Leonard Cheshire

In 2004, Howdens formed a partnership with Leonard Cheshire, based on a shared belief in putting local communities first. For the past 12 years, Howdens has worked closely with the UK's leading charity for disabled people to support and empower thousands across the country, donating over £3.2m.

Like Howdens, Leonard Cheshire believes in local support. The charity helps people with physical and learning disabilities to live independently, contribute economically and participate fully in their local communities. It does this through residential homes, day centres, social, educational and leisure services, and care services for people in their own homes - all provided by local staff and volunteers. This understanding of the value of local relationships is the foundation of our partnership.

Over the last 12 years, the partnership between Howdens and Leonard Cheshire has grown from strength to strength.

Donating and developing Inclusive Kitchens

For many residents in Leonard Cheshire homes, preparing food is an important and enjoyable part of life. We have used our knowledge and resources to make this as easy as possible, and over the years have developed a range of affordable Inclusive Kitchens, with features and modifications for people with different disabilities. Howdens has donated many Inclusive Kitchens to Leonard Cheshire homes.

'Can Do' project

In 2011, we began supporting and funding Leonard Cheshire's 'Can Do' project, which gives young adults with disabilities the chance to volunteer in their own communities. This often involves training and sometimes leads to employment. Currently the project takes place in seven regions, and is piloting in Scotland.

Fundraising and volunteering

Howdens staff have been involved in various fundraising challenges for Leonard Cheshire, including the Great North Run, London Marathon, Dambusters Run and Tri-Together Triathlon.

Find out more about our partnership activities

Jump to year:



May 2018

The start of an incredible journey…

On Sunday 29 July, four of our employees will have just 8½ hours to complete the Prudential RideLondon to Surrey 100 mile bike challenge...

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April 2018

London workshop inspires disabled people to fulfill career ambitions

Leonard Cheshire and Howden’s Joinery teamed up to inspire disabled people with tips for career success...

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March 2018

24-hour cycle challenge

Staff at the King’s Lynn depot took on a 24-hour cycling challenge for Leonard Cheshire, raising over £1400 and counting...

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February 2018

Can Do goes international

Reece, 21, lives with his family in Portsmouth. He was born with a brain injury, has a learning disability, hearing impairment and a physical impairment. He wanted to join Can Do to help other people, this is his story...

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January 2018

From Can Do to a new job!

Jonathan is 28 and has a learning disability. This is his story...

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December 2017

Help the homeless this Christmas? Can Do!

Young disabled volunteers from Leonard Cheshire Disability helped homeless people to stay warm at Christmas...

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November 2017

George's story

George, from Portsmouth, is 23 and has cerebral palsy. In 2017 he joined Leonard Cheshire’s volunteering programme Can Do, supported by Howdens. This is his story...

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October 2017

An interview at The Manor

Earlier this year The Manor, a Leonard Cheshire service in Huntingdon, was the recipient of Howdens 100th inclusive kitchen donation. The charity returned three months later to find out how they’re getting on with it...

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September 2017

Howdens’ Great North Run!

On Sunday 17th September, 26 Howdens employees pounded the pavement for 13.1 miles around Newcastle, raising money for Leonard Cheshire Disability...

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August 2017

Setting the Agenda: Can Do Steering Group

A few weeks ago, more than fifteen ‘Can Doers’ from across the country took part in one of Leonard Cheshire's two National Steering Group meetings, which enable Can Do participants to review the programme and set the agenda for the next round of activities across all 20 locations...

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July 2017

Howdens and Leonard Cheshire reach milestone

Hundreds of disabled people across the country can enjoy the many benefits of cooking, after 100 new inclusive kitchens were fitted at Leonard Cheshire services...

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June 2017

Howdens support Leonard Cheshire’s Centenary Gala Dinner

On the 8th June 2017, distinguished guests gathered at London’s Guildhall, to celebrate 100 years since the birth of war hero and philanthropist Leonard Cheshire. The evening raised funds for disabled people in the UK and around the world...

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May 2017

‘Can Do’ers Jake and Callum

After doing some volunteering at Southend’s Homeless Charity, a group of ‘Can Do’ers were inspired to think of other ways to help their community...

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April 2017

'Can Do' Gardening

This volunteering project in Southend was designed to transform an overgrown, unused site into a working allotment...

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March 2017

Thank you Bill

In August 2004, our charities manager Bill, started looking for a charity that Howdens could support...

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January 2017

Residents do Come Dine with Me

Residents at Cheshire House in Inverness had been waiting with baited breath for the day they’d be able to use their new Inclusive kitchen, and what better way to kick off than with a Come Dine with Me competition...

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November 2016

Can Do heads to Parliment

On 15th November, Leonard Cheshire Disability held an exciting Parliamentary Reception in London to raise awareness of the need for greater support for young disabled people to achieve their dreams...

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September 2016

Bringing the community together in Barrow-in-Furness

Over the summer, Caroline at the Barrow-in-Furness depot has been busy designing one of the largest projects we’ve done for Leonard Cheshire Disability...

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July 2016

Growing Confidence in the Kitchen

At Howdens, supporting local people is the bedrock of our business. We seek to provide opportunities for people from all backgrounds, which is why we fund Can Do, a youth volunteering programme run by Leonard Cheshire Disability...

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June 2016

Celebrations fit for a Queen

On Sunday 12th June, members of staff joined Leonard Cheshire Disability staff and service users to celebrate with the charity’s Patron, Her Majesty the Queen, at her 90th birthday street party...

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September 2015

Another great run from our team

A team of 26 runners from Howdens Joinery participated in this year’s Great North Run, raising more than £8,000 towards the outstanding work Leonard Cheshire Disability do in the community...

