ST ANNA’S Family Home and Academy in Winneba, Ghana, currently home to 31 previously homeless children and young people from age 3 to 21, has received £1,350 emergency funding from The Rotary Club of Oswestry to help with the costs of running the charity through the Covid-19 crisis.  The Club is also hoping to be awarded a further £800 Rotary grant to help the efforts.

Former Oswestry resident Dr Gabby Haigh, who, with the help of local retired teacher Emelia, founded the home with her friend Lara when both backpacking students in 2004, took time out of her busy schedule as a paediatric doctor at The Wrexham Maelor Hospital, to thank Rotary Club members for their support and explain how St Anna’s had grown since the first children arrived at the home in 2006.

Speaking on Zoom Gabby explained that when the Covid-19 pandemic reached St Anna’s in March this year they had no option but to close their Academy resulting in an immediate loss of fee income through which the Academy supported not only its own running and teaching costs but also 60% of those of St Anna’s Home.  The remaining 40% is usually made up from donations.

Gabby explained further: “The Academy has 21 teachers, all of whom have not been paid through the closure, and 268 students from 3 months to 16 years (Creche to Junior Secondary/High School) who have been unable to attend.  There will be some re-opening of the Junior High School on 5th October but the return of the students is not guaranteed and the Academy’s Nursery, Pre-School, Primary and First Year Junior High School will remain closed until January 2021.”

At times it has all seemed too much for Gabby to keep on top of from her home in England while she studied, qualified as a doctor, married and had her own family but she is justifiably proud when she lists the achievements of the older children who, whilst still calling St Anna’s home, had variously been able to attend the Kwame Nkrumah University of Technology, Kumasi, read Political Science at Cape Coast University, Graphic Design at the University of Education in Winneba, qualified in Nursing at Cape Coast Nursing & Midwifery Training College and studies Theatre Arts at the University of Education in Winneba.

The Rotary Club of Oswestry will continue their efforts to support St Anna’s.  Club President Dave Griggs said: “Many thanks to Gabby for telling us about this wonderful project. We will run an online quiz in the near future to help raise more funds but if anyone wishes to donate to support St Anna’s they can contact us by email on or donate directly to St Anna’s Virgin Money Giving website

Dr Gabby Haigh on Zoom.

Oswestry Rotary Club President David Griggs on Zoom.

Dr Gabby Haigh on Zoom and St Anna’s students.


QR Code for St Anna’s Virgin Money Giving Site.