It will not be news to anyone that the world has changed – from climate change to the effects of COVID-19, we are grappling with challenges to the way we think about our environment, communicate with our families, carry out our daily work, enjoy our holidays and care for our health. At Fresh Start we have worked through these and other challenges through 2020-2021 in ways that have brought changes and improvements to our service. Thanks to staff, we have worked through the necessary adjustments, restrictions and new rules imposed on us as the whole community has come to terms with mandatory vaccination, border closures, travel restrictions and conditions affecting the treatment of patients and residents in our services. With the easing of border restrictions expected over the next few months, we will once again resume treatment for interstate and international patients who normally comprise up to 20% of the total number of people in treatment.
This year we have seen our full residential rehab program in Northam recommence following the hiatus due to COVID-19. There are now 26 male residents in the program with up 50 currently in the process of intake and acceptance once they are ready to transition. Plans are afoot to commence a new program for up to 20 females early in 2022. We are working closely with the Department of Justice to transition prisoners on release into our rehab program. Demonstrated strong outcomes with our return-to-work program have seen many ex-prisoners take the next positive steps back into the community with little evidence of recidivism.
The Fresh Start Clinic in Subiaco has been used for the past 25 years for the implant and detox treatments. Almost 14,000 people have received treatment here since 1996 and the facilities are in need of a major refurbishment. We are working with architects and the WA Health Department to plan renovations to meet current Class B Day Hospital standards. Work will commence early in 2022 and with the exception of just one treatment day, we expect to be able to maintain normal patient services throughout the six-month renovation period.
In May this year we celebrated as the 1,000th resident passed through York Street Lodge since its purchase in 2017. The Lodge provides a valuable short-term accommodation service for up to 18 clients as they transition through our clinical services in Subiaco on to residential rehabilitation or back to their homes.
Thank you for your continued interest in the work of Fresh Start. Your support is very encouraging to the staff and volunteers as they help families recover from the effects of addiction.
You can provide tangible support at any time by making a tax deductible donation to support Fresh Start. Please call us on 9381 1333 to make your donation by credit card or donate online at www.freshstart.org.au/support-us/donate/
Jeff Claughton CEO