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US Travel School visits Hospice Plett

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Travel School, a US-based organisation made their annual visit to our organisation. The school takes students between ages of 15 -18 yrs on a 6-week tour to African countries. The aim is to expose the students to the perspectives of other countries. This enthusiastic group paid us a visit on 13 November to find out what we do, how we do it and our impact within the communities we serve. Our CEO Cecily van Heerden made a presentation, in attendance was Head of the Clinical Team, Professional Nurse Edward Muchenje and Professional Nurse Dorett Herbst and Homebased Carer Siphosethu Ndinisa attended.

Volunteer Appreciation Day

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Hospice Plett Charity Shop Volunteer Appreciation event 23rd October  –  We love to show how much we appreciate our volunteers and celebrate the successes they help bring to our organisation. The Charity Shop contributes 35% towards our annual income and in the first year of its operation brought in over R900 000! So we decided to have some snacks and drinks at fellow volunteer Gail Wall’s The Whaling Station B&B and Spar. Each volunteer received a small box of luxury artisanal chocolate from Shautany Chocolatiers. Volunteers also proudly wore clothing and accessories they purchased at the shop. Many thanks to Gail for the use of her beautiful venue.

Hospice Plett staff support #HATSON4CPC

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Support for #HATSON4CPC – Friday 11 October was a day for raising international awareness of the work of children’s hospices and children’s palliative care (CPC) services worldwide. So Hospice Plett staff and volunteers in the Hospice Plett Charity Shop showed off their support.

WHAT IS THE DAY ABOUT?

The day aims to raise funds for children’s palliative care, but more importantly, to raise awareness of the rights of very sick children with incurable and life-threatening illnesses to receive palliative care.

We know that there are in excess of 21 million children in the world who live with a life-limiting illness or condition that will or could drastically shorten their lives.

Existing services are mostly in the developed world. Those in the developing world are often underfunded and inadequate to meet the overwhelming need. As a result, millions of children have a poor quality of life and suffer from pain and other distressing symptoms which could be controlled and significantly improved with palliative care.

 

WHAT IS CHILDREN’S PALLIATIVE CARE?

Children’s palliative care (CPC) is holistic care that responds to the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of a child with a life-threatening or life-limiting illness as well as providing care for the child’s family. It aims to provide expert pain relief and symptom control and whatever emotional, social and spiritual support is required to enable the affected child to enjoy the best quality of life possible in the circumstances. When necessary, it supports the child at the end of life and continues to care for the bereaved family members for as long as is needed. This care is provided by a compassionate team of people who all wear different, and sometimes many, hats!

Visit http://www.icpcn.org/hatson4cpc/ for more information.

Annual Staff Team Building

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Once a year the organisation hosts a staff team building day and this year the staff decided to have it away from the office. We also wanted to spend the night away with our colleagues so that we can get to know each other better on a more personal level. Since we would be footing the bill ourselves, we had to find something affordable. During a visit to a patient in Covie, Bernie and Marie discovered Kingfisher B&B, a low-budget accommodation establishment situated just outside Nature’s Valley and run by Debbie and Llewellyn Dixon. It has two self-catering forest huts and two caravans with separate ablutions. It also has a large lapa equipped with cooking utensils, gas cookers, a fridge, a sink for washing dishes, and a fire-pit for a bonfire. So we booked it and started the preparations for the weekend.

After we arrived and settled in we went searching for firewood in the dense bush that surrounded the property. As the sun set and the cold wind blustered we gathered around the fire chatting and listening and dancing to music supplied by Delsie. Later Cecily brought out the board game 30 Seconds, a game which most of us had not played before. However, after the first round, we soon became masters at it roaring with laughter at each other’s clues and explanations of the words and the team members’ responses.

The following morning Cecily planned two activities for us. The first was planting an indigenous plant in a tin which we decorated. The aim was to create something for ourselves which would have special meaning and which would remind us of our weekend away. The second activity was creating a booklet for a work colleague with whom we have difficulties. This booklet would then be presented to the person the following week acknowledging that there are difficulties which we would like to work thru. Ribbon, crayons, koki pens and inspirational messages were supplied to decorate the tins and booklet. Everyone was completely absorbed in these two activities and the liveliness of the previous evening was replaced by a sense of earnestness.

Later that morning, after a sumptuous brunch, we drove back to Plett with lighter hearts and new found gratitude for one another.

Some of the staff’s comments of their experience:

“From the moment we left here for the weekend I was excited because we were going away as a team. Although we have differences with one another it was overlooked that weekend. I found closure with issues I had, whatever bothered me I buried there. I made peace with everything and everyone and am looking forward to a bright future.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and the highlight for me was the board game 30 Seconds. It was such fun. And watching people trying to explain the meaning of what was on those cards – priceless!

“It is something we definitely have to do more often. I found it extremely relaxing and wonderful to bond with my fellow work colleagues.”

“I found it very creative. It was a weekend where we discovered each other’s strengths and talents. I loved sitting around the fire and playing the games. We shared and bonded which was wonderful for all of us.”