Stepping Stone Hospice's Memorial Day will take place on Sunday, 16 September, from 12 noon at the hospice's In-Patient Unit in New Market Park.
This annual event sees families and friends gather together to remember their loved ones and reconnect with the people who cared for them in their last days.
"This will be our fifth Memorial Day since opening our doors in 2013," says Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger. "To date, we have had over 1200 patients pass away under our care; people who we remember with love and fondness. On a personal level, I also honour the life of my daughter Vicky Bruce on this day. She was our very first patient, our very first death, and the reason that Stepping Stone Hospice exists at all."
After months of planning and designing and negotiating, it's finally happening. The Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services' In-Patient Unit will be extended from an 8-ward unit to a 14-ward unit, all thanks to the combined efforts of Kim Scanell from Grayston Travel, Russell Cruickshank from Cornerstone Projects, Thersea Corrigan from SCS Architects and a fantastic team of sponsors and donors.
When the call came from Kim that she wishes to donate a 435sqm, second-hand park home, previously used as offices, to the hospice, the team at Stepping Stone Hospice, accepted the offer without hesitation.
Training, internal and external, forms an important part of the Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services' vision, and therefore the upskilling of nursing students is one way to ensure that all patients receive the excellent nursing care this hospice is known for.
Sister Sheryl Newman, head of clinical services at Stepping Stone Hospice, explains that regular and updated training is provided to all staff. "Our hospice has also embarked on a programme where we provide the practical training for students studying the theory at various institutions such as the Weiners Training Academy in Sandton."
Bet.Co.Za in Alberton Mall more than went the extra mile on Mandela Day last Wednesday with their visit to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in Alberton. Not only did they volunteer to paint the recently donated Jojo tank, but handed over food parcels to some of the hospice's patients in the In-Patient Unit.
Mandela Day 2018 last Wednesday brought with it some very special moments at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in Alberton. They received a visit from the Gr12 class of the Royal Schools in Albertsdal who not only elected to clean the vegetable patch where the hospice's new extension is soon to be erected, but also met with some of their patients in the In-patient Unit, listening intently to the journeys the patients are on and giving hugs where needed.
The heart breaking story of how Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services was started, was enough inspiration for a group of ladies from Glenvista to jump into action and organize a massive fundraiser in aid of this hospice.
The Ladies' Mad Hatter Tea Party, held on Saturday 30 June at the Art Farm in Eikenhof, resulted in a R75 000 donation towards Stepping Stone Hospice as well as a R5000 Spar voucher.
With only their second tournament held in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, the Alberton Bowls Club has almost doubled the amount raised from the previous year.
An amazing R24 000 was donated to hospice as the 6 week "Stepping Stone Hospice Trips" came to an end on Saturday 30 June 2018. Last year saw an amount of R11 000 raised through this tournament.
Ride for Stepping Stone Hospice in the 2018 Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge
Stepping Stone Hospice is aiming for over 100 riders this year - with your help we can surely achieve it!
Why ride for us?
- This team is now the proud owner of the Blue Jersey - what an honour!
- A more favourable start time (usually between 08:30 - 09:15)
- Help from more experienced riders.
- To help raise funds for us and create an awareness of what we do.
Our patient's dignity and safety are of the utmost importance to us and it stands to reason that a person with a criminal record that can negatively impact on our patient's safety and security, cannot be employed or be allowed to volunteer at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services or any other similar facility. It is for this reason that we subscribe to the requirement stipulated by the Hospice Palliative Care Association that all staff and volunteers working with the most vulnerable people, requires a Police Clearance Certificate.
We honour and respect our patients both in life and in death. The patient's dignity is of the utmost importance to us and carries through to us saying our final goodbyes.
Standing a guard of honour when the patient is being fetched by the funeral parlour, forms part of our care for that patient and his/her family and our own closure.
We pick flowers from our memorial garden for the family members who, in turn, put it on the shroud covering the patient as he/she leaves the In-Patient-Unit.
No one can predict the future. Terminal illness or accidents can strike at any moment, rearranging lives, altering priorities, taxing financial and health care plans.
Yet most of us still don't like talking about the type of care we want at the end of our lives. So what if you unexpectedly became very sick? It might be hard for you to think about what treatment or care you may want. You might even be so sick that you cannot communicate. If that happens, your doctors and family may need to make decisions for you.
History was made at Stepping Stone Hospice and Care Services on 22 May 2018 when the first group of students at the hospice's newly established Centre for Palliative Learning received their certificates on completion of the Introduction to Palliative Care course.
As part of their "Taking Hospice to the People" campaign, Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger, addressed the PROBUS group on Wednesday 9 May at Reading Country Club, where she explained palliative "hospice" care and tried to dispel some of the myths around palliative care - the biggest one being that it is only applicable for the last weeks of life.
Palliative care, in a nutshell, is the care of patients with an active, progressive and a far advanced disease for whom the focus of care is the relief and prevention of suffering and ensuring quality of life.
The Stepping Stone Hospice gardens at their In-Patient Unit in New Market Park are a true haven for the patients and their families, a tranquil area where they can share some special, and in many cases, last moments together. Maintaining the gardens however, can be a costly exercise, according to Tersia Burger, CEO of Stepping Stone Hospice. "We have to water regularly with a huge water bill as a consequence." Shane Judge from Skunk Water Solutions in Southcrest, Alberton, came to the hospice's rescue with a donation of a 5000 litre Jojo tank, completely installed as well as adding the gutters to the building. "Having a Jojo tank has been an item on our Wish List for a long time," says Tersia. "So a huge big thank you to Shane and his team for ticking this item off our list. Now we wait for the rains to fall!"
Sometimes it takes courage to talk about the 'unspeakable' issues we are confronted with, issues such as our experience of loss, our fear of death, our loneliness. And more often than not, we have no outlet to express these fears or a safe space where we can acquire coping mechanisms for these challenges.
"Courageous Conservations" is an initiative of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services and aims to create that safe space where you can turn the "unspeakable" issues into a conversation that can lead to better understanding.
"Working at a hospice exposes us to every kind of human emotion and experience. What we have learnt is that we all have a story. We all experience heartbreak, heartache, uncertainty and difficult times in our lives. Courageous Conversations was borne out of this knowledge," explains CEO Tersia Burger.
In what can only be described as one of the most successful golf days to date held in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, the tidy sum of R152 000 was raised for the charity on Wednesday April 18, 2018.
The course at Reading Country Club was a buzz of activities as 140 players took to the field with the 2017 winners, Leon Deschamps and Frans van Tonder, emerging yet again as the champions on 47 points. The format of the competition was a Betterball Stableford.