GOOD START TRUST REPORT
- This has been a settling down year, with both Breakfast and Smart Clubs able to function fully at both St
Mary’s Primary School, Gardens, and Good Hope Seminary Junior School, Vredehoek., with a view to
addressing the pressure on education caused by the Covid pandemic, resultant school closures and
immense pressure on the global economy.
- We are deeply grateful for the donated funding which enabled us to operate fully.
- Our Easter Fundraising Drive was a happy and pleasing success. We will attempt a Christmas fundraiser
- Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) payments continue to be made, now for three salaried helpers who
are employed solely by the Good Start Trust.
- VAT Registration successfully applied for by L Rubin and Co means that we can now apply to be
refunded the 15% VAT paid on our e’Pap order and some administration invoices.
- Our accounts have again been audited pro bono by L Rubin and Company, for which we are deeply
grateful. Paul Morris, Mariette Vos and Sakeenah Schroeder deserve our special thanks. See Addendum
A for our audited Annual Financial Statement for the year ending 28 February 2023.
- Our Website was redesigned and updated by Pixel Perfect. Special thanks to Liam Kirby, Operations
- We always honour donors’ wishes with respect to the restricted use of their kind and generous
Breakfast Club Budget, 2024 (Addendum B 1)
• The Breakfast Club Budget is now based on feeding 500 children daily over 40 school weeks in the year.
• As is happening globally, South African food costs continue to rise astronomically, as do transport costs. Thus, donations of milk and fruit have been especially welcome, stretching our cash reserves further.
• As the schools have settled back further into normal operations after the 2 years of Covid related interruptions, we are seeing more children eating more, very likely the result of current pressures on family finances. In 2022 we ordered 1 ton of e’Pap twice. In 2023 we have found the need to order a ton for a third time, in September. We are aware that Econocom Foods have absorbed rising costs themselves to a great extent this year, but in January 2024 we will see price increases. However, we also know that the cost of e’Pap per child per day is at the moment just less than R2.70, which is a very reasonable price per head. This unique scientifically formulated food meets the nutritional needs of our children very well, and is very easy to prepare on site.
• We are unfortunately not able to increase our employees’ hourly rate of wages per hour in 2024. We do, however, pay far higher than the country’s recommended minimum wage.
• Three helpers at St Mary’s who left us for different reasons, have not been replaced, but the morning’s work is still completed in the allocated time with the help of volunteers. One helper at St Mary’s Primary has continued to be paid an increased salary as she continues to grow into the role of Person-in-Charge, an especially valuable role during Aletta Ashmore’s annual 3 month long absence overseas.
Smart Club Budget, 2023 (Addendum B3)
• The Smart Club Budget for 2023 is based on a 40 week school year, as there are school
assessment weeks when therapists are not able to work with the children.
• Hearing tests and the provision of Ritalin/Methylphenidate are again not reflected in the Budget, as
the former continue to be accessed free of charge at local clinics, and the latter is provided free from
the School Doctor and Nurse at the local District Six Day Clinic.
• All our therapists provide their services at a discount, as we are a registered charity, and we thank
them and specialist doctors who assess learners for accommodating the Smart Club in this way.
This allows us to support more children for the same amount of money.
• Parents are asked to make a small contribution, to the cost of professional assessments and
therapeutic treatments, if they are able. The amount contributed by parents is not material to our
• It is anticipated that in 2024 around 160 children (120 in groups, and 40 individually or in pairs) will
benefit from group and individual therapies, as well as up to 15 by assessments by an Educational
Psychologist, and Paediatric Neurologist and Psychiatrist.
• We were fortunate and grateful to have received a private donation covering the rebuild and update
of our website www.goodstart.org.za Our website is now maintained by Pixel Perfect on a two
monthly basis, also covered by donation.
• A dedicated donation covered our SAGE subscription, and website hosting.
• Our auditors, L Cohen and Co, whose work has brought us our Annual Financial Statement for the
past 5 years, are unfortunately no longer able to carry out this work pro bono. We thank them for the
enormous work they have done for us to date, and understand that their circumstances in the current
economic climate have necessitated their decision.
• All the above projected costs can be seen under ADMIN in our Proposed 2024 Breakfast Club
Financial Record Keeping:
We continue to thank Paula Cohen for overseeing the monthly SAGE PASTEL entries of our financial
records, and for preparation of the General Ledger and Trial Balance for the auditors. Aletta Ashmore
continues to deal with banking, and to gather all financial records to send to Paula on a monthly basis.
Adrienne Millner has taken charge of monthly UIF contributions, and assists with administration
whenever she is able. Amy Haworth assists too when required
Section 18A Certificates:
Section 18A certificates for South African Income Tax relief for individuals
continue to be issued to donors of either cash, or goods,to which a monetary value can be assigned.
We understand the new SARS ruling that will require us to provide proof if required, for our drawing up of
18A certificates from 2024 onwards.
