My gift of happiness and care

30 June 2017

My daughter Jenny was a resident at Greenhill House, a Leonard Cheshire Disability care home near Bath for seventeen years.

She was born prematurely, one of twins. Unfortunately she had severe epilepsy caused by brain damage, which meant she needed a great deal of care.

Jenny was a very happy person, who gave and received a lot of love during her short life. She was a very important part of our family and was devoted to her brothers and sisters.

Greenhill House became part of our extended family, and she was cared for there with much love.

The atmosphere throughout the home was one of friendliness and awareness of the needs of everyone who lived there.

When Jenny died in 1991 in her 30s, the staff were very supportive. Her ashes are buried in the grounds there, high on a bank where layers of daffodils were planted.

Each spring when the flowers are in bloom I visit and I am always greeted with such warmth by the staff and the people who live there, many of whom remember Jenny.

It’s always lovely to return and feel so welcome in a place where Jenny was so happy.

I am 90 years of age this year, but my children, who sometimes accompany me, have promised me they will continue the yearly pilgrimage.

I was lucky enough to meet Leonard Cheshire, the founder of Leonard Cheshire Disability, at Greenhill House shortly before he died. I said to him ‘you must be pleased to have achieved so much during your lifetime.’ He responded to me ‘but there is so much more to do.’

Leonard Cheshire is a truly inspirational man. The charity he founded has now grown to over 200 services for disabled people in the UK, and support for thousands of people around the world to have greater choice and independence.

Every day, they support people like Jenny to live their lives to the fullest.

My conversation with Leonard Cheshire has always stayed with me, and by leaving a gift in my Will to Leonard Cheshire Disability, I feel I have found my own small way of doing something more for disabled people.

It makes me very glad to know that after I’ve gone, my legacy will be helping more disabled people to be as happy and well cared for as Jenny was during her time at Greenhill House.

Beryl Knight, Leonard Cheshire Disability supporter

Find out more about Leonard Cheshire Disability.