The story of MACC


The need for the Mt Albert Community Club (MACC) was first mooted in 1987. In 1990 Anne Baker, a social worker working for the Waterview AAHB, picked up the issue again as she was worried about the closure of large mental health institutions, placing in the community many patients who, while not dangerous to the public, were ill-prepared to face the world after many years shut away. She envisaged a place where they could socialise with ordinary citizens in an ordinary environment, and learn skills in craft, sport, drawing etc. which would help them to adjust to living in the wider community. She called together a diverse group to form a committee. They set about soliciting donations, advertising in all relevant agencies, half-way houses, doctors' rooms etc. and employed a co-coordinator, Lee Ann Thomas-Smith.

MACC officially opened on the 19th June, 1991, with sufficient grants and materials to continue until a contract was worked out with AAHB in December 1991. Under this contract they were to receive $20,000 a year to support 10 clients a month and have a total of 966 attendances a year. On the 21st of May 1992 the Mt Albert Community Club became an Incorporated Society.

Historically, support / recovery groups such as MACC have a life of approximately three years according to research noted by Rev. Mary Caygill at the 10th anniversary celebrations. Rev. Dr. Caygill was one of the original instigators in 1987. The club has bucked the trend and for the past 25+ years has been consistently supporting between 40 - 70 individuals per month and over 3000 attendances per year.