Browns are always keen to support local charities – work in the past has supported the Breast Care Unit at YDH ( where fundraising helped to pay for an x ray machine within the unit which means that breast care patients can stay within the unit itself when they need an x ray), York Against Cancer, St Leonard’s Hospice and Caroline’s Rainbow Foundation, set up by the mother of Caroline Stuttle, the York student murdered whilst backpacking.

alne hall2 Front view Alne Hallalnehall4alnehall3


In 2013, Angela Horner, Associate Director at Browns was approached by Martin Wintermeyer from RAF Linton on Ouse who is a huge supporter of Alne Hall. Alne Hall is a Leonard Cheshire home based in Alne, North of York and provides personalised care packages and the support of an active lifestyle for up to thirty adults with a physical disability. Martin was aware that the residents did not have an outside space they could enjoy and decided to embark on the Sensory Activity Garden project.

The aim is to convert a disused 3/4 acre walled kitchen garden into a fully interactive sensory garden that the Alne Hall residents can all enjoy with their friends and families for years to come.

So far Browns has raised £1,000. In 2013 a few team members undertook the Reebok Spartan Sprint in Ripon and further funds were raised through staff sales in the canteen in the York store.

Several members of the Browns team also visited the Hall to help with the weeding to prepare the area for laying paths.

There have been a few uphill struggles for Martin in terms of planning permission etc but now the garden is really taking shape and will open in  2015.

Anyone wishing to find out more about the garden can follow the Alne Hall Sensory Garden Project on Facebook. Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so at Browns York.