Historic Celebration held at Gretton House in Northamptonshire
Throughout this year, Gretton House, our specialist residential service which supports adults with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its founding. The Grade II listed manor house and landscaped gardens in the Northamptonshire country village of Gretton played host to some very special guests in mid-May, as part of those celebrations and to mark PWS Awareness Month.
Every year during the month of May we launch a campaign to support Prader-Willi Syndrome Awareness Month to help raise awareness of the condition. This year our campaign has focused on how care and support for PWS has evolved in so many ways over the years; the milestones reached, the emotive changes for people living with PWS bought about through increased understanding and tried and tested support strategies which help them manage their condition. So much has changed (for the better) over four decades – it’s been a journey!
Among the guests who attended the 40th Birthday Party were Valerie Reynolds and her daughter Nicky Eager, who were both welcomed back to Gretton House to mark four decades since it first became a residential service. This was the vision of Valerie’s husband Maurice, and the family lived and worked there until 2006, when they retired and sold their home to Consensus.
All the 15 people living at Gretton House, together with the whole staff team, joined in to make the occasion extra festive, festooning a marquee with decorations hand-made by the supported individuals, as well as balloons and flower arrangements. Gardens games were placed around the beautiful grounds including giant jenga, crazy golf and cactus hoopla, which everyone had great fun getting involved in.
With the sun shining, the Gretton House chefs put on a delicious afternoon tea which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. From handmade smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches to mini Victoria sponge cakes and homemade fresh scones with jam and clotted cream, the supported individuals certainly enjoyed their midweek treat.
Guests came to the anniversary event from across the UK and from every part of Consensus. They were welcomed by Chief Operating Officer of Consensus Eddie Morgan, Gretton House Service Manager Chris Lack and his support team, as well as Operations Manager Gail Ghavami and PWS Strategic Leads for Consensus Kathryn Clarke and Myles Kelly. Between them, Gail, Kathryn and Myles have well over 100 years of knowledge and experience, and each has a well-deserved reputation for providing high standards and best practice in Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) support since beginning their social care careers in the early and mid-1980s.
Among the attractions for everyone on the day was an opportunity to see, for the first time, a film charting the history of Gretton House and the present-day services for those with PWS.
After enjoying afternoon tea on the lawn, Valerie and Nicky were joined by Eddie, Chris, Gail, Kathryn and Myles to place a commemorative time capsule in the grounds. As a memento of the 40th anniversary, the capsule contained messages and memories from the many people who had lived and worked at Gretton House from 1982 until the present day. It also included keepsakes from the 22 other Consensus Gretton services in England and Scotland where people with PWS are supported.
“Gretton House first opened as a privately-owned residential home for more than 30 adults with learning disabilities and then welcomed someone with PWS a year later in 1983,” Eddie said. “At that time, it was regarded as the best of the best in terms of care and support for adults with learning disabilities and PWS. It paved the way for the development in 1997 of the UK’s first dedicated PWS service, and further Consensus Gretton services that followed. We are very proud to carry on that tradition of providing the highest standards of care and an exceptional living environment, as well as unrivalled expertise in supporting people with PWS.”
Chris added: “Since 1982, this beautiful building has supported and cared for people with PWS and learning disabilities from all corners of the UK and further afield. Today, the Consensus Gretton services support almost 100 people with PWS and have cared for approximately 100 others over the years. As service manager of Gretton House, I was delighted to welcome Val and Nicky back to see how their former home has, as a result, saved countless lives and improved the quality of life for everyone who’s come to live here and in our other services.”
To view our 2022 campaign in full please visit our campaign page.