Health service to close

Peter Sweeney - Geraldton GuardianGeraldton Guardian
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A Geraldton-based organisation which provides lifeline services has been forced to close its doors.

The cash-strapped Midwest Men’s Health will shut shop on February 13.

The organisation opened in 2000.

“Essentially, we’re victims of the times … but we’ve never been in more demand,” Midwest Men’s Health chairman Tony Critch said.

“Despite our runs on the board and our corporate history, we haven’t been kept in the game.

“We have to face facts, other groups are doing this work too, but obviously there are no votes from what we do.

“The funds have dried up.”

Midwest Men’s Health provides services including one-on-one counselling, youth work and prison visits – in Geraldton and many parts of the Mid West.

The group also has a contract with the Department of Agriculture under a “dry season” funding arrangement.

The chief executive officer of Midwest Men’s Health is “shattered” by the decision, which will see three permanent and two part-time staff lose their positions.

“I’m gutted — and I’m sure a lot of our clients will be also,” Glenise Ullrich said.

Mrs Ullrich has been at the helm of the group since 2009.

“We’re out of money. We have an application which will be heard in March, but even if that is approved, the money won’t come through until July,” she said.

“The silly part about this is we saw nearly 50 people in our coffee and chat program in December — and we will see another 50 this month.

“It’s really hard, really hard. Many of these are at-risk people.

“Heaps and heaps of work has gone into people and programs.

“People will be really shocked at this decision, but it’s the only thing we can do.

“Hopefully, there is a philanthropist out there somewhere.”

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