Farewell but not goodbye
Carol Petersen joined Iris House in 2012 as an admin assistant to the CEO Sue van der Linde. To put this into prospective, when she joined Iris House had not yet gained any real funding from government or private sectors, it was a “start up” Creating procedures, policies and missions statements from scratch. The care team was made up of Sue, and volunteers Tracy Winde and Claire Bredenkamp. Our families numbered 12 and our expenses were covered mainly by Sue and husband Ferdi. We ran from Ferdi’s home office, using his companies laptops etc.
Carol was only employed part time as this was all the charity could afford at the time. But this didn’t stop her from putting in extra hours at no charge in the office and as a volunteer carer in the community. Her passion and love of special needs children shone through. Her dedication and to Iris House was admirable, she used public transport to get to the office but was always in early with a big smile to start the day. She gladly helped wherever needed, going way beyond “the call of duty” on many occasions.
Sue and Carol became close over the years, and Sue knew she was not only and employee but a friend she could count on. When times were dark and things seemed impossible, Carol was always on hand to encourage and re energise the situation and to give share her amazing common sense advise. Carol also took it upon herself to establish our base in Vredenburg and Saldana Bay, the families loved her visits.
As the Charity grew and funding began to come in, the number of families and staff increased and Carol was finally employed full time as head of admin. She was also elected to the board as a director, providing down to earth advise at every meeting.
In December 2016 after two rejections from other universities, Carol was accepted by a college in Wellington to embark on her social worker degree. We have no doubt that Carol will be extremely successful in her studies. The Western Cape social worker fraternity is very fortunate to have this dynamic, hard working lady joining their ranks and of course we hope when the time arrives to be able to offer Carol a social worker position at Iris House. We wish Carol every success.
We will miss you Carol, you have touched so many hearts.