WID Winter Warmers

Winter is officially in full swing and we are anticipating many more cold, dark and damp days ahead. We also know that there are men, women and children suffering on the streets during this time that could greatly benefit from a small act of kindness – so why not keep the heat in and the cold out this winter by spreading the love becoming involved in these heart-warming initiatives in the Woodstock community and its surroundings.

Woodstock Improvement District Blanket Drive

Throughout the year and especially during these chilly winter months, the Woodstock Improvement District collects and also allows for drop-offs of blankets for distribution to the homeless.

Visit our offices at: 172 Victoria Rd, Woodstock, Cape Town or contact Abigail Abrahams for more information at 021 462 7321

Percy Bartley House

Percy Bartley House is located at 44 Pine Road, Woodstock, Cape Town – an organization that  accommodates 20 boys between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years who come off the streets, are neglected or come from impoverished circumstances and have behavioural problems who are referred by the children’s court. The organization provides useful mentorship programmes, educational programmes, counselling and therapy programmes, skills development programmes and serving young men in need of a place to stay while they look for employment or support to complete their education and integrate back into society.

But for any organization of this nature they need the support of the community.

Percy Bartley House seeks donations of warm clothing for boys aged 12 to 18, shoes, blankets, underwear, toiletries such as  soap, toothpaste, lotion, roll-on and toilet roll, and food: non-perishable food, second computer and stationery

Visit their website for more information: https://percybartleyhouse.co.za

The Haven Night Shelter

Situated at 20 Selkirk Street, Woodstock, Cape Town, The Haven Night Shelter started an initiative called the “Buy A Bed” campaign whereby community members are encouraged to cover the cost of shelter fees for a minimum of 5 nights at a total of R60.00 for a homeless person with no income. Your donation not only helps the organization to be sustainable but also gives someone the opportunity to have a good night’s rest in a clean, warm, safe environment.

For more information go to: https://www.haven.org.za/buyabed

Obs Pasta Kitchen

Volunteer at the Obs Pasta Kitchen every Wednesday at 6pm where you could be offering a hot bowl of pasta to the many needy residents (often homeless) and passers-through in Observatory. You will not only be providing a meal for someone in need but you will also be creating connections and building relationships with those who are less fortunate than you are. Volunteers to arrive by 5.45pm at St. Michael’s hall in Bedford Street and leave at 7pm.

If you unable to make it for a Wednesday evenings, Ferdinando’s in Lower Main Road accepts donations of pasta that you may drop off any time during their business hours. They also have various fundraising campaigns running to support members of the community, such as putting one of the regular guests through a rehabilitation programme: http://za.iahv.org/campaigns/super-18-support-jontys-recovery/

Find more information on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/obspastakitchen/about/

So make a difference and help to change lives this winter by considering or participating in any one of the above initiatives or causes. Remember that every human being counts and that by investing your time, efforts and money back into your community, you will be strengthening your community and giving people hope for a better tomorrow.

Safety first – our best tips for staying safe

WID community safety

WID community safety

One of WID’s two main objectives is to provide top-up security services to the Woodstock community. This involves supplementing the services already provided by the City of Cape Town and working cooperatively with the City and private sector to make Woodstock a safer, cleaner and greener environment.

While we work tirelessly to achieve these goals, individuals also have an important role to play in ensuring their own safety and security.

Here are some tips for keeping safe at all times:

BEWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS

Vigilance is key. Look around you when you’re walking in the street, particularly after dark.

DO NOT USE YOUR PHONE WHILE WALKING IN PUBLIC

Few things distract us as much as our cellphones do. Talking or texting in public means all your attention is on the screen, rather than on the street. Wait to use your phone when you’re in a private area. While you’re looking at your phone, a criminal could easily come up to you and grab hold of your bag or other belongings. Don’t be an easy target.

KEEP YOUR PERSONAL POSSESSIONS SECURE

A laptop bag loosely hung around your shoulder, a handbag that’s open, a cellphone sticking out of a back pocket… don’t make it easy for anybody to grab your personal possessions. Keep them as close as possible – your handbag should be tightly tucked under your arm and you should consider wearing our backpack at the front.

