Mental health grant boost
"THIS is just fabulous," said Choice Support Services director Jeanette McGuire yesterday, when The Gympie Times had the pleasant duty of informing her of a vitally important $48,014 grant to help it continue its vital mental health work in Gympie.
State Treasurer Andrew Fraser announced the grant this week, as part of the latest round of funding from the Jupiters Casino Community Benefit Fund.
He said the money, along with $15,949 for women's refuge operator Erin House, would provide a "much-needed financial boost for hard-working not-for-profit groups."
"These volunteer and not-for-profit organisations are at the heart of our communities, providing front-line services for families and individuals," he said.
Choice Support Services' money will help the mental health organisation pay for its already completed removal of asbestos and the replastering of walls at its new headquarters in Lady Mary Terrace.
"We've gone from the ground up (or below)," Ms McGuire said yesterday, referring to the organisation's recent eviction from its previous rented premises, in the basement at Cullinane's Plaza, "next to the toilets."
The group will not relocate its services to the historic new premises, the two-storey house built in the 19th Century for early politician Sir William Smythe and later used as a doctors' residence and surgery.
"We've had so many people working so hard on the project. Last Wednesday, we had 28 people here.
"The staff have been working 15 hour days or more, including on weekends.
"The important thing is we own this building and it is therefore a permanent Gympie community asset that can't be taken away," she said.