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Govt increases Clubhouse grant as new premises near completion

ClubHouse AGM 140519 { seq} ( Photo John Bugeja) with the attendance of Hon Neill Costa who gave an address and included special announcement on their new premises

Clubhouse Gibraltar will see its annual Government grant increase to £140,000, the Minister for Health announced at the charity’s annual general meeting yesterday.

The new grant marks a 40% increase, with Clubhouse last year awarded a £100,000 government grant.

Clubhouse offers a safe environment for those with mental health issues to access key help and support.

The charity’s initiatives include support groups, transitional employment placements and educational opportunities.

The Minister for Health, Neil Costa, commended the charity at their annual general meeting hosted by Clubhouse CEO Emily Adamberry Olivero and Chairman Rene Beguelin.

“The Gibraltar Health Authority must do as much as it can, but unfortunately it cannot do everything,” Mr Costa said.

“Even though we employ 1,100 people we rely fundamentally on Clubhouse Gibraltar and other associations, but particularly on Clubhouse to be able to compliment the services that we provide in respect of mental health.”

He added the increase in government funding is “money well spent” in the community.

Clubhouse has also been granted its new premises by government at the former Gladys Perez Centre.

Mr Costas announced new premises are estimated to be completed by September 2019.

Within the new building there will be a ramp for disability access, a charity shop, patio, kitchen, one-to-one meeting room, an employment room and a multi-purpose room.

Further to government grants, Clubhouse last year raised £75,000 through donations, fundraising events and its charity shop.

“It is another year that we can report that our income has slightly exceeded our expenditure,” said Ms Adamberry Olivero.

“We are hoping to build a reserve, to never find ourselves chasing our tails in terms of finance.”

The majority of Clubhouse’s expenditure (92%) is spent on salaries for its staff, according to its treasurer’s report.

The donations and grant ensures that Clubhouse can continue to provide its service to the community.

With the new premises Clubhouse expects to further its reach into the community and provide a comfortable space for those seeking help.

“People should be proud to have succeeded in their road of their mental health journey, but it doesn’t mean there are not going to be relapses,” Mrs Adamberry Olivero said.

“To be able to reduce the stigma where people traditionally needed to hide, thankfully that era has passed. It’s not easy, people may be more aware, but we still need to remember that when it is you on the hot seat it can be as difficult as it has ever been.”

Pics by Johnny Bugeja