Care for the elderly in Northumberland.

Tynedale Gift Fair at Matfen Hall – 29th and 30th October

By 4th October 2018

The biggest and the best Gift Fair in Tynedale is back for 2018, and this year is again supporting the Charlotte Straker Project.

The Tynedale Gift Fair will be held at Matfen Hall Hotel on:

  • Monday 29th October 2018 3.30pm-8.30pm and
  • Tuesday 30th October 2018 10.00am-3.00pm.

Entry £4 on the door (includes a raffle ticket).

Since 2004, the Tynedale Gift Fair has raised an amazing £42,100 for charities in Tynedale, and over the last two years alone has donated over £6,500 to the Charlotte Straker Project in Corbridge. In 2017, the Gift Fair committee donated over £3,000 which helped us buy 17 special purpose nursing mattresses for our residents.

The accessible Arjo bath

This year they have again decided to support the Charlotte Straker Project, to help fund a state of the art integrated bathroom suite for the nursing, residential and respite patients. This brand new bathroom includes an Arjo bath system, with integral tracking and a bath lift to allow our less able residents to enjoy the pleasure of a comfortable reclining bath.

The numerous stalls include everything needed for an unforgettable festive season including gift ideas, furnishings, candles, clothing, tableware, soaps and jewellery plus delicious Christmas food stalls hosted by local producers who will be on hand to offer samples of their products, which includes cakes, puddings, sausages, chocolate, wines, spirits and smoked fish.

The raffle has some fantastic prizes including designer clothing and jewellery, vouchers for dinner at top local restaurants, bed and breakfast at Matfen Hall, plus personal physio, pilates and riding sessions! For the full list of raffle prizes please click here: Raffle prizes 2018. Raffle tickets can be bought from Charlotte Straker House.

We are over the moon that Caroline and her committee have decided that our charity should benefit again this year.

We wish them all the best for this year, and we will certainly be taking some of our residents to Matfen Hall to do some Christmas Shopping!

Corbridge Food and Drink Festival – please buy a programme to benefit Charlotte Straker!

By 28th September 2018

The Corbridge Food and Drink Festival will be held from Thursday 4th October to Sunday 7th October inclusive.

The 12-page 2018 Corbridge Food & Drink Festival programme is now on sale in our own Charlotte Straker House, Forum Books, The Corbridge Larder, Vintage at the Tower and other outlets around the village at a price of just £1.

Profits from the sale of the Corbridge Food and Drink Festival Programme will be split between ourselves, the Corbridge Youth-Initiative and the Transplant Ward at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle upon Tyne. So please consider buying a programme – or even two or three! 

Organised by a team of Visit Corbridge volunteers and our acclaimed local cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops, this first Corbridge Food & Drink Festival promises to be a great event for residents and visitors alike. It includes:

Speciality Menus / Tastings / Live Music / Discounts / Demonstrations / The Great Corbridge Bake Off – judged by BBC Look North’s Carol Malia / A Taste of Norway / Spanish and Italian Nights / Cupcakes and Cocktails / Hexham Morris Dancers / Brunch Club / Competitions / Bike Smoothie Blender / Great Corbridge Gin Off / Hog Roast / Cocktail Masterclass / Apple Press / And much more!

Our very own Head Cook Debbie, is currently finetuning her entry into the Great Corbridge Bake-Off – we’ll certainly be taking some photos of her final competition creation – watch this space!

Mr P the Therapy Pony visits our residents (and he goes up in the lift!)

By 26th September 2018

Mr P the Therapy Pony from KL PONY Therapy visited our residents today.

He’s an American Minature skewbald gelding and is just 28 inches tall!

Mr P met residents in the lounge, and then went up in the lift (!) to see our residents who stayed in their rooms. Everyone LOVES their visits from Katie’s therapy ponies, and Mr P was perfect. When he visited residents upstairs, he rested his head on their knees to be petted and gave them a little nudge.


