News & Views

The WCRC celebrates Peer Supporter Graduation Ceremony: 24 April 2012

 The use of persons with disabilities as Peer Supporters to augment both in-patient and community-based rehabilitation services is acknowledged best practice internationally.

It is also now mandatory in South Africa, since the SA Government signed and ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of persons with Disabilities.
UN Convention states….” Article 26 on Rehabilitation says “State Parties shall take effective and appropriate measures, including through peer support, to enable persons with disabilities to attain and maintain maximum independence, full physical, mental, social and vocational ability, and full inclusion and participation in all aspects of life. 
With Partners in hand and a good rationale for the project, the WCRC submitted an application for funding to the HWSETA in July 2009, for a special project to train people with disabilities as Peer Supporters.  Training was to be in Unit Standard 117501 to “Promote optimal care and support of a person with Physical Disability.””
With the above in mind the WCRC embarked on a Peer Supporter Pilot Project in 2010, which was funded by the HWSETA and presented by Nascence Education.
Training was to be in Unit Standard 117501 to “Promote optimal care and support of a person with Physical Disability (21 Credits).  This Peer Supporter Pilot Project at WCRC was made possible by three (3) important NGO Partners, namely Motivation (NGO, UK), the NGO, Western Cape Association for People with Disabilities and Nascence Education.  
A total of 95 disabled learners were enrolled with 34 persons with disabilities finally being assessed as competent.    These Peer Supporters were recruited through various APD Branches throughout the Western Cape Rural Areas such as Worcester APD, Oudtshoorn APD, Breede Valley APD, Drakenstein APD, Cape Town APD, Tygerberg APD and Oliefantsrivier APD.  Mr Jacques Lloyd, employed by Motivation (UK) is a passionate Peer Supporter Trainer, who has many years of experience in Peer Training in various African countries, has given six (6) years to the WCRC in promoting Peer Supporter training. He played a key role, together with the lecturer from Nascence in ensuring the disabled Peer Supporters developed the necessary competencies. 
These Disabled Learners faced many challenges during their training year.  Problems such as travelling, lack of finances, buses and trains not being wheelchair accessible, taxis charging double fare (for both learner & his/her wheelchair), learners who needed full-time carer(s) were some of the many challenges and obstacle they had to overcome while doing the practical portfolios of evidence in the community. Despite these and the many other challenges faced / conquered by the Learners, they celebrated their success with us.
On the 24th April 2012, the WCRC together with Nascence Education hosted the Peer Supporter Graduation Ceremony, where 34 Peer Supporters graduated.   At the ceremony, many shared their stories of success and despair during their practical training. 
Tina Schouw, Jazz Singer
Tina Schouw, a Jazz Singer gave an inspirational message through her songs to the Peer Supporters during the Ceremony.  
We had the privilege in attendance, of Mrs Bernadette Arries (Chief Director: HRM, DoH) and Mr Maluta Tshivase, Director, Rehabilitation, National Health Department.
Mr Tshivase was extremely pleased to have been invited to this event and indicated he was keen on seeing this project rolled out in all the other Provinces.
Cape Town Peer Supporter Group receiving their certificates
Each Peer Supporter, who graduated received a Certificate of Competence as well as a Nascence Education “Goody Bag”, which they can use when they go forward into the community to make a difference in some other disabled person’s life.
To all our Peer Supporters who graduated:  
We salute you, We commend you and We applaud you!!
JA Hendry


Amanda Tiffin and friends hosted their 5th concert in aid of the WCRC Health and Wellness Centre. This year’s concert saw a jampacked amphi theatre, indicating the rise in popularity of this annual concert amongst Capetonians.  Well known jazz musicians, such as Melanie Scholtz, Cedric Van Den Schrik, Dave Ledbetter, Sandile Gontsana and UCT Jazz students shared the stage with Amanda and her LittleBigBand. 
This year the  the WCRC nursing staff, porters and administrative staff  volunteered their time to help erect gazebo’s to ensure adequate shade for the event. 
The generous sponsorship of companies such as ADT Khusela Security Co, Ikapa Caterers, Chris Burger Petro Jackson Player’s fund, Mukhtar, Nomadic Tents and the audience of almost 470 ensured our best ever profit of R27 000.00. 
Experience the vibe of our 2012 concert by visiting our photo gallery.  

