Message from the CEO

Dear friends.

Thank you for your continued interest and support for Fresh Start. Thanks to you we have been able to keep our service operational throughout the COVID-19 Crisis. The impact of the community shut-down has been significant, both on Fresh Start and on people seeking treatment for their addiction. Whilst we have managed to keep all staff employed, our small army of Volunteers has been temporarily stood down. We have had several staff working from home and have run the clinic to provide general practice medical support for patients as needed.

Due to the ban on elective surgery we have not been able to run a detox and implant treatment day since mid-March. This has seen a wait list grow to more than 80 people seeking treatment. This is the first time in 23 years of operation that Fresh start has had a wait list. Sadly, two people have died of overdose while awaiting treatment.

The GREAT NEWS is that we have been able to return to holding a treatment day on Wednesday 20th May. We will start with a small lists of just 4 or 5 patients but hope to increase access quickly over the next few weeks to rapidly reduce the wait list, perhaps running two treatment days per week.

Needless to say the financial implications for Fresh Start have been significant. We are grateful to the measures taken by the Federal Government to provide support for us through this period with Jobkeeper and the Business Incentive payments. As I have said this has enabled us to continue to employ our whole team, including our casual and part-time workers so that we are ready to hit the ground running as we expand our services.

However, the loss of income of between $20,000 and $30,000 per week means that we face the new financial year in a very difficult position. Would you please consider making a tax deductible donation to support Fresh Start? Call on 9381 1333 to make your donation by credit card or follow the link https://www.freshstart.org.au/support-us/donate/

Kind regards,
Jeff Claughton CEO