Better Together Network meet

2017-06-07 06:02
The Better Together Network team with (front) items made for the network’s quilted pillow project.Photo: tania sandberg

The Better Together Network team with (front) items made for the network’s quilted pillow project.Photo: tania sandberg

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THE Better Together Network (BTN) met on Wednesday, May 24, in the Amanzimtoti SAPS boardroom.

The network is for non-profit organisations, community organisations, churches and businesses to network and share ideas and expertise.

Highlights of the meeting included guest speaker Gideon Pieterse from Amanzimtoti Cares who said the organisation assists families with food parcels, clothing and household items and strives to find sustainable ways to assist families get back on their feet.

The biggest challenges at the moment is that the organisation no longer has premises from which to operate. The organisation is thankful to the Amanzimtoti Methodist Church for their hall which they use on Mondays for the distribution of food parcels, but it is still in need of storage for clothes waiting for sorting and donation.

“One option would be a Wendy House and the Free Masons have pledged their assistance to help raise the funds.

“The organisation is also hoping to buy the Wendy House at a discounted price and looking companies selling Wendy Houses that are able to assist,” said Amanzimtoti Cares volunteer Amanda Slabbert.

BTN chairperson, SAPS PR Captain Charlene van der Spuy, welcomed newcomer Carol de Castro Netto, representing the Community Policing Forum and June Neuhoff, Sandy Elliot and Moira Rigby from Kingsburgh Lions, who joined the meeting for the first time.

Van der Spuy reminded the meeting of a free training session - “Self-Preservation and Regeneration”, on Wednesday, 26 July at Lionsgate Church from 10am to 12pm to assist community volunteers, caregivers and non-profits with avoiding emotional burn-out.

Africa Cares will be having a training course - Bright Star Life Skills Development Programme - from 23 to 25 May at Lionsgate Church, 24 Queens Terrace, Amanzimtoti. The course is a personal and leadership development programme.

Sharon-Ann Theron gave feedback on the quilted pillow project and on donated items available to non-profits.

The network discussed the Highland Gathering and said they were disappointed the expo was not on the same field as the gathering, which resulted in fewer visitors and BTN members not being situated together as planned.

The meeting resolved to start negotiating space early for next year’s gathering. Members were called to send ideas on how to better promote the non-profits to the BTN secretary or chairperson.

Iris Canham told the meeting that Mother of Peace has a music learning centre, which has been improved by a generous donation of a sound system from BTN member and businessman, Gary Kelly and Hanelie Kelly.

Solidariteit Helpende Hand received a donation of two tons of canned grapefruit segments and juice and distributed one ton to Charles James Hospital and Coastlands Caravan Park, Mother of Peace and Jabulani Retirement Home. Non-profits wanting donations of the canned grapefruit can contact Elsie Pelser on 082 655 5902.

Gaylene Alan, representing Ethelbert Children’s and Youth Centre, asked if anyone would be interested in a training session or guest speaker to provide more information on obtaining BEE points for businesses donating to non-profits.

The meeting highlighted that non-profits for the elderly and organisations like Solidariteit Helpende Hand are not able to obtain BEE points for donations.

Van der Spuy closed the meeting and said the network’s vision is sharing and caring and expressed the hope of getting more churches and businesses involved. All non-profits, business leaders and churches are invited to attend the next Better Together Network meeting which will be held on Wednesday, 21 June, 10 am at the Amanzimtoti SAPS training room.

For more information, contact BTN secretary, Carolyn on 076 206 2470.



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