AGM reveals South Coast Hospice’s character and challenges

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South Coast Hospice held its 37th annual general meeting on their premises on Thursday under very unusual circumstances, which is now the “new normal.”

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, only the mandatory requirements of the constitution was carried out.

All Covid-19 protocols of screening, temperatures, masking and social distancing were observed by the approximately 25 members who were in attendance.

The treasurer’s report explained Hospice’s financial situation and stated that the year had ended on a loss of R1 372 078, despite the Hospice management team doing all they could to contain expenses.

The treasurer thanked the South Coast community for their support and commended the fund-raising efforts, which still managed to do well under very challenging circumstances.

The chairman reported that the year under review had been very challenging with the economy under distress, and said that Hospice can expect to incur another loss at the end of the 2021 financial year, due to Covid-19.

He expressed his gratitude to the community who continue to provide ‘In-Kind” donations in excess of R275 000, which are not recorded on the financial statement. The chairman also stated that the Government needs to look at funding Hospices.

Although the finances are not good, Hospice is without debt and has assets in the land and building, vehicles, furniture and equipment.

The chairman commended the senior management who have already taken salary cuts in an effort to ensure the sustainability of the organisation.

He also commended CEO Di van Dyk and her team for providing high-quality palliative care at all times, through many challenges. The chairman also thanked board members for all their input and guidance on all Hospice matters.

Van Dyk said that they would be amiss if they didn’t remember Hospice stalwarts Joan Hudson and Dr. Andre Nell, who passed away last year.

She said that despite all the challenges, Hospice cared for 14,710 patients which impacted on 44,130 household members. This was done by 23 care staff. However, it is to be noted that all Hospice staff play a role in the care of patients.

Van Dyk narrated a story of Harry, Hospice’s maintenance man, who was called to carry a patient down some very difficult stairs at his home to bring him into the in-patient unit for end-of-life care. That is the calibre of people employed at Hospice.

She also paid tribute to Board member Heidi van Aswegen and staff member Patricia Magubane, who passed away very suddenly.

She thanked the community for their overwhelming generosity, saying “We only have to put a call out for anything we need, and the community rallies.

“However, we do not take donations for granted and ensure that all are thanked for their contribution, as at the end of it all is a patient who needs us.”

Van Dyk said that Hospice will have to make some sacrifices going forward to ensure the sustainability of the wonderful organisation.

She thanked the guests for attending during the Covid-19 pandemic and said that their support was greatly appreciated.

She also apologised for the fact that they could not offer anyone refreshments due to no social gathering at this time.

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