GROW Community helping people overcome mental illness

26 March 2014

A fundraising initiative by the Rotary Club of Campsie has seen $20,000 raised on behalf of the GROW Residential Community for on-going repairs and upgrades.

Fundraising through weekly community markets and BBQs at Bunnings Greenacre, Campsie Rotary has managed to raise a whopping $15,000 with the help of their members and volunteers. A further $5,000 came from the Canterbury League Club.

“Each year the Board of the Rotary Club of Campsie develops a strategic plan that supports a wide variety of local, national and international programs, and one specific focus project – the work with GROW is this year’s major focus project,” said Dr Helen Jagger, Secretary of the Rotary Club of Campsie.

“Our President, Frank Chahoud, was previously a member of a community management team for the local GROW program and I’ve personally had contact with them through my work. Both of these contacts led us to have a good knowledge of the sound reputation and effectiveness of GROW as well as an understanding of the needs and limits of other sources of funding for them.”

Based in West Hoxton, GROW Community is a live-in rehabilitation program for people experiencing mental illnesses or mental illness coupled with substance abuse. The retreat is set on over two hectares of bush land to accommodate 17 adults while they learn to re-integrate into the local community.

During the voluntary residential program, lasting from 6 months upwards, participants learn GROW’s 12-Step Program of Recovery involving integration, internal leadership, and community-building skills.

The cheque presentation ceremony was held at the Canterbury League Club. Campsie Rotary’s President, Frank Chahoud, and Dave Brace, CEO of Canterbury League Club were on hand to present the cheque to Assistant Manager Louise Walker and resident, Darren, from GROW Residential Community. MP Tony Burke and City of Canterbury Mayor Brian Robson also attended the ceremony.

The funds will be used to improve GROW’s multipurpose sports court which is a vital part in the overall rehabilitation program towards a healthy lifestyle and socialisation. The organisation is also looking for funds to upgrade the viewing area with seating, and expand their vegetable gardens with raised beds and composting bins.