On 28 February 2023, Sakeenah Shroeder of L Rubin and Co came to oversee Breakfast Club stock takes
and petty cash counts at both schools. The audit of our finances has now been completed. We thank
Paul Morris and Mariette Vos for this invaluable service to The Good Start Trust. The Annual Financial
Statements for the year ending 28 February 20223 can be viewed in Addendum A.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB
Health and Safety precautions regarding food preparation, cleaning and storing of equipment is adhered to. Western Cape Educational Department (WCED) now require Police Clearance for all workers on school premises, even those who do not deal with children (ie most of our volunteers) and so this is being arranged.
Our Child Protection Policy is also being reviewed by Trustees and is being brought up to date
Two extraordinary but considerable challenges faced our Breakfast Club teams this year: firstly, the Cape Town taxi strike in August, which prevented people living in outlying areas getting to the city for school or work. We were very concerned that the consequences for many of our young learners and their families would be lack of finances and lack of food. Another challenge lay in the 6-8.30 am schedule of load shedding, which has occurred from time to time, cutting electricity supplies. Both teams were kindly gifted flasks for bringing hot water in from home, and Good Hope was gifted a two plate gas stove which has also necessitated additional specific safety precautions being taken, Head torches and donated battery powered lights have helped teams cope in the darkness of early winter morning. We are full of gratitude for the resilience of our dedicated Breakfast Club teams!
Supervision and running the teams:
At Good Hope Seminary Junior School,
Over the course of this year, up to 350 children per day have eaten breakfast at this school. Supervision has been by Patsy Bagraim , assisted by Petra Sieblist and Mandy Trollip when necessary. Salaried helpers are Marlene Murray, Linda Hosking and Victoria Madwayi. Violah Shoria has helped on a temporary basis but we hope to absorb her more fully into the team in 2024. One paid helper was unfortunately dismissed early in 2023, and we are extremely grateful to Bagraim and Co for valuable legal advice on this and some other occasions. At least 3 other volunteers each help daily, working alongside the salaried helpers. We have been helped greatly too by a Gr 3 educator. Mr Hamunakwadi’s role as liaison between staff and Breakfast Club has been invaluable. We thank him sincerely.
At St Mary’s Primary School,
Over the course of the year, up to 190 children have eaten breakfast per day at this school. Aletta Ashmore has continued to supervise with Farieda Payne continuing to support her as Person in Charge. Regular meetings and training have allowed this system to grow in efficiency. Aletta continues to spend the time in the UK required by her being a tax resident in that country. Unfortunately, three paid helpers resigned over the year: one to move away from Cape Town, to assist in bringing up her grandson, and two others who had started helping for 1 hour per day when Covid regulations prevented volunteers from coming on site, hen returned to focus on their work within the school. This means that Farieda Payne and Fatiema Johns remain as paid helpers. Volunteers are invaluable in helping Breakfast Club function, and at least two a day allow the team at St Mary’s to run smoothly.
We are extremely helpful to all volunteers who allow the two Breakfast Clubs to run happily and smoothly. One new volunteer’s whatsapp on completing her first morning at St Mary’s: “Was fabulous! Feel good way to start the morning.” Knowing that we are all serving the education of up to 500 young children, is all the motivation that we need.
Milk has been donated in substantial quantities by the Angel Network (donating to Good Hope), by St Mary’s Cathedral Lenten Offerings (to St Mary’s), and by friends. St Mary’s parents have responded to termly Milk Drives run at the school by Mr Jean-Louis, the new principal. Friends have also donated fruit.
Visitors are always welcome. We are very grateful for having made happy friendships with regular or one-off visitors and supporters from as far away as Switzerland, America, the UK, as well as from other parts of South Africa.
THE SMART CLUB
All of those working for Smart Club have Police Clearance, either through their professions, independently or through Smart Club
Amy Haworth (Trustee) continues as Learning Support Educator employed by the Western Cape Education Department at both schools. All referrals regarding learners who need specific support, are handled through Amy and the Schools Based Support Teams (SBST’s). This provides stability and consistency to the referral system.
Two year deficit in literacy: A worrying consequence of the years that Covid affected education, is that children from poorer homes could not access learning on line due to both lack of technology and access to wifi at home. The result has been the publicised fact that many primary age South African children lag TWO YEARS behind in literacy, especially in reading. There are some educational strategies in place nationally to address this need, but Smart Club is focused on supporting in this area
Literacy Support Pilot: In June, Maureen McCrea, a retired educator, came forward to volunteer provision for literacy support. She now works weekly at St Mary’s School with small groups of Gr 4 and 5 learners who are at risk of having to repeat the year, largely due to poor reading skills. She has worked closely with the educators and Amy to make these support sessions relevant to work in the classroom. We hope to extend much needed Literacy Support in 2024.