EDUCATE YOURSELF ABOUT THE AREA YOU FIND YOURSELF IN

It might be a well-known crime hot-spot where you’re opting to walk through alone at night – don’t allow this to happen.

DO NOT LEAVE ITEMS OUT IN PLAIN SIGHT IN YOUR CAR

This is a point that cannot be stressed enough – do not leave items of value, or any items for that matter, out in plain sight in your car. Opportunistic criminals thrive on easy opportunities like this. Even if you’re just going to pop in somewhere for five minutes. Criminals need less than five minutes to break into your car and take the laptop lying on the passenger seat. Put it out of sight, preferably in the boot, or better still, take it with you.

ENGAGE WITH YOUR NEIGHBOURS AND THE WIDER COMMUNITY

Knowing what’s going on around you makes it easier to know when things are out of place. Chat to your neighbours, both at home and at work, as they’re your first port of call in an emergency and your best source of information about what’s happening in the community. Information has an organic way of spreading among people, and knowing who your neighbours are helps to foster a sense of community, which in turn, makes for more resilient and happy communities and neighbourhoods.

SAVE WID’S CONTROL ROOM NUMBER TO YOUR PHONE

WID’s Control Room operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is here to assist in making Woodstock safer for all. Please report anything on 021 462 1205.

WID community safety

WID community safety

Help St Anne’s help others

WID St Annes

WID St Anne’s

Women and children are among the most vulnerable in our community and in society at large. As a community focused organisation, WID is committed to assisting entities that support those in need.

Continue reading

Support our sustainable employment initiative

WID Sponsor a homeless person

Those familiar with the work of the Woodstock Improvement District (WID) will know that our official mandate is to provide top-up cleaning and security services to the Woodstock community.

More than that, we’re committed to serving and supporting the community in practical ways. This includes finding sustainable ways of addressing poverty, unemployment and homelessness.

One of the successful ways that we’ve managed to do this is in partnership with Khulisa Social Solutions, a non-profit organisation working to empower and enable vulnerable communities to unlock their potential and develop skills towards a sustainable future.

The premise of the partnership is to take people off the streets of Woodstock and give them a job, typically in cleaning, for which they earn a monthly stipend of R3000. We have countless success stories that demonstrate how having a job and earning an income gives people a sense of purpose and security, which has a knock-on effect on other social problems within the community.

We want to get more people off the streets, working and with a sense of dignity. But in order to do this we need financial support.

Please consider helping just one person off the street with a monthly contribution of R3000. The orientation process is managed entirely by WID and Khulisa, with no further expectations from business, except the benefit of working and living in a safer, more resilient community.

With your help we can empower people and create more resilient communities, and as such we kindly urge you to consider getting involved.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or queries on 021 462 7321 or info@wid.co.za

Making Woodstock safer, one security camera at a time

We have new eyes and ears on the ground thanks to the advanced technology of recently installed, fully operational security cameras!

This proactive stance against acts of criminal intent feeds directly into our main prerogative which is to keep our area clean and safe for residents and those who work in the area. We have developed a good relationship with business owners and are invested in protecting their ventures.

The cameras assist us in being proactive in identifying and responding to criminals. Through this technology, we are now able to have more eyes on the street as the cameras can see in many places at once – something that our officers are not able to accomplish.

Since their installation in November of last year, a number of accidents have been ‘picked up’ and we were able to send assistance to the parties in need almost immediately. In another instance, we were able to intervene in a violent fight during the festive season which was alleviated with the assistance of the SAPS.

Currently six cameras up and running with six more will be installed later this year, as well as an additional four Licence plate recognition (LPR) cameras in undisclosed locations. These are specialised types of video surveillance cameras which capture numbers and letters of license plates on still or moving vehicles.

The footage is sent directly to the security control room where it is looked over and if something out of the ordinary is identified, relevant action is taken. Our security officers work in partnership law enforcement as well as our Social Officer, Abigail Abrahams.

Along with the regular joint operations with SAPS and other role players, the cameras are a progressive and innovative way to further protect the public.

