Agency shares joy of giving with crime survivors
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.