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I am writing this on Remembrance Day which is always a very good reminder to our community of the debt of gratitude we owe those men and women who have given their lives in the defence of our ideals and beliefs. A sense of gratitude is so important in our lives and as Albert Schweitzer said: “At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” I have certainly appreciated the times in my life when someone has taken the time and trouble to encourage me. These words are also a great incentive to the team at Fresh Start as we encourage people in recovery from addictions to change the whole of their life. Recent research has demonstrated that a person in recovery has a much better likelihood of success if there is just one new relationship with a non-using person. We work hard with people to establish and re-establish healthy relationships at home and in the community.

As the end of the year approaches (rapidly!) we have much to be thankful for. Twenty one men have graduated from our Northam Recovery Program. Many of these have returned to their families, found employment, enrolled in education and stayed on as volunteers with Fresh Start. I am so grateful to Bevan and Troy who are residents in our transition housing in Warwick and who volunteer to keep our clinic calm and safe throughout the week.

Our State Government funding has been secured through to June 2022. This provides us with security for about 40% of our needs and we are grateful to the support we receive in this way through the Mental Health Commission. Our Day Hospital licence has been renewed with no conditions for the first time. Since we were granted the licence in 2015 we have had matters to address each year until we reached full compliance. We have now completed this process and the last inspection by the Health Department confirmed our licence as unconditional. I am very grateful to the team at the Clinic in Subiaco for all the hard work they put in over three years to get us to this point.