Woodstock is vibrant, colourful community and we are privileged to be a part of it.

If you live or work in Woodstock, and would like to speak to us, please register through our website. wid.co.za/contact-us

An overview of our Annual General Meeting

The Woodstock Improvement District (WID) has been providing top-up cleaning and security services to one of Cape Town’s oldest residential and business nodes since May 2005.

As an organisation we have had the privilege of leading the charge in the continual improvement of Woodstock as a residential and business area. In the past decade we have had many meetings to strategise and reflect, but the most poignant is the AGM. This is an opportunity for all parties to reflect and give input on happenings in the area. What follows is a brief overview of the meeting.

Meeting agenda and role players in attendance

The AGM took place on Thursday, 15 November 2018 at the WID offices in Woodstock.
It was attended by WID staff, including General Manager Chris Lloyd, board members including our Chairman Dr. Teun Baartman, as well various business owners. Members of the Inter-Services Liaison from the City of Cape Town were also in attendance as well as Councillor Errol Antsey.

The agenda ran as follows:
1. Registration
2. Welcome and apologies
3. Membership – resignations and new
4. Quorum to constitute a meeting
5. Approval of previous AGM minutes 2017
6. Approval of agenda
7. About WID
8. Chairperson’s report
9. Feedback on SRA’s operations 2017-18
10. Noting of audited financial statements 2017-18
11. Approval of budget 2018-19
12. Usage of surplus funds 2018-19
13. Approval of implementation plan 2019-20
14. Appointment of auditors
15. Confirmation of company secretary
16. Election of board members
17. Q & A
18. Adjournment

Overview

As a special mention in this section we would like to extend a warm welcome to our new members as well as a fond farewell to those are no longer able to extend their membership. This organisation relies heavily on the support and feedback of business owners in the area to be successful.

Security cameras

The length of the WID area spans from Russell Street to Roodebloem Road with the width running from Nelson Mandela boulevard all the way into the harbour. The addition of our security cameras has made a marked difference to the crime rate in certain areas.

Thanks was extended to the engineering company who helped with the set up of the cameras and members Tammi and Tony for their assistance with the process.

It was confirmed by Councillor Dave Bryant that the City will be sponsoring a further four License Plate Recognition Cameras to be placed in strategic areas.

Social responsibility

Christopher once again complimented our resident Social Officer, Abigail Abrahams for the good work she has done in the past year with various projects, most notable the gardening project with Khulisa. He recognised that it is often a thankless job, but that he truly appreciates all she has invested into the upliftment of marginalised people in the area.

Finances

The Audited Financial Statements of 2017/ 2018 were presented by Harry Curtis and Co and approved by CCT and the Board of Directors.

As chairman, Teun highlighted the fact that although the total annual figures are the same, the line items have changed slightly through the year. The surplus funds have been mostly spent on the camera project. Of the surplus funds for the coming year, R84 000 has been committed to the Khulisa project.

In terms of further shuffling of funds, Crispian Swarbreck requested that extra staff be available for special events such as Open Streets. Chris suggested we look at that going forward. The suggestion was countered by Tony van Heerden who advised that those ventures are partially supported by the City and he feels that our budget need not be spent there. Both points were noted for the board to approve in future. To conclude, all members approved the budget for the 2019/ 2020 year.

Confirmation of Auditors and Company Secretary

Teun advised that auditors Harry Curtis & Co will serve for another year.

There was a suggestion that a board member steps in as secretary as they will have the necessary insight into affairs with CIPC registering outsourced to the accountants. Meeting minutes will be taken by office liaison. The only requirement is to have someone who can oversee the secretarial work. The meeting unanimously approved this idea going forward.

Confirmation / Election of Board Members

Four resignations of board members took place and new members were welcomed. Teun stated that he is standing for re-election as Director. Andre Potgieter and
Mukthar Joonas will be staying on as Directors.

General Questions and Answers

Andre Potgieter wanted to know from the CCT what happens to the fines that have been issued and what percentage is collected, recovered or paid. In response, Councillor Errol advised that only 18% of these fines are paid. The total fines brought in is about R180 million – the city issues about 30 billion fines a year.

