With a little help from friends

2017-03-14 06:02
Mark Wilkinson and Clive October of the Carry a Friend foundation want to give Lavender Hill community members free counselling.PHOTO: tiyese jeranji

Mark Wilkinson and Clive October of the Carry a Friend foundation want to give Lavender Hill community members free counselling.PHOTO: tiyese jeranji

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Ed Cunningham, an American sports commenter and film producer, once said: “Friends are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer” – and residents of Lavender Hill will soon be experiencing this.

Three members of the community started a foundation called Carry a Friend and their main aim is to talk to other residents, hear how they are doing and help them deal with the issues they might be struggling with.

The foundation was created last year. Clive October, Mark Wilkinson and William Fritz will be dedicating their time to help residents by giving free counselling. Their arms and ears are open for anyone who wants counselling or someone to talk to, they say. Their office is in Hillary Drive but they say they will do home visits as that is part of carrying a friend.

October says there is a lot that their community is going through.

“If not dealt with it will continue for a long time. Our aim is to be there for our community and help them walk their journey. We want to hear how they are doing and see how we can help them.

We can help them by counselling or carrying them through to the next place of help. We believe the most important thing is for someone to lend an ear. People out there need help and they are carrying a lot of baggage and we are here to say they don’t have to do it alone: We are here to help.

“We want to carry the community, be a friend that listens. We want to walk with the most vulnerable and help them.

“There are so many challenges – like drugs, gangs, alcohol abuse – that have torn apart families. Most parents don’t know how to deal with that. Also those indulging in substance abuse don’t know where to turn to for help, so we want to be there to help them.”

Wilkinson says many people are dealing with issues and they want to help them.

“It’s the pains of the past that are passed on to our children. It can be rejection, broken families, hatred which has made it difficult for parents to deal with their children or children to deal with themselves and they end up on the wrong side of the law. We want to work with you and help you.”

They will also be introducing an evening programme which is aimed at parents.

“This is mainly for equipping parents on how to deal with issues. A lot of parents go through a lot, so if we start helping the head of the family everything else will fall into place. The evening programme will come in handy for a lot of parents,” says Wilkinson.

They are busy renovating their office out of their own pockets to make it friendlier. They still need help with paint and toilet seats.

V For more information call Clive October on 074 639 4642.

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