Halifax Volunteers Transform Henshaws Gardens


Henshaws College gardens have been treated to a facelift thanks to some very willing volunteers from Halifax Bank team of Directors from across the North of England, and two even came from Northern Ireland!

IMG_1189smallAs part of their working in the community initiative, Sam Hermes, PA to the Regional Director, approached Henshaws to offer their help for a day.  Sam then went about recruiting support from Homebase in Harrogate; Halifax had a fund of £100 and Homebase made this up to over £360 worth of plants and flowers, not only this but they also delivered the plants directly to Henshaws!  Sam said, “I was amazed by the support I got from Homebase, their staff were so helpful!  We really enjoyed our day at Henshaws, it’s great to be able to make such a difference in only one day and know that it will be appreciated.”

After a tour of Henshaws College and grounds, the volunteers split into two groups and made quick work of the gardens. Thankfully the weather was kind and they were able to get the plants in place quickly and easily.  With a whole variety of plants from trailing ivy through to beautiful flowering hydrangeas, brightly coloured heathers and stunning scented lavender, the gardens were transformed in a matter of hours.

Lisa Sherratt, Fundraiser for HenshIMG_1178smalleraws said, “It was such a fantastic day, we really appreciate the support of volunteers, the fact that Sam was able to get the plants donated as well makes such a difference as we just don’t have the budget to buy them all.  We’re really grateful for the support Halifax have given and we hope to work with them again in the future.”

Volunteers pictured in the top photo: Callum Rennie, Sam Hermes, Rory Allen, Caroline Carson, Ian Coverdale, Gordon Jeffrey, Harvey Watson, Damian Greenwood, Martin Bishop, Helen Raines, Paul Hague, Helen Roberts, Roy Gardner, Paula Matthews

Henshaws green-fingered graduates create floral display with local charity












We were visited last week by two of our former students who delivered these beautiful flower troughs which they’ve created for this year’s graduation ceremony. During their time at Henshaws, Conor and Rachael attended work placements at Horticap, local gardens in Harrogate which provide training in horticulture for adults with learning disabilities.

Since leaving College in 2014, both graduates now work at Horticap where they continue to develop their skills, as Phil Airey, Assistant Manager at Horticap explains. “We use horticulture as a resource to teach life skills and our motto is helping people grow. Many of our students are Henshaws graduates. When they are able to teach new students what to do, that’s really empowering.”

Rachael Horticap

Horticap teamed up with Henshaws for this latest project to create eight flower troughs to go at the front of the stage for Henshaws College graduation this month. Rachael (right) and Conor (below, left) worked with an instructor to select and arrange the plants, picking bright pinks and reds to go with the new College colours.

Phil added: “It’s really important that students retain these links with where they’ve come from. Rachael and Conor have been able to come back to Henshaws today to deliver the troughs and show staff and current students what they’ve been working on. We have a great history of working with Henshaws – long may it continue!”

Conor HorticapWe’d like to say a huge thank you to Phil, not only for all his help with this project but also for supporting four of our students every week on work experience over the past year. The troughs will be auctioned off after our graduation event this Friday so we hope to raise some money to help Horticap continue their fantastic work.

Billy Oldaker’s Top 10 tips for a healthy summer

Working out on exercise bikesBilly is leader of the Fitness Workshop at the Arts & Crafts Centre. He likes to make sure everyone stays active and as healthy as possible. We caught up with him and the Henshaws Fitness Group for some tips on summer health and wellbeing.

Billy Oldaker“Hi, I’m Billy Oldaker. As the sun gets warmer, it’s nice to spend more time outside, and people often find it easier to exercise too. Whatever your level of activity, here’s a few tips to keep you in tip-top condition over summer:

1 Use sun tan lotion Even if you’re working on a tan, lotion is a safe way to build it up. As a bonus, a gradual tan will stay longer too.

2 Extra water When it’s hot you need to stay hydrated. Even if it doesn’t seem sunny, keep your water levels up. Your body will thank you.

3 Sun Hat Pop on a hat to avoid heat stroke, or a burnt bald patch!

4 Shower everyday We naturally sweat more in summer, so staying fresh and clean is super important.

5 Vitamin C helps prevent sunburn Suncream protects you on the outside, and Vitamin C protects you on the inside. People with good vitamin C levels are less likely to burn, and can heal quicker too.

6 Dab sweat off Rather than being rough with your skin, gently dab at sweat.

7 Wear appropriate clothing Too much and you’ll sweat or give yourself heatstroke. Too little and you could end up burnt or with chafing. Remember the same goes for children too.

8 Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables This will help your body to replace the minerals lost in sweat.

9 Don’t train too hard in the heat Gym bunnies take note!

10 Take extra breaks when hot This applies to everyone, no matter what you’re doing. Stop yourself overheating. Take 5 minutes in a shady spot, or grab some juice. Regular breaks are important for a happy, healthy lifestyle.”

Some great tips, and so easy to follow. Thanks Billy!

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: http://www.keithogdenphotography.co.uk/gallery_596078.html and select your image(s) and email keithogdenphotography@gmail.com with the number and size you would like the image.