Wrapping up a smile

By KEN SAPWELL

AN estimated 60 mentally ill people living rough in the Tweed will enjoy a smidgin of Christmas cheer this year ? thanks to the efforts of the Tweed Valley Health Carers' Network.

Members of the network were yesterday busy wrapping hampers containing cakes, vegetables, hams, sweets, tinned vegetables and staple items for those facing an otherwise bleak Christmas.

Those responsible for the Yuletide largesse included the Lions Club of Terranora, the Kirra Currumbin Rotary Club, Endless Summer Garden Centre and Woolworths.

Network chairman June Saville said she hoped the people receiving gifts would understand the Tweed community had not forgotten them.

"It's a token when so much is needed to address mental health problems in Australia, but the groceries will help at a time that can be very sad for people living on the fringes," he said.

"We have targeted the neediest people on the health centre books, but also and especially people not in the system - they are probably the neediest of them all."

Ms Saville said mentally ill people faced a severe shortage of medical and support facilities, including a lack of affordable housing.

As a result some lived on the streets and in parks and in a caravan park beset by anti-social behaviour and incidents of assault.



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