Trail Runners Leading the Way

Goldilocks and the Bear

You might have seen these two at a few prominent sporting events recently. One in a bear suit, the other in a blue dress and long blonde plaits. Usually, the characters beneath the costumes are psychiatrist Renata Schoeman (Goldilocks) and entrepreneur / athlete Nic de Beer (The Bear), although every so they call on understudies to play their parts.

Together they have established the Goldilocks and the Bear Foundation, a registered NPO and PBO which aims to remove mental health barriers to education in South Africa.

“We visit underprivileged schools where we provide screening for ADHD, anxiety, depression, visual and hearing problems, and developmental problems to the children. We also ensure that these children are referred for the necessary investigations, tests, and treatment. During the past 7 months, we visited 17 schools and have provided access to services to roughly 15 000 children. We have assisted more than 550 children: diagnosed more than 130 with ADHD and 30 with anxiety and depression, did more than 70 eye assessments, 45 hearing assessments, and more than 100 educational assessments! We are providing all this free of charge to the children and their families. We are completely dependent on fundraising initiatives and donors”, explains The Bear.   

In addition to providing these services and supporting both educators and parents, the foundation is gathering data on a continual basis. No statistics with regard to the prevalence of ADHD in South African children, nor their pathways to care, is currently available. Collecting this data will enhance future service delivery.

And, whilst this work carries serious undertones, and addresses issues of a complex nature, the duo and their support crew are having a great time creating awareness via various sporting platforms. Goldilocks and the Bear were participants at African X 2017 (Renata and Nic), Gun Run 2017 (Rory Scheffer and Julika Pahl) and Cape Town Cycle Tour (Nic and Ruan Myburgh).

As a registered PBO, Companies are able to gain tax benefits from CSI donations to the foundation. They are registered on Back-a-buddy and welcome anybody to register as a champion and run and raise funds for them – not necessarily in a giant bear head! That takes some skill…

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