NewsKristopher Ryan Centre, a special place indeed!

Kristopher Ryan Centre, a special place indeed!

Many have heard of Kristopher Ryan Centre, only a few really know what it is all about.

Most only knows about the delicious cookies that are sold around town that bears their name.

But what is Kristopher Ryan Centre?

Kristopher Ryan Centre was started in 2001 by Joy du Plessis and Mary Meyer whose sons Kristopher and Ryan needed to be in a Protective Workshop for Adults with Disabilities.  The centre originally started in one of the buildings at Marietjie School and moved to their current premises in 2009.

Kristopher Ryan Centre

With financial help from Sasol a Bakery was started on the premises to create jobs and generate funds to assist in the funding of the centre.

They fall under the umbrella of Mpumalanga Mental Health Society who monitors them for the Department of Social Development.

As is the case with most special schools, there are always shortages in their funding.

They currently have 29 Beneficiaries.

Kristopher Ryan Centre are funded as follows:

Subsidy from Department of Social Services which is only to be used for food.

Fees paid by beneficiaries

Public Donations (including food from Woolworths which is collected every Wednesday afternoon)

Profit made on biscuit sales

As the funds from Department of Social Development do not nearly cover the food for the beneficiaries all the funds to cover running costs e.g. salaries, water & electricity, cleaning, security, motor vehicles/petrol, repairs & maintenance etc are raised by themselves.

Kristopher Ryan Centre currently have the following staff members:


2 Trained caregivers who assist the beneficiaries with activities e.g. knitting, crocheting, handwork, colouring in, writing, simple arithmetic, reading,  and beadwork. It is costly to send their staff on courses, which are not always available in Secunda, so they are always looking for volunteers to come and assist the staff as it is important to have one on one interaction with the beneficiaries.

The beneficiaries receive breakfast and lunch at the Centre.  One of the caregivers is responsible for the making of the food.  For breakfast she makes cooked porridge and on Friday they get cereal.  For lunch they get meat and vegetables either from their own Vegetable garden or those donated by St Peter’s Harvest (Felicity Filander)

They have a Vegetable Garden Project where the beneficiaries are taught to sow seeds, plant plants, weed the garden and water the garden. 

The public can drop their recycling at the Centre as a local recycler collects it on a regular basis.

Following items can be recycled:

  • Tins  –  Beer, Colddrink & Tinned Food Tins
  • Beer Bottles  –  separate green & brown
  • Paper  – 
    • Common paper (mixed) – includes sugar & flour bags
    • White Printing paper
    • Coloured Printing paper
    • Newspapers
    • Magazines
    • Cardboard boxes
  • Plastic  –  
    • Milk Bottles  –  plastic
    • Milk Cartons –  other  (long life)
  • Coke bottles & water  – 
    • Clear (includes water bottles)
    • Green
    • Brown
  • Clingwrap  –  no oil or blood
  • Plastic bags & shopping bags – no oil or blood
  • Bubble wrap

The recyclers do not take bottle tops but these Kristopher Ryan Centre take and give to their Treasurer who is involved with a project Sweethearts Foundation who sell the bottle tops and use the funds to buy wheelchairs for people in need.

Also read: Casual Day Funds Handover at Kristopher Ryan Protective Workshop

They even have their own compost heap.  The following are needed for this

  • Table Scraps  –  leftover food
  • Fruit & vegetable scraps – peels, pips
  • Eggshells
  • Leaves
  • Grass clippings
  • Garden plants
  • Lawn & Garden weeds
  • Shrub prunings
  • Straw or hay
  • Green comfrey leaves
  • Pine Needles
  • Flowers, cuttings
  • Wood ash
  • Chicken manure
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea leaves
  • Newspaper
  • Shredded paper
  • Cardboard
  • Corn cobs, stalks
  • Sawdust pellets
  • Wood chips, pellets

Everything from the kitchen is used for this together with eggshells from the Bakery.


There are three full time bakers in the Bakery with a Manager whose work it is to supervise the baking, icing of biscuits, receiving order, delivering orders, etc. 

Kristopher Ryan Centre

Their bakery has the necessary Certificate of Acceptability from the Health Department and our products are labelled in terms of current legislation.

Kristopher Ryan Centre biscuits are sold by the following shops in Secunda.

  • Pick ‘n Pay (Mini)
  • Food Lover Market
  • Mangoliso
  • Sasol Garage CBD

It is also sold at most of the Flea Markets held in and around Secunda

Anyone is welcome to come to the Bakery at the Centre situated at 98 & 101 Besterecta Street, SECUNDA to buy biscuits.  Their telephone number is 017 634 7867 or alternatively you can phone Eruka Claassens at 082 327 2530 or Pam Kotze 082 466 5757 with enquiries or place an order.

Kristopher Ryan Centre charge R40-00 for 450 grams irrespective of the type of biscuit bought.

Kristopher Ryan Centre
Kristopher Ryan Centre cookies

The following types of biscuits are made:

  • CHOC CHIP           
  • COFFEE                                 
  • COFFEE DIP           
  • CONDENSED MILK                
  • CRUNCHIES                                    
  • CUSTARD          
  • GINGER                        
  • MIXED BISCUITS                   
  • OATS                  
  • ROMANY CHOC                     
  • SOETKOEKIES        

Please support Kristopher Ryan Centre whenever possible. Funding from the government is not what it should be and there is a desperate need for funding.


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Kristopher Ryan Centre, a special place indeed!

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