Letters to the Editor

June 04, 2018

Cottage a great help

Tim Ridgeway


I am Timothy Ridgeway, a client of The Cottage in Shepparton.

I am writing this letter to voice my support for the program The Cottage provides.

I am a recovering addict who has had my life ravaged by drugs and other addictions.

I have been homeless and had an inability to adequately connect into a healthy stream of living.

Having been previously clean during a two-year period I have come to understand that the majority of my recovery is facilitated by my commitment to Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

This being the case, what The Cottage has provided for me is a stable and safe place for me to live and has taken me out of the toxic and dangerous environment that I was exposed to living on the streets of Melbourne.

Since coming into the program at The Cottage, I have been able to maintain abstinence from all substances for 47 days to date.

I have also attended a relapse prevention program that is facilitated by GV Health, which The Cottage encourages all residents to attend.

I have reconnected with my family, who I have been estranged from since I started using again last year in March.

Living at The Cottage has also helped me to have and build healthy relationships with peers with whom I share a common problem, which helps us to find solutions to problems and give support to each other.

I have already started to look for work again, which I have been unable to do for the past year.

I have sought treatment through therapy to help heal the trauma and ongoing depression that I have suffered and had to deal with on a daily basis for an extended period.

I have reconnected with old friends and family including those who live in Shepparton.

I am meeting with my old school to start reconnecting with peers from school and hopefully get back to service work to help coach a sporting team of which I was previously an active participant before issues started to take over my life.

The Cottage has provided me with a safe environment to achieve the above, which has given me the chance of starting my life again by supporting me and providing stable and safe accommodation, so I can recommit to a healthier and happier life.

Positive impact

Judi Tinker


Following National Volunteer Week from May 21 to 27, I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight the power of volunteering.

As a member of the Shepparton View Club (Voice, Interests and Education of Women), I have seen first-hand how volunteering a little bit of time can have a huge positive impact.

During the year, View is focused on helping disadvantaged young Australians succeed in their education by supporting children’s education charity The Smith Family.

Last year, View clubs collectively raised more than $1million and volunteered more than 50000 hours of time for the charity.

It is truly heartening to see that it can take as little as an hour a week of our time to help a child succeed at school — and for thousands of disadvantaged children, that little bit of time makes all the difference.

In the past year, The Smith Family’s work has reached more than 151000 disadvantaged children and family members in 94 communities across Australia.

While this is to be commended, there is much more work to do. With 1.1 million young Australians living below the poverty line, these young people need our support more than ever so they can escape a lifetime of poverty.

View is passionate and committed to the work of The Smith Family, and of course, there are many other wonderful organisations giving back to our community too. I would encourage people to find a cause they feel a connection with and get involved in some way.

If you are interested in finding out more about View, visit view.org.au

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