Iris House Children's Hospice
In 2015 Proud Partners visited Iris House Children’s Hospice and donated R20 000 to them to expand their laudable activities.

The Hospice provides a unique holistic approach to end-of-life care of special needs children and their families. They care for children with a wide range of disorders. All the children have serious illnesses and are not expected to survive into adulthood. The hospice will welcome not only the sick child, but the whole family, 7 days a week - and it's all for free. Iris House Children’s Hospice is the only hospice in South Africa that offers these services free of charge, because they believe quality care is not a luxury for a select few, but a necessity.

The Hospice has a small but dedicated team of volunteers, professional full- and part-time carers, fundraisers and administrative staff. They are based in Cape Town’s Northern suburbs where they provide quality care right at the children’s homes as well as at Iris House itself. They currently provide community-based support in the Northern suburbs, Mfuleni, Cross roads, Khayelitsha and Vredenburg.

Their primary goal is to enrich the quality of life of these children and their families, helping them to cope with their circumstances. They aim to provide a place where the children are encouraged to reach their full potential, however limited that may be. The Hospice offers day sessions, overnight care, and short resting and support periods for the children’s parents, who are often exhausted - a home away from home. They also strive to change the public's common perceptions of the children. Most people think these children are not aware of their surroundings and speak as if they're not present, whereas the truth is they are fully aware and understand every word people say.

The therapy sessions include play, music, horses, a sheep and Moppi the dog who all bring fun and laughter into the lives of these children. Their equipment boasts state-of –the- art technology; and includes a sensory room where the children play interactive music and computer games designed to give them back control over their lives.

There are also activities for the whole family - braai's, picnics, Easter egg hunts, spa treatments for the mothers, circus outings, and sibling days at Ratanga Junction - days out on which people can meet and mingle, play games, and have a fun time as a family.

The support for the families also includes emergency care, and bereavement, emotional, spiritual and psychological support, as well as practical support in the form of food parcels, blankets, nappies, clothing, toiletries and loan equipment. Training is also offered to parents in ways to improve their child's quality of life. The staff work closely with the Department of Social Development, corporates, and the public.

Says Founder and CEO Sue van der Linde: "We can't stop time, but we can make every moment special for our children."

Visit their website at   www.iris-house.org


A video on the Hospice
The front gate of Iris House Children’s Hospice
Moppi - a true delight for the children and staff
Founder and CEO Sue van der Linde (centre), with Isabel Verwey (Proud Partners) on the right and Tracy Winde (Senior Worker) on the left
Some of the rooms in the house for overnight care
The rainbow room
The forest room
One of the rooms in the house for overnight care
The sensory room
Interactive games in the sensory room
The play room
The dining room
Isabel touring the facilities with Sue
The educational interactive play area
A "Thank You" letter from the Hospice