Henshaws 175th Anniversary Ball was a swinging hit!

Rat Pack and Paula Lane singing on stageLast Saturday night Henshaws kicked off the 175th Anniversary celebrations with a fantastic night at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Manchester. The evening was well attended by members of the city’s business community and an amazing night was had by all, and with their support Henshaws raised over £6000!



Guests were greeted with a champagne receptionGuests at the Ball and Nick Marr, Henshaws CEO, started off the birthday celebrations with an inspirational welcome speech featuring a few highlights from 1837, the year Henshaws opened its doors.  In the same year Henshaws opened in Old Trafford as an ‘Asylum for Indigent Blind’, Charles Dickens published Oliver Twist and Queen Victoria ascended to the throne. A fact particularly notable is that the charity is older than the invention of the first car!


“I am delighted with the success of the celebrations on Saturday night, and the impact it has had.  As well as having the opportunity to cultivate relationships with potential corporate partners, I found Andrew Rose’s story particularly moving.  He shared his experiences of becoming blind in today’s world, and how being helped by Henshaws has now put him in the right place to help others who need support.” Nick Marr, Henshaws Group CEO.


Paula Lane, her mother and fiance Tom ShawCoronation Street star Paula Lane also helped get the celebrations in full swing by singing the Frank Sinatra classic ‘Somethin’ Stupid’ with The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular; the evening’s entertainment. Solo artist Maria Jordan and BBC’s Becky Want and Mark Edwardson also supported the evening’s events which also included a live auction and chances to win other prizes.


Glen Lockett, Head of Fundraising said of the night “I am absolutely delighted that the efforts put in by the fundraising team turned into an amazing event.  The night brought together past, present and new supporters who will now endeavour to ensure that Henshaws gets the opportunity to celebrate in another 175 years. We’ve already started planning next year’s event!”

Well done and thank you to all involved, the Henshaws team can’t wait for the next year’s event!

Great North Run ballot ends this Friday!

Man holding a medalHenshaws is looking for enthusiastic runners to take place in the world’s biggest and most iconic half marathon.

Held in Newcastle on Sunday 16th September, we have been lucky enough to secure 25 places for the 13.1 miles run. Entry fee is £48 and minimum sponsorship is £300.

The ballot will be called this Friday 30th March, so don’t miss out, register your place by downloading this form and sending to Hannah Saxon Great North Run Entry Form 2012 or contact her on (01423) 814501 /  hannah.saxon@henshaws.org.uk

Local businessman offers his skills to help Henshaws

Tom Clark and Dave Stanley shaking hands in front of Mini Bus

Tom Clark and Dave Stanley

When local Business owner Dave Stanley wanted to do something for charity after reading the story of three year old blind Oscar in the Advertiser, he thought about what skills he could provide and came up with the idea of offering annual maintenance and repair for our Manchester Resource Centre Mini bus at his Garage, DP Stanley Specialist Cars.

He got in touch with Tom Clark, legacy manager at Henshaws, who suggested he could use his skills to service the Renault 14 seater mini bus, which is used to transport people to and from groups at our Old Trafford resource centre.  Tom said “I’m always telling my friends about the work that Henshaws does, and when Dave mentioned he wanted to help in some way, I thought we could really use his skills, as our mini bus was looking a bit tired”

Dave said “This is the first thing I’ve done through my business for charity, and I’m really pleased that I’m able to help.  I see this as a longer term partnership, as I know that the mini bus plays a huge part in allowing people to access services.”

As part of this fantastic partnership, Dave will continue to work with us, by providing an annual safety check, maintenance and repair, servicing, MOT, paint & body work as well as cleaning and valeting – to ensure that it gets people to our services safely and saving us over £1500 a year at the same time!

If you or your business think you might be able to offer your skills to Henshaws, please get in touch on 0161 872 1234 or info@henshaws.org.uk




Henshaws Receives £30k from Heritage Lottery Fund!

Heritage Lottery Fund logoAfter a nail biting wait, Henshaws are pleased to announce that we have been successful in securing £30,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to hold a heritage exhibition ‘Thomas Henshaw: One Man’s Vision.’

After the discovery of a tea chest with artefacts and objects pertaining to the legacy of the charity, the team at Henshaws knew that we had to share share the history and interesting stories found in an all-sensory exhibition. The display will trace the story surrounding Thomas Henshaw’s legacy and the rich history of Henshaws. It will explore the charity’s history and the history of visual impairment as well as commissioning new contemporary artworks. It will feature the fascinating stories from people who have been part of Henshaws throughout the years.

The exhibition is planned to open at Gallery Oldham later this year and will then tour regionally. By touring the exhibition we will be engaging with a much wider audience in the legacy, sharing our history and fostering a greater understanding amongst sighted people of the challenges faced by those with visual impairment.

You can read more on some of the interesting stories and history about Thomas Henshaw and Henshaws here. We will be keeping you all up to date with our progress, but do keep an eye out in the press and media!

Anniversary Ball with The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular!

Picture of the Rat Pack performing on stage with dancers

This spring on 24th March, we are hosting a Henshaws’ Anniversary Ball, featuring a fabulous stage show performance from The Rat Pack Vegas Spectacular!

For one night only, you are invited to enjoy an evening of live swing music performed in the intimate dining room at the Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Manchester where, in the company of no more than 200 guests you will help us celebrate our 175th Birthday.

Picture of tables set up for a ballOn arrival you will be greeted with champagne and canapés followed by a three course dinner served in the Radisson’s elegant ballroom. After dinner our celebrity compere will host an auction featuring a wide selection of exclusive lots. The evening’s celebrations will climax with a stunning Vegas Spectacular performance from The Rat Pack, certain to get you all on the dance floor!

Established in 1837 by Oldham businessman Thomas Henshaw, we thought it only fitting to celebrate our 175th Birthday in style by hosting this celebration in the city where we were founded.

The Rat Pack performing on stage


Tickets are available at just £75 per head, giving you the chance to join us on what promises to be a glorious night of entertainment and celebration.

We also have other packages and sponsorship opportunities available. For tickets and further information please contact Faye.wilson@henshaws.org.uk or call 0161 786 3693.