The volunteers and staff of St Luke’s Hospice False Bay do sterling work within the Scenic South communities…
THE CHAIRMAN’S CORNER
Thoughts and Ideas!
Naturally there is constant change as we work for St. Luke’s Hospice, False Bay. New patients are referred all the time and of course we also lose patients who die peacefully in our care, having received help from the volunteers and staff.
Staff-wise, Sister Jean Stavridis is an absolute rock in caring for our patients. The work load became so great that we applied for and were given the services of a second nursing sister, who works 3 days a week for us. Welcome – Hilary Harker – you, too, do us proud and it is great to have someone who has done locum duty here in the past. When we applied, Central asked about transport and we were delighted to be able to say that because of our fundraising efforts and the support of the community we should be able to provide Hilary with a car.
There has been another change: our social worker, Kelly McShane, who did a wonderful job here, had to retire before baby Owen Michael appeared this month! Congratulations Kelly!
We have now welcomed VIMLA PILLAY as our new social worker one day a week and she has already settled in well.
Our nurses still refer patients to the ward in Kenilworth, where they receive first class care; however, the Living Hope is also providing us with beds for some of our patients. We are very blessed to have this backup.
One of the difficult areas where there are on-going issues is that of providing patients with transport, but somehow it all works out and our drivers do a fantastic job.
We have wonderful volunteers who will pitch in and lend a hand with anything. The Office Team is always on the job, helping with phone calls and enquiries. Then there is the Caring Team who go into homes and help by just being there as a shoulder to cry on, to collect medication, to take patients for a walk and, above all, able to report to the Sisters if the patients need help from the Social Worker.
Now all this requires funding, of course, and the community is most generous with bequests and donations. Most of the donations take the form of goods that we can sell in our Recreation Shop where we have a wonderful variety of goods. Every article that we sell helps someone in need. Warm thanks to Wendy and Luiz for the hours of work they put in, as well as to the many volunteers involved in the various jobs connected with the shop.
Our Committee are a wonderful group of dedicated people and it is an honour to work with them and so helpful to have a sounding board for our ideas and problems.
At our last meeting we were surprised by a visit from our CEO, Priscilla Nelson; the Finance man, Mervin van Niekerk, and Toni Tickton, all the way from Central. Toni is the new Volunteer Manager and we wish her well in her new position. It was great to have input from Central and to be able to discuss matters with them.
Elsewhere in this Newsletter you will hear of the walk undertaken by three Nursing Sisters from Hospice and of their wonderful Fund raising – we had fun meeting them outside our Hospice Shop.
As the year draws to a close we shall be holding our ANNUAL CAROL SERVICE, Tree of Remembrance and Concert by the Navy Band, on 8th. December 2012.
To all who give so much of themselves to St. Luke’s Hospice, False Bay – thank you – and may you all enjoy a time of peace with your families over the Festive Season.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON MONDAY 13TH AUGUST, 2012
It was a happy gathering of folk who work for Hospice and have an interest in what we do. The usual reports went well and the star of the evening was Pastor John Thomas telling us about all the wonderful work they do in this area. We were overwhelmed by all that the living Hope achieves – Congratulations.
Thanks to all who helped – caterers, barmen and those who tidied up afterwards!
17TH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING HELD ON MONDAY AUGUST 13TH 2012
The meeting held in the Minor Hall at the Civic Centre drew a large attendance of committed volunteers. Chairman Jill Sinclair welcomed everyone and in her report gave a special welcome to Sister Hilary Harker who has joined Sister Jean to help with the large area which our branch serves. She said that she was proud of the fact that our branch was able, though our fund raising, not only to pay the salaries of our Sisters and Social Worker, but also to provide them with good cars and cell phones. She wished that Kenilworth, Central could sometimes acknowledge this effort, though the Doctors at Central gave us wonderful backup and we really appreciated being able to put patients into their wards when necessary. We were also so lucky to have Living Hope to take many of our patients locally.
She paid tribute to the St. Luke’s Shop in Fish Hoek, which, together with bequests and donations from the public, is the principal funder of our False Bay branch. It is manned by what she described as “a fantastic team – all volunteers”. Thanks to obtaining the present shop premises the Containers were no longer required as Sales Outlets and she thanked all those who had worked there for so many years so untiringly, who had done such a wonderful job.
The first contact that any of the patients or their families has with Hospice is, of course, through the Office, manned by Annaleen and her team, but people like Yvonne Jackman and her two friends who raised funds by walking round the Peninsula, also raised awareness of Hospice and its work. They planned to walk again in October. Another wonderful Public Relations exercise and fund raiser is the annual Navy Band Carol Service held at Noordhoek Farm Village.
