Zandvlei Trust

This is a working relationship with the communtity of Village Heights,
the Zandvlei Trust, various other voluntary NPO's and the City of Cape Town.

The City of Cape Town adopted Village Heights for a legacy community pilot project, as part of
The World Design Capital 2014.

What and where is Village Heights Community Centre.

It is a registered NPO. Situated in the Lavender Hill area at the end of Military Road and close to the Rondevlei Nature Reserve.

It has a number of skills development and upliftment projects for the local community run by local community members. It works with many other organisations, local and international, and also individuals to help further its aim.

Projects are;

  • a Community Library with surfing for different age groups.

  • a Community vegetable garden and a Community Nature Garden

  • a Community Youth and Adult development programme

  • a Crochet and Knitting classes

  • a Feeding Programme

Who we are.

It is a voluntary community organisation with a small membership. At our last AGM the following were elected to the governing body;

Position Name
Chairman Bernadine Thomas
Secretary Tanya Adams
Treasurer Gerrard Wigram
Exco Member Edward Thomas
Exco Member Sharon McCallum
Exco Member Maureen Julies
Exco Member Nathan Nelson

Gavin Lawson is a volunteer Zandvlei Trust member training and advising the administration of the VHCC organisation as a ZVT project together with the above people. 
Contact Gavin Lawson.  or  021 705 5224.

Some of the Organisations we have working partnerships with.

  • Abalimi Bezekhaya (Harvest of Hope)

  • City of Cape Town (numerous depts)

  • Projects Abroad, Cape Town

  • Prospur Spar, Plumstead

  • The Christ Church, Constantia

  • Pollsmoor Prison Out Reach Programme

  • Zandvlei Trust

  • Vrygrond library

  • CTEET (Cape Town Environmental Education Trust)

The Village Heights Community Nature Garden.

Marijke Honig set up a Facebook page for the Community Nature Garden. Have a look at this
exciting project by the City of Cape Town and a number of other role players.

Click on the photo below for the link.

photograph by Marijke Honig.

At the the workshop in October 2014 in the Seawinds Community Centre ideas were drawn from
a number of people and organisations in the Lavender Hill area, so that the planning of the
Community Garden could begin.

This is the current plan for the area which came from the planning process above. The plan is
displayed in the library at Village Heights.

Loubie Rusch makes lekker tasting food / kos from indigenous plants that grow all around us.
She is working on the Nature Garden project too. She has identified local edible plants which grow
easily here.
A variety of species will be grown in a Seed Library Garden which will be planted in the Nature Garden.

photograph by Loubie Rusch.

Wild Asparagus (veldkool) delicious raw or cooked.

photograph by Loubie Rusch.

See Loubie's very interesting FB page here.

17/06/2016 - VHCC has signed a Charter with a number of role players in the Village Heights area.
Nicola Rule from the City of Cape Town, Major Programmes and Projects Assistant, Environmental Resource Management Department, co-ordinated the process at the Seawinds Community Centre and concluded the process by distributing the minutes of the meeting and a photo record of the Charter. Each of the signatories have received a framed and signed copy for their records and reference.

photograph by Stephen Granger.

The signed Village Heights Charter.          updated 17/06/2016.


09/06/2016 - The knitting group were busy and Joan had made a very pretty sample cap. Veronica was busy producing some for sale at the Market.

The second cap being knitted by Veronica. What beautiful colours!

Also on the go was the repair an addition to the upcycled waste tree experiment. A hot gun was borrowed and available for the afternoon. So a group got stuck into modifying and repairing the tre stem. It was relocated to another part of the vegetable garden out of the way. The test is to see how it endures the winter elements until Amy returns for the next Workshops in August.

Some of the plastic material picked up in the Village Heights wetland and stored to modify the tree.

See what they did....   updated 17/06/2016.

05/06/2016 - The Peninsula Paddle from Muizenberg to Milnerton via the waterways to highlight
water quality and the condition of our catchment systems to the City of Cape Town.
VHCC was there too. Ismaail, Gellil and Levi took part this year and had a wonderful time.

photograph by Errol Smith.

