Rotary donates sewing machines to care centre

The Rotary Club of Somerset West recently donated two industrial sewing machines to a new sewing project at Aanhou-Wen Work and Care Centre in Somerset West. Pictured, from left, are centre manager Dr Michiel van Zyl, volunteer Anthea Spanneberg, and Rotarians Charles Dearlove, Dave Hawes, Eppie McFarlane, Robert Baldi, and Bryan Butler.

The Rotary Club of Somerset West has contributed two industrial sewing machines to a sewing project at Annhou-Wen Work and Care Centre in Somerset West.

“These industrial sewing machines, originally part of a previous project, became available and the late Penny Sandham suggested their transfer to Aanhou-Wen,” said Rotarian Bryan Butler. “The success of this project is a fitting tribute to the many contributions that Penny made during her time as a Rotarian.”

The sewing workshop is housed in recently completed new wing at Aanhou-Wen.

It has both industrial and domestic sewing machines installed, and is now up and running. Aanhou-Wen is now able to take on sewing contracts – for example, making aprons or dog beds – all under the supervision of skilled garment industry volunteer, Anthea Spannenberg.

“Aanhou-Wen is a safe, caring and empowering space for adults with disabilities,” says manager, Dr Michiel van Zyl.

“People with mental and physical disabilities are evaluated carefully and allocated tasks to do within their ability. New skills are presented and taught in a safe space.

“Self-sufficiency, sustainability and useful activities include fundraising projects, contract work, the sale of handmade and second hand goods.

“Around 60% of our 65 members are from underprivileged communities and are transported daily to and from Aanhou-Wen in transport provided by us,” says Dr van Zyl. “We provide a safe, nurturing environment where they can participate in constructive and useful activities.

“Our long-term goal is to improve work areas, to provide live-in care, support and recreational facilities that conform to the needs of our members.

“The contribution and involvement of the public, businesses and volunteers, is
greatly appreciated and most welcome.”

Club president, Dave Hawes, says: “The Rotary Club of Somerset West has worked to provide long-term and sustainable projects in our community, and further afield, since 1955.

“This is an example of where a small contribution can go a long way towards providing the wherewithal to create sustainable opportunities for some of the most vulnerable in our community.”