Freemasons grant helps bring homelike feel to disability respite centre

Granite Belt Support Services Community Grant Large

People with disabilities in Stanthorpe will now have access to overnight respite facilities that will soon look better than ever thanks to a grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The $10,000 Grassroots Community Grant from the Freemason charity will go towards the cost to paint the exterior of Arden House, which is expected to get underway soon.

The home, which was recently acquired by Granite Belt Support Services (GBSS) has undergone some internal renovations and provides overnight respite accommodation for up to six people with disabilities in the region.

GBSS Manager Therese Crisp said the new paintwork would help to make clients feel more at home.

“GBSS has advocated for people with disabilities for the past three decades, and this grant will help us in our efforts to provide a vibrant and welcoming facility,” Therese said.

“Respite provides more than just a break. It gives clients independent living training as well as the chance to interact socially with one another and attend community events such as the footy, karaoke or even a meal at one of the nearby restaurants,” Therese said.

Stanthorpe Masonic Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy said the local Freemasons championed the grant.

“Our community has been through so much through the years, first the drought, then the bushfires and water shortage. We wanted to do something that would uplift the town,” Justin said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said they were all for initiatives that empower people with a disability to live more independently.

“We would like to thank Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge for understanding the needs of their community and bringing this local initiative to our attention,” Gary said.

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

“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 more than $700,000 in emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants in the wake of COVID-19.

Photo: Granite Belt Support Services Therese Crisp and Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy.

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