Assisted Living & Self Help Centers

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Many persons with disabilities require 24 hour care or some assistance throughout the day. Some of these persons are able to stay with their families, while others have permanent Care Givers who live in with them. There are however various types of accommodation that have been specifically developed to accommodate and care for persons with disabilities, these differ slightly and may be referred to as: "Self Help Centres", "Homes of Safety", "Quad Homes" or "Group Homes". These "Homes" are private residence for persons with chronic disabilities who cannot live with their families or on their own due to their disability and the assistance they require, they cater for young adults, adults and seniors. Typically there are an average of six residents and at least one trained caregiver available for 24 hours a day, although there are normally more caregivers, depending on the amount of residence and the care that they need. The persons with disabilities that normally live in these homes include those with severe Mobility Impairments, or disorders or even multiple disabilities.

These include persons with the following disabilities:

  • Qhadriplegics
  • Paraplegics
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Multiple Sclerosis, etc.

 There are however also some Retirement or Old Age Homes that may be willing to accept persons with disabilities, very few of these accept persons under their age restriction of 55 or 65.

Types of Homes

There are a wide variety of different types of these Homes and Residential Facilities for Persons with Disabilities, some of these are financially supported by organisations such as QASA and Cheshire Homes:

  1. Quad Homes or Self-Help CentresAre group homes that accommodate mainly Quadriplegics and Paraplegics and are run with the assistance of the QuadPara  Association of South Africa (QASA) and the Provincial affiliate of the QuadPara association that the Home resides in, such as QAWC which is the Western Cape affiliate of QASA and has 4 Homes in the province.
  2. Cheshire Homes Cheshire Homes in South Africa are affiliated to Leonard Cheshire International in London, an example of one of these homes in South Africa is the Ann Harding Cheshire Home in Gauteng.

Quad Homes or Self-Help Centres

The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) is a non-profit organisation (NPO 000-881) of Quadriplegics and Paraplegics in South Africa. QASA’s mission is to be an effective “co-ordinating, policy-making and supporting organisation striving to prevent spinal cord injury and to improve the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics by securing resources to advocate, educate, capacitate, support and mobilise.”

QASA runs a number of Projects and Services, one of their main focus areas is promoting independent living for quadriplegics and paraplegics. With limited access to education and the formal labour market, and in many cases reliant on the government’s disability grant, quadriplegics and paraplegics are often left with little choice but to be dependent on family members for a home. QASA’s solution is to provide self help centre’s which allow communities of wheelchair users to live independently of their families. The Self Help Centre’s provide accommodation, meals, care attendants and transport to the residents.

The philosophy behind a self-help centre is that the residents are entirely responsible for funding and managing the Self Help Centre and make all decisions in respect of hiring staff and providing for the needs of the residents. The focus is not on providing a “care home” environment, but on giving wheelchair users a place to lead independent lives, hopefully as a stepping stone to people being able to buy their own homes and live entirely independently.QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA)

The Self Help Centres employ staff who are trained to take care of the residents day-to-day needs. Each Self Help Centre has a kitchen which provides for the dietary requirements of the residents. The Self Help Centres have wheelchair accessible vehicles which provide transport for the residents. These houses receive very little funding from the government and depend on various initiatives to raise funds. Living in a Self Help Centre allows the residents to take control of and be responsible for their lives, which comes with a huge amount of responsibility and hard work. The residents live in what is basically a communal home for wheelchair users and combine their various skills to ensure the smooth running of the Self Help Centres. There are fifteen self help centre’s in South Africa to date, each managed by its residents under the auspices of the regional QuadPara Association, an example of this is The Andries Olivier Durbanville Quadriplegic Centre in Cape Town.

Click the "Read More" link below to find out more about "Quad Homes or Self-Help Centres", or visit our Organizations - Mobility Impairments page to find out more about The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and other organizations that assist persons with Mobility Impairments, or read the page below to find out about other places that offer accommodation for persons with disabilities.

Read More: ....

2. Cheshire Homes

The first Cheshire Home was established in the UK in 1948 by Leonard Cheshire VC. Cheshire Homes in South Africa are affiliated to Leonard Cheshire International in London. There are now more than 500 service centres in 57 countries around the world, these facilities are suitably equipped and offer single accommodation with full board and 24 hour care. Cheshire Homes are structured around community needs and local communities, they recognise the needs relating to persons with disabilities and approach Cheshire Homes to assist in meeting their needs.

The National Executive Committee formed from its list of members, manages the affairs of Cheshire Homes South Africa. Cheshire Homes in South Africa have a Vision, Mission and Goals that they strive to, they include:

  • Vision: “A society for all where Persons with Disabilities have equal opportunities”
  • Mission: “To provide care support services that empower Persons with Disabilities”
  • Goals Include:
    • To alleviate discrimination against people with disabilities
    • To provide early childhood development
    • To support livelihood development
    • To create independent living opportunities
    • To promote service user participation in  service development
Ann Harding Cheshire Home

Image Courtesy of Ann Harding Cheshire Home

There are currently 16 Cheshire Homes Centres in South Africa, and three in Gauteng, including the Ann Harding Cheshire Home in Northwold in Johannesburg. The home was established over 30 years ago following the donation of the grounds by Ben Harding, whose mother, Ann was disabled - hence the name Ann Harding Cheshire Home.

