New home helps children set sail

 Subcouncil chairperson Felicity Purchase, Anchors Away Village chairperson Brian Purchert and founder Fran Spencer Smith cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the home for intellectually challenged children on Friday 20 January. PHOTO: Nikki Green
Subcouncil chairperson Felicity Purchase, Anchors Away Village chairperson Brian Purchert and founder Fran Spencer Smith cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony of the home for intellectually challenged children on Friday 20 January. PHOTO: Nikki Green

After a long journey, a home for intellectually challenged children has finally opened its door.

The Anchors Away Village held an opening ceremony on Friday 20 January, almost a decade after the property in Welcome Glen, Simon’s Town, was bought.

Construction on founder Fran Spencer Smith’s dream began mid-2015 (“Children’s home almost real”, People’s Post, 28 July 2015).

Spencer Smith, the mother of an intellectually challenged child, looked to create a home to give these children a place of purpose and belonging, as well as a place that would meet their special needs.

“The home is run by a wonderful housemother. Each resident has his own bedroom – furnished by his parents. There is a well-equipped games room with pool table, exercise bikes and games and puzzles. The vegetable garden is productive, and the residents are encouraged to collect fresh produce from the garden,” says Spencer Smith.

Spencer Smith says it took many years to raise the funds to buy a property. There were also some objections from community members, Spencer Smith previously told People’s Post.

While the opening of the home is an important milestone in the realisation of this project, it is only the beginning, Spencer Smith says. “I’m thrilled with how it is going and delighted at how well the residents have settled in. Nevertheless, this was the first stepping stone for me – I still have a lot to do before I can sit back and take it easy,” she says.

“We have been so blessed to have had our wonderful benefactor, Robin Hamilton, without whom this project could have taken a good few more years. There have been many other donors who have assisted over the years, and we are so grateful for all the support we have received.”

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