Shifting cancer drive up a gear

2019-09-24 06:00
Meadows Community Watch, Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch, Zone Security, Diep River Community Police Forum and Diep River police station joined forces in the St Luke’s Hospice cancer drive.PHOTO: Nettalie Viljoen

Meadows Community Watch, Plumstead Neighbourhood Watch, Zone Security, Diep River Community Police Forum and Diep River police station joined forces in the St Luke’s Hospice cancer drive.PHOTO: Nettalie Viljoen

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Members from Meadows community watch, Plumstead neighbourhood watch, Zone Security, Diep River community police forum (CPF) and officers from Diep River police station met on Saturday 20 September at St Luke’s Hospice in Kenilworth to hand over funds and items collected during a cancer drive for the hospice. Funds raised exceeded R20 000.

Fiona Schwimmbacher, a member of Meadows community watch and secretary and communications at Diep River CPF, says the cancer drive, which began in August, started as a single act of kindness.

“One of our neighbourhood watch members, Cindy Mare, was diagnosed with cancer. We wanted to put together a care basket for her,” said Fiona.

Fiona’s daughter, Gabriella, who is also a member of Meadows community watch, explained how the community got involved in the drive.

“Everyone has been affected by cancer in one way or another. You might have experienced it first hand or maybe you just know someone who has suffered from it.

“My grandmother, Anna, was diagnosed with cancer. She eventually ended up in the care of the wonderful people at St Luke’s Hospice, but she isn’t the only one to have called St Luke’s home.

“We decided we wanted to make the lives of those at St Luke’s just a bit more comfortable by providing them with a little extra love and care, too,” said Gabriella.

The other partners then came on board to maximise community involvement.

Const Zak Marais, spokesperson for Diep River police station said: “Using social media platforms and by reaching out to schools in our neighbourhoods, we appealed to the communities from Diep River, Plumstead, Meadowridge, Southfield and Constantia for their support of the cancer drive.”

Robbert Rijkers, chairman of Diep River CPF, said the response was overwhelming.

“It is so important that we as communities stand and work together. Projects like this one show what can be accomplished when community members get involved.”

Diep River station commander Lt Col Mzwandile Gqabi echoed his words.

“The police need the community’s support and involvement to affect change. We always encourage community participation. I would like to thank all involved for the opportunity to be part of the cancer drive,” said Gqabi.

Celin Galant, head of department at support services at St Luke’s, said donations like these sustained the running of day-to-day operations at the hospice.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support. It is donations like these that makes it possible for us to do our work.”

Fiona extended thanks to the various organisations involved.

“To Zone Security, Plumstead Kwikspar, the schools that contributed, and to all the members of the community who donated money or goods; thank you for your generosity in ensuring that those at St Luke’s get some extra love and care.”

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