Young woman faces devastating effects of MND
Stephen Hawking was one of the most well-known people in the world with a Motor Neuron Disease. Joost van der Westhuizen, one of South Africa’s greatest rugby players, succumbed to the disease in 2017. But when it’s your wife, your sister, your daughter who is diagnosed with MND, it’s then that the monster hits you in the stomach. When the devastating effects of the disease are no longer something you read about or that happen to someone else, when it’s something you have to live with every day, that’s when your tears don’t seem to be enough, and when your knees become raw from praying and asking and seeking.
Stepping Stone Hospice patient, Daleen Dyer (36) from Florentia, was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in April 2018, a disease that leads to a progressive weakening of all the muscles in the body, which eventually affects the ability to breathe. There is no cure. Could this have been the worst news this young woman could ever receive?
Join in the fun at our Annual Golf Day
Yip, it's that time of year when we start planning and looking forward to our Annual Golf Day, scheduled for Thursday 11 April 2019. And of course inviting you to participate and join in on the fun.
Looking back on our Golf Day held last year (18 April that was), we've certainly proved that we can put together a day to be remembered, on and off the golf course. Our 144 players, with the help of our sponsors, managed to raise the incredible amount of R220 000, of which R157 000 was actual profit! Not too shabby for a bunch of guys (and girls) hitting a little white ball around 18 fairways on a beautiful golf course.
So let's do the same this year, and go BIGGER and BETTER!
Hospice staff helps with delivery of baby
"THIS baby girl will not die, not today and not with me near, she will live," were the words of Chris Nel, retail supervisor of Stepping Stone Hospice's The Charity Shop.
Stepping Stone Hospice's ethos, "You are Not Alone," have yet again been demonstrated by the quick action of the charity shop's team when a mother gave birth on the pavement in front of the shop along Fore Street in New Redruth.
On January 31, at around 11am, Chris saw a woman in the middle of Fore Street climbing out of a truck and on her knees. The next moment he saw water and blood, and he knew something was wrong.
"I rushed over to the woman to help and when I got to her, her baby just seemed to drop out," he said. Before he rushed to her, he called his colleagues in the store to help.
World Cancer Day - 4 February 2019
Cancer: What has changed?
As we celebrate World Cancer Day today (4 February), we take a look at the history of cancer, and what has changed over the years. The grip of this dreaded disease seems to have only intensified, and although a lot has been achieved over the years in terms of research, early diagnosis and treatment, two things have remained: There is no recorded cure for cancer and palliative (hospice) care is still very much a part of the cancer journey.
Hospice gave me back quality of life
Nothing could possibly explain hospice care better than the testimony of one of Stepping Stone Hospice’s patients, Mrs Margaret Smith (62), who after a few week’s stay in the In-Patient Unit, was recently discharged and sent home to spend some quality time with her family and her beloved Chichiwawa doggie, Pippa.
Mrs Smith, diagnosed with spinal cancer and lung cancer in September last year, was admitted to Stepping Stone Hospice in New Market Park in November 2018 after a stay in the Donald Gordon Oncology Unit in Parktown in Johannesburg.
“I just reached a point where I no longer wanted treatment in the form of radiations and chemo and tests upon tests,” says Mrs Smith. She’s been battling cancer since 2017 when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Originally from Richards Bay, her and her husband of 43 years, Basil, moved to her daughter in Mondeor in the south of Johannesburg when she was diagnosed in September with spinal cancer.
A Fun Night Run like no other
Are you ready to be absorbed into a 5km Night Run like no other in South Africa? And "glow" for a good cause, in fact, "glowing" for Stepping Stone Hospice?
Glow4Events is proud to bring you "The UV Run" on Saturday 30th March 2019 at Rietvlei Zoo Farm, Johannesburg and even prouder is Stepping Stone Hospice who has been elected as one of the charities to benefit from this "first" in South Africa.
Hospice thanks community for support
2018 - A year filled with challenges and opportunities
It is a well-known fact that Hospice has been shown to greatly improve the quality of life for patients and families near the end of life. Studies have consistently demonstrated that hospice is associated with reduction of symptoms of distress, improved outcomes for caregivers and high patient and family satisfaction. Despite evidence proving that continuous hospice use reduces the use of hospital-based services - including emergency department visits and intensive care unit stays - and the likelihood of death in the hospital, hospice services are still not paid for by government or the majority medical aids.
This fact, combined with new challenges such as the significant changes that are taking place in how medical related services are delivered and paid for in South Africa, as well as corporate downsizing, led to 2018 being one of our most difficult years since inception.
We saved his dream!
When Stepping Stone Hospice patient Oscar Mashau passed away in July this year, his eldest son was heartbroken - not only because he lost his father, but also because he lost his dream of ever visiting Carnival City. The thing is, he explained to one of the hospice's psycho-social councellors, Ruby Evrard, his dad promised that he will take him and his little sister to Carnival City in December where they can celebrate their respective birthdays. Amu turned 13 on the 8th of November and little Blessings will turn 6 on the 18th December.
Club 140 donates generously to hospice
Donation could not come at a better time
The culmination of their fundraising efforts throughout the year saw The Club 140 Golf group handing over a cheque to the value of R50 000 to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services during the prize-giving of their annual end-of-year Golf Day at Observatory Golf Club on Saturday 24 November.
Every patient deserves a comfortable bed
"Every patient deserves a comfortable bed and even more so when they embark on their end-of-life journey. This is one of the most important aspects of the care we provide and a philosophy we carry through to not just our In-Patient Unit patients, but also to our community patients," says Tersia Burger, CEO at Stepping Stone Hospice. "We are therefore eternally grateful to Vitafoam for the wonderful donation of 25 hospital mattresses as part of their corporate social responsibility programme," says Tersia.
German hospice embarks on exchange programme with Stepping Stone Hospice
A multi-purpose hygiene shower chair allowing clinical staff to provide sensitive, high-quality hygiene care whilst maintaining the patient's dignity, was recently donated to Stepping Stone Hospice by the Känguru Institute for the Disabled in Klipriver.
The Känguru Institute is supported by the German non-profit company IFB Inklusion durch Förderung und Betreuung e.V. Its owner, Wolfgang Groh, visited Stepping Stone Hospice a few months ago whilst on a visit to South Africa. He was so impressed with what he saw, that he invited Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger, to participate in an exchange programme whereby skills and knowledge can be exchanged to the betterment of palliative care on a national and international level.
Yet another milestone for Hospice
October 2018 not only marks World Hospice & Palliative Care Day, celebrated on Saturday 13 October, but also five years since Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services opened its In-Patient Unit in New Market Park on Wednesday the 9th October 2013.
And now, adding to the list of October milestones, is the pouring of the concrete today of the 78 pillars that will hold the extension of the In-Patient Unit in New Market Park.
Stepping Stone Hospice launches its "100 for 100" campaign
World Hospice & Palliative Care Day, this year being celebrated on Saturday October 13, is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world.
The theme this year 'Because I Matter', centres on the lived experience of people affected by serious illness, looking at what matters most, including the often-overlooked financial impact of palliative care needs on individuals and households. The theme also contains elements of human rights and justice, asking: If I matter, then why am I not getting the care I need?
"Vat Jou Goed en Trek" supports hospice
So many wonderful, wonderful people out there are reaching out to us, helping us to continue to do the work we do. On Thursday last week, the "Vat jou Goed en Trek" television crew paid us a vist, not only to interview both Sister Sheryl Newman, head of clincial services, and Marietjie Tame, our marketing and fundraising manager, but to also donate some much needed items towards the renovation of our planned extension of the In-Patient Unit. The "Vat jou Goed en Trek" television programme will launch it's fourth season this coming Friday, October 5 on KykNET (DSTV) channel 144. This series is a 13-episode reality lifestyle show on helping people to sell their homes. The head of their construction team, Kevin Brider, lost his mom in our Unit in July this year and he vowed to help us in any way that he possibly can. To Kevin and the crew, thank you, thank you, thank you!
All systems go for IPU extension
It's all systems go for the planned extension of the Stepping Stone Hospice's In-Patient Unit in New Market Park and if all goes according to plan, renovations to the 435sqm, second-hand park home can start at the end of October.
The combined efforts of Kim Scanell from Grayston Travel, Russell Cruickshank from Cornerstone Projects, Thersea Corrigan from SCS Architects, Francois du Plooy, a town and regional planner, and a fantastic team of sponsors and donors will see the In-Patient Unit extend from an 8-bed to a 14-bed unit.
Record number of cyclists in the hospice team
With the closing date for entries now firmly behind us, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services is proud to announce that we have a total of 94 cyclists who will ride for us in the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge on Sunday, 18 November, the Mountain Bike Challenge on 11 November and the Kiddies Ride on 10 November 2018.
Course provides amazing insight into caring
“The light came on – we realised just how important it is to see the patient as a whole person, and to include the genograms - a pictorial display of a person's family relationships and medical history - in caring for the residents in our homes,” says Colette Jansen van Vuuren, nursing services manager at the Rynpark Association for the Elderly in Benoni.
Rocking away for hospice – get your tickets now!
“Big Top Rock” is the biggest, most entertaining and daring show ever produced by The Barnyard Theatres and Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services is giving you the opportunity to experience this show first-hand!
The Barnyard Theatre Emperors Palace has allocated a number of seats for the show on Sunday 28 October to Stepping Stone Hospice to sell as part of the hospice’s on-going fundraising initiatives. A rock concert to remember featuring live music, aerial acts, funky dance routines and an electrical atmosphere awaits you at only R170 per ticket.
Memorial Day allows for Closure
"The memorial on Sunday gave me a sense of closure and relief as my father donated his body to WITS University, so we never had a body or ashes. Being able to throw sand onto the buried capsules and release balloons was an incredibly emotional but cathartic experience. I also had a chance to say goodbye to my dear friend, Tracy as until Sunday I could not bear to let her go. She never came to terms with dying. Having the special caregivers there for support and so many other people who shared in the day meant so much to me. Thank you for all the hard work and thought that went into this behind the scenes. "
- Lynn Holmes
Vote of Confidence in Stepping Stone Hospice Learning Centre
The newly established Stepping Stone Hospice Centre for Palliative Learning (CPL) was recently invited to give a one hour introduction and overview on Loss and Bereavement to 75 medical students currently on the Moshal Scholarship Programme.
Established in 2009 by Martin Moshal, the Moshal Scholarship Program currently provides scholarships to over 909 Moshal Scholars in Israel, South Africa and the Ukraine to enable determined young people from challenging backgrounds to attend the top universities in their home countries.
School Donates Towards Hospice's Training Centre
A Flip-flop civvies day on 28 March 2018 at Glenanda Primary led to two laptops and a cash donation of R2120 handed over to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services recently.