He stated that the main problem is that the courts don’t have enough magistrates to sign off summonses.

In closing, Andre thanked various members, giving his admiration and gratitude to the Directors who are stepping down for their hard work and dedication over the year.

We hope that this feedback incentivises business owners who have not had an opportunity to attend, to join us for the next AGM. All information and statistics will be made available on our website under ‘Useful documents’. If you would like any further information on membership and input into your community, please do contact us on the details below.

Tel: 021 462 7321
Email: info@wid.co.za

From us to you – our deepest thanks to our contributors

“Nothing else in all life is such a maker of joy and cheer as the privilege of doing good.” — James Russell Miller

As we approach the giving time of the festive season, we are reminded of all the generous donations we receive from various role players in the community. This article is dedicated to thanking just a couple of those whose contributions have helped make our events successful.

KwikSpar Boulevard and Balmoral Supermarket

This thank you is slightly overdue, as our local KwikSpar has been helping us since last year. In June 2017 we hosted a holiday programme and had the mammoth task of feeding over 100 children. KwikSpar generously sponsored 200 hot dog rolls, all of which fed hungry mouths!

This year they paired with Balmoral Supermarket to support our Mandela Day event for the homeless in the Woodstock area. Both of these stores provided soup and bread for attendees. The food was a welcome gift and allowed us to serve and connect with the most vulnerable in our city.

The Mandela Day initiative in Town Hall park was of particular importance due to the focus of the event: health and wellness for the homeless. An HIV and TB awareness talk was given, and testing was provided along with items to promote safe sex. Due to the KwikSpar’s generous donation, we were also able to feed many people, including children.

Sir Fruit

We are so grateful to this quirky local fresh juice brand for their donation of almost 300 bottles of iced tea for our holiday program this year. After a day of games and fun the children were thirsty, and so grateful for a healthy tasty quencher!

We use our termly holiday programme to entertain and educate kids in the area while they are on school holiday. The iced tea was delicious and went well with the hearty lunches of macaroni and cheese which fuelled the kids as they played, listened to educational talks and had outings to various departments.

Once again, thank you so much to these businesses for their generosity. Without your help we may not have been able to host such successful events.

Our social officer Abby shares that she has been blown away by the generosity of the businesses and is so grateful for their support. “What to say? I would like to thank the sponsors for the donations toward our holiday programmes, health days for the homeless and Nelson Mandela Day this year,” she says. “I wish these organisations all the best over the festive season and New Year. I hope to keep our relationship strong and on-going – there are many new projects ahead!”

If you, or your business, would like to make a difference in the community, our social projects are the right place to start. Whether through donating food to our holiday funds or sponsoring someone with a monthly stipend to get them back on their feet, we can help you contribute to positive change. Our social officer Abby will gladly discuss your options and explain exactly how your donations would be distributed to help those that need it most.

Abigail Abrahams/ Social Officer:
Tel: 082 611 0591

Spring happenings in Woodstock

Everyone who comes into contact with us at WID will have the pleasure of knowing our resident social officer Abigail Abrahams, affectionately known as Abby. She has been part of our team for years and has the eyes and ears that drive social development in the area.

We caught up with her on the cusp of the spring season to get a fresh perspective on growth and plans in Woodstock.

WID: First things first, can you explain in your own words why we do what we do? If someone doesn’t know anything about the WID, how would you describe it?

Abby: I would say the reasoning is that we want a safer, cleaner and more environmentally friendly Woodstock. We want the community to visit and enjoy the area, and for people to come and invest in the future so that the area can develop and reach its full potential.

 

WID: Why do you do what you do?

Abby: I really enjoy helping the less fortunate, especially women and children. I work with the homeless on a regular basis and this poses major challenges but also beautiful moments. I am humbled by the way homeless people can turn over a new leaf and start over if they choose. Those that are willing can change their lives, and it is so rewarding to be a part of that journey.

 

WID: That is such an inspiring thing to hear. How has 2018 been so far?

