Creating a piece of paradise for healthcare workers

By Karen Watkins

The Wynberg campus of four schools raised funds to create relaxation areas in the grounds of Victoria Hospital for healthcare workers.

The aim was to thank them for their hard work during the pandemic.

Representatives of the Wynberg campus of schools handed over relaxation gardens to Victoria Hospital acting head Jonathan Vaughan.

Butterflies fluttered, squirrels scratched and birds sang as representatives of the Wynberg campus of schools gathered in the grounds of Victoria Hospital last week. They, and the heads of their school, were there for the official hand-over of three gardens.

Since February the schools – Wynberg Girls’ Junior School (WGJS), Wynberg Boys’ Junior School (WBJS), Wynberg Girls’ High School (WGHS) and Wynberg Boys’ High School (WBHS) – raised more than R60 000 which was used to create breakaway areas in the grounds of Victoria Hospital.

While the gardens have been in use throughout winter, the school heads Dee Cawcutt of WGJS, Cedric Poleman (WBJS), Dr Jenn Wallace (WGHS) and Pete van Schalkwyk acting principal of WBHS, met with the hospital’s acting head, Jonathan Vaughan on Tuesday November 2 for the official handover.

Also in attendance were the four service pillar heads of the schools, Malika Raaniyah at WGJS, Jessie Theys at WBJS, Jenna-Morgan Mouton at WGHS and Sven Borgstrom at WBHS.

“We are community-based schools,” said Ms Cawcutt, spokesperson for the campus.

“And service is one of our most important pillars. The medical fraternity has made countless sacrifices for others over the last year. Saying a small thank you by building reflective spaces for staff to use as a lunch break is the least we can do, on behalf of all our staff, learners and families,” she said.

Mr Vaughan asked those over 12 years of age, and more so those over the age of 50, to get vaccinated. “Take the message home and tell your friends. The only way we can get through this pandemic is to get vaccinated; it’s our biggest weapon and the best way to keep people out of hospital,” he said.

He added that records showed that most of those who did not survive a Covid-19 infection had not been vaccinated.

Mr Vaughan also said one of Victoria Hospital’s priorities was the mental well-being of the staff. “The Victoria team has done extraordinarily well over the past year in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic amid the already existing pressures of providing healthcare to a large community 24 hours a day. We want to make sure that we look after their mental health, and this space will help us do just that,” he said.

Wynberg Girls’ school service pillar pupils, Jenna-Morgan Mouton, Shalom Masenga, Malika Salie and Raaniyah Domingo.
Wynberg Boys’ school service pillar pupils, Sven Borgström, Nick Horn, Dhayal Louw and Jessie Theys.
Victoria Hospital medical students making use of the garden, are, from left, Mira Schroeter, Nomalizo Duze, Thulasizwe Nkala and Milan Chavda.