The Foundation Phase Head of Department and also the coordinator of the different fundraising event at the school this year, Mrs Barbara Joseph, visited Stepping Stone Hospice to hand over the wonderful gifts to Tersia Burger, CEO of Stepping Stone Hospice and Sonia Thomson, head of HR at Stepping Stone. "I suggested to the grade 2 group that we support Stepping Stone Hospice this year as I recognized the good work they did when my sister-in-law, Carol Durocher-Yvon, passed away there on 21 September 2017. Although she was only there for three days, she was made to feel comfortable in her last few days. For this, we were so grateful! Your staff were very loving, caring and supportive," explains Mrs Joseph.
Walkers Raise R100 000 for Hospice
An idea that was formed some seven years ago when two friends went on their regular walk through the streets of Bedfordview, has led to thousands and thousands of rand donated over the past few years to various non-profit organizations who mostly deal with cancer related issues.
This year was no exception with the Shuffling Walking Team raising over R500 000 with their annual walk that took place on Sunday July 29 in Bedfordview. Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services was one of the seven beneficiaries chosen and on Tuesday 4 September, a cheque of R100 000 was handed over to Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger.
Bikers for Hospice
In what is hoped to be the biggest gathering of bikers in Alberton and Johannesburg South in recent history, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services has joined forces with Panorama Flee Market to host a biker's event on Saturday October 6, 2018.
"Bikers for Hospice" aims to not only create awareness of the services Stepping Stone Hospice delivers to this community, but to also mark the launch of World Hospice & Palliative Care Day, which this year coincides with the centenary celebrations of Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the modern hospice movement.
Community hours at Stepping Stone Hospice
Doing community hours in order to complete their Life Orientation portfolio, can be a tedious task for high school learners as it is often difficult to find a project that fits into their already busy schedules.
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services launched a pilot project earlier this year whereby learners are not only able to gain their community hours, but also contribute towards the hospice's fundraising efforts.
Memorial Day at Stepping Stone Hospice
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."
So we're finally extending
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 Part of the Hospice Vision
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."
Going the extra mile
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 would have been proud!
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.
Learners donate R55 000 to hospice
Marist Brothers Senior Primary School in Linmeyer handed over a donation of R55 000 on Friday July 13 to Stepping Stone Hospice - funds raised by the learners after a talk by CEO Tersia Burger, at the school on June 8 this year.
A Colourful Affair!
The annual "Come Whine with Me" event, hosted by Stepping Stone Hospice especially for the ladies, will this year bring an exclusive element to it - a talk by renowned Colour Therapist, Sonet Erasmus on the impact of colour on our everyday lives.
Mad Hatters do it for hospice
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.
Alberton Bowls' tournament in aid of hospice
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 a Purpose
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.
Police clearance a requirement at SSH
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.
Honour & Respect
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.
Kiddies ride for hospice
Whilst the adults are still hibernating and contemplating whether they should or should not take up the challenge of the annual 947 Telkom Cycle Challenge, our kiddies are stepping up and committing to ride for a purpose.
Be prepared for end-of-life decisions
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.
Charity shops essential for our survival
"The impact of donations to our charity shops and the sale of these items can never be underestimated as it makes up at least 60% of the shortfall on our annual budgeted income," says Tersia Burger, CEO of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services.
Stepping Stone Hospice and Care Services made HISTORY
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.
Hospice neither hastens, nor postpone death
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.
Jojo tank will bring down water bill
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!"
Join us in a Courageous Conversation
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.
Hospice Golf Day Raises a Whopping R152 000
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.
Palliative care is a human right
At its core, palliative care serves to improve the quality of life of patients and their families who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. Sadly however, only about 14% of the 40-million people worldwide in need of palliative care currently receive it, claims the World Health Organisation (WHO). And when it comes to children, 98% of those needing palliative care live in low- and middle-income countries, with almost half of them living in Africa.
With 21 March being Human Rights Day, we asked Stepping Stone Hospice's CEO, Tersia Burger and Clinical Services Manager, Sister Sheryl Newman, why palliative care should be an absolute and fundamental human right…
Grab your mate and enter today!
Yip, it's that time of year again when you get to shine your golf clubs, sharpen your skills and enter Stepping Stone Hospice's Annual Golf Day.
Renowned as one of the most exciting and fun-filled golf days on the golfing calendar, the date has been set for Wednesday, 18 April 2018 at Reading Country Club.
"With the format being Betterball Stableford, we have themed the day as the 'You're My Mate Golf Day' with some really great prizes up for grabs - not just for the winners, but also for the best-dressed Betterball team," says Marietjie Tame, fundraising manager at Stepping Stone Hospice.
Be wowed at Great Gatsby Evening
As a gesture of giving back to an organization who she says "unselfishly and unconditionally assisted, supported and cared for my late husband, myself, our family and friends during his last days," Gisela Sargent is planning a fundraiser in aid Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, "so that they can continue with the incredible services they offer to so many."
Many will remember the heart-breaking ceremony in November last year when, a mere three days before his passing, Brian Sargent married his long-time love Gisela Rall in his room at the hospice's In-Patient Unit in New Market Park.
"Never will I forget the love and encouragement during our wedding ceremony, as well as the utmost compassion and respect during our 'three-day honeymoon' before he passed away," says Gisela.
When is it time for hospice?
At which point should a person diagnosed with life-limiting cancer register as a hospice patient? This is just one of the many questions asked not just by the patient, but by his/her family members too.
With February 4th being World Cancer Day, a global initiative that originated in the year 2000 at the first ‘World Summit Against Cancer’ held in Paris, we thought it appropriate to raise this question with Sr Sheryl Newman, Clinical Services Manager at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park.
“While helping to relieve a person's symptoms and side effects from treatment is an important part of cancer care, many patients wait too long to register for hospice care because of preconceived fears that this means they have given up or that hospice care is only applicable in the final weeks or days of life,” says Sr Sheryl. “Palliative care is designed to relieve symptoms and improve your quality of life and can be used at any stage of a life-limiting illness if there are troubling symptoms such as pain,” she adds.
Alberton High donates fourth wheelchair to hospice
Stepping Stone Hospice’s Clinical Services Manager, Sister Sheryl Newman, was on hand on Thursday, 25 January, to accept a fourth wheelchair donation from the staff and pupils of Alberton High during their morning assembly.
Dylan Jacobs, a learner at Alberton High School and a member of the school's Welfare Committee, has been collecting bottle caps and bread tags since he was in Grade 8, in an effort to ‘earn’ wheelchairs from Interwaste as part of the organization’s recycling project, where they donate a wheelchair to the charity of your choice for the collection of plastic bottle caps and bread tags.
Another charity shop for hospice
Stepping Stone Hospice will soon be opening the doors to another charity shop in Alberton. Says hospice’s Retail Manager, Brenda Peach: “The decision to open a second store came from the growing need to showcase the larger furniture items we receive from the community, as our current shop doesn’t offer the floor space to do that. We needed somewhere to feature the bigger items, in a manner you’d expect to find on a furniture-shop floor.”
The shop, which is located in the Stats Building in Fore Street, in close proximity to the Alberton Boulevard, is certainly large enough to act as a showroom, boasting 450m² of floor space. “We have some alterations and shop fitting to do, but we hope to open our doors by mid-Feb,” says Brenda.
Message from our CEO…
2017 is finally drawing to an end. For some it has been a long year filled with profound sadness and loss. Many families in our community will face a ‘First Christmas’ without their loved ones.
Stepping Stone Hospice, too, experienced a difficult year – probably the most trying in our history. Yet, we also realise that there is so much to be grateful for.
Because of the generosity of our community and the hard work of our fundraising team, we were able to continue caring for the terminally ill in our community and their families. Your contributions have helped make Stepping Stone Hospice one of the leading hospices. We are so grateful to you for helping to support not only our committed clinical team, but also the support staff. You have helped us touch the lives of thousands.
In 2016, we started our Brick-by-Brick Project. The money raised has been set aside to help us realise our dream of a Hospice Village – an extension of our current facilities to help accommodate more patients in need, including adolescent patients and their families. We have encountered some unforeseen obstacles and red tape along the way, but our vision remains the same and we continue to look for the best possible solution for our planned extension to become a reality.
Stepping Stone visits St Mary’s
Stepping Stone Hospice paid a visit to St Mary’s Children’s Home in Rosettenville on Thursday, 14 December, to deliver festive parcels put together by members of the clinical team. After receiving a very warm welcome by the children and staff, Stepping Stone CEO Tersia Burger addressed everyone and told them a bit about what a hospice is and does. The children were very interested and asked quite a few questions. One boy asked if we can help people live longer, to which Tersia replied that while we can’t change the eventual outcome for our patients, we can help them live ‘better’ for the time they have left; that we support them and care for them and love them – and that, in essence, is what a hospice does.
Diaper donation from Pick n Pay
Representatives from Pick n Pay, Alberton City arrived at Stepping Stone Hospice on Thursday, 14 December, to donate packs of adult diapers for use in the In-Patient Unit. Said Store Manager, Abel Lehoko, “I drive past the hospice every day on my way to work and have become familiar with what you do for the community. This is our way for saying ‘thank you’.”
“We hope that these will come in handy,” said Inventory Manager, Zelda Kone, who accompanied Abel for the handover. “We use 5-6 diapers per patient, per day, depending on their condition, so these will come in very handy indeed,” explains Stepping Stone Hospice Community Nurse, Sister Margi Bollman.
Wish List Drive
Members of Komatsu Mining Corp (Joy Global) visited Stepping Stone Hospice’s In-Patient Unit on Wednesday, 13 December, to donate items towards the hospice’s ongoing Wish List. “The collection was a staff-driven initiative,” said Tiffany Krog on behalf of Komatsu. “Any way we can help, we will try.”
“This donation is so welcome,” said Stepping Stone CEO, Tersia Burger. “We spend a great deal on everyday consumables, so every donation – be it paper, cleaning supplies, tea, coffee, tissues – all helps. We’d like to thank everyone at Komatsu who contributed to this wonderful donation.”
Stepping Stone Hospice the lucky recipient of R10 000 in West Pack’s cash-giveaway campaign
A regular supporter of Stepping Stone Hospice, Tracy-Lee Manning, together with the West Pack Lifestyle Centre in Alberton, surprised hospice this week with a R10 000 donation – a direct result of Tracey-Lee nominating Stepping Stone Hospice as her charity of choice in West Pack’s festive cash-giveaway campaign.
“Stepping Stone Hospice has become very close to my heart,” said Tracy at the handover of her winnings on Tuesday morning, 12 December, by representatives of West Pack Lifestyle Head Office at Stepping Stone Hospice’s In-Patient Unit in New Market Park. “I admire the work, the care and the love that happens here and I am truly thankful for Tersia and her team, who touch so many lives.”
Thursday Club donates to Stepping Stone Hospice
Despite a tough economic climate experienced in 2017, the Thursday Club in Primrose, Germiston has managed to yet again donate much-needed funds to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. This is the fourth year in a row that Stepping Stone Hospice has been chosen as one of several charities to benefit from The Thursday Club’s fundraising efforts.
