Funds needed to care for sick and dying

St Lukes Hospice members sitting, from left, are Josie Chapman, co-ordinator Lenore Ely and Joyce Allies. Standing are chairperson Elton Ely, Moegsiena Norton, Ilham Roomaney, Faldelah Toefy, vice chairperson Mary-Anne Wakefield; nursing sister Patricia Titus, Naida Emjedi and Rachel Williams.

Tucked away in Fourth Avenue, Grassy Park, is St Luke’s Hospice where caregivers have been looking after patients for 20 years.

However, not many people know they are there and they are appealing to the community to help them raise funds so they can continue their work.

On Friday October 28, Southern Mail visited St Luke’s at one of their fund-raisers where they were selling fish and chips, which had been donated by a fishery in Lansdowne.

Chairperson Elton Ely said they would have liked “support from businesses in Grassy Park and surrounds”.

Mr Ely said the non-profit organisation depends on donations and they have several fund-raisers, such as an annual golf day, a high tea, four to five food stalls a year, as well as a second-hand clothing stall on a Tuesday and Saturday and a mini fete, to keep the hospice active.

“Businesses as far as the northern suburbs support our fund-raisers,” said Mr Ely.

St Luke’s has patients from Parkwood, Ottery, Grassy Park, Retreat, Seawinds, Capricorn and Pelican Park. “We visit the frail ones at their homes, but once a week on a Tuesday, we fetch them and bring to the hospice. We have one central vehicle to pick them up and bring them to a place where they can take their minds off their illnesses,” said Mr Ely. He said they have registered health practitioners.

Nursing sister Patricia Titus said their visits to patients’ homes are welcomed. “The patients are happy to see us,” said Sister Titus.

She said most of their home-care patients have cancer and a few have motor-neuron disease.

Social worker Rachel Williams said: “Patients who have life-threatening diseases such as cancer, are in need of social support. I would say 95 percent of our patients have cancer.”

One of the volunteers, Moegsiena Norton, said they love what they are doing because they are lifting the spirits of the patients. “They feel privileged when we visit them. One man was feeling sick, but he felt better when he saw us. We are like angels to them.”

Mr Ely said in order to keep St Luke’s Hospice running they need to overcome the challenge of funding. “We would like to thank the donors for their support, but we would like our local businesses or individuals to contribute. A small donation will make a big difference.”

If you want to volunteer, or donate towards their fund-raisers or for more information, contact Ms Norton on 082 713 9540.