The Vice Lord-Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, Major Peter Scrope, and the new Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate, Coun Anne Jones, were given an inside view of Henshaws’ educational and community services in Yorkshire when they visited last week.
Henshaws is a charity supporting people living with sight loss and a range of other disabilities to achieve their ambitions and go beyond expectations and about 300 families in Yorkshire who are living with disability are currently accessing these specialist services.
The visit was instigated by the Mayor who has been a supporter of Henshaws for many years, having served as Chair of the Yorkshire Events volunteer fundraising committee, and recently announced Henshaws as one of her nominated charities for the Civic year.
The Mayor said: “I am delighted to support the sterling work of Henshaws with this special visit and throughout my Mayoral year along with my second charity, ARCH Mediation Services.
Henshaws Specialist College in Harrogate offers a personalised approach to education, learning and care to empower young people aged 16-25 living with a disability to progress and live life the way they want.
Principal of Henshaws Specialist College, Angela North, led a tour of the campus, including the newly-refurbished sensory room, media and IT centre, sports and physiotherapy facilities and residential accommodation. The visitors then spoke with current students and staff about their College experiences and future plans.
Coun Jones said: “Hearing some of the students’ personal stories is truly inspirational. One student has progressed from being an essential wheelchair user to being able to stand up and transfer in and out of her chair; this clearly demonstrates the impact and importance of the work that Henshaws do.”
Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre in Knaresborough runs creative workshops for Art Makers of all ages, with a wide range of disabilities and additional support needs. Through these workshops, people living with disability are encouraged to discover their talents and put them into practice in order to realise their full potential.
Following a tour by Art Maker Deborah, the visitors joined a music workshop and heard about plans to develop the garden area.
The Vice Lord-Lieutenant said: “I am so pleased to have visited Henshaws. This is a wonderful place of which North Yorkshire can be justifiably proud, where staff and students achieve amazing results together.”
Commenting on the visit, Fiona Ashcroft said: “We are delighted to welcome the Vice Lord-Lieutenant Major Scrope, the Mayor of the Borough and their guests to our Specialist College and Arts & Crafts Centre and have the opportunity to give a brief insight into our work as well as share the achievements of our students and Art Makers.”
The civic party also visited local charity, Arch Mediation Services, Harrogate, which works with North Yorkshire Police, Harrogate Borough Council and North Yorkshire County Council to prevent young people from getting into trouble with the police and committing crime.
Arch Mediation Services was founded in 2003 and became a charity in 2014. In its first two years as a charity, Arch dealt with more than 100 cases involving more than 200 households with the issues resolved in 90 per cent of the cases
Manager of the charity, Tony Pardoe, said: “We were delighted to welcome the civic party to Arch Mediation Services and outline some of the valuable work we do in the local community. We are thrilled that they recognise the need for our work and arranged the visit to meet us personally. This is a tribute to those who help us run our service and an important recognition of the local families and young people who need our help.”