The handover took place at a Christmas Lunch hosted by the club, at the Genesis function venue in Boksburg on Thursday, 7 December 2017. The resounding message from all the charities represented on the day was clear – that 2017 has been one of the toughest for them financially and that it is thanks largely to the generosity of the communities around them and groups like The Thursday Club that have helped sustain them.
Jason Goliath and friends bring down the house for Stepping Stone
Funnyman Jason Goliath and a host of his comedic friends brought the house down at The Barnyard Theatre, Gold Reef City on Thursday 23 November as they presented Where’s Wally? The Brian Wallace Memorial Comedy Show in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice.
Over 200 people attended the event in honour of Jason’s best friend Brian Wallace, who lost his battle to cancer at Stepping Stone Hospice in May this year. “Stepping Stone Hospice gave him such a dignified end. Help us help them – come laugh,” said Jason about the event on his Facebook page.
‘Movember’ geld vir hospice
Agt personeellede van Hoërskool Dinamika het hierdie jaar weer met groot entoesiasme deelgeneem aan die “Movember” veldtog as deel van hierdie skool se jaarlikse uitreikaksies. Die “Movember” veldtog het sy oorsprong in 2004 in Melbourne, Australie, gehad toe 30 manne besluit het om ‘n baard en/of snor vir ‘n periode van 30 dae te groei in ‘n poging om bewustheid rondom prostaatkanker aan te wakker. Dit het gelei tot die stigting van die Movember Foundation Charity wat jaarlikse duisende rande insamel vir bewustheidsveldtoge rondom prostaatkanker en algemene gesondheidstoestande onder mans. Hoërskool Dinamika se personeel het almal bygedra tot die fonds en sodoende R1 700 ingesamel. Die fondse is Maandag 4 Desember aan Stepping Stone Hospice oorhandig.
Alston Primary donates to Stepping Stone
Representatives from Alston Primary School in Leondale arrived at Stepping Stone Hospice’s In-Patient Unit on 29 November to deliver a JoJo tank they bought for hospice with funds they had left over for the year. Part of a committee that focusses on outreach and giving back to the community, amongst other things, the ladies were made aware of Stepping Stone’s Wish List for 2017, which included a tank to harvest rainwater to use in maintaining the hospice’s Garden of Remembrance. Said Stepping Stone’s Clinical Services Manager, Sr Sheryl Newman: “Our garden is a therapeutic space for our patients and their families, so this donation is truly a special one for us. Personally, it was top of my wish list for this year in terms of the wish list items we needed.”
Philia Women’s Group donates to Stepping Stone
The Philia Women’s Support Group invited Stepping Stone Hospice CEO Tersia Burger to attend their Christmas brunch, which was held on Tuesday, 28 November at the NG Church West in Fore Street, New Redruth. There they handed over a donation from their members and thanked Tersia for the work that Stepping Stone Hospice continues to do for the community. The word ‘philia’ is usually translated to mean ‘friendship’ and ‘affection’ and this group of inter-denominational ladies meets every Tuesday to care for and support one another and also to learn new skills. This is the second year that these ladies have donated towards the running costs of Stepping Stone Hospice. The group also previously handed over blessing blankets for hospice patients and their families.
Reading Ladies honoured for their contribution
The Reading Ladies Golf Section has supported Stepping Stone Hospice consistently for the past three years through various events – including their annual Charity Golf Day, which is held primarily to raise funds for hospice. A group of the lady golfers also cycled for Stepping Stone Hospice in the recent Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge, which helped to secure even more funds for the organisation.
‘Golden Oldies’ welcome Stepping Stone
Members of the ‘Golden Oldies’ Seniors Group at the AGS Kerk, Alberton Noord, gathered together on Thursday, 9 November, in the church hall to welcome Sister Margi Bollman from Stepping Stone Hospice. The group, which meets once a month under the leadership of Seniors Coordinator, Zinnia Lee, listened intently as Sr Margi talked about palliative care and the work that Stepping Stone Hospice does in the community, explaining that “we don’t just walk a path with our patients, but with their families too.” She also highlighted the many ways in which a person can volunteer at Stepping Stone, with Zinnia stressing that we can all do something to become involved in our community.
Brian and Gisela say ‘I Do’ at Stepping Stone Hospice
A mere three days before his passing, Stepping Stone Hospice patient, Brian Sargent, married his long-time love Gisela Rall in front of family and friends in an emotion-filled ceremony held in his room at the hospice’s In-Patient Unit on Thursday, 2 November.
The 67-year-old Brian was diagnosed with cancer only six weeks ago and passed away on Sunday evening, 5 November – but not before fulfilling his promise to Gisela.
The couple met at a biker function over 16 years ago. “He kept asking everyone for my number,” recalls Gisela. “He eventually asked me out and for our first date took me with him on a Toy Run charity ride.”
Stepping Stone Hospice reflects on challenges faced in 2017
This year has been their most challenging to date, according to Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger. Back in 2013, she honoured her dying daughter’s last wish to open a hospice facility in Alberton that would take care of people and their families who were facing life-limiting illnesses. At the time, neither Tersia, nor the rest of her then six-women steering committee, ever thought that in the four years that would follow, Stepping Stone Hospice would grow to the extent that is has.
“Life-limiting illnesses are a reality many of us have to face and the services we provide have become an integral part of the communities we live in,” says Tersia. In 2013, 97 registered Stepping Stone Hospice patients died. In 2016, 235 registered Stepping Stone hospice patients died – an increase of over 227%. This year, from January to end September, the number is already on 225 of their registered patients who have passed away.
Eurolab donates R50 000 to Stepping Stone Hospice
Local oncology company Eurolab donated R50 000 to Stepping Stone Hospice on Tuesday, 10 October, in aid of our ongoing fundraising efforts. “We are extremely grateful to Eurolab for the support, which will benefit our patients,” says Stepping Stone CEO, Tersia Burger, adding that Stepping Stone shares a common ethos with Eurolab in that "our patients are our main focus" and that every donation the hospice receives "helps keep our doors open."
Hobo’s in action for Stepping Stone Hospice
The rainy weather certainly didn’t dampen the enthusiasm at the Meyersdal Action Sports Arena on Saturday, 7 October, as teams gathered to play volleyball and cricket in hobo gear while members of the community browsed the stalls at the under-roof market, all in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice.
The event was a collaboration between hospice and the Meyersdal Action Sports Arena, with manager AW Claassens spearheading the event, together with Stepping Stone’s Fundraising Manager, Marietjie Tame. “As part of our ongoing fundraising efforts, we joined forces with the Meyersdal Action Sports Arena to host a ‘Hobo’s in Action Day’ combined with an under-roof market selling unique arts, crafts and good food,” explains Marietjie.
Walkers raise R80 000 for hospice
Close to 2000 walkers took to the streets in Bedfordview on Sunday 30 July 2017, and because of their commitment and the hard work of the Shuffling Walking Team committee, an incredible amount of R366 000 was raised of which R80 000 was recently donated to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park in Alberton.
Maria da Silva, co-founder of the Shuffling Walking Team, explains that various non-profit organizations who mostly deal with cancer related issues, are chosen annually to benefit from the walk. “Cancer is just something that has impacted many of us on our committee and in my case, I lost most of my family to cancer. So if we can help organizations who help those facing life-limiting illnesses, then that’s what we do,” she says.
Brackenhurst Primary Cancer Tea in aid of hospice
A Ladies Tea, held in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice and hosted by a teacher at Brackenhurst Primary School, Mrs Dorothy Buitendag, herself a cancer survivor, led to the incredible sum of R55 280 handed over to the hospice team on Tuesday September 19.
This annual Cancer Tea, endorsed by Brackenhurst Primary and held on Saturday September 2 in their school hall, drew 200 ladies to the event where they were not only treated by the table hosts to some lovely eats and coffee and tea, but had the honour to meet the well-known Prof. Carol-Ann Benn, considered to be one of the top breast-cancer experts in South Africa. Her commitment and determination to the field has seen her help many women during their life-changing struggle with this condition.
Big turnout at Stepping Stone’s annual Memorial Day
Close to 400 people attended Stepping Stone Hospice’s annual Memorial Day on Sunday, 17 September, which was held in the garden outside the hospice’s In-Patient Unit in New Market Park. Visitors were asked to each bring a photo, letter or small token in remembrance of a loved one to place inside a memory capsule which was later put to ground in the hospice’s Garden of Remembrance. So great was the outpouring of emotion that one memory capsule soon turned into three, all filled with heartfelt messages and tokens of love.
Lady golfers to host comedy fundraiser for hospice
Meet the lady golfers of Reading Country Club who will be riding for Stepping Stone Hospice in this year’s Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge. As part of their fundraising efforts for the race, they will be hosting a comedy evening featuring the outrageous comedy duo, Tony Stewart and Mel Miller.
When: Saturday, 30 September
Where: Reading Country Club
Tickets cost R150 each and can be bought from Heather, 076 972 1551 or Roz, 011 907 8906
Teams wanted for hospice action day!
Stepping Stone Hospice is looking for action cricket and volleyball teams to compete in the organization’s first-ever “Hobo’s in Action” fun day, to be held at the Meyersdal Action Sports Arena on Saturday, 7 October.
In-keeping with the theme of the day, players will play in ‘hobo’ gear and there will be exciting prizes for the winning teams, as well as a prize for the best-dressed team on the day. Each participant will also receive a medal.
Hospice elects new Board
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services recently elected its new Board for 2017 at the organization’s Annual General Meeting, held in New Market Park on 22 August 2017. Back row, f.l.t.r: Adv Etienne Cosyn, Andries Coetzee, Daniel Serumola and Hein Odendaal (vice-chairperson). Seated, f.l.t.r: Thersia Corrigan, Barbara Campbell-Ker (chairperson) and Carina van der Walt. Absent: Dr Sylvia Rodrigues and Russell du Plessis.
Standing ovation at hospice’s 'Oppi Plaas' event
More than 200 people gathered on the stoep of the iconic Meyer House on the Meyer Farm on Friday, 1 September, for an intimate evening with the super-talented Deon van der Merwe and Ruhan du Toit from the popular band ‘Touch of Class’ – all in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice.
Guests tucked into boerie rolls and warming bowls of curry and rice as they listened to the band play hits from the likes of Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers and Elvis Presley, to homegrown favourites such as Theuns Jordaan. But it was Ruhan du Toit’s renditions of Pavarotti’s 'Nessun Dorma' and 'O Sole Mio' that had everyone on their feet in awe.
Huntington’s patient recovers at hospice after hit and run
JP Enslin (42), a familiar face and longtime resident of Alberton, is currently recuperating at Stepping Stone Hospice’s In-Patient Unit in New Market Park after being struck down by a taxi while crossing Voortrekker road on Monday morning, 21 August.
JP was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease four years ago and he’s since been registered as a hospice patient. “We look after people with life-limiting illnesses and Huntington’s is one of them,” explains Stepping Stone’s Clinical Services Manager, Sister Sheryl Newman.
