Who We Are

Woodside Special Care Centre is a residential home providing 24 hour care for 80 profoundly intellectually and physically challenged residents.

Woodside Sanctuary was started in 1976 by a group of concerned parents who were not able to find suitable care for their children who were intellectually and physically challenged. Together they found a funder who was willing to assist them launch the project of a residential home for profoundly intellectually and physically challenged children in Rondebosch East.

The home was to provide 24 hour nursing care as well as therapeutic care improve their quality of life and prevent further illnesses and infections. As the years went on, Woodside faced a challenge as there were no places for the residents who were reaching adulthood to feed into and had to learn to understand the behaviours that manifested through adolescence. It was at this point that Woodside Sanctuary changed their name to Woodside Special Care Centre for children and young adults.

Over the past 40 years the organization has grown from strength to strength providing a range of services to improve the levels of comfort and responsiveness of residents as well as improving their quality of life through nurse care, physiotherapy, occupational and speech therapies.


The excellent treatment and care of profoundly intellectually disabled residents through:

  • the provision by excellent staff of an integrated service of loving and stimulating care
  • the protection and empowerment of the residents and their development as individuals
  • the support of residents’ families
  • the provision of support to profoundly intellectually disabled people and their carers in the broader community



To be recognised as the centre of excellence for the treatment and care of profoundly intellectually disabled people in the Western Cape.

 Some of our special care residents

Heidi was admitted to Woodside when she was 7 months old, and has grown with the changes in the staff and set-up of the facility over the years. She has hydrocephalus and epilepsy, resulting in all of her developmental milestones being delayed. She was progressing well, but at the age of 5 years she had a mild 'stroke' which left her without movement on her right side. After years of therapy she regained movement and some control in what she does. It is difficult know how much of her surroundings Heidi is understanding and conceptualising, but she remains highly alert and always responds with beautiful smiles and giggles when tickled or interacted with.

Bianca is a young lady with cerebral palsy and has the associated disorders of moderate intellectual disability and epilepsy. She was admitted to Woodside Special Care Centre at a young age, and was fortunate to attend a specialised school until her teenage years. Since then, she was also fortunate to be donated motorised wheelchairs. This may seem like a simple addition to her life, but for Bianca this means the world. Her motorised wheelchair provides her a level of independence few are fortunate to experience, and great purpose and value has been added to her life as a result.

Ricardo is a young man with cerebral palsy and associated severe intellectual disability. Both of his parents passed away a number of years ago, thus Ricardo was placed under Woodside’s care to become his new family. A great recent highlight for Ricardo was when he celebrated his 21st birthday - with full initiative, the carers in his ward organised a celebratory party for him and his friends – complete with cake, many snacks, a new outfit and presents – as any ‘family’ would. Physically, Ricardo has also progressed significantly since admission, learning to crawl, kneel and explore his spaces more independently when he spends time out of his wheelchair.

Daniel is one of Woodside’s oldest residents, diagnosed with cerebral palsy and associated intellectual disability. Daniel’s cognitive abilities are higher than a number of other residents at Woodside, but expressive communication and physical mobility are great challenges for him. He is well-loved by staff and enjoys daily banter and jokes, making his understanding and personality clear through his emotional reactions, although he can not participate verbally in this. He makes his preferences clear through head movements, and staff members enjoy giving him these simple opportunities to make choices for himself. Daniel is fortunate to have the support of his family members, who fetch him to spend some weekends at home for special occasions.

Siya is a teenage boy with profound intellectual disability and moderate cerebral palsy. Upon admission, Siya adapted remarkably to his environment and was welcomed into the activity and stimulation programmes, as well as individual occupational therapy sessions. Initially, he was observed to be very apprehensive and anxious when engaging in activities, shying away from interactions and toys offered to him. However, with the staff’s sensitive, patient and optimistic approach towards him, Siya has become excited to be involved and has developed a charming exploratory nature during these playtimes. On a physical level, Siya has improved as well, following the opportunity to have orthopaedic surgery. His mobility in crawling and kneeling is getting stronger and Woodside is optimistic about further improvements in this regard.

Board Members

Llewellyn Jones


40 years in the electronic industry,
25 as MD of various companies

Dave Steward

Vice-Chairperson and committee member

Diplomat 1966-85; Ambassador to UN 1981-82
Head, SA Communication Service 1986-92
Director-General Office of the President 1992-94. Exec-Dir of the FW de Klerk Foundation 1999 – present. Managing Director Canopus Consultancies 1997 – present.

Robert Munsie

Treasurer & finance committee member

Chartered Accountant for a number of corporate retail companies, and has now retired.

Gerald Weinberg

Board member & fundraising committee member

25 years in sales and marketing management

John Alexander

Board member & finance committee member

Bank manager for 20 years

Mcebisi Mavuya

Board member & Human Resource Manager

38 years management, educational and consulting experience

Fieke van Bever Donker

Board member & medical committee member

Paediatrics; Special needs doctor; focus on learning difficulties & cerebral palsy

Stephanus de Klerk

Board member & IT committee member

IT systems engineer at blue chip companies. He now consultants as an engineer

Michael Bagraim

Board member & legal advisory

Labour Law and industrial relations practitioner; media contributor on labour law & industrial relations

Anna Richerby

Board member

Owner of a local design business established in 2009. A volunteer at Woodside for the past 18 years. A feminist with particular interests in disability rights and reproductive justice.

Nobuzwe Mapipa

Committee member

Woodside SCC