02 December 2011 - WCRC pays tribute to 3rd of December: International Day for Persons with Physical Disabilities

WCRC annually supports this international event by creating a special event/
platform for able bodied persons and the disabled to enjoy fun activities to
illustrate the need of togetherness and equity.

This year's theme that marketed the day was: "Together for a better world for all ‑
including persons with disabilities in development ".

The 2011 event was organized by the Social Workers at WCRC and staff
participated by hosting exhibitions and taking part in various sports activities.

Click on the PDF link below to view activities on the day.

3rd of dec.pdf
5 November 2011 - Eskom Mitchells Plain Wheelchair Race

The WCRC Facility Board and QuadPara Association, with the sponsorship of
Eskom Peaking Generation hosted another successful wheelchair race on the
WCRC and Lentegeur hospital grounds in Mitchells Plain.

The program was packed with entertainment. The ‘International acrobats’ gave
a breathtaking, spell bound display of their talents, whilst the WP Drill Squad
showcased their precision and marching ability. Trudy Rushin, accompanied by
Keith Tabisher on guitar filled the air with their jazzy sounds. Ellouise Fabricks,
from Mitchells Plain concluded the day with her solo performance.

The Kfm ground team, not only attended the event but challenged visitors to join
them in the 800m Fun Walk for all. The younger visitors had a jumping castle and
Learn to Swim sessions to keep them occupied.

Click on the PDF below for the results of our 22 and 6 km races.

The 800m races had many contesters. Click here to view pictures of the day.

WCRC and Eskom volunteers went all the way to ensure that the day was a
success and enjoyed by all. Clinton Johnson from Mitchell’s Plain acted as MC
whilst WCRC client, Gerhard Siebritz played DJ.

WCRC thanks all sponsors, big and small for their continued support of this
annual event.
See sponsors listed in the PDF below.

Ekom Mitchells Plain Wheelchair Race 2011 results.pdf
sponsors 2011 2.pdf
Celebrating National Stroke Week (12-16 September 2011) at WCRC

 WCRC celebrated National Stroke week by launching a stroke awareness program on 14 September 2011. This client centred initiative, focused on education, management, prevention, resources and community reintegration.

The program included a discussion, by Dr Ernst Scriba, educating clients and family members regarding the definition and characteristics of CVA/ stroke, the risk factors and dietary guidelines. This was followed by a talk presented by an Ex-CRC client, discussing how he coped with his stroke and the resources he utilized in dealing and ultimately living with a stroke. The Retreat stroke group, which is managed by stroke clients, shared their knowledge, experience and information around the benefit of support groups. Other highlights of the day was a demonstration of arm exercises and a demonstration by an ex patient, diagnosed with CVA and his wife of the latest voice activated computer system available to clients with speech impairments.

The program was well attended and enjoyed by inpatients with CVA, their family members and caregivers. It is envisaged that this Awareness campaign will be an annual event at WCRC.

Eskom sponsors wheelchair race for WCRC and Quad Para Association of the Western Cape: 29 August 2011

Staff members from Eskom Peaking Generation will again participate in the Eskom Mitchells Plain Wheelchair Race. A cheque to the value of R49 000.00 was handed over to Lucia Hess-April, chairperson of WCRC Facility Board and Anthony Ghillino, Project Manager of QAWC. Eskom has been the official sponsor of this race for the past 2 years. The race will take place on 5 November 2011 at WCRC.

Women’s Day celebrations at WCRC: 10 August 2011

Our theme for this year was " to be the change you want to see''.

The Gym in Therapy 3 was beautifully decorated in pale lemon yellow and vibrant, fresh green. The floral arrangements were beautifully arranged using recycled bottles decorated with leaves and raffia.

To motivate the Clients, we always call on past Clients of the WCRC to explain the journey they have travelled since their discharge and to share the success they have made in their own personal life. This year we called on Viola Stevens as our MC, Cleone Melnichinko and Christabella Zenzile as our two motivational speakers. Denise Lynch provided some entertainment with her sweet voice.

