Sunflower House celebrating a decade of caring

MILESTONE: Tony Martin, Peter Quarmby, Geraldine Gradon and Mary McKenzie outside Sunflower House. Picture: Les Smith
MILESTONE: Tony Martin, Peter Quarmby, Geraldine Gradon and Mary McKenzie outside Sunflower House. Picture: Les Smith

Wagga’s Sunflower House is celebrating it’s 10th anniversary.

The mental health support facility, on The Esplanade, will formally celebrate from 1.30pm on Tuesday, November 21, with many former clients, staff and volunteers invited.

Sunflower House is run under the umbrella of One Door Mental Health – formerly Schizophrenia Fellowship of NSW.

Program co-ordinator Mary McKenzie said Sunflower House had received strong support from the community before and after it was opened.

GREEN THUMBS: David Ohlsen, Stephen Hall and Bill Budd in the garden of Sunflower House.

GREEN THUMBS: David Ohlsen, Stephen Hall and Bill Budd in the garden of Sunflower House.

“We have seen many good stories and we have seen some sad stories, but we are very hopeful for the future,” Ms McKenzie said.

Sunflower House was established after One Door came to Wagga and began asking the community what was needed.

Ms McKenzie said a need overwhelmingly identified at public forum was for a place to provide psychological rehabilitation for people with a mental illness.

The community got behind the project and eventually, after lobbying of governments, the property at 4 The Esplanade was leased to One Door.

Businesses and community groups came on board and helped to renovate the premises, which date back to 1903 and were dilapidated.

HARD AT WORK: Sunshine House primary worker Beth Smith (kneeling) with (from left) Garry Wooden, Robbie Thorpe, Les McPherson and Belinda Sweet.

HARD AT WORK: Sunshine House primary worker Beth Smith (kneeling) with (from left) Garry Wooden, Robbie Thorpe, Les McPherson and Belinda Sweet.