earlier this month, including the handover of $10k to empower disadvantaged locals to lead more independent lives.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of Tynwald Masonic Lodge, provided the $10k grant to the Sandgate and Bracken Ridge Action Group (SANDBAG Inc) – one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round.

The funds will allow SANDBAG to purchase vital office equipment such as laptops and furniture, to provide an enhanced learning environment for the upskilling of those doing it tough, in search of meaningful work.

Tynwald Masonic Lodge representative Peter Taylor said they were elated that their submission had been successful.

“This really was the perfect way to celebrate our 100 years in the local area. In all that time, Tynwald Lodge has been active in the community, supporting various causes that make a difference at a local level.” Peter said.

“In relation to SANDBAG, whether it’s a domestic violence victim looking to rebuild his or her life, a recently retrenched person needing to upskill, a disadvantaged person looking for a job or a senior citizen requiring some administrative assistance –every one of them can lead a better life with the support of this local organisation. Knowledge is power, and we are proud to champion that,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were all for supporting education initiatives that help to alleviate misfortune and empower people to lead more independent lives.

“Giving people a hand up to get back on their feet through education is what resonated with us,” Gary said.

“It’s our pleasure to have provided a hand up for SANDBAG, to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level together with Tynwald Masonic Lodge, as they celebrate such a significant milestone in their history,” he said.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Domestic violence victims in the Moreton Bay region have been given a hand up by the local Freemasons, empowering them to start over.

The Centre Against Domestic Abuse (CADA) will be able to provide more care packages for victims, after Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge with the assistance of Hand Heart Pocket donated $1000 towards the emergency relief scheme.

Pine Rivers Lodge Secretary, Ross Patching OAM said when a victim makes the brave decision to leave an abusive relationship, packing essential items like food, toiletries, clothing and toys is the last thing on their mind.

“We want victims to know that they are not alone and with support, they can lead a better life,” Ross said.

“We hope our donation shows clients that despite their recent experiences there are good non-violent men in society.”

“As well as setting a good example, we might even inspire the next generation of Freemasons in the region,” he said.

Last financial year CADA received over 3000 DV referrals from police, provided close to 6000 adults with crisis and counselling support, helped close to 2000 children access their child and youth services, while more than 6500 individuals were given court assistance.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer, Gary Mark gave Pine Rivers Lodge the credit for identifying a worthy local cause.

“Giving domestic violence victims a hand up when they most need it, lines up with Hand Heart Pocket’s values which are about alleviating suffering and misfortune to lead a better life,” Gary said.

“Hand Heart Pocket was delighted to match the Lodge’s fundraising to help vulnerable women rebuild their lives,” he said.

Photo: Pine Rivers Masonic Lodge hands overs a cheque for $1000 to Centre Against Domestic Abuse representative Estrella H. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Proserpine Meals on Wheels is set to get a new vehicle to help with the delivery of hundreds of meals in the community, following the efforts of the local Freemasons.

Needing a total of $27k for the new vehicle, Proserpine-Whitsunday Masonic Lodge contributed $5k while securing $22k from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland through their Grassroots Grants initiatives.

Proserpine-Whitsundays Masonic Lodge Secretary Anton Yuskan said they were proud to help the local service in this way.

“We’re really pleased to be able to provide a hand up to Proserpine Meals on Wheels. In addition to delivering meals around Proserpine, Airlie Beach and Cannonvale, the new vehicle will allow Meals on Wheels to potentially expand its service to Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Beach, Conway and Wilson’s beaches and even Midge Point down the track,” Anton said.

“A more reliable and economical vehicle will help Meals on Wheels to reach out to more of those in our community that need not just a good meal but companionship – significantly improving their quality of life and enabling them to remain at home for longer,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said support services that seek to empower people to lead better lives aligned with the organisation’s purpose.

“We’re all for providing sustainable support that delivers positive outcomes to charitable organisations that have limited access to other funding sources,” Gary said.

“Also supporting initiatives that help the aged members of our community is a key area that we seek to support as part of our long-term strategy.”

“Thanks to the local knowledge of Proserpine-Whitsundays Masonic Lodge, who identified this important initiative, we’ve been able to work together to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level,” he said.

Photo: Proserpine-Whitsunday Freemason Ross Hughes, Proserpine Meals on Wheels representatives Helen Maynard-Turner and Paul Eakin and Proserpine-Whitsunday Freemason Anton Yuskan.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Since the mid-2000s, children with hearing loss on the Sunshine Coast have been empowered to reach their full learning potential with the support of local charity, Hear and Say.

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

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

Sunshine Coast Freemason Mike Aldrich who was present at the special morning tea said nothing compares to hearing directly from the families that have benefited.

“It was incredibly special for us to have been able to meet with these local families and to see the centre in action, Mr Aldrich said. 

“We sat in on a group social skills playgroup and toured the facility as well, which gave us a glimpse into the innovative work being done to empower these young children to lead a normal life, with the ability to hear, listen and speak, better than their typically hearing peers in most cases,” Mr Aldrich said.