Our aim this year was to motivate and uplift the Clients as well as to send them home with a new creative idea to try on their own. On the creative side, I demonstrated how to decorate basic gift bags using pictures from old magazines and pieces of ribbon and raffia. This proves to be an economical version of scrapbooking. As an activity, the ladies enjoyed showing off their creative skills and the interactive activity also helped the ladies to get to know each other. At the end of the day these gift bags were used to present each Client their own goody bag. 

After a delightful tea served with both sweet and savoury snacks, the ladies were once again taught how to prepare another gift from the kitchen. This time I showed them how to prepare a spa product using basic kitchen ingredients. Using white sugar fragranced with freshly chopped lavender and a drop of lavender essential oil, I showed them how to make a sugar scrub to exfoliate their hands and feet. by rubbing the sugar scrub with a few drops of sunflower oil one's hands become silky soft and smooth.

As an alternative gift from the kitchen, I also demonstrated how to create a herbal salt using coarse kitchen salt, flavoured with fresh garlic, fresh rosemary and lemon peel. This salt mixture is blended to chop the rosemary and combine the garlic and lemon. Packed in recycled glass jars, beautifully decorated with raffia and a gift tag, this makes another easy and creative gift from the kitchen. The gym in Therapy 3 was a buzz with activity, laughter and music.....just what any lady could wish for on their special day! Until next year, we believe that every lady left feeling motivated, uplifted, spoilt and pampered....and charged with fresh, creative ideas.

3 August 2011

The Department of Health, inclusive of the WCRC celebrated the successful development of a comprehensive range of training materials for a Basic Wheelchair Service Delivery course and the competency of their staff as presenters and facilitators of this material at a Certificate Ceremony at WCRC. This was also an opportunity to celebrate the various role players’ achievement as a team.
The following certificates were handed out:
- Trainer of the Basic (professional Course)
- Contributor to the Development of the Basic (Professional Course) and the Training of Trainers
- Course Developer and Competency Assessor of the Basic (Professional Course)
Background to the collaboration and project:
In 2006, the Western Cape Department of Health and the Motivation Charitable Trust (United Kingdom Non-profit Organization; Section 21 Company in South Africa) formalized a 3-year agreement to implement a Disability Empowerment Programme. This contract was renewed in 2009, for another 3 years. The Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre (WCRC) represented the Department as implementing agent, and also provided relevant facilities and other resources. Motivation was represented by the Motivation Africa team. A South African Non-Governmental Organization, Empowerment through Partnership Trust (ETPT)/ Uhambo was a third partner in the programme.
Amongst other goals, the programme has focused on the following areas of collaboration:
The development of a comprehensive range of training materials for a Basic Wheelchair Service Delivery course;
The training of competent Seating Trainers, through participation in, and delivery of, training courses at the WCRC.
During the 2007 – 2010 period, a Basic Wheelchair Service Delivery course has been developed, and, apart from the initial course developers, presenters were trained during a Training-of-Trainers project. These courses are now being presented at the WCRC on an ongoing basis, for therapists at all levels of health services, both in the Western Cape and other provinces.
Training of trainers: Basic professional wheelchair and seating services Courses- Way Forward?
Elsje Scheffler commented on the way forward as follows:
Since the training programme for trainers of the Basic professional wheelchair and seating services courses within the Western Cape Department of Health has ended with the termination of the initial project, training of new trainers are on hold. Various avenues have been already been investigated and negotiations with Stellenbosch University will start anew in an attempt to find a base for the training of trainers and the further development of the courses. Article 20 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities focuses on Personal Mobility. The World Health Organization has decided to initiate a global alliance which will focus on assistive technology and research in the field of personal mobility to realise the rights of persons with disabilities. The University with its current focus on development of a Rural Clinical School, seems to be a likely base to link research, service delivery and training in the field of personal mobility and wheelchairs. 
Back row (left to right):
Dr Linda Hering Carin Ireton (Head: Therapeutic Services, WCRC)
Dietlind Gretschel (Chief Physiotherapist, WCRC)
Shona McDonald (Director: Uhambo)
Faatima Ebrahim-Abbas (Uhambo)
Christine Cornick (Regional Director: Motivation Charitable Trust Africa)
Front row (left to right):
Mark Matthys (Physiotherapist, WCRC)
Elsje Scheffler (DareConsult)
Andrea Trout-Daniels (Acting Chief Physiotherapist, WCRC)
Nicky Seymour (Clinical Manager: Motivation Charitable Trust Africa)

