Opinion

Letters to the editor

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June 01, 2018

Numerous community members celebrated the opening of The Cottage on its open day in April.

The Cottage worthwhile

- Lance Woodhouse

Shepparton

I write this letter because I see good people trying to do good things for our community being frustrated and criticised.

Led by an outstanding person in Monsignor Peter Jeffery, a committee of generous people has established The Cottage to assist those wishing and pleading for assistance to overcome the insidious problems of alcohol and drug abuse.

I have visited The Cottage and met some of the residents; as a member of the Rotary Club of Shepparton I have eaten a meal with them which they served; I have listened to some of them tell their stories of overcoming their addiction; I have listened to people who have overcome their addiction using the methods practised by The Cottage; I have been impressed with the quality of the furnishings and equipment provided for them.

It is important to realise that each resident wants to overcome his addiction and is prepared to pay for that, and is prepared to give personal undertakings to achieve that. There will be no alcohol or drugs on the premises at any time. Anyone who fails to meet these undertakings will no longer be accommodated.

To those in our community who criticise this worthwhile attempt to help those in need, I ask everyone to allow The Cottage to continue for one year and then to voice your opinions. Maybe in that period you could find the generosity to support The Cottage and its residents.

Path to recovery

- Jennine Atkinson, Echuca

My son Tye, who is a proud indigenous man and a fully qualified plumber, entered The Cottage five months ago to complete the program.

The Cottage was the only place that took Tye in when he was wanting to give up his drug addiction.

The Cottage has shown my son how to get back into life without drugs.

The Cottage has a therapeutic and supportive environment and has enabled him to get back into society.

The fact that the residents are responsible for their own daily needs such as cooking, cleaning and shopping helps them take responsibility for their own lives.

As a mother supporting my son through his journey, The Cottage being a residential setting was such an important aspect of his recovery.

The residential feel and being part of a community has been beneficial for Tye’s treatment and as a mother I am so proud.

As a dual diagnosis worker and being Tye’s mother, I regularly visit and have found all the staff and residents have been polite, friendly and welcoming.

It is my belief that this program works because it is non-clinical and provides residents with a culturally safe environment to connect with others who are on the same path to recovery.

I am so grateful for The Cottage because my son has left and is living back in the community doing well with full-time employment and study.

I trust the councillors responsible to create a safe and harmonious community will grant the planning permit applied for.

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