HospiceWits relies on assistance from the community for support in order to continue providing quality palliative care to those in need in the Greater Johannesburg and Soweto area. Some of those who support us are businesses one of those is Lyons, that are celebrating their 75th anniversary by partnering with HospiceWits.
“We are honoured both in our personal capacity and as a business to be able to play a role in assisting patients and families in need,” says the new Lyons owner, Jenny Iorio.
HospiceWits plays a critical role in the community, often providing palliative care to people who have nowhere else to go. The non-profit is dedicated to ensuring that patients are in a comfortable space to the end of their days while also supporting their loved once through this difficult time.
“Our organisation has the privilege of providing dignity to patients with life-threatening illnesses. For this we are reliant on our shop which raises much needed funds through selling clothes,” says HospiceWits CEO, Jacqui Kaye.
The local business has seen a lot of changes over the decades.
South Africa was still recovering from the impact of the Second World War when Bernard Lyons started the store in 1948. Times were tough, with material and clothing not being easily available. Despite these circumstances, Bernard found ways to help the community through this period, facilitating post-war accessibility to the latest in fashion trends at discounted prices – an ethos which persists to this day.
Thirteen years later, Bernard’s son, Clifford Lyons, a then young CA graduate with some work experience under his belt joined the local business, continuing the family’s steadfast commitment to community service.
To this they added a touch of old-world charm, packaging merchandise bought in their store in brown paper, a signature touch which is still continued in present time.
Partnership with HospiceWits
Guided by the principle of giving to the community, Lyons has established a partnership with the non-profit organisation, HospiceWits. Situated in Houghton and Soweto the organisation provides medical, spiritual and emotional support for patients and families that often don’t have anywhere else to go.
“One of our key focus areas is to raise funds for patients who can’t afford our services,” says Kaye.
“Every person deserves to have their dignity intact, no matter the circumstances. Our partnership with Lyons will further contribute to making this possible,” she says.
Lyons store has started a clothing collection drive, handing over the first batch of the collection to Jacqui Kaye at the celebratory event on 19 August. Funds raised from the sale of the clothes at HospiceWits will go towards supporting patients and families receiving palliative and hospice care.
“We are celebrating our legacy of seven and a half decades of service by partnering with HospiceWits, a cause which mirrors our commitment to making a meaningful impact on the community,” says Iorio.
After 62 years of service, Clifford Lyons has retired at the age of 85, passing the torch to Jenny Iorio.
This new chapter has seen an expansion of the Lyons offering while still providing value pricing on the latest top brands such as Pringle, Polo, Florsheim, Hushpuppies, Barrington, Crocs, Pierre Cardin, and Monatic currently available in glitzy regional stores and shopping centres.
The change of guard has also seen Iorio retaining the close-knit sense of community.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue the Lyons’ community-centred tradition, leading to our new partnership with HospiceWits, an organisation which adds immense value and meaning to deserving communities,” says Iorio.
“We look forward to building this special relationship and expanding our impact on the community with new avenues, further contributing to this worthy cause,” concludes Iorio.