Huntington’s, an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, affects a person's functional abilities and results in physical, cognitive and psychiatric disorders. Most people develop signs and symptoms in their 30s or 40s, but the disease may emerge even earlier.
Hospice to host under-roof market
Stepping Stone Hospice is inviting prospective stallholders to take part in their first-ever “Under Roof Market” in Alberton on Saturday, 7 October 2017.
As part of its ongoing fundraising efforts, the hospice has joined forces with the Meyersdal Action Sports Arena to host a “Hobo’s in Action Day”, combined with an Under-Roof Market selling unique arts, crafts and good food.
A night to remember
Stepping Stone Hospice’s third annual ‘Come Whine With Me’ event drew over 140 ladies to Glenvista Country Club on the evening of Tuesday, 8 August 2017.
Guest speaker and author, Elanie Kruger, touched the hearts of everyone with her incredible story of survival after being held captive as a sex slave. Her book From Playground to Prostitute is currently in re-print, with talks underway to make a movie of her life story. She spoke candidly about the work she does now to clamp down on human trafficking, sharing some very sobering and eye-opening statistics for the ladies to take note of – especially when it comes to keeping track of children’s online activity.
Debra Wait from Nicholson Smith Distillers got the wine tasting underway with a selection of delicious red, white and rosé varieties, while Trevor and Marelize Howard from Jubilant Gift Boutique in Alberante wowed the ladies with their beautiful exhibition of exclusive gifts and products.
Family fun walk benefits hospice
Over 200 eager walkers, dressed in pink and blue, took to the streets of Brackendowns on Saturday, 5 August 2017, as the leadership team of the Brackendowns Baptist Church hosted their very first Family Fun Walk for Cancer in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice.
A team comprising of Stepping Stone Hospice staff and volunteers led the way along the 5km route, as a show of support and gratitude for the initiative which resulted in a whopping R38 000 being raised for the organization.
Memorial Day at Stepping Stone Hospice
Stepping Stone Hospice’s Memorial Day will take place on Sunday, 17 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 fourth Memorial Day since opening our doors in 2013,” says Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger. “To date, we have had over 900 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.”
Ladies of golf, making a difference
The Reading Ladies Golf Section held its 11th Annual Charity Golf Day on Wednesday, 9 August 2017, at Reading Country Club, with the day breaking all their previous fundraising records.
One hundred and forty golfers competed on the day, with a Betterball Stableford as the competition format. The father-and-son combination of Joe and James Johnston emerged as the winners on 48 points. The ladies were not far behind, with Wilanda Snyman and Esme Engelbrecht coming in second place on 46 points.
Alberton Lions Donate to Hospice
The Alberton Lions recently visited Stepping Stone Hospice to hand over a donation of R12 500 - raised via several fundraising efforts throughout the year.
“We support various organizations in our community and we are very aware of the good work this hospice does, hence our decision to make them one of our beneficiaries,” explains Mark du Plooy, first vice-president of the Alberton Lions.
Hospice to host ‘Communication, Counselling & Life Skills Course’
Join Holistic Entrepreneur, Marisa Wolheim – a dedicated and passionate trainer with 21 years’ experience in Hospice Care – as she presents a comprehensive 12-week ‘Communication, Counselling & Life Skills Course’ at Stepping Stone Hospice, starting in September.
“I specialize in facilitating a journey within, so you can discover, heal and reclaim yourself from your past, emotions and attitudes,” explains Marisa, who believes in empowering people with the knowledge to understand the realities of life “such as loss, death and grief.”
Stepping Stone Hospice launches ‘Last Wishes’ campaign
In a bid to illustrate some of behind-the-scenes work that Stepping Stone Hospice does, as well as to encourage people to donate to the organisation, the Marketing and Fundraising team at Stepping Stone is embarking on an eight-week-long campaign that will highlight some of the last wishes of patients that the hospice has been able to help come true.
Hospice to host ‘Oppi Plaas met Touch of Class’ evening
Join Stepping Stone Hospice at the iconic Meyer Farm on Friday, 1 September, for an intimate evening with the super-talented Deon van der Merwe and Ruhan du Toit from the popular band ‘Touch of Class.’
Stepping Stone Hospice gives back for Mandela Day
Members of the clinical team at Stepping Stone Hospice spent the morning of Mandela Day, 18 July, handing out knitted toys and winter warmers to the children and mothers in the paediatric and maternity units at Bertha Gxowa Hospital in Germiston and at South Rand Hospital. The hospice’s community sisters also handed out parcels containing scarves, beanies and blankets to home-based patients in Katlehong and Vosloorus. All of the knitted items were generously made and donated to Stepping Stone by members of the community over the last couple of months.
New roof for Nurses’ Canteen
The sales team from Group Five’s Everite Building Products spent Mandela Day, 18 July, hard at work repairing the roof of Stepping Stone Hospice’s nurses’ canteen. Said the Everite team’s Sonja van der Merwe: “For us it’s about having a passion for people and helping where there’s a need. We’re re-roofing the nurses’ canteen behind the In-Patient Unit at Stepping Stone Hospice because we’d like to do something that has a lasting impact.”
Stepping Stone’s Cycle Challenge Team chosen for 947 visit
Stepping Stone Hospice’s Fundraising Manager, Marietjie Tame and Hospice Charity Cycle Team Leader, Judy Joubert, were invited to the 947 broadcasting studios on Tuesday, 4 July, to discuss this year’s Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge and specifically the “Ride for a Purpose” campaign.
“Come Whine With Me” guest speaker visits Hospice
This year’s “Come Whine With Me” guest speaker, Elanie Kruger, paid a visit to Stepping Stone Hospice’s In-Patient Unit on Saturday, 8 July, to meet members of the Stepping Stone Hospice team and familiarize herself with the work they do.
Alberton LewenSentrum thanks Stepping Stone Hospice staff
Members of the Alberton LewenSentrum arrived at Stepping Stone Hospice’s In-Patient Unit on Wednesday, 28 June, bearing gifts and lunch for the Stepping Stone team – to say ‘thank you’ for the work the hospice is doing for the community.
Hospice benefits at bowls final
The ladies of the Alberton Bowling Club in Florentia recently held a Ladies ‘Trips’ tournament, which ran over five Saturdays during May and June – culminating in a grand final on 24 June. Behind the competitiveness of it all though lay a spirit of generosity, as the Alberton ladies team decided to dedicate the tournament to raising funds for Stepping Stone Hospice. A whopping R10 000, plus an additional R1 231.30 in small change was handed over to Stepping Stone CEO, Tersia Burger, at the prize-giving lunch.
Family Fun Walk for Stepping Stone Hospice
The leadership team at the Brackendowns Baptist Church is organizing a Family Fun Walk over 5km in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice on Saturday, 5 August 2017, in Brackendowns.
Flagship of Charity Shops
From a few makeshift shelves in an office to two containers converted into a 2nd hand shop to the beautiful The Charity Shop in Alberton Mall! This is the story of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services’ journey of creating a fundraising avenue whereby donated 2nd hand goods are being sold and the proceeds being used to strengthen the organization’s fundraising budget.
Stepping Stone Hospice benefits from golf day
The Dynamic Charity Society, previously known as the Bits and Bytes Group, held their 6th annual Charity Golf Day on Thursday, 25 May, 2017 at the Blue Valley Golf Estate in Midrand. They chose Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services as one of the three charities to benefit from the proceeds and handed over a cheque for the amount of R15 000 to hospice at the prize-giving dinner.
Hospice bed giveaway – winners announced
Mega Couch & Mattress, in partnership with Dynapedic Beds, gave away two beds to the value of R11 000 through a raffle in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. The winners were announced on Friday 26 May 2017 – Debi Dare from Alberton won the double bed, whilst Shannon Waters from Alberton won the single bed.
Bowling for hospice
This past Saturday, 20 May, saw the start of the Alberton Bowling Club’s Ladies ‘Trips’ tournament, which is set to run over five Saturdays during May and June – culminating in a grand final on 24 June. Behind the competitiveness of it all though lies a spirit of generosity as the Alberton ladies team has decided to dedicate the tournament to raising funds for Stepping Stone Hospice.
Social club welcomes Stepping Stone
Tears flowed freely as Stepping Stone Hospice CEO ,Tersia Burger, addressed the ladies of Café la Plume’s Wednesday ‘Social Club’ in Glenanda on 17 May. Tersia spoke about what she’s learnt about loss and grief after the passing of her daughter Vicky in 2013, who was the inspiration behind Stepping Stone Hospice. “At the beginning it feels like a tsunami, with wave after wave of utter despair hitting you,” said Tersia, adding that “over time the waters begin to calm a little and then, right out of the blue, something triggers a memory and a giant wave appears out of nowhere and hits you again.”
A Morning with Jeremy Mansfield
Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger, and Fundraising Manager, Marietjie Tame, were invited as guests of the Alberton Record to a breakfast brunch hosted by Alberton High on Friday morning, 12 May. There they met the “the big man” Jeremy Mansfield, who was guest speaker at the breakfast.
Stepping Stone Hospice Celebrates Nurses
In celebration of International Nurses’ Day on Friday, 12 May, the clinical team at Stepping Stone Hospice was treated to an ‘appreciation lunch’ at the hospice’s In-Patient Unit in New Market Park, prepared with love by Stepping Stone’s very own Clinical Services Manager, Sr Sheryl Newman and CEO, Tersia Burger.
LewenSentrum donates to Stepping Stone
Alberton LewenSentrum hosted their Annual Golf Day on Thursday, 11 May, at Reading Country Club, with a portion of the funds raised donated to Stepping Stone Hospice. This is the 3rd year in a row that hospice has received a donation from their golf day and we are extremely grateful to Pastor Andries Enslin and the rest of his team and congregation for their continued support.
Winter Warmers for Hospice
Just in time for the chilly weather, these lovely ladies from the community put their knitting, crocheting and sewing skills to work, to make blankets, scarves, beanies and the like for the patients of Stepping Stone Hospice. They presented their beautiful creations to Stepping Stone CEO, Tersia Burger, over tea and scones at the lovely ‘The Steaming Mug’ coffee shop at Alberton Crossing on Tuesday, 9 May.
New charity shop for Stepping Stone Hospice
Great excitement is building at Stepping Stone Hospice as the retail team gets set to open the hospice’s newest charity shop, on 1 June 2017, in the Alberton Mall (opposite the iconic Springbok Pharmacy).
Re-paying it forward
Staying true to their word, in the spirit of ‘re-paying’ it forward, Stepping Stone Hospice’s Clinical Services Manager, Sr. Sheryl Newman, and CEO, Tersia Burger, reconvened with representatives of the Avril Elizabeth Home at Lambano Paediatric Hospice in Germiston on Thursday, 4 May, to hand children’s nappies over to Lambano’s Lyn Croote.
1 to 8 May is Hospice Week...