Ismaail, Levi and Gellil at the start just after 07h30 paddling at Zandvlei. 
Behind them is the Thesens Bridge near the estuary mouth.

See what they did.....  updated 17/06/2016.

12/05/2016 to 09/06/2016 the photographer was not able to visit VHCC, so there is no photo
documentery update available. 
That does not mean plenty of things did happened during this time. Plenty did happen.

12/05/2016 - There was news that a donation from The Church of the Good Shepherd - Protea
and Gerrard and Joan Wigram were bringing their priest Rev Jo Tyers with them to visit VHCC
for the first time to find out where and what happens here.

Some of the warm winter jackets being worn for the photograph with Rev.Tyers in the centre.
Gerrard is on the left with the white top.

Joan is hiding away behind Edwina.

We thank the congregation of The Church of the Good Shepherd - Protea very much for this well
received and timely donation.

07/05/2016 - Marina da Gama Craft Market today.

photograph by Veronica Mentoor.

Berny at the table with all the goods for sale. Please support the knitting group by purchasing
their hand knitted items for sale.

06/05/2016 - After school today the young girls wanted to make flowers for Mothers Day. 
So Berny and Veronica showed them what they had learnt in Amy Rusch's workshops.

photograph by Veronica Mentoor.

The flowers we made for our Mother's Day on Sunday. The late afternoon sunshine is 
catching the flower in its vase on the right.

See more.....

05/05/2016 - Today was a school holiday in the general Lavender Hill area. The local Christian
school teachers decided as it was a significant religious holiday previous recognised and there
would not have school classes today. A note was sent with each school child to this effect.

So the play park and the library was full of activity.

So what were they doing?

Sitting in the warm autumn sun outside the library, quietly engrossed......

.....playing a card game.

03/05/2016 - Today was the first of four Upcycling Waste Workshops funded by the
Table Mountain Fund
(TMF) as a ZVT project which will take place over the next few months.
Amy will be away for a while and has set the team a challenge to see what they can collect and
make for the "tree project".
Lets see what they can do!!

Making parts of "the tree. What tree?".

See more.....  

30/04/2016 - The April Monthly Report by the Chairman.  


27/04/2016 - Today was a public holiday the everyone had been looking forward to going hiking
up Lions Head.
CTEET and Projects Abroad paid for the transport costs to get 25 of us there and back.

photograph by Veronica Mentoor.

On top of the world with Cape Town way below.

See more .....    updated 21/05/2016.

26/04/2016 - Today the Projects Abroad team, Wynberg office, with their Director Peter Slowe paid
a visit to VHCC for an update on activities here.

photograph by Veronica Mentoor.

The Projects Abroad team Wynberg office visiting VHCC.

See more .....  

21/04/2016 - Take a closer look at what is growing in the back garden of a house in VH.

photograph by Veronica Mentoor.

Veronica took this photograph of a grenadilla vine which is about 1 year old. It is being trained 
onto an overhead pergola to make a green shaded area in the backyard. It is dipping in fruits so
it is obviously very well tendered.

Just shows what can be done.

20/04/2016 - Visitors to VHCC today.

photograph by Veronica Mentoor.

Who could they be?

See who they are ......

19/04/2016 - The tyre forest has been vandalised! Someone in the community cut the big branches off.
Possibly to sell for firewood!!

photograph by Veronica Mentor.

The children helping to plant some pruned branches from the VHCC vegegarden trees.

See more ....

18/04/2016 - The VH children using the library to do their school homework.

photograph by Veronica Mentor.

The little ones watching the older boys doing their homework in the library.

See more ....

16/04/2016 - Birdathon at the False Bay Nature Reserve. ZVT sponsored the transport of the VHCC
group to the event. The knitting group had been allocated a table to display and sell their knitting items.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

The children lining up for a turn to look through Simon Fogarty's telescope on the Information
Centre in the Southern Birding Area of the False Bay Nature Reserve.