Abby: To be honest, it’s been tough. This year has had many challenges, but I guess if there aren’t any, how will one be able to open the next door? Or start the next chapter? I don’t believe anything comes easily.

WID: What projects from this year would you mark as a particular success?

Abby: The ID project, where we assisted a number of homeless people to attain their identity documents, ran very successfully. Many people are asking if I am going to do it again, as it really helped those in need. I will seriously consider implementing it again early in the new year.

 

WID: What new projects are you preparing for?

Abby: I am planning the agenda for the new year at the moment …you will just have to wait and see what happens! This year our annual holiday project is due to happen soon and we continue to run our gardening project on a month to month basis. We are still encouraging businesses to invest, so hopefully we will be able to end off the year on a good note.

 

WID: Would you tell us a little about the holiday programme? Who is involved and what is the project about?

Abby: The Holiday program starts on 1st October and runs until the 5th. It is for kids in the area that need to be kept busy and off the streets during school holidays. SAPS, Woodstock Library, City of Cape Town, the Water and Sanitation department and Blue Ribbon bread are all role players that will be involved in making the day a success. I am also preparing for the December holiday program to make sure we are ready in time.

 

WID: Is there anything important you would like to leave the public with?

Abby: I really would like the businesses and the community to give responsibly. Please give directly to a shelter or NGO in the Woodstock area. You can donate food, blankets or even clothes. Giving directly to a homeless person, although well intentioned, enables them to stay on the street for another day or week, which is longer than anyone should.

 

I also want to request that businesses do not encourage homeless people to sleep on their property or give them permission to build shacks. Again, this is done with the best intentions but it will become an embedded problem that the we, as the Woodstock Improvement District, will have to deal with at a later stage.

It is also unfair to the person to ask them to leave the property after they have been there without disturbance for a while. If a structure appears on your property, please contact our control room immediately on 021 462 1205.

We want to help integrate people into society, and for Woodstock to become the best that it can be!

A team that plays together stays together – WID’s annual teambuilding event

At WID, we’re a family. We support and challenge one another to do the best work possible. We are united by a love of Woodstock and the community. We believe in giving our all and working hard – but we also believe in having some serious fun!

Last week we decided that it was time to explore our playful side again. The entire WID team, along with our service providers, Essential Cleaning and Securitas, participated in a few team building activities to build some bridges and strengthen relationships. The activities were put together by Team Building Activities and Events to facilitate a day of bonding and raising team spirit.

Our administrator Nicola Welby-Solomons was pleasantly surprised by the commitment demonstrated from everyone involved. “I am very proud to say that we certainly have an amazing group of people working to keep Woodstock great. They are not only dedicated but I never knew they were so competitive!” she said, laughing. “It was really great to see all the different sides to our colleagues.”

The team was divided into four groups and participated in cooperation and outcome-based exercises to achieve a shared goal. Unsurprisingly, as the day wore on, many participants realised the importance of a supportive team to meet goals.

Officer Ndlovu, “Foot Papa” at the WID (Securitas), was humbled by a seemingly simple activity. “When we played memory lane, I was motivating my whole team and showed them where all the blocks were to get to the other side, but when I was alone I had to remember all the blocks on my own, and that made me realise why I need a team.”

After this, there were also a few heated rounds of “minute to win it” activities. These mildly ridiculous exercises saw individual team members threading raw pasta onto a kebab stick in under a minute – using only their mouths!

Despite the silliness of some games, participants showed resilience and enthusiasm at every turn – there was certainly no letting up from any of the teams. After all of that activity, the team was looking forward to a hearty meal, and were not disappointed. Oor die Kole Spit Braai and Catering did a magnificent job. Their lunch was delicious and the service splendid.

It was a wonderful experience for the teams, and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive. Officer Poni, the Supervisor for Securitas at WID, went so far as to say that it was by far the best function that we have had. The feedback from the Law Enforcement Team can be summed up in the words of Officer Gaidien; “I just want to say thank you for an amazing day with you WID, Securitas and Essential. You guys are awesome.”

