Youth mental health prioritised with COVID-19 Emergency Grant

Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre Emergency Grant Large

The Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre will soon provide more support to at-risk youth and their families, thanks to a COVID-19 Emergency Community Grant from Hand Heart Pocket the Charity of Freemasons Queensland.

The $9,353 grant will allow the centre to roll-out a new Seasons of Youth Program to build the emotional and mental health of young people and their parents who are dealing with grief and loss.

The centre plays a crucial role in providing counselling and other programs for young people in the area.

Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre representative Fran Hodgson said the pandemic was yet another traumatic experience for the region that was already doing it tough.

“The last three years of drought and the severe bushfire season has made life incredibly difficult for numerous families and, with the addition of the COVID-19 pandemic, anxiety is at an all-time high,” Ms Hodgson said.

“These funds will enable our youth worker to undertake training in Brisbane and gain access to all the necessary resources to deliver the program on the Granite Belt.”

Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy said they nominated the centre for the grant.

“Mental health is extremely important, especially right now, our community has been through so much and it is imperative we continue to support those struggling during this time,” Mr Liddy said.

Hand Heart Pocket Chief Executive Officer Gary Mark said the 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.

“So far, Hand Heart Pocket has provided around $700,000 in COVID-19 emergency support and Grassroots Community Grants to charities across Queensland during the pandemic,” Mr Mark said.

“The Seasons of Youth program will help at-risk youth to lead better lives. We are glad Freemasons could provide this extra support to the Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre at a time when their community needs them the most.”

Photo: Stanthorpe Freemasons Lodge Secretary Justin Liddy and Granite Belt Neighbourhood Centre Youth Worker Desley Hedges.

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