Harrogate pupils visit grounds of famous historic building for sports day thanks to Springfield Healthcare
After a challenging year, a Harrogate school has been treated to a real sports day in the grounds of one of the town's most historic buildings thanks to a health care firm.
It was an exciting end of term for the children and teachers from Grove Road Community Primary School as they were able to enjoy sports day in the beautiful gardens of neighbouring Grove House.
The private home of legendary Harrogate mayor Samson Fox in the 19th century, this stunning building has been acquired recently by Springfield Healthcare who intend to convert the historic building and its grounds into a care village over the coming years.
Alongside their current building project, luxury care home Harcourt Gardens, it will give the company a real presence in Harrogate.
Graeme Lee, the founder and CEO of Springfield Healthcare, which is renowned for its luxury care homes in Yorkshire and successfully converting the art deco former headquarters of Terrys's Chocolate in York into a £7 million flagship care village, says supporting events like the sports day are something that’s really important to him in his work.
His home is in Harrogate and he is keen to grow his company in the heart of the town’s community, starting with links with Grove School.
Mr Lee said “I was very keen to build links with the school, and when I saw that the children had no access to any green spaces I knew exactly how I could help.
"The children come regularly for play time and PE lessons and it was a joy to hear the noise and excitement of Sport’s Day.
"It feels like the old building is coming back to life. And it’s full circle as Grove House has a wonderful tradition of community and caring.
"We can’t wait to see the intergenerational relationships build between the school children and our residents in the years to come.”
Grove School Headteacher, Chris Parkhouse said “Being able to use the gardens enabled us to have a truly special sports day for the children.
"After such a challenging year, the support from Springfield Healthcare has allowed us to bring children over to the gardens for organised activities throughout the summer term and has made a huge difference.”
In the decades following the death in 1903 of Samson Fox, engineer, industrialist, and philanthropist who constructed a “water gas” plant to provide the main street of Harrogate with some of the earliest street lighting, Grove House was for many years the headquarters of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes (RAOB) who had turned it into an orphanage and convalescent home.
In 2012 one of Britain's greatest actors Edward Fox, a descendent of Samson Fox, unveiled a plaque at Grove House in Harrogate, honouring its history and heritage.