Woman of substance winner Woman of substance winner

2016-09-28 06:00
PHOTO:supplied Rene Morcom, founder and owner of Pietermaritzburg Assist and co-founder of Thandi House, has been named Cascades Lifestyle Centre’s Woman of Substance in the inaugural campaign.

PHOTO:supplied Rene Morcom, founder and owner of Pietermaritzburg Assist and co-founder of Thandi House, has been named Cascades Lifestyle Centre’s Woman of Substance in the inaugural campaign.

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RENE Morcom, founder and owner of Pietermaritzburg Assist and co-founder of Thandi House, has been named Cascades Lifestyle Centre’s Woman of Substance in the inaugural campaign.

The campaign, which ran for the month of August, celebrated women in the Pietermaritzburg community who have contributed to improving the lives of others.

Morcom received the highest number of votes ahead of Sinikiwe Biyela, director of Lifeline PMB and Rape Crisis, Julie Hay director of Singakwenza and Caro Smit, founder of South Africans Against Drunk Driving.

As the winner of the Cascades Woman of Substance, Morcom received R5 000 for herself and R5 000 for her organisation.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever­, Morcom said she was humbled by the award especially because she was recognised by the community for the work she does.

“With us being so involved in the organisation we don’t get a chance to get out into the community and promote our work a lot, so I am honoured that the Pietermaritzburg community appreciates the work we do. Our job is very traumatic at times and so it’s nice to have something good happen for the organisation.

“All funds, including my own, will be used for the organisation because my life is my job and the organisation needs it more than I do,” she said.

The funds will be used for the running costs of PMB Assist and Thandi House, buying nappies, food, clothing and overall financial support, she said.

The organisation, which has been in operation for six years, has had various projects going over the past three years to improve the service for the people it helps, which are mainly teenage pregnancies, unplanned pregnancies and abandoned children.

Morcom said that since the competition began there has been increased interest from the community which has opened doors for the organisation and has received various donations during the time.

“This campaign has given our organisation so much exposure that we would not have had ordinarily. I am grateful to Cascades for this opportunity to promote our work and also deeply appreciative of the community that voted for me,” said Morcom.

The campaign formed part of the centre’s celebrations of Women’s Month. It was established to raise awareness of these organisations in Pietermaritzburg, and others like it, and to let women working for their communities know that they are appreciated.

The campaign was well received, with the various charities promoting their women leaders and encouraging people to vote.

“The response we have had from the community has been truly inspiring. It was such a close vote. [There was] only a handful difference between them. We salute these women, and many others just like them, who are doing amazing work for people and animals in our communities,” said Michelle Chinnu, property manager at Ducatus, mastermind of this campaign.


To find out more about PMB Assist or Thandi House, phone 033 347 5544 or email
rene@thandihouse.com


‘I am honoured that the
Pietermaritzburg c
ommunity appreciates the work we do’

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