About Us


Woodside Sanctuary is a registered PBO and NPO which was established in 1955, over 64 years ago, by Vernon and Norah Veale following the birth of their son Barry Robin. Vernon and Norah were part of a group of concerned parents looking for a “home from home” environment for their children with special care needs. These parents could not bare the thought of placing their children in an institution and wanted a residential care home that could offer their children a healthy and happy alternative to institutional life.

Today, Woodside provides full-time residential care to 83 persons with severe/profound intellectual disability. Our approach continues to be holistic in nature and incorporates 24 hour day nursing care, various forms of therapy, residential care (full-time and respite as well as rehabilitation and stimulation programmes.

Residents are drawn from all over South Africa. All persons that are referred to Woodside by their medical practitioner, or Department of Health or Social Services are assessed prior to being admitted as residents.

A gradual introductory trial period to the Sanctuary is normally recommended so that the Sanctuary can be assured that the placement of a resident is appropriate for the family and in the best interest of the individual.

Mission & Vision



To offer the highest standards of holistic nursing care for our residents with service models designed to deliver a tailored package of care to each individual. This service is given within a respectful and caring service-orientated environment creating a culture of continuous professional development, we always share our knowledge and expertise with other agencies in this field. Always being accountable to our staff, residents, parents and donors through an accessible open door policy.


To significantly contribute towards the Social Development of South Africa’s disability services by providing a centre of safety and excellence in holistic nursing care and stimulation for profoundly intellectually disabled persons. To offer help and hope to discouraged families and inspiration, encouragement and training to our dedicated staff and students in caring for our Residents.

Our History


Woodside was originally named the “Woodside Maternity home”, and was situated in Yeoville in Johannesburg. It was a small home and accommodated children including a number of children with a variety of disabilities. The principal carer who ran the home was Matron van der Helde, and when the home began to lose business due to the opening of more modern homes in Johannesburg, Matron van der Helde, decided to change her business to care for children with special needs. It was a great shock when the Department of Health declared the building a fire hazard, closing it down, and the parents were unable to find alternative accommodation for their loved ones. So they decided to start and institution of their own and formed a committee in 1955.

The inaugural committee comprised of:

- Vernon Veale as elected inaugural Chairman

- Ray Susskin was elected Vice Chairman

- Norah Veale was elected honorary secretary

- Len Silberman was elected treasurer

Vic Metcalfe as a member of the committee recommended the name of Woodside Sanctuary, which was accepted.

Within 5 years, the committee successfully raised sufficient funds through campaigns with the help of people like the Monday Club, Round Table, Rotary – which enabled them to establish. Mr. Veale assisted greatly with the negotiation with the Church of England to purchase the property (consisting of two erfs) including the Herbert Baker House in Cottesloe, Auckland Park, and the sale was finalised by September 1958. The ground was leased from the City Council on a 99 year leasehold system.

In the mid 1980’s the municipality sold the two properties to Woodside at a reasonable price and on the 25th of November 1987 another milestone was attained. A new, large extension was opened by the then Minister of National Health and Population Development, Dr W A van Niekerk. A loan from the Government and donations from far and near made a dream come true for everyone connected to the Sanctuary. This extension enabled us to extend our desire to help stricken families with handicapped children and offer accommodation for a further 64 families.

Today we are even more determined to continue our service to those who come to us asking for help and care. We also assist others who are less fortunate by offering Training Workshops and Follow-up support to NGO’s and CBO’s operating in disadvantaged areas. Our intervention has a ripple effect within the communities who are in desperate need of training and facilities. By helping to skill staff and people who work with physically and intellectually challenged children from underserviced areas we are addressing a community programme for which there is a demand and need.

Role of Woodside

Children and adults with profound intellectual disabilities who are unable to remain with their families, due to their special needs, live at Woodside Sanctuary. Anyone that is referred to Woodside is assessed prior to being admitted as a resident. A gradual introductory trial period to the Sanctuary is normally recommended; with strict admission criteria needing to be met by the Department of Mental Health, so that the Sanctuary can be assured that the placement of a resident is appropriate for the family and for the person impacted by placement themselves. Due to the complexity involved in the placement of a person with profound disability at Woodside, approval is not always guaranteed.

Woodside Sanctuary helps these children and adults to reach their full potential and live fulfilling and personally rewarding lives by treating those with;

  • - Profound disabilities
  • - Mental Health needs
  • - Acquired brain injuries
  • - Physical/ medical disabilities
  • - Sensory impairments

Please contact us if you have a family member that would require admission to the Sanctuary.


Name Role Gender Ethnicity
Ms. K. Williams General Manager Female White
Mr. P. Ngwenya Social Worker Male Black
Mrs. R. Maarman Nursing Services Manager Female Coloured
Mrs. M. Leatswe Operations Programme Administrator Female Black
Mrs. L. Lourens Marketing & Fundraising Manager Female White
Mrs. I. Harmse Bookkeeper Female White
Mrs. D. Khophe Catering Manager Female Black
Mrs. J. Mkhwanazi Staff Co-ordinator Female Black
Ms. B. Mdunge Staff Coordinator Male Black