See more .... 

14/04/2016 - Lots going on as usual at VHCC this week. 

What is happening here?

Have a look....

What is Jan Vathjunker (Kulu Manzi Foundation) doing outside the Grassy Park Pep Store 
with this till slip?

.......and what is Jan doing outside the Lavender Hill High School Hall?

See here what he was doing....

07/04/2016 - The Projects Abroad team made a big pot of vegetable stew for everyone
at VHCC today. Thank you team.

The level has gone down quickly. Got to leave some for the others arriving a little later. 

See more....

31/03/2016 - The March Monthly Report by the Chairman.

31/03/2016 - This week has been busy. Pride of Table Mountain walk with Sharon on Saturday, a soccer derby on Easter Monday, some nearby houses burnt down on Tuesday and all were helping there. And it is still school holidays with all the children who are very active.

These animals are going to a movie tonight in Muizenberg at the Masque Theatre!

See more.....


The kids were having some fun with their druming session in the playpark.

There was 1 x bongo drum, 1 x 25 litre paint drum and a 5 x litre paint tin
 with dozens of hands banging out the rhythm.
And some whistling too.

23/03/2016 - This is National Water Week and school holidays. 15 children from VHCC
had the opportunity via ZVT to go to the Masque Theatre in Muizenberg to see the play 
by the Jungle Theatre Company called the River of Life.

The poster advertising the play at the Masque Theatre, Muizenberg.

See more ..... 

20/03/2016 - The Sunday soccer continues. Stephen Granger came to see a match with some 
visitors and he took these photos.

photograph by Stephen Granger.

The VH Street Swingers team in orange tops and VH New Age team in the yellow tops.

See more .....  

17/03/2016 - The school holidays are about to start and the playpark is busy.

Ziema started knitting this week and made these coat hanger covers.

See more ..... 

Deen and his Projects Abroad team members are building.

It is school holidays tomorrow and the boys are already having some fun.

Wayden holding his school report, he did very well this term.

10/03/2016 - There were very unpleasant shootings between the gangs fighting in the area last week. 
This week all is quiet cross fingers.

Jan Vathjunker came to visit today. He spent some time with Bernie going over some ideas and
plans he has to help some of the children at Village Heights.

Bernie and Jan in discussion planning and working out what could happen. Bernie showing Jan
some photos of recent activities at VHCC.

See more .... 

Veronica working on a Zebra. They were busy yesterday making handbags too.

See more .... 

There are a few small children coming to the Centre, so the Gift of Hope is running again.

See more .... 

These brothers enjoy reading books and come to the library regularly.
So Bernie decided to give them this pack of beautiful books.

See more ....  

09/03/2016 - On Wednesday the sewing and knitting group continued.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

A teapot cosy which has some orders attached. "Can we or cant we? Of course we can!!"

See more .....

06/03/2016 - Sunday afternoon Soccer at Village Heights.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

Senior Ladies against the Junior Ladies soccer match. There were 3 other age group matches played.

See more .... 

05/03/2016 - Bernadine and Veronica went to the Marina Craft Market today.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

Veronica setting up the table at the Marina Craft Market.

See more .... 

29/02/2016 - The February Monthly Report by the Chairman.


25/02/2016 - Plenty going on at VHCC today.

Sharon brought some colourful material today.

See what we made with the material.......  


What are all these bottles doing here?
The sports teams are training. They need weights to make them stronger and fitter. So we made some.

Reusing and Recycling bottles in the process. The lessons being taught here are learning about and taking care and responsibility for the natural environment next to our play ground.

See the photos below for 23/02/2016 when the Environmental Resource Management interns came to visit.

The weights all lined up neatly for todays practise.

The work bench where the weights are still being made. The bottles are filled with sand.
The small bottles are dumb bells for the girls and the younger children to use.

All the soccer and netball team players had to bring a set of bottles from home. There were a few
children who did not have any, they then searched the Nature Garden area to find suitable bottles.

