Posted by Jacobus De Wet | November 20, 2017
FoodForward SA and the Turfhall Cheshire Home bring hope to people with physical disabilities.
When it first opened its doors on 10 November 1984, the Turfhall Cheshire Home had a defined objective in mind – to assist people with disabilities, regardless of their colour, race or creed, by providing the conditions necessary for their physical, mental and spiritual well-being.
Today, with the help of FoodForward SA, the home is still working towards empowering people with disabilities to pursue their aspirations and take their own place in the world.
“There is a general lack of understanding in the general public that people with physical disabilities are lesser beings; that they are of lower intellect,” says Turfhall’s manager Harry van Eck. “In fact the majority of people with physical disabilities, which we deal with at Turfhall, are of normal intelligence.”
Reaching objectives, changing lives
As a specialised home relying on sponsors and donors, there are challenges that constantly threaten to hinder the home’s aim to continuously raise the standards of excellence in all aspects of care from both staff and volunteers.
“The biggest challenge has always been, and always will be, funding,” says Van Eck. “We do receive a government subsidy, but this only covers approximately 40% of our expenses. Turfhall’s monthly fundraising target is between R 120 000 and R 150 000 per year and additional financial aid would go a long way in covering the remaining 60% of its expenses.
Progress is a process
Despite its numerous challenges from the home’s inception, including lack of trained staff and sufficient donors to assist with better running of Turfhall, there have been significant changes over the course of the past 33 years.
In the two years Van Eck has managed the home, he notes the outstanding improvement in staff training and development – an area that was previously neglected. “We now have regular staff training interventions, especially in the area of soft skills training,” he says.
Future-focused with FoodForward SA
Turfhall is continually searching for the support of a forward-looking and responsive organisation, aware of its needs and of those and its carers, FoodForward SA checked the boxes and became a contributor to Turfhall’s vision.
With funding remaining a major issue for Turfhall, FoodForward SA’s contribution to the home’s catering needs has assisted the home in meeting its objectives, and focusing their food budget elsewhere in the organisation.
“FoodForward SA has been a tremendous help as far as catering is concerned,” says Van Eck. “We hardly ever have to purchase fruit and vegetables due to the donations we receive from FoodForward SA.”
Quantum Foods Holdings Limited has committed in supporting Cheshire Homes as a beneficiary of FoodForward SA. This donation will assist Cheshire in meeting some of the other budgetary needs.
Supplying a bigger need
Volunteers play a large role in assisting Turfhall to serve its residents’ needs and their participation includes on-site activities with residents, emotional support, counselling and ensuring residents feel cared for and maintain a good quality of life.
“We continually strive to improve the quality of care and to add value to the social well-being of our residents,” says Van Eck. “Since our inception in 1984, we have continued to provide ongoing care at full capacity. The need is actually bigger than we can supply.”