Sixty-seven minutes initiative of WCRC

The sixty-seven minute initiative, as part of Nelson Mandela’s birthday was celebrated at the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre on 18 July 2011, by a visit to the Beaconvale frail care centre in Mitchells’ Plain.

The thirty-two R683 learners from the WCRC Nursing School, three lecturers and selected nursing staff members of WCRC, presented the management of the centre with 13 boxes containing toiletries and non-perishables, generously donated by the Nursing School learners and WCRC staff members.

After the handing over of the gifts, the learners and staff members took the opportunity to mingle with the patients, and took over the role of the resident nursing staff by feeding the patients. 

The visit was concluded by the learners and staff, moving through the building and singing a song to the residents.

Approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours were spent with the patients and the staff members of the home.  The learners and WCRC: staff members experienced this opportunity as extremely positive.  The staff of the centre expressed their gratefulness for the visit as well as the much-needed donations.  All present were invited to come and visit the centre again.

Photo: D Jordaan, F Arendse, J Dreyer and students from the WCRC Nursing
School at Beaconvale Frail Care Centre.

Jazz in the Park: 20 March 2011

Amanda Tiffin, Cape Town based Jazz pianist, composer and singer, hosted the 4th Jazz in the Park fundraising concert at Maynardville Amphitheatre. This annual concert made possible by the generosity of Amanda Tiffin, is growing in popularity and although it had to compete with various other Jazz and musical festivities over the weekend, it managed to draw a crowd of approximately 390.

This year, the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ fund sponsored the expenditure of the concert, which enabled Amanda to raise approximately R26 000.00 for the WCRC Health and Wellness Centre, whose projects amount to approximately R100 000.00 per annum.

Other sponsors included ADT Khusela Security who generously sponsored security personnel for the past four years, Ikapa Caterers who provided refreshments to the performers, Mpilisweni Consortium who transported equipment from WCRC and provided human resources on the day and Eagle Fire Security who donated fire fighting equipment. Nomadic tents and Mukhtar ensured enough shade for this outdoor concert.

The success of this annual event is entirely due to the remarkable ability and talented musical directing of Amanda Tiffin. Not only does she recruit all the performers and direct the show, but also performs with The LittleBigBand, which comprised of Mike Campbell, Heinrich Goosen, Lee Thomson, and Siya Charles, as well as Dave Ledbetter and the talented saxophonist, Shannon Mowday, who is currently studing in Norway and who made a surprised guest appearance. 

The crowd was mesmerized by the soulful performance of singer-songwriter Tina Schouw, who entertained with songs, such as Beautiful woman, from her recent album, Winds Call.

Hano Smit, who for the past years has sponsored the sound equipment and managed the technical side of the event, showcased his own musical talent on stage with his band.

Other performers included the ever-popular Dave Ledbetter, Sandile Gontsana and Vuyo Sotashe, whilst Amanda introduced new UCT Jazz vocalists and performers. This concert offers young musicians, the opportunity to perform and display their talents, whilst introducing them to the public.

To date, Amanda has incorporated various international Jazz musicians, such as the German tenor player, Miro Fox at this event.

WCRC Facility Board appreciates the willingness of all the performers and sponsors who regularly contribute to the success of this event.

Eskom Mitchell's Plain Wheelchair Race: 6th November 2010

The WCRC Facility Board and Quad Para Association of the Western Cape hosted a successful 2nd wheelchair race on the WCRC site on 6 November 2010. It was a lovely sunshine day, without the south-eastern which created havoc last year. Nomadic tents partly sponsored the shade for the event.

ESKOM, the main sponsor generously contributed towards the human resources and spot prizes for the event. Arnold Swart, HR Manager of Eskom Peaking Generation formed part of the steering committee and ensured that the marshals and participants of all the races had sufficient refreshments along the track.

