Anchusa, is a small group of people dedicated to helping the lonely elderly folk in Sedgefield. In October 2001 the founder Gilda Scammel had a very strong feeling that she had to do something for the elderly and on 2 May 2003 Anchusa Centre for the Aged was opened. (Anchusa is the botanical name of the Cape Forget-me-not.)
Anchusa is non-denominational and is open to the community of Sedgefield who are 70 years and over. It is a place where any elderly people can get together every Friday, from 9-45 to 12-30 for a social morning, to chat and share experiences with others, to enjoy a cup of tea and cake and, if they wish, they may even stay for a lunch time cup of soup. Although they hasten to add that Anchusa is not a 'soup kitchen' as many people think, it is a fellowship outreach). Transport is arranged for the folk who need it, and we have also started taking soup to the elderly who are unable to come due to ill health.
The Anchusa team also arrange various activities and outings for the old folks'enjoyment.
There are a number of churches in Sedgefield helping with the making of the soup each month. Spar are very generous with their donations of bread, milk and a cake every Friday and the 2nd Friday of the every month, without fail. Poppy Stander and her team from the NGK come to make pancakes for the folk. St Francis United Church have given Anchusa the use of their hall at no cost.
Anchusa is run by faith, prayer, volunteers and donations. They do not have any income except for a small donation the folk give towards the extra eats and outings we have.
Outings are arranged and included a Knysna Lagoon cruise on the John Benn; first birthday at party celebrated at Portland Manor with a lovely tea out on the terrace and a trip to Monkeyland. Anchusa's 2nd birthday was spent at Villa Castilini in Belvedere. In January 2006 a day out was arranged to the Strawberry Farm in George.
There is an average of 50 people aged between 70 to 93 (except for the helpers!) who come along. In the beginning these outings were sponsored by various businesses and individuals in Sedgefield, Anchusa are always need of a friendly driver and a vehicle or two to help them out.
2005 was a busy year for Anchusa with a number of projects and activities. Knitted Squares are sown together as knee rugs and given to the Oncology Dept at the George Provincial Hospital, specifically for very ill patients who have to travel from afar for treatment.
In December Anchusa try to do Christmas lunch with all the trimmings for the elderly people who would have otherwise spent the day on their own. At year end they hold a Christmas party with Father Christmas handing out parcels to all who attended. Most is donated by the community of various churches and individuals in Sedgefield. Volunteers give up their Christmas Day to help serve those folk who had no one to share this day with them.
Heartfelt thanks are given to all the people who are so willing to give a helping hand where ever the need is, such as serving the elderly, washing dishes, cleaning up, giving lifts, baking cakes, loving them by just popping in and giving some dear a hug and saying how are you to day and generally seeing to the needs of the folk who come to Anchusa. This means the world to them, that someone out there actually cares. So if you have time to spare and are willing to give a helping hand, perhaps with donations, transport or just being there it would be very much appreciated.
Love to see you at ANCHUSA COMMUNITY Centre..