18 July 2023
MANDELA DAY: THANK YOU TO SUPPORTERS LIKE MR VINCENT ANDRIES
Healthcare workers salute volunteers and partners whose support is crucial to improve the health and well-being of communities. Today, Mandela Day, Robertson Hospital especially thanks Mr Vincent Andries. As volunteer he has transported more than 200 patients home after they were discharged from hospital or after they were treated at the Emergency Centre.
Patients are responsible for their own transport, but healthcare staff often support patients to contact their families or to help with transport arrangements. Staff are grateful that they can rely on Mr Andries for support if all else fails. Sometimes he calls the family to hear what the challenge is; other times he simply takes the person home. “I’ve been as far as Mozambique. It does not matter where people stay,” he says. “I like helping people. It is how my parents raised us.”
He is passionate about reuniting families and is well-known in the Langeberg for his work among people who are homeless. Some of the work he does, includes making sure that people who are homeless have meals, so that if they use medication, it is easier to take it.
One day Mr Andries saw a woman laying next to the road. He stopped to see if he could help her and saw that she possibly had a stroke. He took her to the hospital and when she was discharged, he took her back to her family. Another example of how he prioritises the well-being of the community, was when he noticed that a group of senior citizens could not go to a clinic. He reached out to healthcare staff, and they made a plan to help.
Mr Andries is part of the Langeberg Doulos Trust. The Trust makes it possible for him to transport patients home if they are discharged but do not have a means of getting home. He works closely with different role-players in the area to uplift members of the community.
“I never have a dull moment! My life drastically changed when I stepped into this calling. I work for one ‘man’ only, and that is the Lord.”
The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness thanks Mr Andries for his support to vulnerable people and recognises him as a valuable co-worker in health. Today staff gave him a gift voucher to show their appreciation. Other Mandela Day activities by staff included outreaches to homes for the elderly with donations of clothes and other items, as well as food parcels for people who are homeless.
“We salute and appreciate Mr Andries for his selfless choice to serve members of the community who would not have had refuge and who have few resources. His actions show the empathy and care with which he follows the example set by the Lord,” said Dr Nellis Beyers, the Manager of the Langeberg area for Western Cape Government Health and Wellness.