The continuing miracle of Hollybank
Civic dignitaries were out in force for the opening of a new children’s home - but no-one could deny the real stars of the occasion were the children themselves.
Two MPs, three mayors and the West Yorkshire High Sheriff joined parents, supporters, children and staff for the official opening of Orchard Court at Hollybank Trust in Mirfield.
The building will be home to eight of Hollybank’s youngest residential school children and provide seven short break or respite beds for other profoundly disabled children.
The £1.7m project which took a year to complete, was made possible partly from grants, fundraising and generous donations from supporters of the Trust. Future plans include linking the open balconies and patios to the gardens, and introducing coloured and interactive lighting, jetted water features and other sensory elements.
Batley and Spen MP Mike Wood handed over a symbolic key to the children to officially open the event.
Other guests included the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire Virginia Lloyd, the Mayor of Kirklees Coun Martyn Bolt, the Mayor of Calderdale Coun Ann Martin and the Mayor of Mirfield Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton.
Mr Wood said: “I am so pleased to be formally opening the latest development in this continuing miracle of Hollybank Trust. I have seen it over the last 20 years develop and grow with always this vision in mind – to provide the very best we can for children and adults with profound and complex disabilities “
Claudette Carter, whose son Freddie will be living in Orchard Court, said: “As parents we owe a huge debt of gratitude to all the people who contributed to this building – and especially the staff who make this place special.”