College receives donation of postural cushions

Our College in Harrogate recently received a donation of Stabilo postural cushions worth over £2,000 from disability access company AAT. The cushions will make a real difference to our students, who have a wide range of disabilities, by supporting them in their physiotherapy sessions and helping to stabilise their movements.

Postural cushions donation

We have our own experienced Disability Support Service which works with students to provide therapy, rehabilitation and assistive technology support to help them become more confident and independent.  Lee Dart is one of the physiotherapists in the team who works with individual students to improve their flexibility, stamina, co-ordination, body awareness and health and well-being.

Lee explains why the physiotherapy team are excited about being able to introduce these products to their sessions. “Using these cushions offers us so much control. You can mould the cushions to match the body shape of the person using them, to provide exactly the support that they need and then lock that shape in place.”

Postural cushions donation outside“So I have the freedom to create a cushion which could help a student sit more comfortably in their wheelchair, a mat to support their elbow so they can use an iPad more easily or I can mould a mattress to help them access our hydrotherapy sessions. Most importantly, you can then alter the cushion at any time, so if someone’s shape changes, or a student asks for an alteration, the cushion can be adapted to fit.”

Gareth Brown, Development Manager at AAT, first visited Henshaws College a couple of years ago to demonstrate a powered wheelchair system, and the partnership grew from there. He said: “We’re delighted to be working with Henshaws College. They are a fantastic local charity supporting young people with disabilities. I’m excited by the energy of the team here and I know they’re going to be so creative in finding new ways to make the cushions work for a wide range of people.”

Discover our learning programmes for young people with disabilities.

Contact Henshaws Disability Support Service to find out more about our therapy, rehabilitation and training outreach services. 

Find out more about AAT’s products for people with disabilities.

Pride of Henshaws a bright success

DSC_1802Over 150 supporters, service users and volunteers turned out to the annual Pride of Henshaws event. It took place at the Marriott V&A Hotel in central Manchester on the evening of Saturday November 22 and raised more than £9,000 which will help support more people affected by sight loss and other disabilities.

The event was the finale to the Bright for Sight campaign, helping to raise awareness and much-needed funds for Henshaws. This is the second Pride of Henshaws to date, returning after last year’s success, celebrating the achievements and hard work of the inspirational service users and volunteers of Henshaws Society for Blind People.

Guests enjoyed a Buck’s Fizz reception and a three-course meal and were entertained by compere for the evening, BBC News presenter Mark Edwardson and a band from the Royal Northern College of Music. There was an auction of sports memorabilia, a grand raffle and giveaways of wine and other goodies.

Hand-crafted flower centrepieces created by service users at Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre were displayed on guests’ tables and sold at the end of the evening.

Four awards were presented on the evening to Henshaws service users and volunteers who are affected by sight loss and other disabilities.

Jennie Hayes, aged 37, of Harrogate, won the Volunteer Award for going above and beyond with her help at the Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough, Yorkshire.

Gary Hayles, aged 51, of Newcastle, won the Technology Star Award, for showing determination to learn how to use a computer to help with daily life, such as reading his post.

Craig Riach, aged 35, of Wallsend, won the No Fear Award, for continuing to flourish on the football field despite losing almost all his sight.

Kimberley Burrows, aged 26, of Irlam, won the Gillian Lawrence Award for turning her life around over the course of a year by developing her passion for art. The award is presented annually in memory of Gillian Lawrence, a long-standing trustee and chairman of Henshaws, who died in July 2012.

Among the guests were representatives of Manchester-based food production company Cargill, Sale-based solicitors Slater Heelis and Ashton-under-Lyne-based stationary company Printerbase, who all sponsored awards.

In September 2013, Cargill paid for a children’s play area to be built at the Knaresborough Arts & Crafts centre. Mr Kingston added: “The relationship between the people at Henshaws and our employees is growing all the time and our employees all say that they love going to Henshaws.”

Printerbase managing director Peter Knight said: “We were first introduced to Henshaws over a year ago and were immediately struck by the positive difference they make to so many people’s lives. My grandmother was registered blind and several of my staff suffer from Glaucoma, so, as you can imagine, supporting a charity that offers so much to those with visual impairments strikes a particular chord with me. We are delighted to work with Henshaws and hope our partnership grows even stronger in the future.”

Slater Heelis marketing manager Claire Palmer said: “We are delighted to be part of the team that supports the Pride of Henshaws. Congratulations to all the 2014 nominees and winners from the team at Slater Heelis.”

Henshaws chief executive Nick Marr said: “This is the second annual Pride of Henshaws evening and it was a fantastic success. We were delighted to welcome so many guests and thrilled with the amount of money raised on the night. I am pleased for all the award winners and nominees, who are true role models to us all.”

See below for a gallery of images from the night, if you would like to purchase any of these images please go to: and select your image(s) and email with the number and size you would like the image.

