Hospital heals, clothes patients

2015-11-10 06:00
The project leaders of the Lentegeur Hospital clothing bank, Babalwa Koliti and Andre Weavers, take stock of the clothing items donated for the hospital’s patients.

The project leaders of the Lentegeur Hospital clothing bank, Babalwa Koliti and Andre Weavers, take stock of the clothing items donated for the hospital’s patients.

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Babalwa Koliti, a fourth-year Social Work student at the University of the Western Cape, opened Lentegeur Hospital’s clothing bank last month, coinciding with Mental Well-being Month.

Under the supervision of Andre Weavers, a social worker at Lentegeur Hospital and Koliti’s student supervisor, the project has grown for the past three years after Koliti noticed the need for basic clothing items among various patients, especially when they came close to their discharge dates.

“The purpose of the Lentegeur Hospital clothing bank is to help our patients who are approaching discharge with basic clothing items to facilitate their reintegration back into society,” says Koliti.

She highlights that mentally disabled patients are often stigmatised and discriminated against by society because of their behaviour and physical appearance.

“Many of the patients admitted to our facilities arrive in tattered clothing, which becomes unsuitable upon discharge. We have observed that by providing patients with an appropriate set of clothing, we assist in restoring their dignity and reduce stigmatisation,” says Koliti.

The project is supported by donations from staff members, family and friends of patients, community organisations and religious associations.

“We are very proud to announce that the clothing bank is filled with clothing items, ready for allocation. Staff and the broader community were involved in collecting clothing items for patients of the general adult psychiatric ward. This all formed part of a prearranged clothing drive.

“A great amount of enthusiasm and thankfulness was noticeable among patients in preparation for the actual launch of the clothing bank. To formalise the process an inventory, as well as a requisition form, have been designed to monitor the clothing distribution, thus ensuring that there is always stock in the clothing bank,” says Koliti.

Readers who are interested in donating unwanted clothing items can contact Weavers on 021 370 1173/1111 or andre.weavers@westerncape.­gov.­za.

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