In keeping with the spirit of the event, we want to thank all of those who made this amazing day possible. A special thank you to the Board of Directors and management for providing us with this opportunity to get to know each other outside the usual working environments.

Thank you to Woodstock Community Church for providing us with a venue for free, it met our needs exactly. Thanks also to Team Building Activities and Events for hosting an amazing day of activity, we truly appreciated your commitment to facilitating an atmosphere of fun and making sure that nobody felt left out.

Finally, we would like to thank each and every WID team member who attended. We are so proud to have you as part of the team and look forward to many more years of serving together.

Bloomlane – a garden in the city

We are proud to announce that Woodstock is home to a number of projects which allow residents to engage in the process of local renovation and renewal. Our mission is to improve the area sustainably, from the roots up.

One of the projects that we are achieving this vision through is the pilot project collaboration with Streetscapes, where homeless people are given the opportunity to tend gardens and sell the produce for profit. This project served as a catalyst for other developmental projects in the area which have the potential to change the social and physical landscape of Woodstock.

The most recent of these innovations is the transformation of Hanwell Lane into an urban garden which will benefit the community.

What is the project about?

The project aims to create an urban food garden in Hanwell Lane, Woodstock. The garden will give people the techniques and space to grow fresh produce for feeding programmes. It will also be an area where community members can support one another through interaction and skill sharing. The main aim is to create a productive environment to empower the community. The hope is that this model will be applied in other suburbs throughout Cape Town.

What prompted the project?

The project was born out of the vision of Mr Graeme Allen. He lives next to Hanwell Lane and was frustrated by the level of vandalism and illegal dumping of waste in the street. He refused to believe this was the only option, and obtained a lease for Hanwell Lane to establish a community garden.

Mr Allen then spent six months communicating with other residents and the City Roads and Planning department to create a plan. This blueprint was then shared with homeowners in Roodebloem Road, Roberts Road, Beacontree Lane and Hillyard Street where local support was harvested. Eventually an agreement was signed by many local residents to turn Hanwell Lane into a community garden.

Who are the stakeholders?

This project is an example of what can be achieved in a community through collaboration. Mr. Allen has garnered support from invested partnership who are willing to see the project through to the end.

Connective Collective (CC) – a collection of people who provide platforms for sustainable community engagement. Their goal is to facilitate citizens in building communities that live in harmony with the earth.

Guerilla House – an urban permaculture training platform that educates and equips citizens using affordable regenerative technologies. They specialise in creating and running organic food gardens, water harvesting, soil building, animal systems, mushroom cultivation, grey water systems, alternative building technologies and waste regeneration.

Community – people living between Hilyard and Salisbury Streets, Roodebloem and Roberts Roads, and those that use Hanwell Lane for thoroughfare. They are encouraged to take ownership of the lane and invest where possible so that they can benefit from it flourishing.

Contributors – property owners neighbouring Hanwell Lane have contributed to the cost of gates and the further development of the project.

Woodstock Improvement District (WID) – we aim to utilise the community garden project to extend our social outreach programme.

Woodstock Residents Association​ (WRA) – facilitates engagement between local authorities and residents living in Woodstock. They provide a platform to share information, discuss differences and solve problems in the community.

 

What is the vision for this community project?

The ideal outcome is a community garden that benefits all who live and work in the neighbourhood. The lane will serve as a meeting space where people can interact, educational workshops can be held and resiliency skills can be obtained by anyone who would like to learn.

The partners are aware of the challenges this public space may encounter, and there are discussions underway on how best to approach potential problems. If you would like to view the vision for this project please contact ConnectiveCollective through one of the Public Participation Process (PPP) channels (see below) and we will forward you the full proposal. Feedback, both for and against, is welcomed as we would like to understand and communicate the community’s views.

Below are the various PPP channels that can be utilised to voice opinions or ask further questions about the project:

  • The email address hanwellgarden@gmail.com (which will also be displayed in the lane).
  • A post box in the lane for residents to hand write and deliver your views.
  • A telephone number, which residents can contact, and a WhatsApp group/ SMS group which residents can join to receive information about the project.
  • A Facebook page where residents can post their views and find more information about the project.