Unprecedented times for Astra

As Astra entered its 70th year it was confronted by the world-wide phenomenon of lockdown and for the first time, had to close its doors.

The challenge of meeting the needs of mentally disabled Jewish adults has been turned upside down by the closure of the workshop, the coffee shop and the gift shop. Our philosophy is that the benefit of being occupied has enormous therapeutic value but in these unprecedented times, we had to close.

Our Group Homes, providing supported residential care remain open. Some of the residents were able to go home to their families, while the others remain in Rosecourt House and Vriende House. This has presented a different challenge for the house-parents. The residents are home all day, unable to attend the workshop.

Instead they support each other and help their houseparent’s with domestic chores and the daily routine. We would like to commend the house-parents and the residents for the amazing way they have adapted and shown their resilience.

The staff and residents receive constant support and counselling with remote group meetings, individual meetings and options to keep everyone occupied as much as possible. At the same time all the workers who attend the Centre have been contacted and offered support.

Since closing our doors, much work has gone on in the background, working together as a united force. Thank you to the community who supported Astra with dropping off books, board games and colouring books for the residents, these have been gratefully received.

Astra is looking forward to seeing all our staff, workers and visitors back at the Centre and at Coffee Time and Giftime.

Astra Jewish Sheltered Employment Centre provides a comprehensive network of services to members of the Jewish Community who have an intellectual disability and/or a mental health issue. The three Group Homes, Rosecourt House, Rosecourt Terrace and Vriende House, provide supported accommodation for residents, where they receive an opportunity to develop independence and life skills, to enjoy social contact with their peers, as well as supported accommodation in a safe and secure environment.

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