Yorkshire-based cash plan provider, Sovereign Health Care, and Henshaws, the Harrogate-based charity supporting people living with sight loss and other disabilities, have announced that Sovereign has donated £50,000 to the campaign to improve and expand the facilities at Henshaws’ Arts & Crafts Centre in North Yorkshire.
The Arts & Crafts Centre provides an essential community hub for its service users, 96% of whom have a learning disability and 57% a physical disability, providing valuable social interaction and helping them develop creativity and friendships. The Sovereign donation will help fund the first phase of a critical multi-million pound project to develop the centre’s facilities and capacity, enabling it to benefit more ‘Art Makers’ and ensuring it is future proofed to accommodate their needs for years to come.
Stephen Tongue, Director of Fundraising at Henshaws, says; “The freedom to create, communicate and socialise with others is something many of us take for granted. For those with a learning or physical disability, it can be much harder to pursue hobbies and participate in activities like music and dance or arts and crafts, yet doing so can have a profound impact on wellbeing, social life, and happiness.
“We see an amazing impact on Art Makers who regularly attend the centre. 53% tell us they’ve gained new independent living skills, and 93% feel less isolated because of the opportunities we provide. We’re so grateful to Sovereign Health Care for their generous donation towards the centre and would love to talk to local businesses, foundations and individuals who share our vision of helping people with a range of disabilities go beyond expectations.”
Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre opened 21 years ago with 50 Art Makers attending weekly workshop sessions, and now accommodates 175 people a week from across the county, allowing them to express themselves through arts and craft, woodwork, singing and drama. The centre urgently needs to undergo development to modernise the disabled changing area and toilet block, and to extend workshop capacity so more people can benefit from this service.
Sovereign Health Care has a longstanding history of supporting charities, groups and organisations that work to improve the health and wellbeing of local people. As a not-for-profit company, Sovereign is able to actively donate between 5 and 10 per cent of its annual turnover through its Community Programme. It donated over £850,000 to local health and wellbeing good causes in 2019 and has contributed more than £7.9m to hundreds of projects over the past 12 years.
Russ Piper, Chief Executive of Sovereign Health Care, said: “The Henshaws Arts & Crafts Centre transforms people’s lives. It builds a closeness and support network between its Art Makers and creates opportunities for social interaction and interaction with the public that would not otherwise exist. It’s a very special place and we felt strongly that we wanted to help expand its reach to more people, revitalise workshops and upgrade facilities. We’re delighted to be able to make this donation and would encourage other local organisations to do the same.”
To find out more about the appeal or to make a donation, you can visit henshawsarts.org.uk, telephone 01423 799619, or visit the centre at Bond End, Knaresborough.
Sovereign Health Care was established 147 years ago and is one of the UK’s longest established providers of health care cash plans to individuals and businesses, with approximately 75,000 customers across the UK. For more information about Sovereign’s Community Programme, visit www.sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/about/community-programme.