SURF (Support Unity Recovery Friendships) founder Jim Sweeney opens the door with a cuppa for anyone who wants a chat.
SURF (Support Unity Recovery Friendships) founder Jim Sweeney opens the door with a cuppa for anyone who wants a chat. Boni Holmes

SURF looking for new premises

ALL Jim Sweeney wants to do is make someone's day better today than it was yesterday.

So when he started up the drop-in centre SURF in Kings Lane, Maryborough he thought his prayers had been answered.

After suffering mental disorders, diabetes and alcoholism, he started up SURF, Support Unity Recovery Friendships, four years ago.

The centre which opened late last year was a meeting place for people in recovery from alcohol, drugs, mental issues.

But with the closing of the Maryborough Suncorp branch the building owner has decided to sell.

"We have 30 days to vacate,” Jim said.

"We'd like to thank the owner for the time we have had here - he has given us rent-free and it's great.

"We are looking for a place within the CBD area as we collect donations and pass them on - we don't have a great deal of money.”

SURF averages from a dozen to 20-odd people everyday over the course of any week.

The centre holds narcotic anonymous meetings, self-awareness healing classes, offers a place for anyone to come in for a chat, coffee or just to relax.

They are also supported by the Food Basket and Lifeline and were in the process of working with Centrelink.

Volunteers would work a sausage sizzle each Thursday and at Woolworths, which raised money that covered the insurance.

Maryborough man Brian Miller who suffers depression said they held an informal meeting on Thursday.

"We just wanted to talk about what was going on and one lady said she would be lost without this place,” Brian said.

"She comes to SURF because there are people in similar positions as her and she's not alone in that part.

"Personally myself, when I first came here mine was not a drug and alcohol related issue, I was suffering depression.

"I just needed an ear, someone to listen to my demons, my problems, my baloney - and everyone listened - it's just so casual here.

"The help and advice I got from Jim, I am still practising it now - that was three, four months ago.

"It's been very fortuitous to me personally and I'll keep doing it.

"The help is there for anyone as long as they are willing to accept it.

"Other people are at a loss for words - bamboozled them somewhat on us having to relocated or shut down.”

Brian is now a member of SURF committee.

Jim said it had been a challenge and he had expected the move but not right now.

"I thought I might of got another six months and we might have been a bit more established in the community,” he said.

"The bottom line is giving a person who puts their head down at night a better day than the day before.

"I have had people come in here that are crying and destitute and suicidal and gone away and come back another down saying jeez it's a good day.

"That boosts me up, somebody to give an ear, a positive attitude.”

SURF will stay open for another couple of weeks.

To help or would like more information phone Jim Sweeney on 0423 455 532.

FAST FACTS

SURF - Support Unity Recovery Friendships - was a meeting place for people in recovery from alcohol, drugs, mental issues.

They are open Monday to Saturday 8.30am-5pm. They hold movie nights on Saturdays. It is a drug and alcohol free environment. For more information phone Jim Sweeney 0423 455 532.



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