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June 2015

Nominated for Best Business Charity Partnership

Howdens Joinery and Leonard Cheshire Disability have been working in partnership for 10 years and in recognition of this strong bond, which continues to grow, the relationship was shortlisted for the Best Business Charity Partnership by the National Fundraising Awards 2015...

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May 2014

'Can Do' Project, Hindley

SK Independent Living Services (SKILS) provides opportunities for people with support needs to enhance their life skills through community volunteering. Working in partnership with SKILS in Hindley, ‘Can Do’ has helped volunteers prepare for placements in the Wigan area...

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March 2014

Bill Everett - our Charities Manager

Howdens' Charities Manager Bill Everett was nominated by Leonard Cheshire Disability for the Corporate and Public Sector Charity Champion at the Charity Staff Foundation Awards, which he was very honoured to win in March 2014...

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October 2013


In October 2013, five Howdens’ employees took part in the Dambusters Run for Leonard Cheshire Disability. David Collins, James Morris, Kevin Sadler, Mark Fiander and Stephen Taggart ran from Le Court in Hampshire (the site of the first Leonard Cheshire home for people with disabilities) to Blisworth in Northamptonshire...

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September 2013

Running total

In 2013, a Howdens team of 27 entered the Great North Run, raising more than £8,000 towards an accessible minibus for Kenmore, a Leonard Cheshire Disability home in West Yorkshire. They all trained hard – with some impressive results...

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September 2012

Three times a winner

After completing the Great North Run and Tri Together London in 2012 for Leonard Cheshire, Claire Cook of the Consett depot in County Durham entered again in 2013...

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June 2012

Bells Piece Care Home, Farnham

With extensive grounds, Bells Piece is a wonderful home, growing its own fruit and vegetables. To make the most of this, staff wanted to develop a kitchen where they could produce jam and other foods commercially, with residents joining in. They also wanted to use it to teach young people with learning disabilities how to cook and enjoy healthy eating – they would offer qualifications and, for a few, employment...

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October 2011

Kenmore Care Home, Cleckheaton

For residents at Kenmore, a nursing and care home for adults with physical disabilities, the large kitchen and dining area is an important social hub. There is also a smaller kitchen on a lower level of the building, which was used by carers. The brief to Howdens in 2011 was to make the large kitchen more practical for wheelchair users and to put the smaller kitchen to better use...

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September 2011

Trying together - and succeeding

Tri Together is an annual triathlon held by Leonard Cheshire in London and Glasgow. It provided the perfect opportunity for Andy Whetnall, Depot Manager at Howdens in West Norwood, London, to combine charity fundraising with a team-building activity...

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May 2011

White Windows Care Home, Halifax

At White Windows, a nursing and care home for adults with physical disabilities, meal times are an important part of the social life, and residents often help plan menus. The house was built in 1769, and the previous kitchen was often unsuitable for the home’s residents – so Howdens’ main task in 2011 was to create a space for residents to use, with facilities designed for all levels of mobility...

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April 2011

'Can Do' Project, Bristol

In Bristol ‘Can Do’ co-ordinators work closely with the City of Bristol College. This partnership has helped young adults with learning difficulties, dyslexia and autism achieve a great deal – and some have now gained qualifications in first aid and sports coaching...

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December 2010

Hovenden House Care Home, Fleet

Built in 1911, Hovenden House provides a range of services for adults with physical disabilities. It has a large kitchen and utility area – but this was impractical for wheelchair users who could not get close to the base and wall units, and had difficulty reaching sinks and taps...

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September 2010

Great run for a great cause

Keith Sutton, a registered joiner with the Howdens Alnwick depot, took part in the Great North Run, and raised more than £600 for Leonard Cheshire Disability...

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August 2010

Ground force

Park House in Sandringham was built in 1863 by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII. In 1983, Her Majesty The Queen, Patron of Leonard Cheshire Disability, offered the house as a Leonard Cheshire home, and it was converted into a country house hotel for disabled people...

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September 2009

Bearing fruit

The Orchard is a Leonard Cheshire care home in Liverpool for adults with physical or learning disabilities. Transport is vital for residents to stay involved with the local community, and in Autumn 2009 the home was trying to raise money for a new minibus...

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June 2009

Working in partnership

The Beechwood Leonard Cheshire Home in Huddersfield has been providing a valuable service to the local community for nearly 50 years offering rooms for residents, as well as day care...

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September 2008

Northern stars

Brian Buchan and Andrea Hill work in the Howdens Dundee depot, and Dougie Breen is the local Area Manager. In September 2008, they completed the Great North Run from Newcastle to South Shields...

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October 2007

Fethneys Care Home, Worthing

The university-style environment at Fethneys is designed to help young adults with disabilities enjoy the transition to independent living. The kitchen is a vital part of this, where residents can gain a Life and Living Skills award, accredited by Chichester College...

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April 2007

Going the extra mile

Paul Ryman first worked for Howdens at the Banbury depot, then as Depot Manager at Old Wolverton in Buckinghamshire. He was inspired to take up running after visiting a friend at a Leonard Cheshire home, and hearing that Howdens was involved with the Blenheim Palace five-mile run...

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March 2007

Champion House Care Home, Calverley

A residential and nursing home, Champion House supports people with disabilities and sensory impairments in a comfortable environment. In 2007, staff and residents decided the large kitchen needed improving...

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March 2006

Sobell Lodge, Staplehurst

This home for physically disabled adults is set in the peaceful rural village of Staplehurst near Maidstone, Kent...

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February 2006

Mickley Hall, Totley

A two storey Victorian home situated in the pleasant Sheffield suburb of Totley, right on the edge of the Peak District Country Park...

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November 2005

Hydon Hill, Godalming

A single storey residential home near Godalming, Surrey providing a range of services for adults with physical disabilities...

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