Back in 2013, an Alberton mom honoured her dying daughter’s last wish – to open a hospice facility in Alberton that would take care of people and their families who were facing life-limiting illnesses. At the time, neither Tersia Burger nor the rest of her six-woman steering committee, ever thought that in the four years that would follow, Stepping Stone Hospice would grow to the extent where they, this year, signed off on an annual budget of R16-million!
Well done, Linda!
Remember Linda Keiser (42), who was preparing to take on the Tankwa Camino – a grueling 10-day, 256km endurance hike through one of the most parched regions in SA, namely the Tankwa Karoo? Well, she did it!
Dussing family says ‘Thank You’
Wife of the late Des Dussing, Marie Dussing, visited our In-Patient Unit on Friday, 21 April, with a donation of 50 pillow protectors. Des, who passed away on 12 March 2017 after a long battle with cancer, had always been a great supporter of our hospice.
Another tick on the Wish List…
At Stepping Stone Hospice, there’s a ‘Wish List’ of items the hospice needs – both big and small – that gets pinned to the In-Patient Unit noticeboard and is also made available on the Stepping Stone website for people to see. The hospice is very fortunate to be surrounded by a community of givers and this was demonstrated again on 20 April, when Corné Nell gifted Stepping Stone with a much-needed paper shredder, along with two beautiful tea sets.
Paying it forward
In the spirit of ‘paying it forward’, Stepping Stone Hospice was given a donation of 40 boxes of nappies, as well as several thousand nappy bags by the Avril Elizabeth Home on 20 April.
Meet our new Community Sister…
Stepping Stone Hospice has a new Community Sister, Sr Tina Pieterse. A resident of Alberton herself, Tina has been working as a registered nurse for over a decade, is a mom of two, and describes herself as energetic and chatty.
Daniel gets a ‘hand’s up’
What started out as a Facebook plea by Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park, to help a patient’s son further his studies, has culminated in a full bursary offer from Boston City Campus & Business College in Alberton.
Bed giveaway, in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice
Mega Couch & Mattress, in partnership with Dynapedic Beds, are giving away two beds to the value of R11 000 through a raffle in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. Raffle tickets at R50 each are available at Mega Couch & Mattress in Alberton City, as well as at Hi-Q Service Centre in Alberton North. Stepping Stone Hospice will also be selling tickets at their In-Patient Unit in New Market Park.
Welcome to Stepping Stone, Frank!
Longtime friend and supporter of hospice, Frank Weldon, recently joined the newly-established Retail Division at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park to help manage the hospice’s charity shop depot.
Says Stepping Stone Hospice’s Retail Manager, Brenda Peach: “We needed someone to assist with stock control, as well as manage the collection of all the donated goods we receive from the community. Frank has a particular passion for hospice and we’re happy to have him on board.”
Daniel needs a “hand’s up”
For many it would be far too much to deal with. But for 18-year-old Daniel Dos Santos from Dinwiddie, Germiston, becoming paralyzed from the chest down after a car accident in 2014, which also claimed the life of his older sister, brought with it an acceptance that “this is my new ‘normal’.”
Meet Stepping Stone Hospice’s ‘Class of 2017’
Through sheer hard work, determination and commitment to their profession, six care workers at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park recently graduated to become fully-fledged auxiliary nurses.
Lizzy Khoza, Andy Nnakwu, Nozipho Munyu, Amelia Sithole, Levis Sebetola and Lorraine Tshabalala all successfully completed a one-year auxiliary nursing course and were acknowledged for their efforts at a graduation ceremony held at Hospice Wits.
Stepping Stone Hospice hosts second annual golf day
A record number of 132 golfers took to the course at Reading Country Club on Thursday, 16 March 2017, to take part in Stepping Stone Hospice’s second annual golf day, raising no less than R100 000 towards the hospice’s Building Project.
‘Hiking through the Karoo for my dad and Stepping Stone Hospice’
It will soon be a year since Linda Keiser (42) from Benoni lost her dad, Colin (63), to brain cancer. And as a tribute to him, as well as a personal challenge to herself, Linda will be embarking on a grueling, 10-day, 256km endurance hike from Calvinia to Ceres through one of the most parched regions in SA – the Tankwa Karoo.
Buddy is Stepping Stone Hospice’s new ‘best friend’
The lengths to which Stepping Stone Hospice staff will go to care for their patients and their patients’ families, was once again demonstrated when a therapy dog was brought in to assist with counselling a young girl who was facing the death of her father.
Alberton Damesklub donates to hospice…
Stepping Stone Hospice was the recipient of a donation of R2 000 from the wonderful members of the Alberton Damesklub, as they celebrated the club’s 49th birthday at the Alberton Retirement Village in Florentia on Thursday, 9 March.
Come and party for Stepping Stone Hospice in memory of Granny Sue!
When 15-year-old George West was thinking of a way to honour and celebrate the life of his late Granny Sue, while at the same time help to raise funds for the place that took such loving care of her in her last days, the answer was clear – “a party.”
450kg of bottle tops equals 1 wheelchair
A year or so ago, Dylan Jacobs, a learner at Alberton High School and a member on the school's Welfare Committee, proudly handed over two new wheelchairs to Stepping Stone Hospice. On Monday, 27 February 2017, Dylan and his team handed over another new wheelchair to the hospice - all possible because of his dedication and commitment to do good in the community. Dylan and the rest of the Welfare Committee members embarked on a drive to collect 450kg of plastic bottle tops.
High Tea for hospice
With the spectacular Meyersdal Eco Estate as the backdrop, Stepping Stone Hospice patron, Corlia Booysen, hosted her Inaugural High Tea in aid of the hospice on Saturday, 25 February, at the Eco Estate's clubhouse.
Stepping Stone Hospice’s ‘new-look’ Fundraising, Marketing and Retail Team
Since opening its doors in 2013, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services has grown at a rapid rate. And as a Non-Profit Organization that receives zero financial assistance from government, the organization relies a great deal on the generosity of the community to keep its doors open.
Garden Furniture in memory of a loved one
The memorial garden at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services is a beautiful and tranquil space for quiet contemplation, as well as a gathering place for families and patients to spend precious moments together. We recently received a generous donation of garden furniture from Chantel Pienaar and family in memory of her mom, Hannelie Koen, who passed away at the age of 56 in our In-Patient Unit on Valentine’s Day last year.
Hospice volunteers raise R26 000
Stepping Stone Hospice volunteers stepped up to the plate when they raised no less than R26 000 for the hospice through the hosting of their Volunteers Tea on Saturday February 18, 2017 in the Alberton Methodist Church hall.
Under the guidance of volunteer Irene Barnard, and with the help of hospice staff and Kobie van Wyk from the Alberton Methodist Church, 180 ladies were entertained and spoilt with some good music, good food and loads of fun and laughter.
Spoil yourself and be blown away
Every now and again an opportunity comes along that you simply cannot walk away from. The High Tea for ladies, to be held at the Meyersdal Eco Estate Club house on the 25th of February this year, is most certainly one of these opportunities.
Emotional scenes played out at Stepping Stone Hospice in New Market Park on Friday morning when the staff said goodbye to baby Tersia Perreira and mom Irineia as they are set to return to Irineia’s hometown, Lobito in Angola.
“It’s a girl” at Stepping Stone Hospice
‘You are not alone’ is not only the motto at Stepping Stone Hospice, it is a philosophy that is put into action daily – and it has never been better illustrated than in the case of Baby Pereira. There may be no way to change the outcome sometimes, but there’s always a way to make a difference to the journey.
"Movember" fondse na Hospice
Die manne onder die personeel van Hoërskool Dinamika het Dinsdag 6 Desember 'n donasie van R1150 aan Stepping Stone Hospice gemaak - fondse wat ingesamel is as deel van die jaarlikse "Movember" veldtog.
Family Donates to Hospice
Family of the late Chris Abrams, a patient of Stepping Stone Hospice until his passing on the 28th of October this year, paid us a visit this morning to hand over a cash donation of R10 500.
Hi-Q supports hospice
Hi Q Fitment Centre and IPS 4x4 celebrated the grand opening of their brand new outlet in Alberton on Saturday November 26, and at the same time announced that they have adopted Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services as their charity to support for the coming year.
Hospice cyclists break the Million Rand mark
The Stepping Stone Hospice Charity Team in the Telkom 947 Cycle Challenge did it again, just this time bigger and in a more spectacular fashion! This team, with 20 less riders than in 2015, has achieved the almost unthinkable, raising over ONE MILLION RAND for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. To be exact - R1 137 643,22 - an incredible increase of R519 241.88 over last year’s cycle challenge!
Hospice volunteers host day care activities for patients
An initiative by Stepping Stone Hospice volunteers to host a monthly day care activity class for the hospice’s community patients, is starting to become quite popular.
Vodacom Foundation throws their weight behind Stepping Stone Hospice
Best-selling author, Becca Fitzpatrick, was once quoted saying “sometimes bad things have to happen before good things can.” In the case of Stepping Stone Hospice in New Market Park, these words rang true when, after their nursing sister was robbed of her cellphones on Wednesday November 2, members of the community and the business fraternity pulled together to get her back on air within hours of the robbery.
Hospice cyclists ready for the big one!
With only a few weeks left to the grueling 947 Telkom Cycle Challenge, team members of the Stepping Stone Hospice Charity Team are gearing themselves to not only compete successfully in Johannesburg’s biggest road race, but to also break the fundraising record set last year.
Youth surprises hospice with R50 000 donation
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park received a huge surprise from the FESTA youth of the St Therese Catholic Church in Florentia. On Saturday October 22, 2016, they paid the hospice’s management team a visit and personally handed over a R50 000 donation towards the “Brick by Brick” project recently launched by Stepping Stone Hospice..
Happy Birthday Jim
In October last year, Jim Murray celebrated his 70th birthday in Stepping Stone Hospice's In-Patient Unit. During the past year, he's been discharged and re-admitted on a few occasion as the need arose.
Supporting Idols finalist
The Stepping Stone Hospice team showing their support for Idols finalist Terra Cox. Terra has a special place in all of their hearts as his mom was a patient at Stepping Stone Hospice two years ago. Terra's aunt, Jacqueline Fransman served as volunteer at Stepping Stone Hospice. Please support Terra Cox by voting for him. He has reached the top 8 and the public will now decide who will emerge as the 2016 Idols winner.
Nursing staff honoured for hard work and dedication
Non-nursing staff on Friday October 21, 2016 hosted a Special Tea for the nursing and clinical team at Stepping Stone Hospice in honour of their hard work and dedication in caring for their patients and their families. Guests and hosts alike also used the occasion to wear special hats in celebration of International Children's Palliative Care Day that was celebrated on Friday 21st October 2016.
Stepping Stone Hospice CEO
Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger (60) and her husband Danie (77), recently renewed their vows in the hospice gardens in New Market Park, surrounded by family, friends and staff of the hospice.
