Cause Index

Avril Elizabeth Home for the Mentally Handicapped

Avril Elizabeth Home was officially opened in 1970 by Sheila Suttner, a social worker. Before opening the Home, Sheila worked at the Selwyn Segal Centre, a home for intellectually disabled people of the Jewish faith.

Shelia was inundated with desperate pleas from non-Jewish parents to admit their children to the Centre. She was so moved by their plight that, with the assistance of a hard-working committee, she set about establishing a pilot scheme which allowed five or six children to live in a home environment while attending day-care at the Selwyn Segal Centre.

In 1970, Sheila officially opened the Avril Elizabeth Home in Pandora Road, Kensington, for 21 intellectually disabled children. The home has since moved and today is situated on five hectares of well-groomed grounds on Fisher’s Hill, in Germiston.

The main buildings accommodate the children, and those with severe disabilities who require 24/7 care while four cottages each accommodate adults whose disabilities are less severe, yet who could not fend for themselves in society.

Over the years, a modern Stimulation Centre has been developed, where our staff help each resident realise his or her full potential. Many of the pioneer residents are now veterans of the Home, which has become the focal point of their lives.