Hooray it's Launch Day!

posted 18 Jul 2016, 13:42 by Beechwood Huddersfield   [ updated 18 Jul 2016, 13:47 ]

On Friday 15th July, the Queen's representative in the region, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, helped us celebrate Beechwood's 50th birthday and officially open the refurbished garden. 

Launch Day
Children of Dalton Junior School with (L-R) Jason McCartney MP, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and the Mayor and Mayoress of Kirklees Council

It was a truly special event with thanks given to the hundreds of staff, volunteers and supporters who’ve helped to improve the lives of those with profound disabilities over five decades. 

“Her Majesty the Queen has been patron of Leonard Cheshire Disability for over 30 years”, said Patrick Feane, Service Manager of Beechwood, “so we’re absolutely delighted to have Dr Roscoe, the Queen’s representative in West Yorkshire, join us on our special day”.

Other dignitaries in attendance were Kirklees Mayor, Cllr Jim Dodds BEM, and local MP Jason McCarthy. 

A very special guest was Beechwood’s first matron, Mary McHugh. Now in her 90’s, Mary recently visited her former workplace and shared her tale of once demanding to know the name of male visitor, “I’m Mr Cheshire”, said Leonard Cheshire, the charity’s founder and highly decorated World War II bomber pilot.

The event formed a double celebration as Dr Roscoe officially reopened Beechwood’s Wildlife Garden, after 2 years of fundraising and refurbishment.  It all took place to the beat of a Samba Band, and singing from the children of Dalton Junior School Choir.

The Wildlife Garden Project entitled Making Beechwood Blossom has seen Beechwood's once neglected 19th century garden transformed into an accessible space for residents to relax and party in. 

Some of the amazing volunteers 
who helped make Beechwood Blossom
The project has been an inspirational example of a partnership between residents, staff, volunteers, local businesses and contractors. Much of the construction work on site was done by the national charity The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), who traveled each day from their Hollybush Conservation Centre in Leeds.

Beechwood’s Volunteer Co-ordinator Gemma McCorkindale highlighted the support of local engineering company Cummins Turbo Technologies, “Cummins have really taken us under their wing and provided incredible in-kind support to get the garden finished”, said Gemma, “their staff have worked wonders and even provided lighting and a sound system for the garden’s stone gazebo”. 

The project received a huge boost when staff from Howden’s Joinery Company ran the Great North Run, raising over £7,500. “This contribution could not have come at a better time, and enabled us to pay for the special surfacing of paths to support residents’ powered wheelchairs”, explained Gemma.

“It’s been a hugely rewarding project to be involved with”, said Simon Robinson, Chair of the Making Beechwood Blossom project, “the whole team really pulled together to get the garden finished. Most importantly today, we’re able to give residents back their garden”.

Keen gardener and Beechwood Resident Dot Goodall summed up the meaning of having a newly accessible wildlife garden, “I can image summer nights sat out there with a glass of wine”, said Dot, “Just because we’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean we can’t sneak off and have a glass of wine in the garden occasionally”.

Countdown to garden launch

posted 22 Jun 2016, 03:35 by Beechwood Huddersfield   [ updated 22 Jun 2016, 03:35 ]

We're now very close to our ultimate goal of reopening the garden for the residents of Beechwood. 

Over recent weeks there has been a flurry of activity to get the garden finished for the official reopening on 15th July 2016.

The stone gazebo has been been re-roofed, revamped and had access ramps installed.Lighting and a sound system have also been installed in the gazebo to create a terrific resource for residents.

Residents, staff, volunteers and all the organisations and individuals that have helped recreate the garden will be joined by Dr Ingrid M Roscoe, Lord-Lieutenant of West Yorkshire who will perform the official reopening.

The invite-only event will form a double celebration as 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of Beechwood as a Leonard Cheshire home.

Beechwood's stone gazeebo
Almost complete!
Beechwood garden

The squirrel can't wait!

Vote for Beechwood at Birchencliffe Wyevale Garden Centre

posted 13 Nov 2015, 08:20 by Beechwood Huddersfield

Over the course of the next few weeks customers at Birchencliffe Wyevale Garden Centre, will be able to vote in a competition that will see the transformation of the winning community project's green space in spring 2016. 

