Haslop&Mason lays down the gauntlet

Businesses encouraged to follow charity lead

Believing strongly in the principle of good neighbourliness, Haslop&Mason has made it its mission to support the Missionvale Care Centre (MCC) in as many ways as possible - and has laid down the gauntlet for other businesses to follow suit.

Missionvale, on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, is home to many of South Africa's most ailing and destitute citizens. It is where the scourge that is Aids does not lessen and where the statistics for HIV infections, unemployment, malnutrition and poverty are beyond belief.

The Missionvale Care Centre is founded on the belief that education is the only ticket out of poverty, and a powerful vehicle for community transformation and upliftment. And, while the main educational focus is on children, the Sister Ethel Normoyle school - named after the centre's founder - also focuses on equipping parents, guardians and the youth through adult basic education.

Driven by a need to reach out to the surrounding community, Haslop&Mason became involved in Missionvale many years ago through company Managing Member Kevin Dersley, who, while working on a Rotary project, recognised the residents' immense need.

Dersley also encourages staff members to get involved through participation in Mandela Day events or through clothing drives for the MCC warehouse, where gently worn clothing is regularly distributed to needy families in the belief that clothing can help restore dignity.

Describing Haslop&Mason's role at the centre as "the tip of the iceberg", Dersley said: "We see ourselves as a friend.

"They have tremendous, all-encompassing needs. We do not in any way lighten the load, but offer what assistance we can.

"We provide them with all their lighting and lamp requirements and also try and draw attention to their needs so we can encourage others to assist wherever they can. We need to ensure that all those around us have the support to encourage a sustainable community and environment."

Marketing Manager at the MCC, Linda van Oudheusden, said Haslop&Mason's continuous support meant the world to them.

"We love it when local businesses offer their support to community-based ventures and would encourage other Nelson Mandela Bay companies to follow suit - perhaps not by assisting us, but by finding worthy causes in their neighbourhoods," she said.

"Haslop&Mason are our neighbours. Being neighbourly is the right thing to do."