Phones for seniors to be eyes, ears

2016-03-08 06:00
Members of a local street committee members with a recipient of a donated cellphone.

Members of a local street committee members with a recipient of a donated cellphone.

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A street committee is taking safety to the next level – with the help of cellphones.

The Riversdale Way street committee recently handed out 12 cellphones to elderly residents who live alone or are alone at home for most of the day.

This has extended the street committee’s services and in turn put more eyes on the street.

Chairperson Salie Barnes says the cellphones were donated by Woolworths.

“We saw that many of the older people are alone at home and now they can call us if they need anything. It is not only for crime, but if they have an accident or get sick, they can call,” he says.

Barnes says they are in it for the community and are concerned of the overall well-being of community members.

“Doing good makes us feel good and that motivates us to do more,” says Barnes.

The street committee of about 23 members patrols a large block in Portlands between Durban Way, Eisleben Road, Montague Drive and Spine Road.

Barnes says many older people live in the area and he knows they cannot be expected to patrol with the other members.

“The seniors are not physically fit enough to patrol with us but they can be our eyes and ears during the day,” says Barnes.

The cellphones have already been pre-programmed with important and emergency numbers to help the recipients get through to a helpline faster.

Abdoraof Ismail, a community worker in the Portlands area, commends the group on looking out for the community.

“What I can say about them is that they have been consistent. I have also advised them to do a census of the area to know how many seniors are living there and also know the number of unemployed, youth and disabled residents there are,” says Ismail.

The survey with be conducted soon.

The street committee is fully registered with the City of Cape Town and was recently joined by JP Smith, Mayco member for safety and security on a patrol (“City man joins crime patrol”, People’s Post, 23 February).

Barnes encourages more residents and businesses to get involved in the community and the street committee’s projects.

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