South Africa

Friends of Valkenberg Trust

The Friends of Valkenberg Trust collaborates with staff at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital to promote the recovery of people with serious mental illnesses. This vital work means people can get back to their lives – their families, their jobs and their communities – better equipped to continue their recovery journey.

Website Link: http://www.friendsofvalkenberg.co.za

Describe in detail what your Organisation does:

The Friends of Valkenberg Trust collaborates with staff at Valkenberg Psychiatric Hospital to promote the recovery of people with serious mental illnesses. This vital work means people can get back to their lives – their families, their jobs and their communities – better equipped to continue their recovery journey.

Friends gets people back on their feet by partnering with the Hospital to offer complementary services and activities which target each aspect of the recovery process, whether it be enhancing independent living skills, building vital self-esteem, improving physical activity, offering work experience or providing the practical support to make this all possible.

Our 19 different projects help get people back on their feet by partnering with hospital staff to offer services and activities which target each aspect of the recovery process, whether it be enhancing independent living skills, building vital self-esteem, improving physical activity, helping to manage stress, offering work experience or providing the practical support to make this all possible.

1. Recovery groups: Volunteer lead activity groups which complement formal therapy by developing essential life skills, building self-esteem, improving physical activity or providing spaces to de-stress and contemplate their recovery. Groups include cooking, arts and crafts, self-care and hair salon, recreational rehab, movement and dance.

2. There are two Skills and Work Experience projects which are being piloted:
• Retail skills: Friends has recently extended the Friendly Shop to open a Tuckshop at the hospital where people with psychiatric disability are given the opportunity to learn skills in retail, food services, business administration etc while developing work readiness.
• Barber skills: Our on-site Hair Salon service offers informal training to prospective hair dressers, equipping people with new skills, boosting self-esteem and giving people meaningful occupation.

3. Basic Needs: This service not only provides vital practical assistance to recovery, but also promotes dignity and self-esteem, which are essential for getting people back on their feet.

4. Patient recreation and events: These events bring joy to a tough time in life, help people stay connected to their communities and offer opportunities for socializing.
Hospital Staff Support: Medical staff at Valkenberg do exceptional work under challenging conditions. It is vital to boost morale as well as improve service delivery by providing the means for staff to develop new initiatives and expand services to patients.

How long has your Organisation been operational?

24 years

In your opinion, what has been the most challenging aspect of running your Organisation?

Finding funds to pay my incredible, dedicated staff!

Describe your Nonprofit Journey in three words: 

Inspiring, fulfilling, challenging

Do you collaborate with other Causes? If yes, would you like to mention them?

Cape Support for Mental Health, Cape Support for Mental Health

If you had one Organisation wish, what would it be?

I wish we could spend the time and energy we put into fundraising, into our service users.

In your opinion, which skills do Nonprofits in your Country lack?

Technology. Business management.

Looking back at your Cause Journey, what advice would you give a newbie Organisation?

Set firm foundations and good governance upfront.
Listen to your service users.

If you could change one thing about the Nonprofit Landscape, what would it be?

More credit given to NPO’s for what they do and the role they play.

Which Cause achievement are you most proud of? Feel free to elaborate on why and include any links:

We see people recover! We see them find new hope, new skills and new belief in themselves.

See our Annual Reports – http://www.friendsofvalkenberg.co.za/ and our Facebook page for some of these stories. https://www.facebook.com/Friends-of-Valkenberg-Trust-169102063122308

Last question, if your friends had to describe your Organisation in three words, which would they use?

They help recovery

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