24/02/2016 - Joan's knitting classes have changed to Wednesdays. We are making lions now.

This is the sample made by Joan, next to a real cousin image in a library book.

24/02/2016 - We have got a netball hoop made from a car tyre and some planks.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

Netball practise today.

See more .....  

23/02/2016 - The Citys ERM interns Allie and Nicola came to visit today.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

Ismail was teaching the children to use the weights they have made from plastic bottles filled
with sand.

See more.....   

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

The children were asked to come to VHCC after school in their school uniforms today, so that 
Bernie could assess the needs.
There is a plan.
They have also brought empty plastic bottles for reuse in the sports training.

18/02/2016 - As usual there is plenty going on at VHCC.

Ismail is sporting a new cool hairstyle.

A Citrus Swallowtail Butterfly (see this link) catepillar larvae has grown quite large eating
the lemon tree leaves. Citrus trees are the host plants for these larvae.

This little wasp was really checking out the catepillars. Many wasps prey on catepillars or 
lay eggs for their pupae to feed on the live catepillars.

The little ones were putting a jigsaw puzzle together on the floor in the library.

"We dont need help we can do it by our selves" they said.

The knitting classes have changed to Wednesdays. This week we did coat hanger covers.

The hangers all came from the recycling project down the road at Sonja's house.
So our knitting project is also helping by reducing, reusing and recycling.

Some multicoloured wool was tried. It has a crochet pansy flower too.

17/02/2016 - Netball practise took place today in the playpark.

photograph supplied by Bernadine Thomas.

The senior players train the younger players after all school homework has been completed.
We had a photographer today to record some of the fun and action.

See more .... 

17/02/2016 - Bernie attended a Table Mountain Fund workshop at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve today.
Boitshekwane Kgantsi took us through the documentation processes when applying for
funding and we were able to ask all the questions about the possibilities for our funding applications.

Boitshekwane Kgantsi (Maki) presenting the funding proposal documentation and explaining 
the processes in the EE Centre at the Zandvlei Nature Reserve.

Sharon McCallum, Chairman of ZVT and Mark Arendse, Zandvlei Environmental Education Manager.

Cherry Giljam (Friends of Park Island at Zandvlei), Bernie and Edwina listening and making notes.

11/02/2016 - Joan Wigram's knitting class continued today. The Projects Abroad surfing activity
was cancelled today, so the children played in the playpark instead.
The soccer practise starts at 16h45 when all the homework is completed. 

February has been a very hot month and today Joan Wigram brought a swimming pool
to VHCC and these mermaids jumped in.

The library was busy this afternoon. School homework completed is a prerequisite to be
finished before anyone can participate in afternoon fun activities at VHCC.

Veronica knitting a new batch of coat hanger covers. All the previous hangers have been sold.

Easter time is soon, so a sample Easter Bunny with real sweeties in the basket was
presented by Joan for the class today.
These are a row of Easter ducks which were started today. Some crocheted and the rest knitted.

06/02/2016 - The table which Bernie setup at the Marina da Gama Shopping Centre market.
There was some mid oil burning with a lot of work put in to build the stock for the weekend.
Bernie said the sales were very slow, possibly due to Elaines being closed. She did say she was kept entertained by the other stall holders with the banter going back and forth.

photograph by Bernie Thomas.

Valentine Day was the theme which is this coming weekend.

photograph by Bernie Thomas.

The coat hangers sold out with an order placed for more.

04/02/2016 - The teams photo with the tops worn by most of the members for the sports teams. This is part of the sports gear donated by the Kingston University team last week.

The teams all together some were missing so the adults stood in for the photo. The orange bibs are the netball teams. The yellow tops are the senior soccer teams. The dark blue and red tops are the junior soccer players.

Veronica with the front and back parts to the Valentine Day doll she is making.

The romantic cushions.

One of the dolls being sewn up.

31/01/2016 - The Monthly Report by the Chairman of VHCC.

