Charity Feature – Cresset House

The Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon supports many charities, not necessarily chosen due to their proximity to our Edenvale/Bedfordview meeting place, but on the fit between the needs of the Charity with the club member’s skills and resources that can be applied in making a positive contribution.  

Cresset House, based in Glen Austin, Midrand, Gauteng, is a community which provides a ‘home away from home’ for adults living with intellectual disabilities. Founded in 1961, both residential and day facilities are provided in a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment with the vision of enabling the highest possible degree of fulfillment for every villager, both as an individual and as a member of our community while upholding integrity towards our villagers, their families and the greater communities.

There are approximately 50 villagers at Cresset House who live in 6 houses on the property.   In each house there is a house parent, a co-worker and a domestic worker.   There is a workshop where the villagers work on contracts such as packing shower caps, soaps etc. into boxes for hotels, these both stimulate the villagers and bring a small amount of income into the village.   Those who can’t manage the contract work are included in another stimulation group where they colour in pictures or do puzzles under supervision.   Cresset House did have a large organic vegetable garden under agricultural tunnels which they helped the villagers take care of, but due to the 2016 drought and an influx of rabbits these are no longer viable.   Some villagers work outside of the village and there is also a woodworking area where some of the villagers can make simple items such as bread boards.

The Rotary Club of Knights Pendragon supports Cresset House through the purchase of “Casual Day” stickers and occasional meeting of particular needs.  The Casual Day sticker income is shared between 12 national beneficiary organisations, including the SA Federation for Mental Health, of which Cresset House is a member. In addition to the funds that flow from Casual Day, the Cresset House Support Group, consisting of parents, siblings and friends of the villagers also raise funds towards whatever is needed for the village. Last year water bottles were acquired for each house and the workshops, however, over the years the Casual Day income has also been used towards LED emergency lights for the houses, Christmas presents, a Christmas in July lunch, smoke alarms in the houses, mattress cleaning, a dishwasher in the Coffee Bar where a lot of functions take place, trips to the zoo etc.  With no official fundraiser, meeting the needs of the village are largely dependent on what the Cresset House Support Group secure from fundraising.

To learn more about Cresset House, offer assistance or make a donation, please go to “Contact Us” at http://cresset.org.za/

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