South Coast Hospice has announced the launch of the Kingfisher Project.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, South Coast Hospice has been forced to think outside of the box to “keep the boat afloat”.
As a result, the Kingfisher Project will serve as an overarching fund-raising drive.
BT King, South Coast Hospice’s fund-raising coordinator, broke the news on Thursday morning (watch below).
South Coast Hospice provides in-patient care, home care, doctor consultations, cancer screening, psychological counselling, social services, support groups, chronic medicines distribution, adherence support, training and mobile clinic services.
However, it’s the love and compassion of the staff, on top of their professionalism, that make South Coast Hospice more like extended family than just a non-profit organisation.
To highlight this special care, CEO Diane van Dyk shared the emotional Hospice journey she and her late husband Jim travelled many years ago.
“Receiving bad news is never pleasant, and when you have been told that your loved one has cancer it’s common to have many emotions all at once. The one thing that is sure is that life as we knew it, would never be the same. The journey on a roller coaster had just begun,” she said.
“One of the most important calls we made, was to South Coast Hospice. This was done with a certain amount of reserve as both my husband and I were under the impression that calling on a Hospice for assistance would be admitting that we were in fact giving up.
“We were so wrong, for to offer pain and symptom control to a loved one is an act of compassion and it was with this that my husband came into Kingfisher House for his first visit.
“Now my husband Jim was a manly man, who found it extremely difficult to show weakness of any kind. He was immediately made comfortable and was treated with care and dignity throughout the entire stay.
“As a wife, I felt the weight of this burden easing, as I knew and trusted the quality of the care he was given. What was very noticeable, was the comfort of a compassionate touch bringing tears to both his and my eyes.
“We had the privilege of spending time together unheeded by the restrictions on what is acceptable by the world. It gave us a space that we could share our feelings unhindered, without pride and with a great deal of humility.
“With time and guidance from this fantastic team, I learnt about the privilege of caring for a loved one, of being totally present in the moment.
“When the bright morning came upon us, his passing, although heart-breaking, allowed me to have some peace.
“I will forever hold dear the warm hand of Sr. Irene on my shoulder and her kind voice saying: ‘What a sterling job, Diane, a job well done.’
“The journeys that patients take with their families and South Coast Hospice is like a voyage. At times it is extremely stormy and, on some days, it is smooth sailing. Over 37 years, we have travelled with precious cargo.
“The Covid-19 pandemic is having a catastrophic effect on our ability to fundraise. The Hospice crew have pledged that we will make significant sacrifices in order to survive.
“It is with this intent that we have launched the Kingfisher Project and through BT King’s hard-working efforts, we hope to raise the funds to continue to provide much-needed care and support to vulnerable people with life-limiting illnesses.”
The launch included the unveiling of a beautiful and powering painting of a ship at sea.
“The ship symbolises the journey a patient takes and represents 37 years of South Coast Hospice and the smooth sailing through stormy seas we’ve carried patients and their families, as well as staff and the community,” explained Van Dyk.
“Duncan Showsmith is our resident artist who painted the ship for the Kingfisher Project. He also painted the Tree of Life, which most community members know about and we would like to thank him for his artistic contributions to our organisation,” she added.
Rod Stewart’s classic “Sailing” has been adopted as the anthem of the project and was beautifully performed for the launch by Dianne Mostert, Sandy van Zyl, Tony van Zyl and Anton Roosterbrood.
Photo: South Coast Hospice staff (from left) BT King, Patricia Cabe, Lungile Njakazi, Diane van Dyk (CEO), Silindile Cele, Dina Thorncroft, Elisha Moodley and Karen Warman.