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St Nicolas Home

St Nicolas Home2History

St Nicolas was established, by Brian Gannon in 1965, in response to children and families who were in need of care in Westbury and surrounding ‘coloured’ areas. The very poor socio-economic conditions in the community often resulted in young people being neglected and very often abused.  In addition alcoholism, abuse and gangsters characterised the area. 

A property, previously a hospital, in Westbury was purchased under the auspices of the Anglican Church and is still held in trust by the Church. The home was specifically established to serve the needs of “coloured” boys but today accommodates both boys and girls in the short-term residential programme.

The administrative functions of both St Nicolas and St Joseph’s are located on the St Nicolas property.

About St Nicolas Home

St Nicolas Home is situated in the Westbury and Sophiatown regions which consist of boys only. At present there are 15 Children accommodated at the home. The Children have been admitted to the Home as a result of being neglected and abused. The Children are counselled by professional counsellors to help them overcome this dark phase of their life. They are given hope for a brighter future.

The House Mothers ensure that the Children attend school on a daily basis. Besides schooling activities, there is a set of daily activities that the Children carry out. When they arrive home from school, they have lunch and are assisted with their homework.

Once their homework is complete, they participate in extra-curricular activities varying from aerobics and soccer to beadwork and painting.

The Home provides a temporary orphanage and home to vulnerable Children. It also provides a two to three year development programme. During this programme, Coach ensures that the Children turn their lives around. They are then able to make life giving choices as opposed to life destroying ones.

St Nicolas Home provides 24 hour care for the Children under the supervision of Child and Youth Care Workers who work on a shift basis.

Residential Programme

The ultimate goal of this programme is to provide a safe home environment for the children, who normally come into our care as a result of abuse (physical, sexual, emotional) or trauma that they have experienced in their young lives. 

Coach assists young people or children between the ages of 6 and 18. Where necessary we continue to provide a service until the young person turns 21 years of age. Children and young people are referred to the residential component of the programme by Social Workers.

This programme provides a high-intensity therapeutic intervention – with individual and group therapy, specialised child and youth care intervention, and tailored individual and family therapy.

Balancing the educational needs and psycho-social status of our young people poses a significant challenge to the skills of our professional staff. Most of the children attend the nearby Foundation and Sparrow Schools that provide specialised remedial schooling they require. However, some of the children often act out their frustrations in the classroom, becoming unmanageable. Our professional staff works with teachers in addressing difficult behaviour in the classroom.

Children at Coach are not only provided with an education. They are also given opportunities to develop, socialise and improve their people skills. Various events and activities are held throughout the year to encourage children to “come out of their shell” and develop into progressive young adults. Children will be children, and we all know that “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”, Coach is fortunate to have caring sponsors that take our children on excursions that let them take part in fun adventures throughout the year.

The self-esteem and emotions of children who have suffered abuse are severely affected. It is critical then that we validate them through healthy and purposeful activities that reintegrate them into society. Social interactions is vital so we enlist the services of volunteers and child and youth care workers who assist with homework, fun and cultural outings, holiday camps and church youth groups and service.

Community Development Programme

The aim of this programme is to provide awareness programmes in communities to improve the care of children and to protect the rights of children within communities. 

The programme also provides individual and group therapy as well as community awareness programmes for children and families at risk to the communities surrounding our children’s Homes.




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