Ann Harding Cheshire Home

The Ann Harding Cheshire Home is a registered Non-Profit Organisation for the care, education, training and development of persons with physical disabilities of all races and religions.

Our inspiration is our 40 Residents. The people who, despite their physical disabilites maintain a sense of humour.  Those Residents who, despite their physical limitations complete 5km in the 702 Walk the Talk every year. The Residents whose lives were changed in an instant, victims of crime, or motor vehicle accidents. The small percentage who have genetic illnesses, or those who were struck down in their prime with a debilitating illness. It could be any one of us. The majority of our Residents never thought they would find themselves living in a Home for the Physically Disabled.

History of the Ann Harding Cheshire Home

Ann Harding Cheshire Home Accessible Swimming Pool

Image Courtesy of Ann Harding Cheshire Home

Ann Harding Cheshire Homes was opened in 1976 in a house and land donated by the Council.  The house, which is now the Charity Shop, was only large enough to house eight Residents, and even that was tight.

Development of the surrounding land only took place much later, and in 1988 a building to house 40 Residents was opened. The Home is named after the physically disabled mother of one Benjamin Charles Harding who originally donated property for the Home which proved unsuitable for development.  This property was sold, and the money used to develop the current land.

Primary Services

We provide our Residents, all of whom live here permanently, with comfortable accommodation, 24 hour care, nutritious meals, laundry, access to therapists and social worker as well as physiotherapists, state clinics and hospitals and private practitioners using our own specially adapted vehicles. The majority of our 40 residents have taken up permanent residence having suffered from, and becoming permanently disabled as a result of:

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Violence and assault
  • Strokes
  • Degenerative diseases
  • Congenital disabilities

A wide variety of daily activities keeps our Residents motivated and educated. The more popular ones are arts and crafts, painting, bingo, chess and card games.  More recently (2014), we have upgraded our swimming pool, which is now a heated therapy pool. Residents are enjoying spending time in the pool with our full-time Occupational Therapist, as well a private Physiotherapists.

Cheshire Homes Indepedent Living for persons with mobility impairments

Image Courtesy of Ann Harding Cheshire Home: Independent Living for persons with mobility impairments

Future Plans

Future plans include further development on Ann Harding Land, whereby the vision is to build:

  • A subacute step-down facility for physically disabled adults
  • Twenty two 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom, Independent Living Units for persons with physical disabilities, and a Caregiver or family member. (See image to the right or the following link: Independent Living for persons with mobility impairments.)
  • A Skills Development Centre to cater for all three homes in Johannesburg, as well as the surrounding community


In addition to applying for funding, Ann Harding also hold a number of fundraising events each year. These are always very successful and assist enormously with costs. We also run a very successful Charity Shop, which is well supported by the local community. Long term plans include building self-living units, which will be sold on a life-rights basis. The Home has a hall which is hired out to companies for meetings, training courses etc.

What We Can Offer

Ann Harding Cheshire Home has a committee of dedicated members who ensure exemplary ethics and code of conduct, and that any funds received are used for the intended purpose. Monthly reports detail the progress made in the utilisation of all donations, sponsorships and bequests made.

Ann Harding Home is run like a business, with the care and advancement of our residents the first priority. The residents themselves have a significant say in the running of the home, through the Residents' Committee, which is fully represented on the Home Management Committee. The Home is registered as a PBO, and can therefore offer Section 18a certificates for tax purposes.

For capital projects we offer naming rights, which bring the prestige of being associated with a long-standing NGO in the community. Our donors are proud to be associated with us, because of our good reputation and transparency. We are in good standing with the local media, schools and businesses in the community, and have the privilege of being supported by numerous volunteers from all walks of life.  We prefer to build long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships that deliver significant benefits to disabled people and the stakeholders of a business alike.

Cheshire Homes - Independent Living Facility For Persons With Mobility Impairments

Cheshire Homes - Independent Living Facility For Persons With Mobility Impairments. Image supplied courtesy of Cheshire Homes

Contact Us

The best way to assess our services is to visit our Home, and we welcome such visits. The Home is a warm, homely place, with beautiful gardens and a swimming pool. Common areas include lounges, tea areas, a computer room, therapy room and dining area.  Above all, we are always cognisant of the fact that this is the residents’ home, and their comfort is foremost in our minds. Should you have any queries, or require further information, please do not hesitate to contact us on the details below:

Ann Harding Cheshire Home: Contact Jackie Kyle (Fundraising Manager) on: 011 792 3510 or 082 764 0973, or via Email: Website: Physical Address: Plot 40, 4th Road, Northwold, 2155. Registration No’s: 020-102-NPO; PBO 18/11/13/4017 Bank Details: Ann Harding Cheshire Home, First National Bank, Northgate Branch Branch Code: 256755, Acc no: 50410145574.


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The QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA)
Ann Harding Cheshire Home

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