Thank you for your continued love and support
Tersia Burger, Chief Executive Officer Stepping Stone Hospice, writes:
On the 1st of January 2013 we started Stepping Stone Hospice. It was my beautiful daughter, Vicky Bruce’s, dying wish. We started out of my house in Randhart with one palliative trained nursing sister, Sr Siza Nkosi, a loan car, one second hand wheelchair and a group of enthusiastic volunteers – Rina Davies, Trix Willemse and myself. Vicky was our very first patient and also our first death.
St Martin's donate to hospice
St Martin’s School in Rosettenville invited Stepping Stone Hospice’s CEO, Tersia Burger, to their mass service held on Friday October 7, in their St Peters Chapel. Headmaster Reverend Malcolm Chalmers used the opportunity to announce that funds raised with their prep school's civvie day on Friday, are to be donated to Stepping Stone in honour of World Hospice Day, October 8.
Hospice charity shop opens its doors
From humble beginnings to a fully-fledged Charity Shop! Thursday October 6, 2016 saw the official opening of Ububele, Stepping Stone Hospice’s very own charity shop situated on the Amcare premises in New Market Park.
Muntlegging fondse na hospice
Met die vier van lentedag op 2 September 2016, het die sowat 1200 leerders van Laerskool Randhart ‘n muntlegging gehou ten bate van Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. Verlede Dinsdag is die opbrengs van die muntlegging, net oor die R13 000, aan die bestuurshoof van Stepping Stone, Tersia Burger, tydens die skool se oggendbyeenkoms oorhandig.
Lighthouse supports hospice
It’s not always the big things that can make a difference. Small gestures can mean as much when it’s done with such sincere and beautiful intent as displayed by children, staff and volunteers of the Lighthouse Stimulation Centre for the Disabled in Linmeyer last week, when they handed over a donation of coins to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services.
An act of hope in a new tomorrow
“It does get better, the pain does get better. It takes time, but one day, you wake up and it is better”. So says CEO of Stepping Stone Hospice, Tersia Burger, who opened the official proceedings at the hospice’s Annual Memorial Day held on Sunday in their gardens in New Market Park.
Thank you to our Brick by Brick sponsors
Help us Build, Brick by Brick project is gaining momentum with several donations and commitments coming in. Recorded this far:
Ride or sponsor for a purpose
In 2014, Stepping Stone Hospice took the brave step of entering a cycling team in the 94.7 Momentum Cycle Challenge that took place on the 16th November 2014. A whopping R380 000 was raised for the hospice by our group of 44 cyclists “riding for a purpose” in this annual cycling event.
Radio Raps stel nie teleur
Die sowat 300 aanhangers van die gewilde Jonathan van Radio Raps wie verlede Woensdag, 10 Augustus die Alberton Rugbyklub se boma volgepak het, het beslis nie teleurgesteld huistoe gegaan nie.
Hospice helps with blankets
With the onset of extreme cold weather this past week, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services heard of the plight of some orphaned and vulnerable children in our neighbouring communities. Hospice has been blessed with several donations of blankets over the past two months and a decision was made to reach out to some of these children.
Take responsibility for your own well-being
It was a full house at Reading Country Club this past Wednesday evening, 27 July, as Stepping Stone Hospice hosted their 2nd annual ‘Come Whine With Me’ event. The sold-out function was a great success and the ladies who attended were treated to an evening of inspiration and insight, as guest speakers, Holistic Entrepreneur Marisa Wollheim and Prof. Carol-Ann Benn, considered to be one of the top breast-cancer experts in South Africa, shared their wisdom and knowledge.
Meer kaartjies beskikbaar vir Radio Raps se Jonathan
Danksy Alberton Rugbyklub se vinnige ingryping, kan menige aanhanger van die gewilde Radio Raps se Jonathan, wie nie kaartjies vir sy vertoning op 10 Augustus kon kry nie, nou gehelp word.
Shoprite Furniture Honours Mandela
In acknowledging Mandela Day, the Shoprite Furniture Group on Monday July 18, delivered 67 blessing blankets to Stepping Stone Hospice. Management and staff of the House & Home and OK Furniture Divisions took 67 days to make the 67 blankets.
Brothers Support Hospice
Management and staff at René Turck & Associates combined effort and skill to enable them to donate over a hundred blankets to Stepping Stone Hospice. Marc Turck (on the left) and brother Sean Turck, here with CEO Tersia Burger.
Tender Loving and Care For Our Bakkie
A huge big thank you to Steve Peterson from Steve's Auto Tech & Diagnostics in Alrode who took our bakkie under his wing and gave it some "tender loving and care."
Wedding Anniversary in our garden
Ruth Dale (76), a patient in our unit, and her husband Clive (78) celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary on Wednesday July 6, in our gardens.
Congratulations to Beverley van Zyl
Congratulations to Beverley van Zyl, one of our volunteers, on being selected as a finalist in the Staff Volunteerism Awards for 2016 in The Old Mutual Foundation Group.
Brick by Brick project Launched
We launched our “Help Us Build, Brick by Brick” project on Thursday July 7, a project to raise funds for our planned extension to the existing In-Patient Unit. The extension has been necessitated by the ever-increasing demand for hospice care, care that is also needed more and more amongst young people.
Friends fundraiser for hospice
A group of friends, all of whom had been affected by cancer in one way or another, decided to join forces to raise funds for us. Cupcakes, arts and crafts and raffle tickets were up for sale at the Netcare Oncology Centre at the Clinton hospital on Wednesday and the ladies were delighted at the support they got.
Women knit for hospice
The NG Church Alberton South’s Women’s group recently joined forces with the Women’s Auxilliary Group from the Alberton Methodist Church in donating some beautiful blessing blankets to Stepping Stone Hospice.
Adding colour to a hospice day!
The Alberton Bernina Ladies Club recently donated the most beautiful quilts, crocheted blankets and love blankets to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, all hand made by these ladies specifically for patients in the In-Patient Unit.
Help us Build, Brick by Brick
Why do we need a hospice facility in our community? And why do we need to support this hospice, in whatever possible way we can?
2nd hand goods urgently needed
Second hand goods as a means of fundraising has been proved very successful for Stepping Stone Hospice. Since the donation by AC Industrial Cleaning of our own bakkie, business has been growing as we are now in a position to collect donated goods.
Why do we need a hospice facility in our community
Why do we need a hospice facility in our community? And why do we need to support this hospice, in whatever possible way we can?
Since opening their doors in October 2013, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in Alberton cared for 753 patients with life-limiting illnesses. Under their loving care and with the assistance of a multi-disciplinary team of doctors, sisters, caregivers, social workers and counsellors, 513 of these patients, an average of 16 per month, died a dignified and in most cases, symptom-free death.
Driver appointed at hospice
A welcome addition to our hospice family! Elias Makeleni has been appointed as our driver with his responsibilities mostly to collect 2nd hand goods donated to us.
Oxygen Machine Donated to Hospice
GOOD Samaritan, Kerry-Lee Pienaar (on the right), donated an oxygen machine to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in Alberton, to help patients who require this device.
A storybook wedding at Stepping Stone Hospice
It was only a six months into their relationship that Zanelle Mphikwa was diagnosed with urethral and bladder cancer. What followed was four years of fighting the disease together, moving from radiation to chemo to remission to out of remission, and now Stepping Stone Hospice.
A half a ton of plastic bottle tops later and two brand new wheelchairs
A half a ton of plastic bottle tops later and two brand-new wheelchairs donated to Stepping Stone Hospice. 15-year old Dylan Jacobs, learner at Alberton High School and a member on the schools' Welfare Committee, initiated this Social Science's project in the beginning of 2015, getting learners on board to collect as many plastic bottle tops as possible.
Ride for Stepping Stone Hospice
Taking up the challenge to ride for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in the 947 Cycle Challenge in November this year, is hospice’s very own Marketing and Fundraising Manager, Marietjie Tame. At the age of 55 with absolutely no previous experience of road racing, she says she is up for it and has already started her training.
Debbie to spend time with family
Less than a month ago 500 bikers gathered in the gardens of Stepping Stone Hospice to fulfill a wish of 49-year old Debby Townsend, one of our patients who expressed a wish to just “once more enjoy the company of some good ole bikers”.
Hospice Second Hand Store
Our little makeshift 2nd hand goodie shop is really taking off. As fast as our volunteers, Antoinette Pretorius and Anette Mogridge packs and sorts and price the items, it gets sold to some eager buyers
Young people getting involved in their community!
Learners from Brackenhurst Primary, over the past 18 months, collected millions of bread tags and plastic bottle tops to ensure that four brand-new wheelchairs could be donated to Stepping Stone Hospice On Thursday May 5, 2016. The "bread tags and plastic bottle tops campaign" is an Interwaste initiative.
Calling all cyclists!
We are at it again! Registration has now opened for the 2016 947 Cycle Challenge, scheduled to take place on Sunday, 20 November 2016 and a 20th year event! We will again enter a Stepping Stone Hospice team with every intent to better the already excellent results of last year’s race. .
500 bikers spend time with Debby
At the age of 49 she can write a book, pages filled with adventures on the seas and oceans of our world, of her younger days in Durban as president of a women’s bikers club, of a lodge in Mozambique, and now, having to come to terms with the reality of dying.
Hospice proud owner of their own bakkie
A very excited Stepping Stone Hospice team took ownership of their very own pick-up bakkie, proudly sponsored by Rene Matthee (front right) and her team at AC Industrial Cleaning! AC Industrial Cleaning has been a proud partner of this hospice for a few years now - on a monthly basis their team "spring-clean" the hospice’s In-Patient Unit in New Market Park from roof to floor, and provide them with goods such as cleaning materials etc on a regular basis.
Retirement Village Donates to Hospice
The Alberton Retirement Village in Verwoerdpark, Alberton, recently donated R30 000 to Stepping Stone Hospice, a gesture made possible by the hard work and dedication of the village’s council, it’s 12 active committees and 431 residents.
Full field support for hospice
No less than 136 golfers, a full field, took to the course on Thursday 03 March 2016 at Reading Country Club and with their support and the support of various sponsors, R119 000 was raised in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services.
Itec South pays it forward
Staff members at Itec South in Raceview, Alberton, annually are being rewarded for the best in their fields and as a bonus get send on an overseas holiday. This year however, these staff members decided not to take the Thailand holiday, but rather use the money to give back to the community.
How to communicate effectively
Poor communication is often the underlying cause of disharmony, whether it is in your personal life or at work. Being heard is a common human need, yet we often struggle with this, which can lead to assumptions and huge misunderstandings.
Lydia goes home for the weekend
Since her admission to Stepping Stone Hospice’s In-Patient Unit over two months ago, Lydia Lerata has made such wonderful progress that she was able to spend a past weekend at home with her family.
AARDE tyd is geleende tyd
“AARDE tyd is geleende tyd” was die boodskap van hoop en inspirasie tydens ‘n onlangse Damesoggend wat gehou is ten bate van Stepping Stone Hospice.
