Being Nev’s Sister

My name is Les Thurtell, I am Neville Bassett’s sister. 

Nev is a resident of Combrinck House, Sunfield Home Howick, where he is cared for in the most wonderful way by Shanna, his House Mom, and her dedicated staff.

Neville was a prem baby born in Welkom Hospital in the Free State. He was so tiny he fitted in a small shoebox. The doctors told my parents, Garth and Myra Bassett, it was highly unlikely that he would live longer than 6 years! Well, Nev turns 59 in May.

He is severely mentally handicapped but has a wonderful character with a sense of humour, especially at someone else’s expense. For example, if I trip or stumble he thinks it’s hilarious! He loves music and often nods along to catchy tunes, but if I start dancing along to the music, he quickly switches the radio off!

My older brother Lawrence who currently resides in Sweden, and I were privileged to grow up alongside Neville. Lawrence maintains contact with Neville and makes a point of coming to Howick to visit him when he visits from Sweden.  My parents were wonderful in caring for him and they were devoted to him. 

It was hard for them to place Nev in Sunfield Home Howick permanently, and my Mom especially struggled with this. Only once she saw the high level of care Sunfield Home offered, and that Nev had settled so well, was she able to be at peace about his placement there. 

2021 was another year of Covid and it was the year that both my parents passed away. It was hard to tell Nev of their passing, as we don’t know how much he understands. I try and visit him at Sunfield Home on a weekly basis and it’s easy to see he is well cared for and secure in his space in Combrinck House. 

Nev has been at Sunfield Home Howick for over 20 years and is much loved by the staff there. He is easy to entertain as he loves You magazines, and spends hours paging through them and then tearing them into double pages and placing them in a shoebox. These mags are his toys and fortunately many of my friends and family help me collect them for him.  

I can’t commend Sunfield Home Howick highly enough for providing this wonderful home from home, and also all those who work there. Support for this Home must be encouraged. 

I am part of FOSHIM (Friends of Sunfield Home in the Midlands) a group of wonderful people who fundraise in support of the Sunfield Home residents. We have such fun doing the various fundraising projects and great friendships have developed among our members.

I would encourage anyone interested in having some fun and making a difference to the sustainability of Sunfield Home, and to the lives of its residents to join us by clicking this link!

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Have any questions? Call or email our General Manager, Cliff Freeman.
078 524 5151