Knaresborough Beach and FEVA Festival

Knaresborough Beach is officially open!

As part of the FEVA Festival, Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre are hosting Knaresborough’s first ever beach – with a suitably seaside-themed programme of events.

Join us 8th – 17th August (we’re open every single day), or check out our beach events here.

Beach banner scaledRaffle tickets on sale now, featuring a huge range of prizes kindly donated by local businesses. Tickets will be on sale at each event – you can also get them anytime from the cafe.

Northern Songbirds Evening Friday 8th

Wetherspoons meal for 2

£25 voucher for Painting Pots

Cut and Blow Dry at Gloss Hairdressing

Hair products from Bojangles Hairdressers

Bottle of wine from Castle Vaults

Wild Flower Book from Castlegate Books

Word Art Picture from Well Hung Picture Company

Burlesque Saturday 9th

2 hampers (18+) from Sainsburys

2 sets of sequined pasties

£20 voucher for Sheer Bliss

2 auctions on the night – free window clean from Nick Brown, 1 hour personal training session with Billy Oldaker SILENT AUCTION

Beach Party Sunday 10th

Oil burner and essential oils set from Crystal Buddha

Bottle of wine from Castle Vaults

Massage from Inner Calm

4 bottles of Fruit Cider from Henshaws

Echo the Woods Monday 11th

File and Polish from The Nailery

Designer ladies bracelet from Harriets

Bottle of wine from Wetherspoons

4 bottles of Daleside Blonde from Henshaws

Whiskey Dogs Thursday 14th

8 pints of Ossett Ale from Cross Keys

Bottle of wine from the Market Tavern

Daleside Brewery Hamper from the Daleside Brewery

Bettys Hamper from Bettys

Hope and Social Beach Party Sunday 17th

2 beach hampers from Sainsburys

£45 voucher for a pair of sunglasses from Kingston White Opticians

£50 voucher to use at Carriages

Back massage from Pendulum Therapy

2 bottles of Spanish olive oil and piccalilli from Piccalillis Deli

Picture framing voucher from Green Dragon Framing

Art voucher from Art in the Mill

Sunday Lunch for two from the Dower House

AUCTION signed Nikky Corker seaside print SILENT AUCTION


Inspirational Yorkshire Ladies Lunch

On Thursday September 11, Henshaws are bringing you a wonderful afternoon with special guests, top chef Stephanie Moon, Amanda Owen – the Yorkshire Shepherdess, and Lady Emma Ingilby from Ripley Castle.

The event will be held at Harrogate’s finest four star hotels, the Cedar Court Hotel, overlooking the famous 200 acre Stray parkland. The historic Grade II listed Cedar Court Hotel Harrogate dates back to 1671 and sits on the site of the town’s first ever hotel which makes it the perfect setting for afternoon tea.

All three ladies have inspirational stories to tell about their lives, Stephanie having starred in The Great British Menu on two occasions and worked as consultant Chef at Rudding Park. Amanda Owen has a fascinating story of rearing children and animals on a 2000 acre sheep hill farm at the head of Swaledale in North Yorkshire. Lady Ingilby will also speak of her life and triumphs running Ripley Castle and its calendar full of events.

Lisa Sherratt, Henshaws Fundraiser, “This is the first time Henshaws have run an event like this in a long time and I hope people will come along to support us.  It should be a lovely afternoon and we’re so excited to have these inspirational women on board.”

Tickets are £22.50, which include reception drinks and a two course lunch with all proceeds going to Henshaws and continuing the work they do to support people affected by blindness and other disabilities. Tickets are available online at or by calling Lisa Sherratt on 01423 799601 or email

Ladies Lunch

Blind artists create artwork to celebrate 150th year of John Lewis

Art_Wall_John_Lewis_2014_023Henshaws Society for Blind People was invited by John Lewis to produce artwork to be displayed on the Community Art Wall in their Trafford Centre store to celebrate the 150th year of the retail outlet.

Artwork was produced by individual service users and groups at Henshaws who all have a visual impairment or a disability. The Parent & Toddler group created a finger-painting of a fish and Kimberley Burrows, a service user in Manchester, created a composition of her ‘favourite things about John Lewis’.

Art Makers from Henshaws Arts & Crafts Cen
tre in Knaresborough produced three pieces of colourful artwork, which followed a nature theme that included a butterfly, a vase of flowers and a print of the inside of a cabbage. And the Arts & Crafts group in Manchester created a tactile cupcake collage, which was even sprinkled with hundreds and thousands!

Glen Lockett, Head of Fundraising said: “We were thrilled to be asked by John Lewis to get involved with their Community Art Wall. We have such talented service users here that it is great to show off the artwork they can produce.”

The artwork will be displayed in the Place to Eat restaurant at John Lewis, Trafford Centre until July 21 2014.

See below a gallery of images taken of some of the service users with their artwork.