Garden of hope on road to recovery

Garden co-ordinator Mark Curtis with Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre residents Che-Dene Jones and Sarah Archer. Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au   d441279
Garden co-ordinator Mark Curtis with Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre residents Che-Dene Jones and Sarah Archer. Picture: Will Russell        www.communitypix.com.au d441279

But after hitting rock-bottom and finally seeking help from the Salvation Army, he is now using his experience to help others, through the Community Garden of Hope in Gosnells.

The Salvation Army officially unveiled the garden at the Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre last Thursday.

Mr Curtis said the garden was a place where the community could come together and people could talk with one another.

The 46-year-old came to the Salvation Army for help after being overwhelmed by his addiction while working on the mines from 2002 to 2007, where he was earning $600 a day.

�I struggled with addiction and starting using from 14, smoking pot then going on to heroin and speed at 16,� he said.

�I got injured in 2007 in a head-on car accident at work, then got a big payout and just sat in the house and used it all in 16 months.�

Mr Curtis has now graduated from the Harry Hunter Rehabilitation Centre program and created the Community Garden of Hope.

He said the garden was also a place where schools and community groups could come to learn about horticulture, healthy living and healing.

�People build relationships from shared experiences,� he said.

�I went through a program and hearing from other people gives you hope when you hit rock-bottom.

�We live in such a busy society and I think people are losing touch with their roots, so a garden is a good way to slow people down and it is good for mental and physical health.