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Leonard Cheshire

Leonard Cheshire

Our partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability began in 2005. At the core of the relationship is a shared belief on the value of local relationships and putting local communities first.

Together we have been able to create spaces that help those with physical and learning disabilities live more independently. With the help of Howdens in 2013, Leonard Cheshire Disability opened their first training kitchen for young disabled people at their care home in Bell’s Piece, Farnham. Within its first four months, 50 students supported by “Can Do” each completed five healthy eating workshops.

Working in partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability we have developed a leading range of kitchen and joinery products designed for disabled people or those with limited mobility including rise and fall worktop systems, rise and fall handles and adjustable wall cabinets. This means that many of our kitchens can be adapted for inclusive living. The kitchen designs now feature in many of Leonard Cheshire’s care homes, with the products available for individual homeowners too.

In addition, Howdens supports Leonard Cheshire at a fundraising level and staff are encouraged to take part in events and challenges that raise awareness and money. The company also backs Leonard Cheshire’s Can Do initiative, which gives young adults the chance to gain valuable work experience in the hope of empowering them to find paid employment and further freedoms.

£750,000

donated in 2019

27

inclusive kitchens donated in 2019

15th year

of partnership with Leonard Cheshire

At the heart of their communities, Howdens colleagues have gone the extra mile to support the charities, local causes and clubs  close to their hearts.

Latest Videos

Below you will find a selection of our latest video’s

A Truly Local business

In 2019 our staff have made a real difference to people across the UK by making donations and supporting the local communities in which we work.

Community Case Studies

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Truly local

Be it at our depots or our central office, our staff passionately give time and energy to helping charities in their area. Meet the people behind the good deeds and learn more about the often-extraordinary challenges they undertake.

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Leonard Cheshire

UK-based charity Leonard Cheshire Disability has been our partner for over a decade. During this time, we have designed and provided kitchens for their care homes, and also collaborated to expand their volunteering initiative. Learn more about the relationship and how it continues to evolve.

Leonard Cheshire

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Developing inclusive kitchens

Preparing a meal is a simple pleasure, yet it often presents obstacles for those with physical and learning disabilities. With Leonard Cheshire, we have been able to develop a range of workspaces that make meal preparation not only possible, but enjoyable too. Throughout the development stages, we identified that a successful inclusive kitchen design is twofold. It needs to remove the barriers conventional designs pose on independent living, whilst also looking good. The result is a choice of over 70 inspirational designs, with features such as easy-reach ovens, height-adjustable worktops and lower-level cabinetry with pull-out accessories.

Developing inclusive kitchens
for Life-enhancing donations 761x622

Life-enhancing donations

Our product range is an obvious match for Leonard Cheshire’s care homes. We have donated over 130 kitchens to date, equipping the homes with state-of-the-art facilities for residents’ everyday needs. A selection of kitchens provided are so-called ‘training’ kitchens, where cooking and cleaning skills can be practised ready for independent living. Beyond this, we have pledged to supply and fit more kitchens wherever needed in Leonard Cheshire care homes. Feedback from residents has been extremely positive, with comments including, “The new kitchen will enable me to cook like I did when I was at home, before my stroke.”

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The Can Do Project

Can Do is Leonard Cheshire’s volunteering programme for young people with disabilities and long-term health conditions. The scheme places individuals into community-based roles tailored to their specific needs, in order to boost skills and confidence. Since becoming involved, Howdens has played an important part in expanding the project from four national locations to 18. In 2018, we joined forces again to add a programme of employability workshops to the Can Do slate, which cover job-search techniques and CV-writing skills. Participants speak highly about their experiences, with one commenting, “It has been great at supporting me to make some important changes to my life. This experience had really helped me to improve my self-confidence.”

Developing inclusive kitchens
Life-enhancing donations
The Can Do Project

Supporting Leonard Cheshire Disability

Colleagues across Howdens continue to raise thousands of pounds through incredible fundraising activity alongside donating hundreds of hours of their time volunteering.

Great North Run

Great North Run

Throughout the year, our employees give their time to numerous fundraising events and voluntary work in support of Leonard Cheshire. In 2017, 30 staff from across our depots and support sites signed up to take part in the Great North Run. The half-marathon, which goes from Newcastle to South Shields, takes place in September, which meant tough training sessions throughout the summer months for the runners. Alongside training, they focused on raising as much money as possible, through bucket collections at depots, Just Giving pages and bake sales. In total, they made over £5,000, and happily claimed their medals at the end of the race.

RideLondon-Surrey

RideLondon-Surrey

When four employees took on the challenge of cycling 100 miles, we arranged a mentor for them in the form of cycling journalist Rebecca Charlton. She helped prepare the team of riders for the challenge with practical tips, plus a 66-mile practice ride on a very warm day. The weather was less kind during the race itself, but the team rode through the rain and completed the course in their target times. Together, they made £20,000. “The amount of money that we’ve raised is amazing for Leonard Cheshire,” said Kitchen Sales Designer Jessica Lines at the end. “That kept me going when it was cold and wet.”

Usha’s care home support

Usha’s care home support

Every Monday, Payroll Administrator Usha Mandora volunteers at Chiltern House, a Leonard Cheshire care home in Gerrards Cross. Over the five years she has been volunteering, Usha has forged close relationships with the residents. “If it’s someone’s birthday or a special occasion, I make food to take in. It’s lovely getting to know everyone, and their families too.” She has progressed onto becoming a Keyworker, and now helps Sandra, 71, with paperwork and shopping, as well as taking her for a coffee or a bite to eat. Usha, who also sits on the home’s fundraising committee, says, “I’ll do more as the years go by. People are always needed to help, so should get involved if they can.”