Women’s Legal Service Queensland has been able to continue providing lifesaving legal assistance in the wake of COVID-19, thanks to an Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.
Hand Heart Pocket donated $80,000 in unrestricted funding to the service so it can continue improving outcomes for Queensland women experiencing domestic violence, sexual assault, or family law issues.
Women’s Legal Service Queensland Chief Executive Officer Angela Lynch said demand for the organisation’s services had risen during recent COVID-19 restrictions.
“We typically help more than 16,000 clients a year, but the need for free legal assistance during the pandemic had increased, in June alone we had a 47% increase in calls for help,” Ms Lynch said.
“The recent restrictions posed an extreme risk to the physical, emotional and financial safety of women and children experiencing domestic violence who, in many cases, have no choice but to self-isolate with perpetrators.
“As a result, we saw more women fearing for their safety during self-isolation. This was problematic because COVID-19 restrictions had forced us to postpone the key fundraising events and appeals that we rely on for frontline service delivery.
“The unrestricted COVID-19 Emergency Grant from Hand Heart Pocket ensured that we could provide lifesaving legal and welfare help to more families in need during a difficult period. We are so thankful to have received this support.”
Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the Freemason charity was focused on assisting its existing charity partners and working with Freemason Lodges to increase support at a grassroots level during the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Hand Heart Pocket has provided over $750,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to ensure our partners could continue providing support to the community during a challenging time and achieve their planned outcomes over the long-term,” Mr Mark said.
“This COVID-19 Emergency Grant was in addition to the $120,000 and $340,000 grants previously provided by the Freemason charity to Women’s Legal Service Queensland to extend its telephone service, build a new website, and remodel its headquarters in Annerley.
“Women’s Legal Service Queensland provides an essential service for the state, and we are pleased to have lent this extra support to help the organisation to keep offering free legal help to more vulnerable women.”
Photo: Women’s Legal Service Queensland Chief Executive Officer Angela Lynch.