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Hydon Hill – Leonard Cheshire DisABILITY

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Hydon Hill is one of the very many Leonard Cheshire DisABILITY services in the UK and throughout the world which Leonard Cheshire, VC, one of the most decorated pilots of WWII, developed to care for disabled people of all ages and conditions with the aim of “giving each individual person the greatest possible choice as regards all aspects of living.” Nowadays LCD has branched out to provide inclusive education, IT training, work opportunities and campaigning.

Situated in Clock Barn Lane, the home was rebuilt in the 1970s and now is home to 40 residents, many with Multiple Sclerosis, Acquired Brain Injury or who have had strokes. While for some the idea of a large residential home is an anathama, for others it may prove to be an escape from an increasingly isolated existence where the very ordinary things of living become a burden. Why struggle for 40 minutes to do up buttons when someone else can do it in 40 seconds leaving time for a more fulfilling activity – reading the papers?

For some residents, Hydon Hill is a home (very much with a little ‘h’) for life. For others it is a staging post to more independent living. For everyone it is somewhere to live life to the fullest.

The well trained and devoted staff, some of whom come from abroad and many who live on site, provide all the care which enables residents to enjoy the facilities within the home such as cooking, music, gardening, games, painting and pottery. In the surrounding community they do things such as carriage driving, sailing, going for meals out, theatre and more.

Basic funding comes from the state but all the extras such a specialist equipment, wheelchairs, physio, and occupational therapy come from local fund-raising and participation by people and companies in and around Godalming.

A wonderful recent addition is the sensory garden designed for free and built with much help in materials and labour from Harry Hall of Hall Hunter. It was formally opened in September by the Lord Lieutenant of Surrey, Mr Michael More Molyneux.

Their ‘Charity Shop in the Woods’ sells everything which has been donated and is entirely staffed by volunteers. It is open Monday to Friday, from May to October from 11am until 4pm and from November to April from 11am until 3pm. It is also open from 10am to 1pm on the first Saturday of the month.

They welcome volunteers to help with personal tasks such as letter writing, mending, shopping, care of plants, a chat and a cup of tea or even a drink from the bar! Any amount of time from an hour to a day or more is greatly appreciated.

They also encourage support groups to raise funds for the home, which they do in a multitude of ways; fairs, coffee mornings, bridge teas, sponsored walks, etc. The Hydon Hobble, organised by Chris Arthey, has become an annual cross country event.

They are happy to have Duke of Edinburgh award youngsters as part of their social care programme. They are well supported and seem to derive much from their time with the home.

Are you a group or organisation looking for speakers for your meetings? Try Hydon Hill!

Why not pay them a visit and pop into the shop. Any money you spend there goes straight to the home and donations for the shop are always welcomed.

You can contact them on 01483 860516, by email at hydon@leonardcheshire.org or by writing to Hydon Hill, Clock Barn Lane, Godalming GU8 4BA.

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