WVS – “Women’s Voluntary Services”- Emerald Hill.

By Pearl Phillips and Tess Kageler

Women’s Voluntary Services (WVS) was founded in 1953 by Zoe Shearer. Zoe, a lady of tremendous “go” who was very involved in the local scene. In South Africa, she produced many plays and shows. Upon starting W.V.S, Zoe coined the motto “Service to the Community”. In the past money was raised through the shows produced by WVS. These include children’s theatre -Jungle Book and Snow White and musicals like Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, and Christmas pantomimes. WVS engaged in various projects such as furnishing rooms at the Borradaile Trust Retirement home in Marondera and building a home for children with mental health conditions in Bulawayo. In 1974 Sir Athol Evans opened the WVS building in Derry Circle, off Lomagundi Road. With large donations mainly from immigrating families, Val Lewis started the charity shop. The store has always been run by volunteers but their numbers have dropped due to the age of members and an increase in the cost of living.

Once or twice a month, I’ll visit an amazing bunch of ladies, who give up their home time, to spend a Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning every week, organizing the Costumes, doing hand sewing, tailoring and having lots of laughs at the WVS building. WVS does not receive much support from the public. Hardly anyone knows they’re there, why they’re there, what they do and that they could soon close down. It’s a Non-Profit organization whose aim is to donate to different charities. It’s a simple idea. They hire out clothes for dress up parties, dances, theatre and they distribute the proceeds to the needy charities, which sadly hasn’t happened for a while.

What has happened to the spirit of this? Where is the community support? Their prices are reasonable, with a deposit and a hire charge. Take time out to support this awesome organisation, and let’s get them going again. These ladies are absolutely brilliant at what they do, and will always find and make-up what you require. The Charity shop has been resurrected again, but with only a few items to sell. If your home is bursting at the seams with things that will sell and are still usable, then please donate to them.

If you are interested in the theatre and costumes and would like to volunteer or donate please call around and visit. WVS opening hours are Monday 9-
12 noon, Wednesday 9-12 noon, and Friday 9-12 noon. Contact number 0242 304161/2

Images by Juliet Mashiri and Michelle Svesve

Copyright : Ndeipi Magazine Issue 114

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