Christmas letter 2021

Dec 20, 2021

Thank you Coastal Kindness Volunteers

Dear Coastal Kindness Team

Can you believe another year has come and gone? Another year of COVID? Another year of lockdown? Another year of hard work, sacrifices and stresses but a year filled with bucketsful of kindness.

We haven’t had as many strategy meetings this year as we did in 2020 as we seem to have found not only our feet but also our place in the community. This doesn’t mean that the brains behind Coastal Kindness have been slacking though. We are in the process of streamlining a constitution so we can apply for NPO status, creating a ‘Board of Directors’ and other useful functionaries so that we can keep ‘going on’. Our aim is to become a sustainable and lasting entity serving the community for many years to come and hopefully outliving the COVID pandemic.

We have had to add a new string to our bow this year with the vaccination support team assisting the DOH at our local vaccination stations in Kenton, Ekuphumleni, Marselle and Klipfontein. This has been a huge learning curve as we really didn’t know what was expected of us, but as with most activities, practice makes one ‘a lot better at it’, and we have developed a plan of action that seems to suit not only our volunteers but also the medical team. We arrive before the pharmacists and vaccinators to prepare the venue – this has been a major challenge on most occasions with dirty halls, no chairs or tables, litter strewn around and sadly, worst of all, unusable toilet facilities. Following the set-up, we then marshal, register online, complete vaccination cards and any other job required throughout the day.

Prior to an actual vaccination day, we have a team of data capturers (that’s posh for computer-literate volunteers) who beaver their way through hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of barely decipherable handwritten registration forms in order to upload them onto the government EDVS site. This saves a huge amount of time and anxiety at vaccination stations. Thank you all for persevering with this unglamorous task.

Despite all the challenges of the municipal venues, we always have a laugh and a joke with the local clinic staff who support the DOH vaccinators with data collection – this makes the bad bits of the job worthwhile. Our bond with Ekuphumleni Clinic continues and this has now been extended to Marselle Clinic where we are able to offer help and support when requested. We are very proud to have been of assistance in getting our community vaccinated.

The Coastal Kindness Track & Trace Team have been very busy this year as they continue to “check in” on COVID-positive cases and their close contacts, making sure they understand the need to quarantine and isolate and, as importantly, along with the Pharmacy Pick-Up Team, offering support and assistance where needed. Many volunteers play a supporting role here:

  • Travelling back and forth delivering food and supplies to people in outlying areas who have been seriously affected by COVID.
  • Collecting and distributing medicines to COVID patients or delivering to the old or infirm.
  • Running errands, changing gas bottles, locating wheelchairs, walkers and finding carers for bed-bound people.

The stresses and strains of living with lockdown continue. So many, cut off from friends and family, feel isolated, alone and lonely. So, we are thankful that Ruleen de Wit continues to offer counselling and mental health care to those in need.

Very fortunately our Supplies, Equipment and O2 Teams have not had as much to do this year. We have sufficient equipment now and have not needed to distribute as many oxygen machines, which can only be good news. However, everyone on those teams has slipped seamlessly into new roles, mostly at the vaccination stations.

To keep Coastal Kindness in the public eye and our community up-to-date on all things COVID, we continue to educate and inform by means of blog posts and educational posters. We have been blessed this year with an articulate and creative writer who manages to unravel often incomprehensible facts and figures into fun and entertaining messages. These are distributed via our website and Facebook page by our webmaster with the enthusiastic support of the Tourism Office.

There are too many people to thank individually; however, there are a few organisations and individuals I would be remiss not to single out.

A huge shout out to:

  • Dr Eleanor Galpin for your commitment to our community and for taking Coastal Kindness seriously.
  • Rotary for your continued support and especially Val Hill and Tony Swift.
  • KOSRA for your generosity.
  • Kenton Chamber of Business and Tourism for helping to get messages out there.
  • Periwinkle Trust for never poo-pooing our odd requests for money.
  • Shaun MacTaggart, Herotel, for Wi-Fi at the vaccination stations.
  • Kenton Pharmacy for going the extra mile, particularly Sarah and Fleur.
  • Simon Avis for your never-ending patience with all things Coastal Kindness.
  • Doug, Suzie and Nick for being our backbone.
  • Jennie, Cathy, Lesley, Annette and Lottie for always being there.

And to every single one of you who have volunteered once, twice or twenty times, your community salutes you. And to those who don’t have the luxury of free time right now, your support with donations and good wishes means that we can keep on ‘going on’.

Keep safe and have the best Christmas you can. See you in 2022.


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