Brian ticks off his bucket list
When 33-year-old Brian Richards was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of stomach cancer in January this year and expressed a wish to go to the bush one last time, the team at Stepping Stone Hospice jumped into action to make it happen.
Thursday Club Helps Hospice
Every year, on the first Thursday of December, the Thursday Club in Primrose, Germiston, hands over cheques to charity organisations in and around their area. This year was no exception and Stepping Stone Hospice was the recipient of a R5000 donation from these ladies, who raise the funds through their own fundraising programmes throughout the year. This dynamic group of 24 ladies, of which the oldest member is a “young” 92 years old, live by their motto “Help us Help others”.
Blessed with a water cooler
We are so blessed by the generosity of everyone out there. The Beukes family, Paul and his daughter-in-law, Annie, last week donated a water cooler to be used in our In-Patient Unit, much to the delight of our CEO, Tersia Burger (middle). Stepping Stone cared for Paul's wife, Bettie, who passed away in our unit two weeks ago. Thank you Paul and Annie, cold water is always such a relief in the hot summer months. Many thanks!
Cyclists raise R610 000 for Stepping Stone
The Stepping Stone Hospice 947 Momentum Cycling Team did it again! On 8 November (Mountain Bike) and 15 November 2015 (Road Race), this team, consisting of 85 cyclists, took on the 947 Momentum Cycle Challenge and for the second year in a row, they exceeded not only their own expectations, but that of Stepping Stone too.
Matric pupil ‘Paying it Forward’ to Hospice
Stepping Stone Hospice and Care Services was recently the recipient of a donation in true ‘pay it forward’ style, when a Grade 12 pupil at Alberton High took money that was raised by the matric group for his benefit and chose instead to give it to Stepping Stone Hospice.
A special birthday at Stepping Stone Hospice
Jim Murray, an in-patient at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services for the past four months, and who celebrated his 70th birthday at the unit in October, was finally given the green light to go home to be with his family.
Paying it Forward
What a beautiful example of Paying it Forward. Children, staff and volunteers of the Lighthouse Stimulation Centre for the Disabled in Linmeyer last week handed over a donation of coins to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services.
Philia Women support Hospice
The Philia Women’s Support Group visited our In-Patient Unit last week and donated R1000 towards the running costs of our hospice. This group is an inter-denominational group and meets every Tuesday at the NG Church West in Fore Street, New Redruth where the ladies form a support group and learn various new skills.
2nd Bike Dash draws great support
The roar of over a 100 motorcycle engines on Sunday morning 04 October through the quiet suburb of Meyersdal, signaled the start of the 2nd Vic’s Vaal Bike Dash in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services.
Remax All Stars donates R10 000
Remax All Stars in Randhart recently donated R10 000 to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park, funds raised through a combined effort of their sales agents and the Remax SA Foundation.
Introduction to Caregiving Course
Rita Swanepoel, an Enrolled Nurse at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park, reflects on the day’s workshop with other Caregiver Training Course attendees, Charlene Murray (left), Caressa Wrede (right) and Urna Prinsloo (sitting opposite). The Introduction to Caregiving – Module 1, held during the first week in October, was attended by 50 staff members and volunteers at Stepping Stone Hospice and the course covered topics such as Basic Self Awareness, Communication, Counselling and Life Skills, Stages of Loss (including understanding loss and how it affects us) and Dynamics of Death and Dying.
Celebrating World Hospice Day
Caregiver Training Course attendees at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, Irene Barnard (left) and Caressa Wrede (right) enjoy tea and cake under the shade of the Stepping Stone Hospice lapa, along with Auxiliary Nurse, Sarah-Jane Malapela, in celebration of World Hospice and Palliative Care Day. World Hospice and Palliative Care Day takes place on the second Saturday of October every year. It is a unified day of action to celebrate and support hospice and palliative care around the world.
“Oppi Stoep” with Elvis
What an incredible event - A Wednesday sunset in the Meyersdal Eco Estate, with the sounds of popular singer and platinum selling South African musician and songwriter, Elvis Blue’s most beautiful songs filling the air.
Step it Up for Stepping Stone Hospice
Wellness Wednesday on September 16 at Barclays Towers West Atrium in the Johannesburg CBD, saw 128 cyclists sweating it out in a Spinathon Bonanza in support of the Africa Group Finance Director Functions (GFDF) Dynamic Working Campaign and Stepping Stone Hospice.
Hennie Alberts Self Storage comes to the rescue
Since opening its doors in October2013, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park continuously finds itself running out of space due to the demand of its services in our community. Storage of equipment such as hospital beds became a serious problem; that was until owners of the new Hennie Alberts Self Storage facility in Alrode South came to the hospice’s rescue.
Hospices face a budget crunch
HOSPICES in South Africa are being forced to retrench staff and cut back on the numbers of patients they care for as US donor funding dries up, the Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa said on Wednesday.
Sign up for Caregiver Training at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services and become one of our valued volunteers
Have you ever wanted to give of your time and yourself to a worthy cause or organisation? Perhaps volunteering at a hospice has crossed your mind, but you’re worried that it’s sad and depressing work?
A Reminder that we all experience pain
Events such as the Annual Memorial Day are a reminder that we all experience pain, grief and loss.
An evening of wine and whining!
It’s been said that ‘Wonder Woman is every working woman’ and that’ no lie! Staying sane and finding the balance between work and life is notoriously difficult, but we try anyway. And sometimes it’s just nice to sit back with a glass of wine and ‘let it all out’ in the company of other women who are rowing the same boat.
Marist Brothers donate funds
Mr Hylton Powell, deputy principal at Marist Brothers Primary School in Linmeyer, Johannesburg, handed over a cheque - R41000 - to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services on Thursday morning. Our CEO Tersia Burger, also had the chance to address the learners, from Gr R to Gr 7, all of whom participated in the fundraising effort. The little ones sat listening with eager eyes and ears, and had an opportunity to ask questions. They were delighted to hear that their money will be used "to help people who need it."
Fun Run Proceeds To Hospice
The Johannesburg Harriers Athletics Club in Johannesburg South hosted the Jackie Gibson Marathon and the Alan Ferguson Half-Marathon on Sunday March 22 this year. A 5km Fun Run was also on the cards and proceeds of this fun run was donated to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. The cheque of R10 000 was handed over to CEO, Tersia Burger, last week by the Harriers Committee, here f.l.t.r.: Johannes Khoele, Himat Bhaja, Cheryl Murphy, Johan Visser, Lewis Sandham, Tersia Burger, Vin Andrew (president JHB Harriers), Elaine Murphy and Mathilda van Zyl.
67 minutes for Mandela Day
The 18th of July, Nelson Mandela’s birthday, has become synonymous with acts of kindness, of service, of solidarity, of generosity; of devoting 67 minutes of our time – one minute for every year of Nelson Mandela’s public service – to help change the world for the better.
Healing through art
Using art materials to create images is a wonderful way to connect with the subconscious mind, as the process allows a person to access their feelings without having to verbalise them. So says teacher and owner of The Art Centre in Alberton, Sanchi Leibach, who recently treated the Psycho-Social team at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services to a healing art session.
Visit from America
American producer of the movie "Song of the Soul - Stories of Hospice in SA", Cathe Kobacker, and Pat Gibbons, director of Beacon Place Hospice & Palliative Care in Greensboro, North Carolina, paid Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services a visit last week and expressed their amazement at the rate this facility has grown in the past year.
Meet Hospice’s newly appointed patron
She didn’t hesitate for a moment when invited to become the official patron for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in Alberton. Her answer was yes and her reasons: “I want to use whatever skills and abilities I have to help ensure that this wonderful organization, the first of its kind right here on our doorstep, will at all times be able to keep their doors open. We need to ensure that their services are always available to the patients and families so desperately in need of it.”
You are never too old to make a difference
Irene Rayner (88) from Alberton (middle holding a blanket) decided that she wants to knit blankets to be distributed in the winter months. The Philia Women’s Group, of which she is an active member, jumped in and helped her rounding off the blocks she knitted by adding the borders and sewing it all together.
Clean water for hospice
The Environmental Protection Agency has on record that 90 percent of the world's water supply is unfit for drinking without some sort of treatment. Water may contain microorganisms that can cause diarrhea, vomiting and even death.
Hospice aims for record breaking fundraiser
Following on the successful 2014 Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge which saw Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park raise an amazing R400 000, the hospice has again registered for the 2015 Cycle Challenge, scheduled for Sunday November 15 this year.
Hospice helped me to accept
Like most people, Sharon Cloete had preconceived ideas about hospice and hospice care in an in-patient unit: “I believed that you go there to die, but I’ve since discovered that’s not the case.”
From mopping floors to a fully-fledged care worker
What started out as a cleaning job at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services has turned into a journey of growth and self-discovery for 47-year-old Lizzie Khoza.
Stepping Stone Hospice’s feathered friends
It’s often said that ‘feathers appear when angels are near’. Seems the ducks that roam the grounds at the AMCARE Centre in New Market Park, like to spend most of their time in and around the pond at Stepping Stone Hospice – with the result that their antics have become a source of entertainment and comfort for the in-patients that come into contact with them.
4 new beds for In-Patient Unit
Generator installed at hospice
Loadshedding causes havoc in normal households. At Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park, load shedding causes stress and distress on levels almost unimaginable.
"You deserve our help"
Both AMCARE and Stepping Stone Hospice are attracting well-deserved attention from local and provincial government. Delegates from the Ekurhuleni Executive Committee,
Rubbing shoulders with the Comrades Queen
Volunteer at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park, Judy Joubert, seen here with South Africa’s “Marathon Queen”, Frith van der Merwe, at Sunday’s Jackie Gibson Marathon and Alan Ferguson Half-Marathon held in Kibler Park.
Built on a river of tears
Tears fell freely last week Tuesday at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services when the foundation for the extension to the In-Patient Unit were poured with family members and friends placing photos of their loved ones in the foundation.
Beat the Fear – Be Cancer Aware
Gauteng Oncology joined forces with Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services, CANSA, Reach for Recovery and Netcare Radiation Department and hosted an Awareness Day at the Netcare Oncology Centre at Clinton Hospital on Friday February 13, 2015. It gave visitors an opportunity to ask questions and participate in the many events happening on the day. F.l.t.r. Dr Sylvia Rodrigues, oncologist in Alberton; line dancers showing off their talents; Stepping Stone Hospice exhibition table; visitors enjoying a Beat the Drums session.
Extensions to IPU
On 9 October 2013, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services celebrated the opening of its In-Patient Unit in New Market Park. Since then and in no less than 16 months, the need for this service has become so great that work has now commenced to extend the existing building.
On opening day, the In-Patient Unit offered three dignity rooms. In no time at all, this proved to be not enough and some office space was sacrificed to establish two more rooms.
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Service’s shopping list taken care of by Tony Demetriou from Il Forno in New Redruth and DCL Foods. All these items were donated and here Tony gets thank-you-hugs from the hospice ladies, Anna van der Schyff, Marie Coetzee and Tersia Burger.