Several organisations generously provided additional support to this event. See list of all sponsors.

Word of this annual event is already spreading and participants from as far as Oudtshoorn, Mossel Bay and George entered for the races. Twelve corporate teams entered the relay race, which was won by Motivation Africa.

The Race Committee partnered with the Mitchell’s Plain Urban Renewal and offered various activities to the spectators, such as a jumping castle and face painting for the kids (manned by volunteers and staff from Sports and Recreation’s Come and play), HIV testing by Non Medical Site and foot massages by  GKM outreach centre. Deen Louw entertained every one with his humour and wit, whilst Benito Vergotine (Kfm) kept all informed regarding the day’s events.  Live music was provided by Kelly Bell and her fellow band members, as well as Ansa Theron, vocalist and WCRC ‘fund raiser’.  Spectators were introduced to a spectacular demonstration of Japanese drumming.

We hope to see all participants and many more on 5 November 2011!

Click here to view the names of our winners for the 22.1 and 6.4km races (PDF file)

Click here to view photos of the day (photographic services sponsored by Anton Jordaan, Stellenbosch)

Click here for a complete list of all our sponsors

Peer Support Training: 2nd Intake

2nd intake: Basket ball exercise forms part of theoretical training session and awareness raising regarding various sport activities for persons with physical disabilities.

Photo depics Allan Gordon (1st intake), Patrick Jaxa (from Paarl) and Ryan Madden trying to get control of the ball.

View more photos here

21 July 2010: Eskom Peaking Generation hand over a cheque to the amount of R50 000.00 to WCRC Facility Board for the Eskom Mitchell's Plain Wheelchair Race

Mr. Nandu Bhula, General Manager of Eskom Peaking Generation generously donated R50 000.00 to the WCRC Facility Board to host the second wheelchair race in Mitchell’s Plan on 6 November 2010. The WCRC in partnership with the Western Cape Quad Para Association intends to host an annual wheelchair race competition. This year, the staff from Eskom will be an official partner in ensuring the success of the event. Mr. Bhula indicated that they hope to be involved in future events: “This project would also be registered as a project under the Eskom Development Foundation i-volunteer programme.  This programme, inspired by the words and wishes of Mr Nelson Mandela, encourages staff to help make a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable members of our society”.

The race offers persons with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a competitive sport, to socialize with other athletes and to learn more about leisure and sport’s activities for persons with physical disabilities.

Photo: JP Lugt (Chairperson: WCRC Facility Board, JA Hendry (HOI), Nandu Bhula (General Manager Eskom Peaking Generation) and Anthony Ghillino (Project Manager WC QAWC & member WCRC Facility Board).

1 July 2010: "Plodding for Wheels" donates 2 basket ball chairs to WCRC's Health and Wellness Centre.

Nic Good from Fresh Air Crew started a fundraising initiative to raise funds for wheelchairs, specifically sport wheelchairs. “Quite recently I organized a walk called "Plodding for Wheels" from Cape Point to the Waterfront to raise money for someone in need of a wheelchair” The result was enough money to purchase two basket ball chairs from Motivation Africa. These chairs can also be used for entry level wheelchair tennis.

Jenny Hendry (HOI) indicated the following:  “We have ’joined forces’ with Greater Bulls Wheelchair Club in Mitchells Plain and an overseas NGO (Respo International), and as from August will be running wheelchair basketball training camps at WCRC on Saturdays.   Your donation of the 2 appropriate chairs will then become officially “in use”!!

The WCRC applauds people such as Nic and his supporters with this initiative. The Health and wellness Centre aims to introduce persons with disabilities to a variety of sports in order to improve their general well-being. As this is a Facility Board project, the Centre is reliant on sponsorship for equipment and the continuation of its projects.

Photo of Nic Good and Wilfred Allen (WCRC: physiotherapist) at  WCRC.

View More Photos

21 June 2010: WCRC Commences Peer Supporter Training with the assistance of Nascence Education & Training Solutions (Pty) Ltd and various branches of the Association for Persons with Physical Disability (APD).