Occupational Therapy: Kris-Ann Hey (Reg: OT0082589) worked with 10 learners at the two schools, over two mornings week. Unfortunately, she left Smart Club at the end of May. These learners had benefitted greatly from her skills, many over two years. Those who still needed support, were seen in small groups from June onwards by Helmien Jonker who brought her wide experience to supporting their literacy and numeracy skills. We will continue to seek the services of a qualified and registered Occupational Therapist for 2024.
Speech Therapy: Tracey Nell (Reg: ST 0007625) has worked with 11 learners for 1 day a week at both schools. Her continuing work under the umbrella of Speech Therapy has also included the following: supporting a quite severely autistic boy who now can read as well as speak, having been enabled to move slowly out of the verbal isolation he experienced 2 years ago; working with learners whose first language is Swahili, isiXhosa, or isiZulu; teaching phonics and sentence structure to Grade 1 and 2 learners whose literacy failed to develop during Covid years. We are very fortunate to have such a skilled and adaptable woman to work with these children.
Brain Gym, Gross and Fine Motor Co-ordination Group Sessions: Helmien Jonker has continued to work weekly with the 2 Gr R classes at GHSJS, as well as Gr R and 1 at St Mary’s. Core strength, ability to focus in class, and improved writing skills have all been noted as a result of her work with these children.
Educational Psychologist’s Assessments: We have referred 4 learners to date this year to Anel Annandale whom she has assessed, and for whom she has provided extremely insightful and useful reports and recommendations for supporting these children’s education.
Paediatic Psychiatry Assessments: Dr Zanda Jaquire’s diagnostic assessments have been very helpful in giving us guidance in our support of learners who have hyperactivity or attention difficulties. This year, taking medication after assessment and diagnosis of Attention Deficit (with or without Hyperactivity) of a Grade 1 and a Grade 2 learner has been seen to make a marked difference. Parents have been very grateful.e has provided extremely insightful and useful reports and recommendations for supporting these children’s education.
Provision of Ritalin/Methylphenidate free of charge through District Six Day Clinic: We are deeply grateful to Sr Busisiwe Tandatu, the Schools Nurse at District Six Day Clinic, for her oversight over provision and delivery of free Ritalin or Methylphenidate (prescribed by Dr Jaquire) to both schools for a total of 6 learners, whose learning benefits enormously from this medication. Educators report on increased ability to learn in class, improved handwriting, lower error incidence, and ofneasier peer and teacher-learner relationships as a result of the controlled use of the medication, prescribed by a responsible and qualified doctor.
Parental Consent, Feedback: Parents are asked to attend a feedback session where they are explained the results of the assessments. We do not proceed with any assessment or treatment if we do not have the parents’ or guardians’ full written consent.
C. MEDIA AND PUBLICITY www.goodstart.co.za FB:@goodstarttrust
Website maintenance: Pixel Perfect rebuilt and updated our website by August 2023, at the cost of R12,650.00. This was paid for by a generous private donor. We are pleased with the fresh new ‘look’ of the website. The maintenance of the website will cost R550 every second month, and this is also paid by donation.
Facebook: Facebook has been our chief means of communicating the celebration of good news, making appeals for specific needs, and thanking those kind and generous donors who time and again meet those needs. Boosting posts has raised awareness of our work with audiences of thousands of readers, many of whom have sent encouraging messages and now follow our facebook page.
Parental Permission for Photographs: We adhere to our policy of only photographing children’s faces provided we have signed permission to do so from parents/guardians. The lists of children who may have photographs taken, are securely kept and consulted whenever we do wish to take photographs.
D. FUNDING FOR 2022
We have a policy of ethical transparency regarding the use of all funding. We also always honour donors’ specific dedicated purposes for their donations. Running costs are kept to an absolute minimum. Trustees may not be paid for their services. All funds donated are put to extremely good use, for the essential benefit of young children’s education and futures. These children are the future of South Africa.
Neither our Breakfast nor our Smart Club can continue without ongoing funding, provided by our generous donors. We are also embarking on fundraising projects of our own initiative, and seek support in the organisation of these initiatives. It is essential for us that funding comes in steadily, in order for our planning to be functional, and for our work with vulnerable and needy children’s education to continue. So, Thank You All, and may your kind donations continue in the future, for us to progress with this vital work.
As we look towards 2024, we will very largely be reliant on our donors to provide the means to support our efforts.
On behalf of the Trustees,
THE GOOD START TRUST
Date: 30 September 2023
TRUSTEES, The Good Start Trust
- Addendum A
Annual Financial Statements for the Financial Year ending 28 February 2023, L Rubin and Company Inc.
- Addendum B1
Proposed Budget, 2024:
- Breakfast Clubs at St Mary’s Primary School and Good Hope Seminary Junior School
- Addendum B2
Proposed Budget 2024:
- Smart Club at St Mary’s Primary School and Good Hope Seminary Junior School
- Addendum C
Banking details for donations