28/01/2016 - The Kingston University, London students came to visit today. They stayed for lunch
after participating in a litter cleanup in the Nature Garden area, and observing the recycling programme recently introduced at VH. 

Stephen Granger addressing the Kingston University visitors after lunch just before they all went
to play and watch a game of football on the sports field.

See what we did .....

21/01/2016 - There are some of the big five animals appearing in and around the Rondevlei Nature Reserve.

Giraffes in light and dark shades.

Veronica sewing the giraffe up just before the stuffing goes in.

14/01/2016 - Starting the new year.

There is an elephant in the room!

See what we have been making ...... 

Bernie and Veronica picking green beans for supper.

See what they were doing in the vege garden ..... 

07/01/2016 - Starting the new year.

The tyre forest has survived the Christmas period so far, including the howling wind and heat.

The VHCC vege garden has been producing a variety of things to eat.

The area burnt on the 17/12/2015 has recovered quite well.



See what happened at VHCC during...

2015. 2014. 2013. 2012.


How you can help?    Zandvlei Trust is helping.

  • By donating money for transporting the children on educational and sport outings. (eg Zandvlei Nature Reserve, to Rondevlei Nature Reserve, to Muizenberg beach to learn to surf).

  • We need suitable library material (books, magazines, posters, paper, crayons, etc) for the creche and library. Various computer equipment and programmes are required.

  • We need  various seeds for the vegetable garden. Also gardening tools and implements.

  • We need a football and soccer jerseys, shorts and boots.

  • What skills training, education practise or help can you offer?

Contact   Gerrard Wigram      on  021 788 7622 the ZVT Treasurer,
  or  Sharon McCallum   on  021 788 8592 the ZVT Chair,
          or  Gavin Lawson         on  021 705 5224 if you need more information.

Date Name Item updated
May 2016 The Church of the Good Shepherd - Protea. Winter clothes. 12/05/2016.
April 2016 J.A.M. and V.P.P.U. Regular food donations. 12/05/2016.
April 2016 Patty Kolbe. Books for the library.


Oct 2015 Muriel Darke. Sewing machine -
Oct 2015 Joan Wigram. Skills training, sponsor, skills mentoring. -
July 2015 B.E.N (Marina). Bicycle donation -
April 2015 Apex Shark Expeditions. Donation -
April 2015 The Waffle House, Ramsgate. Donation -
March 2015 The Waffle House, Ramsgate. Donation -
Jan 2015 Biblionef SA. Books for various age groups at the Library. -
Sept 2014 Jan Vathjunker and Kulu Manzi Surfing Foundation. School uniform donations and skills mentoring. -
Aug 2014 Tony van Ryneveld. Skills training, sponsor. -
July 2014 Lil van Ryneveld. Skills training, sponsor, skills mentoring. -
Feb 2014 Biblionef SA. Books for various age groups at the Library. -
Feb 2014 ATKV Johannesburg. Books for the library. -
Feb 2014

Vincent Marincowitz.

Books for the library. -
Jan 2014

Marina da Gama residents.

School starter packs for 1st year children. -
Jan 2014 The Lions, Bergvliet,
Mrs Saville.
Educational materials for pre school creche. -
Dec 2013 The Lions, Bergvliet,
Mrs Saville.
Educational toys for the Christmas party. -
Dec 2013 Una Hartley.  PC equipment and furniture.


Oct 2013 Barry Parker PC equipment.


March 2012 Gerrard Wigram. Skills training, accounts.


March 2012 Sharon McCallum. Skills training,
communications, social services and development.
Feb 2012 Gavin Lawson.

Skills training, communications, social services and development.

June 2010 Pollsmoor Prison Outreach programme. Regular food donations -
May 2007 Prospur Spar, Plumstead. Regular food donations -
April 2007

Projects Abroad - Deen Singh and his teams.

Construction, social development and services. -
Jan 2007 The Christ Church, Constantia. Food hampers and clothing.




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