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Leonard Cheshire Disability

Leonard Cheshire Disability exists to change attitudes to disability and to serve disabled people around the world

Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and Two Bars was a highly decorated British RAF pilot during the Second World War. Among the honours he received as a bomber pilot is the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.

After the war, Leonard Cheshire became a charity worker, setting up the Leonard Cheshire Disability as well as other philanthropic organisations. Leonard Cheshire started the charity in 1948 with a residential home for disabled ex-servicemen at Le Court, a large country house near Liss in Hampshire.

By 1955 there were six Cheshire homes in Britain and by 1992 there were 270 homes in 49 countries. The Charity provides support to disabled people through a variety of different services including care at home, residential care and training. It describes itself as "the UK's leading voluntary sector provider of support services for disabled people". Its goal is to change attitudes to disability and to serve disabled people around the world.

Leonard Cheshire

Picture above shows Leonard Cheshire the founder of Leonard Cheshire Disability.

The Grove, East Carleton, Norfolk

Records go back to around 1865 about the original area of land, incorporating extensive parkland, a lake and small buildings prior to the original building being built in the early part of the last war by the Managing Director and Chairman of a major Norwich engineering company (Laurence Scott and Electromotors). The Grove is situated about 6 miles from the historic and vibrant city of Norwich. It was used to house their employees whose homes had been bombed during the war and, after the war, became a convalescent home for their employees. Their need for this building lessened and in 1961 was sold to the Leonard Cheshire Foundation for £10,000!

The Grove has since been recently redeveloped by the Leonard Cheshire Foundation incorporating a major extension providing a purpose build home for disabled people which was formally opened by HRH Prince Charles in 2001.

Our Commitment to the individual at The Grove

We pride ourselves in the standard of care and support we provide and have recently celebrated our award of an Accredited Practice Development Unit - independently awarded by Leeds University School of Healthcare. We had to satisfy many criteria to attain this award and we strive to make this the ongoing base of our style of service and care aiming to empower residents to reach their full potential through activities of their choice.

This approach is best illustrated in our Practice Development Logo – “All hands together, all voices heard one goal – to support and to value every individual enabling everybody the choice and freedom to live a happy and fulfilled life.”

The needs and aspirations of the people using our services therefore are at the heart of all we do. We are committed to personal choice and independence and support each individual to draw up their own Individual Service Plan to ensure physical, social and personal development needs are met in a truly person- centred way. We are proud of our multi-disciplinary team of staff who go through rigorous induction and ongoing training and supervision to ensure we continue to provide the very highest levels of support to everyone who uses our service.

We aim to provide a personalised and empowering service to everyone who lives here. Individuals are supported to maximise and maintain their independence although as a registered Care Home with Nursing Home with Care, we also offer the additional security of 24 hour nursing care where this is required.

Leonard Cheshire Disability

We encourage people to play a full part in the life and running of services and offer the support of a well trained and committed staff team. Volunteers too, play an important role supporting activities inside and outside the service.

The facilities at the Grove have been extended through the Practice Development Initiative and the hard work of staff, residents and volunteers. As well as activities such as art crafts and music therapies we also now have a specially adapted tranquillity and therapy room incorporating, a sensory room, a gym with ceiling mounted TV, a cinema and karaoke machine. We also have an internet café incorporating skype telephones to maintain contact with friends and family. We have also created a peaceful Japanese garden with its own Koi carp pond overlooking a magnificent lake with fishing and bird watching facilities made accessible by wheelchair friendly pathways, together with numerous patio areas and raised flower and vegetable beds.

Leonard Cheshire Disability

Our Residents

We have an occupancy capacity for 31 residents whose present ages range from 27 upwards. Our residents are referred to us from the NHS and our local social services and come from a range of backgrounds with varying care needs from palliative care to supporting their rehabilitation to enable them to transfer from the Grove and to live independently in purpose built accommodation in the community.

Leonard Cheshire, The Grove's New Minibus

The second of our minibuses became extremely rusty and had mounting repairing liabilities. Having secured funding, our head office advised us of a number of preferred suppliers. Ken Baish (another of our brilliant volunteers with years of motor trade experience) was our mainstay in filtering sales literature from a number of suppliers and comparing prices, checking their ability to meet customer specifications and to become a no nonsense prime contractor.

From a long purchase process we selected Warnerbus. This proved to be good decision as a major manufacturer let us down in supplying our chosen base vehicle, breaching our delivery timescales. Terry Warner took personal charge of our situation and was able to secure an incredible Peugeot bus which exceeded our initial specifications – at our original budget price! Throughout they have been a great company to deal with – and have met all our resident’s specifications.

The formal presentation of the new minibus took place on 6 August 2010 where the local press, along with a member of the RAF joined the team of staff and residents of The Grove.

The vehicle, which has been adapted for wheelchair users, will result in more day trips for people living at The Leonard Cheshire Care Home. And the Royal Air Force, continued its close connection with Leonard Cheshire Disability when Squadron leader Marc Cornell presented the minibus to staff and residents.

The new Peugeot Boxer, which is the home's second minibus, was funded by a local trust. Joanna Paul, Care Home Manager, said the centre's volunteer and paid drivers would be able to take residents out on more shopping trips, days out and visits to see family and friends.

"We are in the middle of the country, and it is a beautiful setting, but we need access to the community and this minibus gives our service users more opportunity to go out into the community", said Joanna. "It really is what Leonard Cheshire is all about: enabling disabled people to reach their full potential," she added.

Picture below shows Leonard Cheshire Home resident, Pat Turrell, Sqn Ldr Marc Cornell (RAF), Jo and Andrew Wallis from Warnerbus, Tracey Baldwin and Joanna Paul (The Grove) with the new minibus.

Some of the Staff and Residents from LCD receiving their new Warnerbus Wheelchair Accessible Minibus

Picture below shows Jo Wallis and Ian Reeve, Leonard Cheshire, The Grove who played a critical role in the design of the new wheelchair accessible minibus.

Ian Reeve (Leonard Cheshire Disability) and Jo Wallis

Our Fund Raising Activities

We were extremely fortunate to have had a tireless fundraiser called Jim Williams who was able to source the entire funds for our new minibus. Jim has since moved back to Australia to manage a fantastic hotel but in the financial year 2009/2010 enabled us to fund some amazing small and large projects to meet some of the items on our residents’ spending wish list.

For the current year, our fundraising has had to recommence and our events team lead by Hilary King, former President of the Norwich Rotary, has given us continued support and has commenced our fundraising initiatives. These are mainly centered on using our beautiful grounds for a range of walks (our latest will be a scarecrow walk – in September which is all due to Doreen and Mike Holman two of our most prolific volunteers).

Recently Waitrose fundraised some £260 for us which is wonderful given the current economic climate which makes fundraising extremely challenging. We are also very grateful for the unsolicited donations we occasionally receive to promote the wellbeing of our residents, including one lady donating her entire “birthday money”.

Our major projects for this year for which we are seeking funds include the completion and upgrade of our lakeside walk for residents and their friends and relatives, stage 2 of our therapy room to extend our sensory unit and stage 2 of our internet café to commence the purchase of software and equipment to meet individual resident needs.

Making Contact:

To find out more, please get in touch with our service manager by:

Calling 01508 570279 or
Or write to The Service Manager, The Grove, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Scotts Hill, East Carleton, Norwich. NR14 8HP Meet a resident of The Grove - Jim Harrald

Click here to read Jim's life story

Jim Harrald - Resident of Leonard Cheshire Disability