The HWSETA approved funding of R 1 552 800.80 to the WCRC, a Western Cape Department of Health’s institution to train 250 learners with disabilities to become peer supporters who will be skilled to educate, train and support other persons with physical disabilities in their communities.

The first intake of 12 learners commenced on 21 June 2010.  Some of these learners reside in the Paarl and Worcester areas. The training consists of 10 days theoretical training on the WCRC site and 100 hours practical training in the community, under the mentoring and supervision of a social worker of APD or other health officials. The funding assists with the transport cost of learners, as well as the accommodation of those who cannot travel on a daily basis to WCRC.

Criteria for training:

  • Grade 10 or 12
  • Mobility impaired
  • Must be able to understand and converse in English
  • Must register with an approved practical site in the Western Cape province
  • Must submit a portfolio of evidence (must assess two allocated clients)

Dates for training:
16 August         –     27 August 2010
30 August         –     10 September 2010
13 September   –     24 September 2010
27 September   –     8 October 2010
11 October        –     22 October 2010
25 October        –     5 November 2010
8 November      –     19 November 2010
22 November    –     3 December 2010
10 January 2011 –   21 January 2011
24 January        –     4 February 2011
7 February        –     18 February 2011
21 February      –     4 March 2011
7 March            –     18 March 2011

Enquiries: Contact Nokuzola on 021 3702349 or Alta on 021 3702347 or the nearest APD branch.

Photo: First Intake of peer supporter trainees. Back row: Wayne Johnson (Facilitator of the theory), Jenny Hendry (HOI) with Merwyn Jones, learner from Worcester and two volunteers, Kirsten van Willingh and Keahan Kulsen (Grade 9 learners from La Rochelle Girls High in Paarl).

Plainsman Article.pdf
What the training is all about.pdf

May 2010

The Western Cape MS Society held a 2 Day Informational and Empowering workshop at WCRC.

Dr Anita Rose was the guest speaker at the Symposium arranged by Non Smit, fundraiser for the Western Cape MS Society and members of the MS Society. The WCRC agreed to offer their premises as a hosting site, as it was a privilege and an honor to have this expert on MS sharing her knowledge free of charge with the WCRC health professionals.

The workshops were well attended by health professional, clients of the MS Society and carers. The WCRC is looking forward to having more sessions, for health professionals, facilitated by Dr Rose next year.

Dr Rose is a qualified neuro-psychologist, linked to The Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery NHS Trust, Liverpool.

Photo: Dr Anita Rose with members of the MS Society and WCRC staff.

Jazz In The Park 2010:

WCRC was again privileged to enjoy the support of Amanda Tiffin and her Little Big Band, who raised R20 000.00 during their Third Annual Jazz in The Park Concert at Maynardville Open Air Theatre on 7 March 2010.

This annual concert is a must on the Cape Town Jazz calendar as it showcases some of Cape Town’s finest musicians in a concert directed by Amanda Tiffin. More than 400 persons attended this year’s concert despite a scorching heat wave.

This year’s line up included the award –winning a cappella group “Not The Midnight Mass”, who graced the stage with their unique brand of vocal harmony and madcap humour.

Not The Midnight Mass, under the musical directing of Amanda won the Fleur Du Cap Theatre Award for best Performance in a Cabaret or Musical. They were also nominated for 3 Naledi Theatre awards, including a nomination for Amanda for Best Musical Direction.

Amanda’s performance at the Jazz in the Park Concert was complimented by some of her long-time musical collaborators: Bassist Shaun Johannes once again laid down the groove, joined by well-known drum virtuoso Frank Paco. Jeremy Olivier soothed with his velvet voice, and lyrical guitar playing, and Marc De Kock contributed through his rich and silky saxophone tones on soprano, alto and tenor saxophones. Completing the ensemble was trumpet maestro Lee Thomson.

Amanda also showcased Dave Ledbetter on guitars and some of her Jazz Vocal students: Sandile Gontsana (who featured in Summertime and Noah of Cape Town), Jay Kruger and Vuyo Sotashe.

Sound was sponsored by Hano Smit and Brendan Keizer.

CLICK here to view pictures of Jazz 2010
Click to view Health and Wellness Centre

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