Gary and Kerry Stanton, founders of the UHBH, have been interested in supporting vulnerable children, especially babies, for many years.
Gary is a chartered accountant (qualified UK and SA) and worked at Deloitte for 13 years. He then headed up an electronics company for 11 years. Kerry is a business owner with a master of science degree specialising in environmental work. She is the MD of KSEMS Environmental Consulting, which has operated for 20 years. They have three children, Sam, Becky and Sma.
They began working with the 1000 Hills Community Centre 10 years ago and helped young, school going moms by taking care of babies whilst they were studying. The family became more and more involved with a little baby girl who was not thriving in an unsafe environment. Eventually this baby girl was adopted into the Stanton Family and she is now a bright active 10 year old, who excels at sports and has many, many, friends. Simangele and her older brother and sister are very involved in the UHBH and are all competent baby caregivers.
Although the family focused their time and energies on settling Simangele for the next decade – their desire to help more vulnerable babies never strayed far from their minds or hearts.
The family started working actively again with vulnerable babies at the beginning of 2018 when they became aware of the crisis of abandoned babies in South Africa and babies requiring foster care whilst they are awaiting adoption. The government facilities for these purposes are very poorly resourced and over-subscribed. The family became increasingly involved in another baby home and had looked after at least 14 babies during the year for various periods of time before finalising the decision to open the UHBH this year. There is no other baby home in the area and there are many vulnerable babies being deserted in environments not conducive to their health or wellbeing.
Preparations began late in 2018 and the UHBH has now been set up.
Gary, Becky, Sma and Kerry with four of the babies they are looking after – April 2019
Sma at 2 years old, modelling for the 2010 Soccer World Cup