William Slater Centre

Brief description and main aims
Overburdened and under-resourced, William Slater Centre is the only public institution of its kind that helps problem teens in the Western Cape. The Centre is a rundown house in Rondebosch and is classified as a tertiary institution. With health resources currently directed to primary care, this means that as staff have left or died, they have not been replaced.
The teens come to William Slater suffering from depression, attempted suicide, disruptive behavior, post-traumatic stress and drug addiction. Many are on the brink of being expelled from school, and have been referred from their schools, doctors or hospitals.
Main Activities
Interventions involve families at the beginning and thereafter, individual, family and group work, is done. Parent seminars are also offered, where parents can share experiences and give one another support and guidance.
Around 125 teens and their parents benefit from short-term interventions annually, while there is space for 50 teens a year to get more intensive attention as day patients.
Two principles guide the group work: shared responsibility and working together. Each teen is allocated tasks such as ensuring the therapy room is in order and the snooker table is well looked after.
Volunteer tasks
Programme Support Volunteer:
Volunteers act as an extension to staff, enhancing the services that they offer and would therefore be required to be actively involved in assisting all project activities at William Slater.
  • Data capturing residents attendance of programme activities.
  • Compile information  – on community resources; recovery stories, exercise routines, etc.
  • Preparation and Photocopy material for group sessions e.g. Budget, menu.
  • Computer literacy lessons.
  • Research the resources that are available.
  • Provide reception and administration assistance as need arises.
  • Assist with preparing for and presenting games, social activities and projects.
  • Accompany residents on walks / library visit etc.
  • Encourage residents to participate in projects.
  • Accompany residents to volunteer work opportunity.
  • Assist with very basic computer training sessions to residents.
  • Organize magazines and books  – snf the small library for residents.
Volunteer requirements / Skills
  • Planning and organising
  • Computer literacy
  • Administrative skills
  • English language
  • Social skills
  • Patience
  • Be willing to be flexible
  • Teaching (basic)
Rondebosch, Cape Town.
This is leafy suburb of huge historical significance to the early colonial settlers. Situated close to the liberal University of Cape Town, Rondebosch became a predominantly English-speaking area and was declared a whites-only area under the Group Areas Act. Since the end of Apartheid in the mid-1990s, the area has become increasingly integrated.
Hosting Situation (Board & Lodging)
Host family in Rondebosch or surrounding suburbs. Volunteers will be required to use public transport – bus or mini-bus taxi to and from work placement.
Additional info
  • Volunteers who show initiative are encouraged and supported by the staff and management to expand and develop new activities and projects.
  • William Slater has the basics but the volunteer can mobilise resources to enhance the tasks.  
  • High expectation regarding confidentiality and interaction with residents is expected.