Agency shares joy of giv­ing with crime sur­vivors

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

PAM GOLD­ING Prop­er­ties has rolled out an­other wave of com­mu­nity sup­port through its Joy of Giv­ing CSI cam­paign, which urges PGP agents and staff to iden­tify wor­thy causes in their ar­eas that are in need of com­mu­nity sup­port.

Agents make per­sonal do­na­tions to th­ese causes, and rally friends, fam­ily mem­bers, clients and lo­cal busi­nesses to do the same. The project has al­ready ben­e­fited more than 8 500 re­cip­i­ents coun­try­wide.

The lat­est ben­e­fi­ciary is the Vic­tim Sup­port Cen­tre at Clare­mont po­lice sta­tion, where PGP handed over dozens of boxes of sup­plies last year. The con­tents in­cluded much­needed kitchen sup­plies, such as dish­wash­ing liq­uid and cof­fee, as well as toi­letries.

PGP’s souther n sub­urbs area man­ager, Howard Markham, says the items were col­lected in just one week by PGP staff at the Clare­mont and Ke­nil­worth offices.

“We were struck by the huge heart and the ini­tia­tive of the volun- teers staffing this cen­tre,” says Markham. “They re­ceive no fund­ing at all from ei­ther gov­ern­ment or po­lice, but run this cen­tre to­tally on their own steam, and with the as­sis­tance of pub­lic do­na­tions. They pro­vide such a vi­tal ser­vice to our com­mu­nity by reach­ing out to those who have been trau­ma­tised by crime, and do this all free of charge.

“It’s the kind of fa­cil­ity we all hope we will never have to use, but are so glad to have ac­cess to when we do need it. Help­ing to make the cen­tre a bit more comfortable was the least we could do.”

The Vic­tim Sup­port Cen­tre runs in­de­pen­dent of but along­side the Clare­mont po­lice sta­tion in Lans­downe Road, and of­fers coun­selling to sur­vivors of crime and their fam­i­lies. It op­er­ates out of a pre­fab build­ing at the back of the sta­tion.

Co-or­di­na­tor Glenda Rooney says it is staffed by a team of 14 vol­un­teers, who have un­der­gone trauma coun­selling train­ing, and sev­eral are for­mer or cur­rent post­grad­u­ate psy­chol­ogy stu­dents.

The team is called in by po­lice to coun­sel vic­tims of crime. They also phone those who have re­ported in­ci­dents, even if they have not re­quested coun­selling.

A coun­sel­lor is on standby ev­ery day, and Rooney says they fol­low up on be­tween 180 and 250 cases a month. Vol­un­teers help su­per­vise chil­dren brought to the po­lice sta­tion with their par­ents, to en­sure they are bathed, clothed, fed and trans­ferred to so­cial ser­vices, rather than be­ing locked in a cell with the adults.

Res­i­dents who would like to make do­na­tions can drop off any­thing from sec­ond-hand toys and clothes to toi­letries and nap­pies at the sta­tion.

Rooney says the PGP do­na­tion has cov­ered the kitchen needs for months to come but the cen­tre is twinned with Gugulethu po­lice sta­tion, so any ex­cess is passed on there. Spe­cific needs in­clude tis­sues, an aromatic oil burner and tod­dlers’ clothes.

Call 021 657 2281 for in­for­ma­tion.

HELP­ING HAND: Cap­tain Angie Latch­mann, Su­per­in­ten­dent Jeremiah Wood­man, the Clare­mont Vic­tim Sup­port Cen­tre’s vol­un­teer co-or­di­na­tor Glenda Rooney, Howard Markham of PG, and Su­per­in­ten­dent Jayce Naidoo.

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