Freemasons Community Grant boosts Longreach Men’s Shed

Longreach Men's Shed Large

Members of Longreach Men’s Shed now have more equipment to put to use, having been awarded a $5,500 Grassroots Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The group was able to purchase a new wood cutting band saw, second-hand metal folding machine and guillotine with the grant.

Longreach Men’s Shed spokesperson Bill Parker said they had seen a rise in membership of late, so there was a real need for this additional equipment.

“Just prior to the COVID-19 restrictions, our member numbers had increased, and we needed this equipment to accommodate all of our members,” Mr Parker said.

“The new equipment will enhance our ability to make a range of items, including storage bins, shelves, toolboxes and doors and shelving for the metal pallets that we have had donated. We will also be in a position to make extra wool bins for the show society with these machines.”

“We’re all looking forward to getting back in the shed once the restrictions have been lifted,” he said.

Comet Freemasons Lodge member Mallick Ramlackhan said the Central West Queensland Freemasons had nominated the Longreach Men’s Shed for the grant.

“The workshop has become a hub for men to come and mix and work on different projects, all of which has a positive effect on their mental and physical health. It’s wonderful to see the shed going from strength to strength,” Mr Ramlackhan said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the Freemason charity was pleased to provide this extra assistance.

“We are appreciative of the Central West Freemasons for identifying this need in their community and nominating the Longreach Men’s Shed for the grant,” Gary said.

“This year we received a greater number of applications with a large geographical spread, particularly in regional Queensland. Fifteen charities shared in almost $120,000 as part this year’s Community Grants round.

“Although the grant round was oversubscribed, we wanted to make sure we maximised our support at a time the community needed it the most.

Among the causes we’ve been able to support are youth at risk, our ageing population, men’s mental and physical health, and women’s financial and physical security.”

The grant was announced amid the Freemason charity providing over $750,000 in emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.

Photo: Neil Harvey, Peter Klem, Bill Parker, Mallick Ramlackan, Ian Merritt, Bruce Mc Clymont and Andrew Wessling pictured with the sheet metal bender. 

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