Customers at  Birchencliffe Wyevale garden centre will be able to vote for their favourite group by placing a plant bulb - given to them at the tills when they make a purchase - within the box of their choice.

The shortlist at Birchencliffe is as follows:
  • Beechwood Care Home 
  • Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice
  • Lindley Junior School
The shortlist was drawn up following nominations by the centre teams, culminating in internal centre votes.
Once the voting has drawn to a close, the winning community groups will be introduced to Wyevale Garden Centres’ landscape designer, who will work with them to give their outside space a spring clean, just in time for summer when the garden really comes in to its own for people’s enjoyment. 

Birchencliffe Wyedale Community Project Vote
Andrew Tyers, Sue Whitaker and Kathryn Wightman at Birchencliffe Garden Centre launch Garden Makeover competition.

Wyevale Garden Vote

Young Citizens' boost for Beechwood

posted 2 Oct 2015, 02:03 by Beechwood Huddersfield

 National Citizens Service
Two group of young people from the National Citizens Service (NCS) have been working wonders at Beechwood. 

Over recent weeks they've been getting to know the residents and staff and have participated in group activities at Beechwood. This helped in the process of generating ideas for raising funds for us, which they they had to present to a group of 'dragons' from the NSC.

This resulted in a fund-raising wheelchair race and other activities. The money raised was  matched by Barclay's Bank brought.

In late September Gemma McCorkindale, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Beechwood, attended the NCS graduation event where the young people presented Beechwood with a cheque for an amazing £2,562.

"It's been fantastic to work with the young people NCS and watch their confidence grow", said Gemma, "they've also brought a real injection of youthful energy to Beechwood. We're very proud of them."

All the money raised will going towards completing the garden project and running garden based activities over the coming 12 months.

About the National Citizen's Service

NCS is a once-in-a-lifetime experience for 16-17 year olds. 

It takes place during school holidays, for two to three weeks and helps young people develop their character and gain key skills needed for employment like resilience, confidence and leadership. 

Not only that, but NCS looks great on CVs and is now recognised by UCAS.

Pathways Progress!

posted 29 Aug 2015, 04:29 by Beechwood Huddersfield   [ updated 8 Jul 2016, 04:22 ]

During August  pathway contractors KBI spent 2 days laying down a superb bonded gravel surface on the pathways. 
This makes all of the paths in the garden fully accessible for powered wheelchairs! 

Its another great milestone towards creating a garden fit for Beechwood's residents.

Great new path surfacing

The new barbeque

Paths and rockery

Volunteers work their garden magic!

posted 23 Jul 2015, 00:34 by Beechwood Huddersfield   [ updated 23 Jul 2015, 00:35 ]

In a flurry of activity over June and July The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) have transformed Beechwood's garden!

Staff and volunteers from the charity's Hollybush Centre in Leeds turned out in force over several days to create a garden that we've long hoped for.

The new pergola

Working through both sunshine and showers TCV have:

  • Constructed a stunning new entrance pergola
  • Clear vegetation from parts of the pond
  • Built a large wooden planting bay
  • Created a rockery corner
  • Put up safety railing
  • Built a new brick barbeque
  • Planted the first shrubs

Veolia UK
Special thanks are due to local MP Barry Sheerman who put us in touch with Veolia, who generously donated fout tonnes of topsoil for the garden. The soil is a special new 'growing medium' produced by Veolia from composted material.

Its wonderful material to handle and looks great, and is just what we need to make Beechwood blossom!

TCV have made a major contribution to getting the garden ready for our residents. The only big things we need to do now is surfacing the paths and repairing the stone gazebo! Check out the photos below! (click to enlarge)

The Pergola

The Rockery and Pond

Looking towards the stone gazebo

The Perogola

Beechwood in the sun

New planting bay

Summer Fayre raises over £500 for the garden

posted 23 Jul 2015, 00:02 by Beechwood Huddersfield   [ updated 23 Jul 2015, 00:35 ]

Clowning around

Beechwood descended into organised chaos on June 24th with a summer fundraiser that netted for £500 for Making Beechwood Blossom.

A whole variety of stalls helped pull in the punters, whilst fun and games entertained the kids (including lots of big kids!).

Fun in the sun

Wet Sponge Fun

Highlights included:
  • Wet sponge throwing stall
  • Cakes, cakes and more cakes
  • Raffle with fantastic first prize
  • The superb weather!
  • Did we mention the cake?

