Chairman’s Report / Christmas Letter 2022

Dec 12, 2022

So, what’s on the cards for 2023 … lots of courses, training, support and needless to say a whole heap of kindness.

Whilst Covid has certainly been on the decline in Kenton and surrounds during 2022, this is not the case in many parts of our country and throughout the world. We offer our condolences to those who have lost loved ones or have suffered, and continue to suffer, the effects of this terrible pandemic.

Coastal Kindness volunteers continued assisting at the Covid vaccination station situated outside the Kenton Pharmacy for the first months of 2022 (this now feels an age ago), after which the ensuing lull enabled us to add other strings to our bow.

We thought that, with Covid on the wane here, in and around Kenton, our oxygen machines would get a bit of a rest. Not so! They pop in and out of our doctor’s surgery, helping those in need from other respiratory illnesses, continuously. And, as you can imagine, much like our cars, they need to be serviced regularly with pipes, bells and whistles replaced frequently.

One machine had amazingly clocked up 1376 hours of oxygenation – certainly enough to make me feel tired. Our plea to all those who have borrowed any of the Coastal Kindness machines is that a donation – no matter how small – towards the maintenance and servicing thereof would be appreciated.

To add to our equipment portfolio (with the help, as always, of our community), we purchased much needed AED (automated compression defibrillator) machines to save lives. We are proud to say that they have already done their job. And, no doubt, will again.

Whilst AED machines can easily be used by lay people, by just following the voice instructions, knowing and practising CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) is a skill that needs to be taught. And our Coastal Kindness trainers are doing just that on a regular basis. In the past five months, they have trained 118 people, ably assisted by our very own Practi-Man aka Cyril.

Keeping track of all this equipment is no mean feat. Accidents, emergencies, and illnesses don’t happen to a schedule. However, we do the very best we can to make sure we know where each and every piece of equipment is on a daily basis. We have a CK Equipment Team who deliver machines to the needy and run a WhatsApp group for reporting machines “out and returned”. Each machine is numbered and identified with a Coastal Kindness decal.

Whilst we are talking ‘accidents and emergencies’ we have recently organised, for a brave few, the Level 3 First Responders Course (SETA Accredited) offered by Gardmed. This course lasts for a full four days and culminates in both a practical and a theory examination. Well done to the eleven participants for your dedication and perseverance. What an achievement – and we know you will be of great service within your communities.

Our “Pharmacy Pick-Up Group” set up during COVID to deliver medicines to those in isolation or quarantine is still carrying on, carrying on. Each weekday and Saturday mornings one of the group checks in with the pharmacy to see if there are any medicines to deliver to the elderly or house-bound. For many, this is an invaluable service – we thank all of you.

And I mustn’t forget the Clinic Helpers: two dedicated Coastal Kindness volunteers who go to the Marselle Clinic weekly to file and tidy, count and label. They bring a sprinkle of joy and laughter to the working day and are very much appreciated by the staff.

You will remember that the Marselle Clinic, as well as the Ekuphumleni (Kenton) Clinic, are in dire need of renovation. You will also remember that Coastal Kindness had a cunning plan to assist with the necessary upgrade. Our volunteer retired master builder spent time and effort working on this plan. All we are waiting for now is permission from the Department of Health for us to go ahead with the work (and the fundraising too, of course). We wait with bated breath and a little impatience, I must admit! UPDATE: Permission came through yesterday, so we can now move forward I hope. Keep you posted.

Our latest initiative, a Dementia Support Group, held its inaugural meeting on Thursday 17 November. The regional manager of the Eastern Cape branch of Alzheimer’s SA, Dr Heather Rauch, drove from Port Elizabeth to deliver the address. It is proposed that the support group will hold a monthly meeting for those helping, caring for or working with people suffering from dementia.

We applied for and were given “Non-Profit Company” status and are now in the process of registering Coastal Kindness with SARS as a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) with 18A as well as registration as an NPO at Department of Social Development. This will enable us to offer our donors a tax exemption certificate. We are well on our way to becoming a sustainable and lasting entity.

As always, there are too many people to thank individually; however, there are a few teams, individuals and organisations who deserve a special mention.

  • CK Directors Team
  • Dr Eleanor Galpin and the GP Team
  • David and Margie, our AED & CPR Training Team
  • Equipment Team: Sue, Pauline, Doug, Margie
  • Pharmacy Pick-Up Team – Suzie, Sarah and the other ten ladies
  • Team Kleinemonde
  • Clinic Team: Lesley and Annette
  • Patsy for keeping the admin in check
  • Gardmed, Adrian and Wouna for your training and invaluable support
  • Tony from Rotary for looking after our accounts
  • Mandy for our T-Shirts, tablecloths and branding
  • Carriage Rock College, Two Rivers Place and Round Table for the kindness you offer by letting us use your facilities
  • Little Fish Agency, Kenton Tourism and our scribe for showing and telling
  • Nici for making our poster messages so clear and beautiful
  • And the lady who puts money into the Coastal Kindness account each month

We thank you!

So, what’s on the cards for 2023 … lots of courses, training, support and needless to say a whole heap of kindness.

Wishing you all a safe, healthy and joyful festive season.

Robbie Avis
Coastal Kindness Chair

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