Paying it forward
“Active ageing, in the community, for as long as possible, is our goal” says NOAH Deputy-Director Gavin Weir who is kindly hosting the Old Mutual Foundation’s visit to Selby Lodge in Maitland, Cape Town. Selby is one of 11 lodges in the local Cape Town area run by Neighbourhood Old Age Homes (NOAH), which provides affordable housing and other core services for social pensioners.
Sharon Classen (green scarf) sharing time and tea with Selby Lodge residents.
But this is a special project visit because today Old Mutual employee, Sharon Classen is joining us on this leg of the trip. Sharon actively contributes towards the Old Mutual Staff Payroll Giving Programme, where employees can choose to support various social portfolios through voluntary contributions from their monthly salary. The Old Mutual Foundation undertakes to match all employee donations rand-for-rand, thereby doubling the impact of their giving.
Since inception in 2002 Old Mutual employees have donated over R13 million to the payroll giving programme, and currently the almost 2200 employees contribute R160 000 monthly. That’s a lot of big-hearted generosity in these tough economic times!
Sharon is one of the programme’s lifetime supporters or ‘lifers’ which means she’s contributed from the beginning in 2002. And for this road trip we wanted to invite a dedicated lifer to visit an organisation who’d been the direct recipient of their donations. By supporting the elderly portfolio, Sharon’s financial contributions went towards a donation of R91 000 last year to NOAH’s Selby Lodge to upgrade and renovate their facilities.
Recently renovated and upgraded Selby Lodge, one of 11 facilities operated by NOAH.
On arrival we find all the Selby Lodge residents waiting for us, and there’s even a tray of fresh tea laid out with homemade scones and a platter of sandwich triangles. Their home is neat and cosy, and I notice all the indoor plants are thriving and green, clearly lots of love and attention it seems. Sharon is a natural hit with the pensioners and immediately gets chatting to put everyone at ease.
Later she tells me that visiting Selby Lodge today has meant a lot to her. Seeing firsthand where her payroll giving contributions were going and meeting the residents in person, made her want to do even more. By the end of our visit she’s already arranged monthly visit to do haircuts and pedis, but wisely checks first to see who’ll be watching Sewende Laan on the telly as, “we don’t want to cut into your TV time,” she remarks. I secretly suspect that Selby Lodge has just gained a new friend for life.
“I’m ready for the Argus,” laughs Selby Lodge resident Dougy Robertson (above) who still cycles regularly and helps out around the home as the general handyman. “You need to think positive, it’s what you make of life.”
And we’re off!
Growing green futures
For the love of reading
Paying it forward
In the heat of the moment
The road to Camdeboo
The light of one small candle
Investing for the future
The building blocks of business
A heart for horses
Mining for talent
My ability is greater than my disability
To be a nurse, you must be love
There’s no such thing as ‘the voiceless’
Mark my words
The place where the sun rises
Welcome to your future