New home, new start

Residents of Grace Cottage at the launch after receiving the blessing of Archbishop Stephen Brislin; Anne Dobson; NOAH director and Gavin Weir, NOAH deputy director

A buzz of excitement and elation filled the air when the Neighbourhood Old Age Home (NOAH) launched their new community home in Caleb Street, Woodstock, last week.

On Friday May 4, the residents were welcomed with open arms when the new doors of Grace Cottage was finally opened, ready to be occupied by social pensioners.

Director at NOAH, Anne Dobson, said affordable accommodation was “extremely rare for social pensioners”, who are meant to live on R1 600 a month.

Nine social pensioners, including two couples, will now occupy Grace Cottage. Ms Dobson said: “What we think is remarkable about this home is that it harmoniously houses people from differing faiths – Islam, Jewish and Christian.”

Grace Cottage was purchased through the funds raised from selling a NOAH Home in Parow, which marked a move for NOAH to consolidate its services closer to its headquarters, clinic and centre in Woodstock. “The new home is a stone’s throw away from our Woodstock centre and is easily accessible to transport – a must for active and independent social pensioners. The renovation of this home was made possible with intense fundraising as well as the extreme generosity of key funders,” Ms Dobson explained.

Another benefit of the home is the fact that it’s located close to public transport, making it easier for the pensioners to move around. “The majority of our Grace Cottage residents are now able to participate fully in Woodstock centre activities – including social enterprise development. They can now participate in arts and crafts, attend exercises, make some extra money through participation in our income-generating projects and have fun together. Their quality of life has improved immeasurably,” Ms Dobson said.