Centre co-initiator to speak at 40th

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A woman who was instrumental in the formation of the Gore Counselling Centre is to be the guest speaker at the organisation’s 40th anniversary dinner.

Centre counsellor and clinical team leader Marian Cunningham said Margaret Pullar was one of a group of people who had seen the need for a counselling organisation in the town.

Mrs Pullar was the manager and clinical team leader in the centre’s early years.

Ms Cunningham paid tribute to Mrs Pullar’s professionalism and integrity and said she had learned a lot from her.

“She just did an amazing job for the centre,” Ms Cunningham said.

She started at the centre as a trainee in 1996 and took up fulltime employment in 1997, Ms Cunningham said.

“We were incredibly busy back then.”

That had not changed since the beginning of the centre.

“I’ve always known the place to be busy,” she said.

In recent years the centre had an average of 500 clients involving 2000 sessions a year.

Most of the referrals were from the Southern District Health Board for alcohol and other drug counselling, she said.

There were also self-referrals and court and Corrections referrals, she said.

Family counselling was also undertaken at the centre.

Ms Cunningham and manager Bill Rout paid tribute to the work the centre’s executive carried out.

The 40th anniversary dinner will be held on Saturday, October 28, at the Heartland Hotel Croydon. Registrations will be taken until Friday, October 20. The invitation is open all those who have worked at the centre as well as executive members. To register email annegover@xtra.co.nz