“The visit put things into perspective for us, to see the difference this funding is making at a grassroots level. We’re only too proud that children on the Sunshine Coast and throughout the state are benefiting from this grant which was made on behalf of the Freemasons of Queensland,” 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 Sunshine and Gold Coasts, Brisbane, Townsville 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 Sunshine Coast and throughout Queensland to have a future which will not be limited by their hearing loss.”

 

Photo: The Sunshine Coast Freemasons recently visited the local Hear and Say Centre to meet with families impacted by Hand Heart Pocket’s half-a-million-dollar state-wide grant.

Find out more about the Significant Grant announcement to Hear and Say in April this year or watch footage of the official cheque handover.

Aged Care residents at Gunther Village have been empowered to lead better lives after Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland, on behalf of Gayndah Masonic Lodge, provided a $10k grant.

As one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round, the funds will go towards the purchase of three adjustable floor-line beds – improving residents’ quality of life.

Gayndah Masonic Lodge representative Bill Turner said the beds would help to prevent falls as well as improve residents’ chances of not developing bed sores.

“We’re thrilled to have secured this grant for Gunther Village,” Bill said.

“Prevention is always better than a cure. These beds will allow residents to continue enjoying their older years. Plus, being adjustable, the beds will make a difference for the staff that care for the residents,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said providing funding to support an ageing population was one of the key areas that the organisation is focusing on as part of its long-term strategy.

“Initiatives that improve the quality of life of our ageing population, such as what Gayndah Lodge has identified, aligns with our values, which include empowering people to lead better lives,” Gary said.

“By working closely with the local Freemasons we’ve been able to provide additional support at a grassroots level,” Gary said.

Photo: Gayndah Masonic Lodge representative Bill Turner and Hand Heart Pocket Champion Russell Darcy with representatives of Gunther Village Aged Care. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

The Queensland arm of a support group for families grieving the loss of a child has been given a hand up.

Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland on behalf of the local Freemasons, provided the $10k grant to help The Compassionate Friends, Queensland (TCF) to raise its profile in the community and reach more families in need of support.

TCF is one of 12 community initiatives across Queensland, to share in over $110k as part of Hand Heart Pocket’s 2018 Grassroots Community Grants round. Scotia Masonic Lodge was instrumental in bringing the work of the TCF to Hand Heart Pocket’s attention.

Lodge representative Kerry LeBoutillier said having made a long-term commitment to supporting TCF, there is no other organisation they would have nominated for the grant.

“Losing a child suddenly or through prolonged illness is a hugely traumatic experience, so it’s important for families to know that support is available,” Kerry said.

“This grant will allow TCF, which is based in New Farm, to market their services to the wider Queensland community, so more grieving families are aware of the support they can provide through such a difficult time.”

“What’s unique about TCF is that you’re being supported by people who’ve walked in your shoes, they know that it takes time to heal,” he said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said initiatives that help to alleviate suffering and empower people to lead better lives is what they look to back.

“Support for contemporary families is at the heart of our charitable intent,” Gary said.

“We fulfil this by providing sustainable support to charitable organisations that have limited access to other sources of funding,” Gary said.

“Having worked closely with Scotia Masonic Lodge, we’ve been able to make a bigger difference at a grassroots level – touching hundreds of families, to improve their mental health and wellbeing as they look to rebuild their lives,” he said.

Photo: Scotia Masonic Lodge representative Kerry LeBoutillier and The Compassionate Friends Queensland Coordinator Kristie McGrath.

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy

Students with impaired hearing at Miles State Primary School have been given a helping hand from the local Freemasons, allowing them to thrive in the classroom.

Murilla Masonic Lodge and Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland went halves in donating more than $1630 towards three new sound field systems, while Miles Lions Club put in the other half towards the initiative.

Murilla Lodge Secretary Ted Gibbons said the new equipment works by amplifying the teacher’s voice and blocking out background noise, enabling those with a hearing impairment to hear the teacher with greater clarity – empowering them to be more engaged.

“Thanks to these devices, students with a hearing impairment will have the same learning opportunities as their typically hearing peers,” Ted said.

“Also, an improvement in student behaviour will be a by-product of the devices, with less disengaged students,” he said.

“When all these benefits were outlined to us, we knew we had to support the school,” Ted said,

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said helping to improve the education outcomes of children with a hearing impairment aligns with the organisation’s values which focuses on empowering people to lead more independent lives.

“It’s been our pleasure to work with Murilla Masonic Lodge at a grassroots level to fulfil this unmet need in the Miles community,” he said.

“May the hearing-impaired students of Miles State School flourish in their new and improved learning environment,” he said.

Photo: Murilla Masonic Lodge representative Dale Searle, Miles State School Principal Steven Bennett and Miles Lions Club representative Michelle Kerry with Miles State School students. 

Find out more about Hand Heart Pocket’s philosophy