25-year party for Balclutha Pact

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JACK.CONROY@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

Clients and staff of a Clutha mental health facility came together to celebrate a milestone earlier this month.

This year marks 25 years of operation for the Balclutha branch of the Pact organisation.

Now at the Link Centre in Crown St, the facility started at 222 Clyde St as an assisted residence.

One of the first residents at that site, Annie Rogers, took part in the festivities.

‘‘I was one of the first people in the very first spot 25 years ago,’’ Ms Rogers said.

She attributed the improvements to her life to the care and support from the staff at Pact.

‘‘I was a mess when I went in. . .I’d cook too much, then I’d chuck the next night’s meal without eating it.

‘‘At 222 they really helped me.’’

Ms Rogers said the get-together, which involved a big lunch, speeches and a lot of cake, was ‘‘absolutely beautiful’’.

‘‘It’s brought back a lot of memories.’’

Staff member Laureen Byron said the strength of Pact was that it served as ‘‘a place people can go when they can’t manage any more’’.

Mrs Byron had worked for 20 years with the Dunedin branch of the organisation, and had spent a further two years in Balclutha.

‘‘Pact is all about the people.’’

Pact South Otago area manager Trish Pain, who helped found the Balclutha branch a quarter century ago, said the celebration was ‘‘a lot of fun’’.

‘‘The team were amazing and they pulled it all together.’’