The Grange is a friendly and welcoming organisation supporting people with disabilities to achieve their potential and live independent and fulfilling lives.
We are a charity, a social enterprise and a housing association based in an old Victorian house with 8-acres of grounds in the quiet village of Bookham. It’s a safe haven for more vulnerable people but with excellent links to the village Leatherhead and Epsom and offering high-quality accommodation with different support packages depending on people’s needs. We’re unique in Surrey because we can offer these services alongside a wide programme of skills training - all on one site. People can choose from horticulture in our Victorian Walled Garden, Catering, Creative Arts & Textiles, Woodwork and IT. Alternatively they can go offsite to a local drama group or other activities.
We offer accommodation for 16 people in Residential Care, another 44 in Supported Living flats both onsite and in the village of Bookham plus another five young women in our house in Epsom. Some 20 people come in for activities on a daily basis and we are expanding this number.
People with disabilities often lack self-esteem so much of our work is about building confidence step-by-step. It’s wonderful to see someone learn to catch the bus by themselves or make their own lunch for the first time.
To offer people a chance to build their skills, we run several mini businesses. Grange@No5 is a shop in Bookham selling hand-made gifts and providing personalised embroidery on cards, babywear and workwear. We run a lunchtime café in Dorking and our Simply Scones tea room held on Tuesdays is famous locally for its cream teas. We have a gift shop ‘Inspirations’ in Dorking, a fudge-making business and a small book order fulfilment operation. Our horticulture trainees sell their produce in the Walled Garden Shop and at local markets.
These activities give people with disabilities the chance to gain skills and confidence as they work towards gaining a work experience placement. About 30 local companies provide us with work experience opportunities and there’s always excitement when someone goes off for their placement in their Waitrose uniform or goes to Polesden Lacey to do tour guide or café work.
Note: the head office is based in Bookham - there is also a Grange House in Epsom.