We have a very strong social life with plenty of chatter and laughter. We have a rule that if a national team is playing, regardless of the time of day, we watch. Our day is split into work, crafts and leisure where we have a time for work when we are productive on the land or wherever we are needed and then, in the afternoons there are crafts and art or sporting activities. Our residents have supervised access to television and music, art, story reading and telling. We encourage our residents to go home for the Christmas period. This is in order that most of the caregivers may also share this important family time with their families.
If, however home visits are not practical or the resident’s or their family’s circumstances preclude home visits, we remain open through the year.
Our residents participate in open society under our protection and guidance. This includes excursions, shopping and library visits. Some of our more independent residents are allowed into town unaccompanied for short visits.
We occasionally take a few of our residents to visit other group homes for social interaction.
We do not actively farm all our land. We rather have a small area for production with a selection of herbs, a number of fruit trees and an increasing number of olive trees and a lot of flowerbeds to keep us busy. We have built a shade house where we will be producing vegetables for own use and sale of excess.
Our teams of workers also busy themselves with the “estate” and keep it in immaculate condition. We have a horse and two sheep that are expected to do nothing besides eat and “be nice”. These animals keep one of our teams busy and the “produce” from them goes to either the earthworm farm or into the flowerbeds or the trees.
All “farming” activity is organic and we use a minimum of machinery. Pesticides are not used where we can possibly help it.
We make shortbread - “Best in the West Coast” as well as soap for the Bed and Breakfast establishments in Paternoster. We plan to expand this production for increased income. The principle of the varied tasks we have to attend to is to provide a working environment where the resident can find fulfilment in work within his or her capabilities as well as have a varied occupation. We also have an arrangement with a local riding school for those residents who are interested to have horse riding lessons once a week. The cost of this is not included in the monthly fee.
Vredenburg has the full range of medical services, including private and government hospitals, doctors, pharmacies and dentists. We have a local doctor who has taken us “under his stethoscope” and does house calls, administers admonishments if necessary and is generally available to us at any time we need him. A big advantage is that he lives less than 5 minutes from us.
It is to be clearly understood that we are not a medical facility and we are not qualified to perform any medical procedures or prescribe or provide any form of treatment. We only issue medication according to medical instruction. Should the resident require any form of medical advice or treatment, we refer these needs to the parents and, upon their instruction refer the matter to a medical professional.
Our residents are all supervised and carefully monitored at all times. We have one caregiver to supervise a maximum of three residents during the day and one caregiver to seven residents at night. Our “culinary marvel” prepares meals and monitors hygiene in the kitchen area whilst our housemother keeps control over the rest of the house.
Our mandate to our staff is – kindness first, respect second and discipline third. The saying “you attract a lot more flies with honey than with vinegar” is applied to our attitude.
Trevelyn Lodge has a policy of non-violence. Any person guilty of this act is asked to leave the premises immediately.
Courtesy and kindness are the platform from which we manage our residents’ lives. We show respect in all dealings with them.
The kitchen is modern and fully equipped and our culinary genius produces restaurant quality, wholesome and tasty meals from there.
Our day is split into work, crafts and leisure where we have a time for work when we are productive on the land.