On October 11, 2013, Alberton resident Frank Weldon, held the first ever fund-raising event for Stepping Stone Hospice - a Frank Sinatra music evening at the Alberton Retirement Village. On Friday 23 January 2015, Frank's brother Vic, was brought to Stepping Stone’s in-patient unit in New Market Park. Vic, an ex-Albertonian, was flown by Netcare from CapeTown and transported via ambulance from OR Tambo airport to Stepping Stone Hospice where our dedicated staff cared for him till his passing on 2 February 2015.
Golfers do it again
Support for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park has recently come from the Southdowns Country Club in Kibler Park. Their ladies golf section hosted a charity golf day early on in December in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice and the neatly sum of R25 000 was raised.
Medical student volunteers at Hospice
It was only when his granny passed away from cancer in October last year, that 2nd year medical student, Jason Vermaak from Verwoerdpark, decided that he wanted to learn more about palliative care and the services a hospice offers.
A Year Ago
Today, a year ago, our first patient admitted to our In-Patient Unit, passed away. Sieg Visser, husband of DA councilor Estelle Visser, was cared for by hospice staff in his last days. Seen here with Estelle at the Tree of Lights Ceremony last Friday, is chairperson of Stepping Stone Hospice Board, Barbara Campbell-Ker (left) and CEO Tersia Burger (right). Our thoughts and prayers are with you today, Estelle.
Thursday Day Club
The Thursday Club in Primrose, Germiston, recently donated R2500 to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services as part their annual outreach programme. No less than 14 organisations benefited this year from funds the club generated through various fundraising programmes held in 2014. The Thursday Club was started on February 28, 1952 with the specific purpose to help charity organisations help others. One of their very first fund-raising projects was to raise 110 Pounds Sterling to buy a piano for the Elandsvallei Home for the Aged, which is still used today. Dianne Venter, seen here serving eats and drinks at the meeting held on Thursday, is the active chairwoman of the club.
Carols By Candlelight
A Carols by Candlelight evening was held at The Lemon Tree Shopping Centre last week and proceeds from the event were donated to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. Handing over the cheque of R2000 is centre manager Joanne de Bruyn (middle) to Sr Engela Rademeyer (left) and Marietjie Tame (marketing and fundraising manager).
Caring in Action
Teachers and learners at Marais Viljoen High School reached out to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park, by nominating this organization as the beneficiary of their “Caring in Action” programme. Says teacher Elanza de Villiers, HOD Guidance, “some of us have been personally touched by the wonderful work this hospice does in our community and we wanted to do something for them, especially the staff and volunteers who always go the extra mile to not just support the patient, but the families as well.” The school raised funds and bought each staff member and volunteer at Stepping Stone Hospice a gift voucher “so that they can spoil themselves a little bit”, Elanza says. It is important, she says, that they too know they are not alone. Here with Elanza (left) are Sister Sheryl Newman, CEO of Hospice Tersia Burger and Sister Engela Rademeyer.
Nurses' Pledge of Service
During a touching ceremony held last Friday, the sisters, nurses and careworkers of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park were all asked to read out the “Nurses’ Pledge of Service”, thereby individually and collectively promise to at all times give only their best to their patient and his or her family.
The pledge reads as follows:
I solemnly pledge myself to the service of humanity and will endeavour to practice my profession with conscience and with dignity.
I will maintain, by all the means in my power, the honour and noble tradition of my profession.
Reflecting on 2014
Through her pain, a hospice was born and today Tersia Burger can look proudly upon the magnitude of the growth of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services. Tersia's daughter, Vicky passed away in January 2013 and in her last days, was cared for by hospice nursing sister, Sister Siza Nkosi. Tersia then teamed up with sr Nkosi and Rina Davies, now the hospice treasurer, and Stepping Stone Hospice became a reality. Vicky's wish was that Alberton could have its own hospice and today her legacy lives on. In the just more than a year, Stepping Stone has grown by leaps and bounds, now employing a great number of staff and care workers. And whilst we celebrate our growth, we also remember those who have passed and our thoughts and prayers are with the families during this Christmas time.
Hospice Says Thank You
At their year-end function on Sunday, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park took the opportunity to thank the many people who contributed to the success of the organization and to those who continue to help them help patients with life-limiting illnesses. CEO Tersia Burger (here on the left) made special mention of the wonderful support they receive from dr Sylvia Rodrigues (right), well-known oncologist in Alberton, who unselfishly gives of her time and share her knowledge to assist the nursing staff at Stepping Stone Hospice.
Dr Rodrigues also serves on the board of Stepping Stone Hospice.
Cyclists raise R380 000 for hospice
The recent 947 Momentum Cycle Challenge proved hugely successful, not only for the organizers of the race, but most certainly for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park in Alberton.
Getting ready for the big race
Getting ready for the big race! Monique Stoltz (3), from Alberton took her participation in the Donkey Derby fundraiser for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services quite seriously. Her “horse” may not have won his race, but let it not be said that she didn’t give it a good go.
Celebrating 1 Year
On 9 October 2013, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services celebrated its launch with 150 guests on the AMCARE premises in New Market Park where the ribbon was cut to celebrate the opening of the In-Patient Unit, at that stage comprising of three dignity rooms
Reading golfers celebrate Heritage Day
Reading Country Club’s 8th annual Charity Golf Day, hosted by the Ladies Golf Section and held on Heritage Day (September 24) turned out to be a huge success. The extended morning field was packed to capacity with 160 players competing.
Wheelchairs donated to hospice
What started off as a recycling exercise with a goal to raise funds, culminated in the handing over of six brand-new wheelchairs to three Hospice organizations throughout Gauteng.
Cancer granny’s wish granted
Heart breaking yet at the same time an act of kindness and love bestowed on a cancer patient who desperately wanted to be part of her first grandchild’s christening ceremony.
Celebrating a birthday
Rosie Fraga (seated), a patient in our In-Patient Unit, received a welcome visit from her younger sister Vouli (on the right).
In memory of loved one's
Sunday August 31 2014 saw the release of 500 balloons during Stepping Stone’s first Annual Memorial Day in memory of loved ones.
IconBrands™ develops & maintains Hospice Website
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services now has a facility on their website that enables members of the public to make online donations as and when they have the opportunity. This has been made possible through a sponsorship by Christél Rosslee-Venter and the team at IconBrands™ in Meyersdal.
Reading ladies support Hospice
The Reading Ladies Golf Committee paid Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park a visit on Women's Day (Saturday August 9) to meet the women behind the scenes at the Hospice.
Coenbuild comes to the rescue
Amidst a world seemingly in chaos with endless fighting and tragic deaths, some good always emerge to restore one’s faith in humankind.
All it took was one phone call and within a month, a 70 metre in length and 2 metre high brick wall was built to separate the In-patient Unit at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park from Heidelberg Road.
Years of sorrow
Years of sorrow, loneliness and pain are hidden somewhere deep in her soul. Not hidden but reflected in her blue eyes, is the compassion and unconditional love this 90-year old has for the world and for those “worse off than her”.
Dinamika leerlinge reik uit na Hospice
Drie leerlinge van Hoerskool Dinamika het verlede week gewys hoe jongmense ook betrokke kan raak by gemeenskapsprojekte en so ‘n verskil kan maak in hulle medemens se lewens. Clorinda van Blerk, Jenilee Robinson en Renique Venter (voor) het op eie inisiatief sakke vol tweedehandse klere bymekaar gemaak en aan die Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park geskenk. Vrywilligers by
67 blankets on Mandela Day
It took some serious cutting, sewing and knotting, but the Alberton Methodist Church Women’s Auxiliary group managed to reach their target and handed over 67 blessing blankets to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services on Mandela Day.
Material for the blankets was donated by Beverley van Zyl who coordinated a collection effort for this between staff from Old Mutual and members of the Alberton Hockey Club. Cutting of the material, mostly done by Judy Allen, started some 3 weeks prior to Mandela day.
Mandela Day union
Members of Netcare Union Hospital in Alberton donated their 67 minutes on Mandela Day to raise much-needed items such as adult nappies and toiletries for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park. F.l.t.r.: Tersia Burger (CEO Stepping Stone Hospice) Jenny Mare, Jenny James, MaryAnne van der Merwe, Ansie Harmse, Anna Poley (matron), Caroline Motsewabone, Isabel van der Merwe, Mathilda Thothelo, Sue Pos (hospital manager) and Annelie Bester.
Family friends of one of Stepping Stone Hospice
Family friends of one of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services’ patients delighted with winter blankets donated to them by Sister Engela Rademeyer. Stepping Stone spent 67 minutes with their outpatients in Kathlehong handing out much needed food items and blankets to the families of the patients.
Make a Difference Days in South Africa are opportunities for South Africans to volunteer their time and special skills to a project of their choice and to make a very real impact on the lives of others – all in the space of just one day.
Congratulations to Pieter Meyer.
National Nurses Day
Nursing staff at Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park, celebrated International Nurses' Day last week, quietly getting on with work they describe as a God-directed task.
Floor polisher donated to Hospice
The sale of second hand items at “Die Handelshuis” at the NG Church Alberton West, led to the donation of a brand new industrial floor polisher to Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in New Market Park.
Growing out of space
In the seven months since its opening last year, Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services has grown to such an extent that two new dignity rooms had to be added to the already existing three in their In-Patient Unit in New Market Park.
Vic's Vaal Bike Dash
Breakfast run with a purpose
The roar of 40 motorcycle engines on Sunday morning 30 March 2014 through the quiet suburb of Meyersdal, signaled the start of the inaugural Vic’s Vaal Bike Dash in aid of Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services.
R300 000 raised Eco Estate Charity Gholf Day
A whopping R300 000! This is the amount raised for Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services during the Meyersdal Eco Estate’s inaugural Charity Golf Day on Thursday February 27 at the Glenvista Country Club.
Residents of the Eco estate, the business fraternity and golfers alike dug deep into their pockets to ensure that this day will make a significant difference in the lives of hospice patients.
Students from a local art school in Alberton gave up their time and their paintings to support and financially assist two charity organizations in town.
They are not called the Steel Magnolias for nothing
They are not called the Steel Magnolias for nothing. On Wednesday last week, Steering Committee members and volunteers of the newly found Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services in Alberton donned their high heels and fancy frocks for garden attire and prepared a flowerbed on their premises for a memorial rose garden.
Amidst much laughter and shared comments of the “nasty effects of old age”, these ladies managed to clean a large flowerbed in front of the Hospice home at AMCARE in New Market Park.
Hard work, passion and absolute commitment from a team of dedicated women paid off last Wednesday when Alberton’s first Hospice opened its doors in Newmarket Park.
Stepping Stone Hospice & Care Services celebrated its launch with 150 guests at the AMCARE premises where the ribbon was cut to the first ever service of this kind in the Greater Alberton area. Traditionally Alberton community was serviced by Wits Hospice in Houghton and East Rand Hospice in Benoni.