Team work and team building is a very important aspect of the Eden Alternative philosophy that the staff and management of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre follow.
In light of this, each wing of the care centre was recently challenged to plan and implement their own team-building activity.
Laurentia Jooste, the staff nurse on River Lodge 3, the special dementia wing, rose to the challenge and started the planning process with her team of care workers. As she is a member of the Lombardy East Bowling Club, she asked her staff if they would like to learn how to play bowls.
They were very keen and they decided that they would also like to invite Sister Tando Ncube and some of her staff from the care centre’s Lakeside wing to join them in the fun. All staff received an invitation as well as the gift of a personalised lanyard with snacks attached.
On a sunny Saturday morning in late April, 11 Rand Aid staff members arrived at the bowling club where they were excitedly welcomed by the owner, Fanie Meyeridricks, manager Charlene Jefferies and five other club members who had already come early to set up and prepare for the arrival of the nursing team.
After tea and snacks, the day’s programme was discussed, with the bowling club organisers getting to know the nursing staff and finding out what their expectations were for the day.
With discussions over, it was time to proceed to the bowling green and learn how to play bowls! A club member was teamed up with two Rand Aid staff members, and the game was explained in simple terms and various bowling and ball handling techniques were demonstrated and taught.
Around 15 rounds were then played, and the coaches were extremely surprised and delighted at how quickly the Rand Aid team caught on! After another tea break, with the teaching session over, the play began in earnest, as the six teams competed against each other. At the end of the day, Team Laurentia, Portia and Tony were the winning team.
After a full morning of fun and action, all the bowlers were now tired but happy and very hungry – nothing that a good braai couldn’t sort out! Chicken, pap, wors, and potato salad were enjoyed and declared delicious, as the Rand Aid team chatted happily about their day’s experience, proud of their success and motivated to do a little planning for the future.
Staff nurse Laurentia is grateful to her club for organising the day and felt that “it was so nice to have the opportunity to get closer to care centre staff on a social level”. She was also happy that the bowling club members enjoyed interacting with Rand Aid staff.
Auxiliary nurse Evelyn Shilubane said that it was wonderful to be able to learn the sport from experienced players, and that “they were so friendly and patient with us”. Care worker Jennifer Sigida discovered that playing bowls “is a very nice sport, where you can exercise your mind and your body” and was pleased that the club invited them to come back again and to join the club as members.
Sister Tando was overwhelmed by the open-hearted hospitality shown to the Rand Aid team and was impressed with how beautifully organised the day was. “Our hosts and teachers introduced us to a whole new world and besides the joy and fun we had, we all felt so connected to each other.”
Housekeeping staff member Portia Tshayisa said that she enjoyed the day very much. It was the first time that she had gone out with other Rand Aid staff members and the whole experience “was very special to me”.
Rand Aid staff members and members of the Lombardy East Bowling Club.