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Alberton Service Centre and Meals on Wheels ask for community support

Alberton Service Centre and Meals on Wheels is on the verge of closing its Home Base Care Programme due to not having enough funds.

Alberton Service Centre and Meals on Wheels will be forced to close their Home Base Care Programme in Thokoza if the centre does not receive funding by the end of this week.

This comes after the delay in NPO funding, which left the centre struggling to the core for a full two months.
The programme supports 65 clients by delivering meals and offering assistance with cleaning, washing, and transportation to clinics or hospitals in Thokoza.

The programme started around 2008 after the organisation identified the need in the Alberton community for home help.

According to Telana de Winnaar, this came about when the hoppers (those delivering the cooked meals to beneficiaries), realised that some of the elderly they were delivering meals need additional help with washing their dishes, tidying up their abode, washing their clothes, and sometimes with bathing.

Around 2008, the Department of Social Development (DSD) suggested they expand the work they were doing with the Service Centre Home Helps.

The centres’ staff members living in Thokoza alerted the centre of the bad situation of elderly residents in the area. The centre then expanded its footprint thereby establishing a Luncheon Club and Home Base Care Programme, which DSD funded.

The Luncheon Club has since closed due to not having a proper place that is safe to meet and get together.

The Home Base Care Programme supports the independent living of older persons within their homes and community of their choice. It prevents the elderly from becoming isolated, promotes good mental health assists the elderly by helping to clean their homes, and doing their laundry, and also provides regular nutritious meals.

With a commitment to promoting social interaction and well-being among the elderly, the centre offers a range of activities tailored to their interests and needs. This includes group outings and educational workshops arts and crafts sessions and fitness classes.

Additionally, the Meals on Wheels programme ensures that seniors receive nutritious meals delivered to their homes, accompanied by a friendly visit and a caring touch.

About the Alberton Service Centre and Meals on Wheels

The Alberton Service Centre was established in September 1980 in the Alberton Seventh-Day Adventist (SDA) Church Hall under the leadership of Ms E Rentzke, followed by Ms M Meyer, Ms J A M Hall, Ms Z Wessels, and for the last four years Ms T de Winnaar.

In September 1980, the Alberton SDA Church identified a need in the community and founded the Alberton Service Centre and Meals on Wheels, which works in collaboration with the Southern Transvaal Region’s Department of Welfare and Pensions to provide meals to the community’s elderly and infirm.

In addition to the meals served by the centre, the Service Centre offered programmes for Alberton’s senior people that kept the elderly engaged and independent in the community for as long as was physically possible.

For over 40 years, the centre has supported elderly individuals in maintaining independent living, preventing them from becoming isolated, keeping them physically active, promoting improved mental health, and providing enrichment programmes such as crafts and religious programmes.

Since the early 1990s, the Alberton Service Centre has operated from its current location at 33 Louis Trichard Street. It is here that the so-called low-income seniors can find a safe place to stay and receive nutritious nourishment.

The centre accommodates 18 residents but currently only has 17 people living at the centre and most of them are Sassa recipients.

According to Winnaar, most of these residents only receive a Sassa income and they aim to provide affordable accommodation and two meals per day to them.

Alberton Service Centre and Meals on Wheels currently serve 100 service centre club members who visit the organisation once a week to participate in the centre’s numerous programmes.

In addition, the organisation delivers meals to 76 elderly Meals on Wheels clients daily in the Alberton area.

“For the next two months, we will be running a soup kitchen to support the homeless by providing a blanket, a warm cup of soup, and a slice of bread each week during the cold winter months. We will be also hosting small market days to raise funds for much-needed maintenance on our building. We will also continue to host our regular club activities, including bingo, arts and crafts, and our spiritual programmes weekly.”

Urgent help needed

Building maintenance (specific issues include):

• The roof requires repairs and a new coat of paint.

• Two offices need tiling and general refurbishment.

• One part of the building is sinking and needs immediate structural attention.

• The dining room area and passage require new window blinds.

Need curtains for four bathrooms and two kitchens.

Equipment:

• Need a new lawnmower and leaf blower to maintain the centres’ outdoor areas.

Food supplies:

• Meals on Wheels programme relies on donations. The centre needs non-perishable food items as well as fresh vegetables and fruits to continue providing nutritious meals to their clients.

“Your support in addressing these challenges would significantly enhance our ability to serve our community effectively.

We greatly appreciate the support of our community to help us address our current challenges. Here are some specific ways you can assist,” explained Winnaar.

Ways the community can help:

Volunteer your time and skills:

• If you have skills in roofing, painting, tiling, or general construction, your expertise would be invaluable in helping us repair and maintain our building.

• Volunteers are needed to help with lawn care and general maintenance tasks. Donations of equipment such as a lawnmower and leaf blower, are also needed.

Donate supplies:

• Contributions of non-perishable food items, as well as fresh vegetables and fruits, are essential for the centre’s Meals on Wheels programme.

• Need donations of window blinds for the dining room area and passage, as well as curtains for four bathrooms and two kitchens.

Financial contributions:

• Monetary donations can help us address urgent structural issues, such as fixing the sinking part of our building and renovating our offices.

• Financial contributions also help the centre cover operational costs and expand its services.

Participate in fundraising events:

• Support their fundraising market days by attending and purchasing items, or by donating goods to be sold.

• Join and promote the centre’s community events to raise awareness and funds for its cause.

• Raise awareness and help the centre reach more people by sharing information about the organisation and its needs on social media and within your networks.

• Encourage local businesses to support us through donations, sponsorships, or volunteer efforts.

“Your involvement and support can make a significant difference in our ability to serve the community. Thank you for your generosity and commitment to our mission,” said Winnaar.

For more information on where to donate, please contact Telana de Winnaar at 083 609 3555 or 011 869 0967.

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