At the 17th AGM of the St Luke’s Hospice False Bay, held in the Fish Hoek Civic Centre Minor Hall on 13 August 2012, chairlady Jill Sinclair paid tribute to the staff and volunteers who over the past 17 years have contributed to the success of the organisation in the South Peninsula.

She also thanked the community for their generous donations of money and of used goods to the Hospice charity shop which enables the organisation to pay the salaries of the dedicated and hardworking Nursing Sisters, Sr Jean Stavridis and Sr Hilary Harker, and of the social worker, Kelly McShane , plus other monthly running expenses. Sr Harker was recently employed to help Sr Stavridis whose work load – travelling 1500kms a month caring for up to 50 patients – had become unmanageable.

The shop in Recreation Rd is run by Wendy Baker and staffed by an efficient and friendly staff of volunteers. Quality goods and clothing are to be found at bargain prices – bring in your unwanted items to keep stock rolling!

In addition to those mentioned above, Jill paid tribute to the carers led by Sara Woods, to the drivers who assist patients in getting to the hospitals and to the bereavement team.

Guest speaker Pastor John Thomas of King of Kings Baptist Church gave a brief history of the establishment of Living Hope. A meeting of church leaders and organisations in the area was called by the matron of False Bay Hospital who was concerned about the high incidence of HIV in Masihumelele. At the time there was only one part-time worker involved in prevention work in the area. On hearing the erroneous statistic of an incidence rate of 44%, Pastor Thomas “felt they could not sit back and do nothing.” By September 2000 a Trust had been registered by the Fish Hoek Baptist community, followed by the purchase of a large property in Capri on which a 22-bed Health Care Centre has been built. The Living Hope hospice was established in 2005.

In 2005 85% of the patients died. In 2006 the government finally started distributing free ARVs and by 2010 the death rate had dropped to 10%. Lately there has been a slight rise in the death rate as a result of the rise of drug-resistant TB. One of the problems Living Hope faces is the lack of patients’ compliance in sticking to their treatment programmes, an issue the hospice is tackling through the schools and weekly support groups.

Living Hope has 180 full time staff members and 600 volunteers giving palliative care to HIV and TB patients in the Southern Peninsula.  It has international accreditation, the highest a hospice can receive. The Health Care Centre is open to St Luke’s patients and draws patients from all South Peninsula communities.

The organisation is unfortunately facing a quarter million Rand shortfall in funding as from 1 October 2012 – required for medications, oxygen and the salaries of 24/7 nursing staff. Patients receive free care. A donation of R250 000 has provided a life-line until the end of the year. The Church and Organisation is doing its best to fundraise in order to keep the Health Care Centre open.

Pastor Thomas thanked St Luke’s for the donations received from them.

Viv

If you would like to volunteer your services to St Luke’s False Bay phone the office on weekday mornings on 021 782 7696.

Should you wish to assist Living Hope in raising funds go to

http://www.livinghope.co.za/donate/