Ded­i­cated car­ers say farewell

Townsville Bulletin - - LIFESTYLE - EMMA CHAD­WICK

ONE of Townsville’s most en­dur­ing so­cial groups for peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties held its farewell dance and din­ner last week.

Cross­roads was formed nearly 45 years ago when a group of car­ing mem­bers of the Unit­ing Church re­alised peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity needed a so­cial out­let.

Ded­i­cated mem­ber Kelsey Fick­ling, 86, started out pre­par­ing the even­ing supper in those early days for the Cross­roads group mem­bers, and she quickly be­came in­volved in run­ning the group of about 60 peo­ple.

Ms Fick­ling said the farewell was bit­ter sweet be­cause while she would miss the peo­ple, she knew they were be­ing well cared for.

“We would visit Cootheringa in War­bur­ton St, once a fort­night for a so­cial night, and we would take supper and do paint­ing, or make can­dles and clay, or we would just have a song or a chat.

“We had at least three lovely camps at Crys­tal Creek over the time and we even went to Card­well a cou­ple of times.”

Ms Fick­ling said the early group had quickly grown to 60 peo­ple, and in re­cent years the group met at the House of Praise on Bayswa­ter Rd.

“Their have been so many peo­ple in­volved over the years and so many won­der­ful helpers,” she said.

“The rea­son we are fin­ish­ing up is the Cross­road­ers are all get­ting older, the ones who started com­ing are 40 years older, and there are a lot of gov­ern­ment agen­cies which fund them now and they are al­ways very busy.

“We have been get­ting less and less peo­ple com­ing, be­cause they have a lot of events on.”

IN GOOD HANDS: Kelsey Fick­ling ( cen­tre) with David Quelsh and Hay­ley Bar­rett at Cross­roads at Mt Louisa. Pic­ture: EVAN MOR­GAN

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