Jill thanked Sarah Woods and her Carers’ team, the Bereavement team whose duty could often be onerous, and those who transported patients to and from Groote Schuur, a great service to the patients’ families.
Finally, she was pleased to be able to tell us that False Bay branch is now an accredited member of the Hospice Association of South Africa and she introduced the guest speaker, Pastor John Thomas of The Living Hope.
ADDRESS GIVEN BY PASTOR JOHN THOMAS OF THE LIVING HOPE
At the time that Living Hope was started, in January 2000, although in response to a request for help in Masiphumelele from the Matron at False Bay Hospital, initially no one in Masiphumelele confessed to suffering from HIV Aids!
Started by Professor Barbara Robertson, a retired professor of Community Nursing from Wits University, it began with one part time worker. The Baptist Church then supplied five Councillors for HIV testing and in actuality the rate of infection was found to be 17% of the population tested.
By 2002 Living Hope was supplying home based care to AIDS patients in Masi – False Bay Hospital were wonderful and did whatever they could, but the situation there was dire. When the Hospice was then opened 85% of the patients were dying.
Living Hope is now the second largest Hospice in the Cape. At one stage those testing positive for AIDS reached 25%; now it has fallen to 5 or 6%, which could be the result of prevention methods having worked. However, Living Hope continues to be pretty full, though nowadays about half their patients are white people from the area. They turn no one away and they charge no one. Funding, therefore, is crucial. They receive donations from False Bay Hospice and from Kenilworth, but their main funding in the past has been the quarter of a million dollars which they received annually from the United States and which ended on 1st October. Fortunately a new donation of three quarters of a million has given them a lifeline until the end of this year.
LIVING HOPE has 3 divisions:
Living Way – skills training – it has the largest vegetable growing business in the Cape, using vegetable tunnels.
Living Grace – (Muizenberg) deals with Homelessness and Substance abuse; it runs Out- patient rehabilitation courses.
Living Right– this is a Public Health Outreach. They have staff in Clinics, etc.
You might have noticed the name Laurie Davies as sender of our recent Office e-mails. We are so pleased to welcome her amongst us and regard ourselves very fortunate to have such a skilled person assisting us with our computer requirements in the Office. Welcome, Laurie!
With Christmas around the corner, we’d like to remind you of the beautiful recycled Christmas cards on sale in our Hospice shop, A P Jones and our Office. The project was taken on this year by one of our Office girls, Anthea Hopley and some helpers. Thanks to her for the many hours spent at home and for using her artistic skills to the benefit of St Luke’s
Over the past couple of months we have been saddened by the deaths of loved ones closely associated with our Hospice Office. Both June Custance and Estelle Wells who were part of the first Office Vols in the 1990’s, when our branch opened, passed away recently – Estelle as recently as 10th October. Their hard work and dedication are still reflected in the way we run the Office today. In August Pat Perring lost her husband, Dick, to whom she was married for over 60 years! He always supported and assisted Pat, our Office Bookkeeper, with the banking, often carrying heavy bags of coins for her – a great person and a man who lived life to the full.
Finally, some happy news, which we all shared with Pat and Peter Miles. Not only did they become grandparents again, but having 2 grandsons in 2 months (1 in U.K. and 1 in Sweden) is pretty unusual, don’t you agree? Congratulations to them!
CareGivers meet once a month with Sister Jean and Sister Hilary Harker. What a pleasure it has been to welcome Sister Hilary to our team! She has just completed her exams in Palliative Care and she has been a great support to Jean with our heavy patient load. We usually have our social worker present at our meetings but this has been a difficult year. Early in the year our social worker, Lori, moved on and Kelly McShane joined us. Jean and Kelly worked very well together. We were sad to say goodbye to Kelly who left us in late September to have her first baby – a big and bouncy boy named Owen. Our social worker is an important part of our team as many of our patients have difficult social problems and they need skilled assistance to work through the different bureaucratic hurdles. In October Vimla Pillay was appointed and she works one day a week in the South Peninsula; we would welcome more support but are grateful for that once weekly contribution.
Our team numbers have increased and we are now a team of 13 volunteers. There are still several people who have expressed an interest in the Caregivers’ Training course at Kenilworth. Unfortunately there will only be another course at Kenilworth in the New Year. We look forward to new members joining our team; our patient numbers seldom go below 50 and Jean and Hilary need all the extra support that we can offer. In the South Peninsula, we live in an area where our volunteers are, in the main, retired people and that means that at no time do we have a full complement of members, as there are always several people visiting family members in all parts of the globe.
