Local angel recognised for her good work

Heidi Tucker, the President of the Rotary Club of Benoni Aurora, Ms Val Bartram and Helen Parkinson, the chairperson of the Inyoni Creek residents’ committee, who nominated Val for the award.

Inyoni Creek’s Mrs Val Bartram received a Paul Harris Fellow Award for her ongoing efforts to help enrich the lives of the residents of Thembalami Care Care.

The award was presented by the Rotary Club of Benoni Aurora on February 26.

Eight years ago, Mrs Bartram visited Thembalami for the first time and decided to get involved at the centre.

Once she was involved, Mrs Bartram encouraged fellow Inyoni Creek residents and their family members to help.

Soon after that, the Inyoni Angels was formed.

The Inyoni Angels have since hosted annual events for the Thembalami residents to mark special occasions, such as Easter, Christmas, and mother’s and father’s days.

In addition, monthly birthday parties are hosted by the group’s members who ensure that each resident’s life is celebrated.

The Inyoni Angels have also assisted with renovations at Thembalami.

Mrs Bartram grew up in Modderfontein.

As sports enthusiast, Mrs Bartram saw the importance of young people balancing their sport and academic lives and she was instrumental in introducing South Africa’s first golf diploma.

The diploma was later accredited by the SA Professional Golfers Association as well as the British and Irish golf associations.

When Mrs Bartram and her husband, Ron, moved to Inyoni Creek nine years ago, Mr Bartram predicted that his wife’s love of people would see her becoming ‘a sunshine lady’, visiting the elderly in order to bring some joy into their lives.

His prophecy came true.

Today Mrs Bartram is loved and respected by Thembalami and Inyoni Creek residents alike.

Thembalami Care Centre manager Ms Elize Raath said she is remarkable.

“Nothing is too big or too small for her to do. She is involved and supportive everywhere and anywhere. She is reliable, trustworthy and honest and what I admire the most is her passion, love, genuine care and concern for the residents and staff of Thembalami,” said Ms Raath.

“I could not have done it alone,” said Mrs Bartram when she received the award.

Both Inyoni Creek and Thembalami are owned by NPO Rand Aid Association, but while the residents of the retirement village are generally comfortably off, many of those cared for at Thembalami receive only a government grant.

Inyoni Creek residents were treated to music in celebration of Women’s Month

Stephan Lehman

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