Trauma centre opens in Sea Park

2015-10-22 06:00
PHOTO: candyce krishna

John Irven at Pollyannaand#039;s Place in Sea Park.

PHOTO: candyce krishna John Irven at Pollyannaand#039;s Place in Sea Park.

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THE old Sea Park Library, a derelict building which stood empty for many years, has now been transformed into a trauma-counselling centre.

Pollyanna’s Place is the brainchild of John Irven, chairman of the area’s community policing forum.

“The Southport police asked the forum to initiate a trauma centre for the area so we began fund-raising,” said Irven.

The centre offers counselling from a professional to anyone who has been affected by any trauma.

After three years of fund-raising, only R13 000 was raised.

“I was almost ready to give up on the idea when I thought of the old library building.

“I approached Max Mbili, the municipal manager, and he was very helpful.

A vote was taken at a council meeting and the use of the building was granted to the community policing forum.

“I thought that with the little money we had, it would take a few more years to renovate the building until a miracle happened.”

A contractor, Jopie Venter, renovated the building at no cost. He also sourced the material to have the ceiling and roof repaired, the paint and many other items, at the cost of only R8 000.

The centre opened its doors in September.

Irven then bought furniture and other items.

Another service the centre offers is an overnight stay for abused women and children, but only if it is a referral from the Southport police.

“In the beginning, people thought this was a homeless shelter, and it is most definitely not. Should the need arise, we are able to house abused women and children for a night,” he said.

Although there is still work to be done, Irven said he has no doubt their goal will be achieved

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