We have had some wonderfully supportive volunteers who have regularly assisted with driving patients through to the city for treatment. We thank you for your willingness and generosity with your time and support – your contribution has been especially important to the patients concerned!
A deep and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to all our volunteers for your contributions to both the patients and their families – your support is deeply meaningful in the lives of individuals, of their families and of the community as a whole.
I wish you and your families a happy and peaceful festive season and I look forward to working with you all in the New Year.
Co-ordinator Caregivers’ Team
This year was the second Annual Walk by the Nursing Sisters from St. Luke’s.
Sr. Sharon Sutherland, Sr. Maria van Maarseveen and Sr. Yvonne Jackman started on the 7th October and decided to do the route in reverse.
They started at Kenilworth and walked to Cape Town but instead of going onto Hout Bay like last year, the route was reversed and they went up the West Coast. After being hosted by the West Coast Branch they walked back through to Pinelands, Athlone, Mitchell’s Plain and Muizenberg to arrive in Fish Hoek on Thursday 11th. We were expecting them at around 3:00 pm and so had arranged a small reception function for then. Unfortunately, because of the South Easter wind behind them, they arrived half an hour earlier, catching us all off guard. Fortunately everything had been arranged so with a little delay they were provided with a very pleasant tea at Cake Creations next to the Hospice Shop in Recreation Road.
After being shown around the shop and being introduced to the volunteers on duty, our Chairperson Jill, presented Sr. Yvonne with a cheque for R10,000 in support of the walk.
On Friday morning the Sisters set off from the shop and walked on towards Simon’s Town. Our Sister Jean joined the walkers for a part of the journey. It was the most beautiful day and with no pressure on the walkers to finish the day at a specific time, they had time to stop and appreciate our beautiful Far South.
The final day started at Scarborough and the walkers proceeded through Noordhoek over Chapman’s Peak to Hout Bay where they ended at the Lookout Deck. Unfortunately they arrived just as the news broke about the capsized visitor’s boat. This meant that the function arranged as the finale had to be scaled down. It was decided to continue with the function as it was – also a fund raiser for St Luke’s. Thanks go to all those who were involved, assisted and sponsored.
The walk was pronounced a great success and that it would be repeated. A different time of the year might be considered as the end of the year is always a busy time.
WENDY BAETA and the St. Luke’s shop in Fish Hoek
Wendy and Luiz Baeta are well known to all patrons and staff of the St. Luke’s shop in Fish Hoek
They were the prime movers in getting the present premises and organising the shop as it is today: “the Stuttafords of St. Luke’s”, as Wendy calls it!
Wendy, born in London, came to South Africa in 1971, to live in Johannesburg. For more than thirty years she worked for WesBank, becoming a Bank Manager, but took early retirement in 1996 because of a riding accident. She and Luiz have two children, a married son in Johannesburg and a daughter in London; they also have a grandson.
After her retirement Wendy came into contact with her local branch of St. Luke’s when she phoned Hospice in East Rand about the collection of some clothes she was donating and was asked if she would like to become a volunteer. She worked for them one day a week for five years and there learned a great deal about the running of a Hospice shop.
It was a natural progression, therefore, when she and Luiz moved to Fish Hoek about six years ago, to join the False Bay branch of Hospice. Wendy worked first of all with the sale of books and then became secretary of the Committee.
With the ever increasing need for funding and the generosity of the public in donating items for sale it became evident that a proper shop was becoming essential and the hunt for suitable premises began, until the present premises became available.
Wendy’s vision was to create an ‘upmarket’ shop and this she and Luiz, with the help of some fifty volunteers, (many of them husband and wife teams) have done – all the items for sale are carefully checked for quality and price and are attractively displayed. Luiz takes special care over the choice of music played in the shop and has been known to choose something which he knows a particular customer will enjoy! Volunteers work five to a shift, two shifts a day, and are extremely professional and helpful when one walks in.
This is a far cry from the first single container shop in the hospital grounds when the only storage space was a small cupboard and when Joan Lodge used to keep all the books in her garage! But it is thanks to those pioneers, to the unswerving generosity of the general public and to hard working St. Luke’s volunteers with vision, like Wendy and Luiz Baeta, that St. Luke’s, False Bay, has been, and is, able to provide so much care for the terminally ill.