New board, new start for frail care centre

Board members of Beaconvale Community Frail Care Centre are, from left, general manager Raymond Mitchell, additional member Maria Weavers, treasurer Lydia Veldman, additional member James Mentor, deputy chairman Carol Mentor and chairman Solomon Philander.

Beaconvale Community Frail Care Centre had its first annual general meeting six months after a new board was elected and its last AGM held in 2011.

At the meeting, on Thursday October 12, Solomon Philander, councillor for Ward 79 and chairman of the board, said the new office bearers had been elected on Friday March 17, just after the 2016/2017 financial year closed.

He said, however, that it was difficult to plan and operate without a budget.

“The year under review was challenging, with our expenses exceeding our income,” he said.

Expenses, he said, amounted to R14 million, with the bulk of this going to salaries and wages, at R4 899 788. 81; meals and refreshments at R840 266.55 and pocket money for residents, at R237 486.

Mr Philander said the City of Cape Town was in the process of scrapping the centre’s municipal arrears of about R7 million.

The centre offers a daycare programme for seniors, early childhood development for children and is home to the frail.

“We trust the 2017/18 financial year will create more opportunities for the organisation and community,” he said.

The meeting also included the recognition of staff who had served the 22-year-old centre for five, 10, 15 and 20 years.

“In serving the organisation since inception or during the years it is worth to recognise our staff,” he said.

Raymond Mitchell, general manager of the centre, said he was grateful for what the board had accomplished in the past six months. “It is not business as usual. To improve, we need an open mind with a positive spirit,” he said.

Nurse Fatima Thomas, 65, from Eastridge, who was at the centre when the doors opened in 1995, received a certificate for her 20 years of service, a gift card and two days of leave.

“I love my people, the residents. I love what I do,” she said when the Plainsman asked why she was still at the centre.

Ms Thomas said it is sad that there had been high hopes for the centre when it opened but it was difficult to maintain a standard without the support of the local community and businesses.