Surrey’s Premier Lifestyle Magazine
The grange

The Grange - helping people with learning disabilities

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 13.22.50

Royal Wedding at The Grange, Bookham

The photo above shows Anissa, Sophie, Louise, Fliss and Mary Anne who attend Creative arts session at The Grange charity in Bookham.

The students at The Grange were putting together a new window display for Grange@No5 gift shop in Bookham, which sells items made by residents at The Grange and decided to design Meghan’s dress for the Royal Wedding. The dress is made of paper, doilies and picnic plates.

It’s not the first time The Grange has made clothes for the royal family. The charity was founded 80 years ago as ‘The School of Stitchery and Lace’ for young women with physical disabilities who made many items for Queen Mary and even a dress for Queen Elizabeth when she was a young girl.

This week The Grange celebrates its 80th anniversary, The Grange is helping people with learning disabilities live independent and fulfilling lives. For more information please visit >>>

Bookham charity wins lottery funding


The Grange charity for people with learning disabilities in Bookham has won funding worth £97,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to create a heritage room telling the story of its beginnings as ‘The School of Stitchery and Lace’ founded in 1938.

The project will preserve the charity’s historic collection of needlework, which has royal connections, and create a new interactive learning and heritage space open to all visitors.

The collection includes embroidered items and there are numerous letters between The School and the royal household - from Queen Elizabeth’s nurse ordering a copy of a dress to hand-drawn designs for Queen Mary’s nightgowns.

People with disabilities at The Grange will be involved in the set up and running of the project which will build stronger links between the charity and the local community and will become part of the Bookham Heritage Trail.

Gill Caldwell, from The Grange said: “We are delighted to have won this Heritage Lottery funding and very grateful to lottery players. It will allow us to preserve our historic needlework collection for future generations and couldn’t come at a better time as we celebrate our 80th anniversary in 2018. We would love to hear from anyone with memories of The School of Stitchery and Lace and hope people will contact us.

“The grant will enable us to digitise photographs and letters and make flip books that visitors can handle and read at their leisure. There will be headsets for listing to oral histories as well as interactive games. Once set up, the Heritage room will host learning events and community activities. We particularly want to welcome school groups.”

“When The School - now The Grange - opened in our Victorian mansion in Bookham in 1938, its founder, Miss Julia Sweet, became a pioneer in training women with disabilities in skills that would give them an income and independence. We carry on that tradition today.”

The Grange is the only adult care provider in Surrey able to offer accommodation, care and a wide range of skills training all on one site. With a focus on teaching practical and creative arts including needlework, people can develop life and work skills in the charity’s shops, cafes and mini businesses as well as take part in sessions in horticulture, catering, communications, IT, woodwork and creative arts.

Below: Zena, a tenant of The Grange, with a nightdress case made for Queen Mary
The Grange works with people with disabilities, helping them to lead independent and fulfilling lives by offering residential care and supported living. For more information about its work, please visit our website at:

The Grange, Surrey’s leading charity providing services to people with learning disabilities

Catering group

The Grange in final push to complete Lifting Expectations Appeal to fund a major refurbishment

The Grange, Surrey’s leading charity providing services to people with learning disabilities, is seeking a final £145,000 to complete a major refurbishment.

Already it has raised £475,000 which will help create spaces for 25 new people, enabling them to learn essential skills for the workplace.
The project will deliver a larger IT suite, two extra rooms for skills training and activities, and a Heritage Room telling the story of The Grange, dating back to 1938 in Great Bookham. Then it was The School of Stitchery & Lace for young disabled girls whose work included embroidery for the Royal Family.

The refurb will involve levelling the upstairs floors and widening all corridors for the 15 wheelchair users. Also new will be a lift and automatic doors allowing people to move around more freely.

“This is a fantastic project,” says CEO Sally Lines OBE. “And, if we can get the last £145,000, it will make a huge difference as it will mean we can do the refurbishment in one go and more quickly and economically than if we had to stop and start again.

“The Lifting Expectations Appeal will create 96 new sessions every week, including growing and selling plants; catering for and serving in our two cafes; crafting wooden planters and bird boxes; doing every kind of art and craft activity, and mini experiences like fudge-making and book order fulfilment.

“It’s very sad – some would say a scandal – that people with learning disabilities have the highest rate of unemployment in the UK - over 90%. But we can change that by helping them to build self-esteem and skills and to find work experience or paid employment.”

For more information please visit