David Curik and Cliff Hawkey from the RePSYCHlers Op Shop in Tweed Heads have helped more than 40 people with mental illnesses this year.
David Curik and Cliff Hawkey from the RePSYCHlers Op Shop in Tweed Heads have helped more than 40 people with mental illnesses this year. Felicia Kosegi

Job creation celebration

AFTER a year in business, the RePSYCHlers Op Shop in Tweed Heads celebrated more than 40 employment opportunities given to Tweed residents with mental illnesses yesterday.

The op shop’s co-ordinator David Curik said it had been a fantastic start for the group.

“Our focus is on sustainability and recovery – both for our workers and the environment,” Mr Curik said.

The op shop has offered roles in sales, sorting, stacking, deliveries, administration and maintenance workers.

“We support members of the community who have been suffering from a mental illness and are on their journey back into the workforce,” Mr Curik said.

“One in five members of our community will be affected by mental illness at some time in their life. There is a significant need for programs such as this one in our community.”

The store is run by On Track Community Program, which provide a range of community-based support services for people experiencing mental illness, disability, homelessness or extreme disadvantage.

It is funded through the Department of Families, Housing, Indigenous Affairs and is part of a Federal Government initiative to increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups.

Mr Curik said while they are currently at capacity with workers, they would look into expanding their services should there be a need for it.

“Every donation helps to create a much-needed job. All goods received are sorted, repaired, recycled and sold,” he said.

“In doing this they are not going to the tip, so we are reducing landfill and having a positive effect on the environment.”

Mr Curik said they currently have electrical equipment such as computers sitting in their maintenance workshop waiting to be fixed.

“We’re going to get help so we can learn how to fix these ourselves,” he said. “Hopefully we can start that up in the coming months.”



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