Meet Cindy Dollery....  At Happy Valley Home

Article : Elizabeth Davey - Photos & Layout : The Webmaster

Most Simon's Town residents know about the Happy Valley Home in the old arsenal buildings in Simon's Town. Fewer people know much about its origins, or the people who run it. At the Civic Association annual general meeting this year Cindy Dollery, was given the award of Simon's Town's Citizen of the Year for her work at the Happy Valley Home. We should like to congratulate her heartily on the award.

Cindy lives in Glencairn, the mother of one son, at present in Ireland. She has been involved in the Happy Valley Home from its origins in 1991, as a soup kitchen which started at the at the Catholic Church, started in 1991. In 1996, when it became clear that something more was needed to assist Simon's Town's poor, Mr. Duraan, then Simon's Town's magistrate, negotiated with the Navy to use the old arsenal buildings and Happy Valley Home was established. From the beginning Cindy was on the committee. When it became clear that the use of social workers wasn't adequate, Cindy took over in November 1999.

The Beautiful And Tranquil Surroudings Of Happy Valley

Cindy's job is multi-faceted. She is the liaison between the Happy Valley Home and the many institutions which provide support for the residents. She makes the medical appointments; she traces their families and restores them to their homes when possible. She visits them in gaol, and she finds them work. She is, in fact, the lynch-pin which holds the Home together.

One Of The Dormitories And The Well Equipped Kitchen At Happy Valley

The Interdenominational Chapel

Happy Valley Crèche
The Happy Valley Home now has about 60 residents, 10 children and a supervisor who lives on the premises. The people pay a minimum of R4 a day to stay there, on a sliding scale if they are working. For this they get 3 good meals a day. Surplus food is distributed to the people of Red Hill. Women and men are housed in separate dormitories. Younger children stay with their mother but older boys join their fathers. The Home includes an interdenominational chapel, and children are prepared for school at a crèche run by Montessori teachers. Clothing is distributed to residents once a month and also to other needy people.

The Happy Valley Home gets a small grant but most of the money has to be raised independently. There are regular rummage sales at Fish Hoek Station. Many people know the excellent compost and potting soil which the Home sells. A number of the residents work in the area, the women in local restaurants or homes and the men as car guards (they have been security-cleared for the job). A number have been taught skills at the Noordhoek Training Centre and it is hoped to expand their activities in the near future by soap and candle-making.

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