History Of HospiceWits

The Hospice Association of the Witwatersrand was started in September, 1979 by a Johannesburg couple, Stan and Sherley Henen, who first responded to a need in their community for Hospice care. Initially care was provided by a part-time nurse from their house.

The Gordon Waddall House on 2nd Avenue was donated to HospiceWits, and in 1983, the property in Houghton on 1st Avenue was purchased. It became known as Greendale House and was converted into a 6 bed in-patient unit. By then, full-time staff of 5 provided home-based and in-patient care. In 1985, the adjacent property was purchased with assistance from JCI, a leading mining company at that time. In 1995, our first facility in Soweto was opened in the Mofolo Clinic grounds. As the need for our services grew, we opened a purpose built unit in Diepkloof in March 2007.

In 2009, we opened an OVC (Orphans and Vulnerable Children) crèche in an abandoned school in Mapetla, Soweto which has since closed down due to a lack of funding.

Today we have more than 125 full-time staff, including doctors, nurses, social workers, psychologists and spiritual counsellors. As an NPO, we have to raise our own funds. This we do through our HospiceWits shops (11 in total) where a variety of donated goods are sold; fundraising through generous donations from corporates and individuals, and by holding a number of events throughout the year.