Pretoria Sungardens Hospice was founded by Shelagh Lahoud and subsequently established in 1987, with their satellite, Mamelodi Hospice, in 1994. These hospices were established to meet a need that existed in the community to take care of terminally ill patients
This particular Hospice and its one satellite Hospice serve the greater Tshwane Metropolitan area. The main administrative and in-patient unit is situated in Pretoria (corner of January Masilela and Lynnwood Roads).
Sungardens offers a programme of specialised home-based care to patients and their families who must cope with terminal illnesses such as Cancer, HIV/AIDS, final stages of emphysema and Motor Neuron Disease.
“Although we have a 7-bed in-patient unit on our premises, which provides short-term medical care, including pain and symptom control, the main thrust of our work is for our professionally trained nurses to visit the patients and their families in their own homes to provide physical care, practical help and emotional support to approximately 300 patients at any given time”, we were told.
The Hospice team is also involved in day-care programmes, bereavement counselling and training.
We had a chat with Paul Kirby, who has a fine history with his involvement with Sungardens Hospice. Paul started off as a General Manager of a restaurant for many years, ironically across the road from Sungardens Hospice. Little did he know that just across the road he would find the place for which he would ultimately be so passionate.
A position opened up at Sungardens as an events coordinator and he gave it a shot with some temporary success. He then decided to depart for “greener pastures”, which inevitably were not greener. After 11 months, Paul found himself back at his home and his passion which is Sungardens Hospice and 9 years later he couldn’t be happier, more driven and passionate about his job and the cause.
Projects he is involved in
Paul is involved in a vast array of projects that are to the benefit of Sungardens. They are mainly; corporate funding, charity shops, events, getting funding for training, social media, club 2000 and bequests. Paul has also been keeping up with the trends and even been involved in creating a radio station and app for the organisation!
Sungardens Hospice does amazing work in the community and with Paul on their team they are able to reach even higher standards. Your help should not be excluded and if you want to find out more about any of their projects and how you can get involved, click here.