A big thank goes out to all those who donated their time and money to help make Beechwood Blossom.

Summer Fayre
Party Animals!

Da Sando Risterante & Pizzeria
Da Sandro Pizzeria and Restaurant, Huddersfield

Da Sandro

Cartwright Cars

Howden's Joinery raise thousands in the Great North Run

posted 11 Jan 2015, 06:46 by Beechwood Huddersfield

Howden's Great North Run fundraiser

Staff from Howdens Joinery have raised an incredible £7,576.55 for the garden project by running their socks off in the Great North run.

"This gives the Making Beechwood Blossom project a tremendous boost, and we couldn't have wished for a better New Year's gift", said Gemma McCorkindale, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Beechwood.

"We're so grateful to all those who took and part, and everyone who sponsored them. You can be assured that we'll put every penny to good use in creating a wonderful garden for residents".

Howdens Joinery and Leonard Cheshire Disability
Howdens Joinery have a longstanding relationship with Leonard Cheshire Disability, and have made many in-kind donations of accessible kitchens, and undertaken regular fundraising for the charity.

To everyone at Howdens, thank you so much for your efforts and generosity!!!

Making Beechwood Blossom - The Movie

posted 6 Dec 2014, 05:04 by Beechwood Huddersfield   [ updated 13 Feb 2015, 05:22 ]

Our friends at Pixel Factory have now added the finishing touches to a great 5-minute video on the Making Beechwood Blossom story so far. It was filmed at the celebration event for the completion of Stage One of the garden project.

For details of how you can help Make Beechwood Blossom, go to our Donate page.

We're off!

posted 28 Oct 2014, 14:33 by Beechwood Huddersfield   [ updated 28 Oct 2014, 14:33 ]

'Beechwood care home in Edgerton launches appeal for garden project' 
(The Huddersfield Examiner 2th October 2014) 
Autumn drizzle couldn't dampen the spirits of residents at a Huddersfield care home – who are getting a new garden.

They joined staff and VIPs to launch a campaign to raise funds for the second and final phase of a scheme to transform the dilapidated Victorian grounds at Beechwood, Edgerton, into an accessible, wildlife-friendly garden.

Resident Dot Goodall cut a ribbon to mark the launch of the appeal while Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman and Colne Valley counterpart Jason McCartney were among those taking part in the launch and celebrating the work done so far under the Making Beechwood Blossom project.

Staff at the home have been working with Huddersfield-based not-for-profit organisation Environmental Alliance on the scheme – and earlier this year got a major boost by raising £10,000 for the work from the sale of surplus flagstones.
Huddersfield Examiner article 28.10.14

“The money we've raised has enabled us to remodel the garden and create full wheelchair access,” said Beechwood volunteer co-ordinator Gemma McCorkindale, “We now have a superb ‘blank canvas’ which we hope to transform into a vibrant and colourful garden ready for spring and summer next year.”

In the past few months, volunteers from Turnbridge-based engineering company Cummins Turbo Technologies have been helping to complete phase one before the onset of winter. Local contractors employed on the project have also helped out by donating time and use of machinery.

In the next six months, it is hoped to raise a further £20,000 to complete the project. The work to be done includes:

“future proofing” new access paths with a bonded gravel surface
  • constructing raised beds for residents to grow vegetables and flowers
  • buying special tools to enable the 26 residents to plant, weed and harvest
  • paying for wheelchair gardening experts to support residents in learning new growing skills 
  • buying seeds, bulbs, shrubs, fruit trees, planters and compost.
Praising the efforts of those involved, Mr Sheerman said: 
“The Making Beechwood Blossom project is an inspirational example of a partnership project bringing together a charity, local businesses and volunteers to create a wildlife-friendly garden for residents to enjoy. I’m sure the business community will join with local people in backing this fundraising effort to create a garden that residents will be thrilled to call their own.”

Mr McCartney added:
 “It’s been wonderful to see what’s been achieved by a dedicated team from across the Huddersfield area for the benefit of residents who are faced with numerous challenges on a daily basis. The fundraising campaign to Make Beechwood Blossom by next spring, has my full backing and I encourage businesses to think how they might be able to contribute.”

Businesses able to assist in the crucial second phase of the work can contact Gemma by phone on 01484 429626 or email:

Click here to make a donation.

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