Lend a hand to

St Luke’s Combined Hospices needs more hands to achieve its goal of delivering quality and effective services to its patients.

This non-governmental organisation (NGO) provides free services to people suffering from terminal illnesses.

Craig Berry, retail coordinator at St Luke’s, says they care for an average of 761 patients a month and he appeals to members of the public willing to work in the retail environment to lend a hand to make sure everyone is well taken care of.

He explains: “At retail shops, we urgently require volunteers at the Wynberg, Hout Bay and Maitland charity shops and at our distribution centre where the sorting and cleaning of donated goods takes place. The Maitland shop is a major priority as far as volunteers are concerned.”

The organisation currently has 166 staff members and 596 volunteers from across Cape Town.

Linda Harris, the corporate affairs coordinator at St Luke’s, says they need more volunteers to work in their retail shops where they will receive stock, unpack the stock in the shops, arrange the presentation and pricing of stock, deal with customers and sell items.

“We rely heavily on the use of volunteers to provide meals and refreshments for day-care patients throughout the Cape Peninsula, plan and run activities at each day-care, work in our retail shops, and arrange flowers for patients in our inpatient unit.

“Our retail shops provide an essential part of our own income generation and assist in making St Luke’s Combined Hospices self sustaining. Volunteers in our shops will greatly assist in our income generation activities,” Harris adds.

Harris explains that their programmes include home visits by volunteers, medical doctors, registered nurses, qualified social workers and spiritual carers. They also provide bereavement support to families of loved ones who have passed away.

“We care for people so that they die with dignity and care. These patients would otherwise not have access to the care they receive from the hospice,” says Harris, adding that St Luke’s mostly depends on donations and volunteers to run its programmes and raise funds for maintenance of the organisation’s premises.

“This includes requesting funding from corporates, trusts and international funders and by asking people to make a bequest in their last will and testament.”V For more information, contact 021 762 7546 or wynbergshop@­stlukes.co.za.