Here he is marching along the upstairs corridor to visit his next resident – he’s most definitely in charge!

Mr P the Therapy Pony visited Charlotte Straker House today

Mr P the Therapy Pony from KL PONY Therapy visited our residents today. He's an American Minature skewbald gelding and is just 28 inches tall!Mr P met residents in the lounge, and then went up in the lift (!) to see our residents who stayed in their rooms. Everyone LOVES their visits from Katie's therapy ponies, and Mr P was perfect. When he visited residents upstairs, he rested his head on their knees to be petted and gave them a little nudge. Here he is marching along the upstairs corridor to visit his next resident – he's most definitely in charge!Thank you very much to Mr P and his handler Katie – we can't wait to see them again soon.

Posted by Charlotte Straker House on Thursday, 20 September 2018

Thank you very much to Mr P and his handler Katie – we can’t wait to see them again soon.

The Charlotte Straker Centenary Dinner

By 23rd September 2018

Our Centenary Dinner was held last Thursday evening, to commemorate the culmination of 100 years since Joseph Straker bequeathed Prior House to the community as the Charlotte Straker cottage hospital.

Held at the Corbridge Cricket Club House, the evening included a four course dinner, plus a speech from our Chair of Trustees Berenice Groves, and a very interesting talk from speaker Hugh Dixon, on the history of hospitals from the Middle Ages up to the founding of Charlotte Straker House.

The dinner was organised to thank all those who have help or assisted our charity and we are delighted that so many were able to participate and share in the celebrations

Thank you also to all the Trustees who worked so hard to organise such an enjoyable evening, plus Papaya Bespoke Catering for a delicious dinner, the Corbridge Cricket Club for allowing us to use their venue, JDC Laundry for the table linen and violinists Julia and Jill.

Thank you to our Trustees Bill Cunningham and Richard Dixon for following photos!


Corbridge Apple Day – 13th and 14th October 2018

By 17th September 2018

Our popular Corbridge Apple Day is back!

Saturday October 13th and Sunday October 14 from 10.30 am to 3.00 pm on both days in the grounds of Charlotte Straker House.

Our volunteers will use an apple press to make you your own apple juice. A great idea to use up left over apples. Last year, people used the juice to make drinking juice, cider and various chutneys and jams.

Simple equipment, instructions and ingredients available.

Refreshments available on the day for small donation.

The #GreatNorthRun2018 and our amazing charity runners!

By 10th September 2018

This is the moment that Steve Cram gave a shout out to Drew Wilkinson and the Charlotte Straker Project at yesterday’s Great North Run.

We also want to say a HUGE THANK YOU and CONGRATULATIONS 🎉❤️🤩🏃‍♂️🏃‍♀️ to our three runners – Ericka Robson, Jo Howarth (a member of our Admin Team) and Drew Wilkinson- they all did incredibly well, especially as the weather was so warm!

Here is a link to their fundraising pages – it’s not too late to donate and all monies will go directly to our charity for essential equipment and resources.

You can pledge a donation to our Admin Assistant Jo Howarth by emailing

Thanks again guys – and maybe see you again next year?!😍😀

Our Summer 2018 newsletter

By 1st September 2018

Welcome to our latest newsletter containing articles on our Centenary celebrations including the Fete, Garden Party and Wall hanging. Plus information on our new resident rooms, the regular nursery visits and interviews with recent respite residents and much more!

To download and read a PDF copy of the newsletter, please click on the link below:

Charlotte Straker Newsletter – Summer 2018

Do you know someone who would appreciate a regular copy? Please email our Marketing Coordinator to be placed on our newsletter mailing list.

Children from Little Tinklers Nursery visit our residents.

By 30th August 2018

Children from Little Tinklers Nursery regularly visit Charlotte Straker House to spend an afternoon with the elderly residents. In July they entertained everyone by singing songs, playing “catch the bubble” and dancing games.

Little Tinklers was launched in Corbridge over 14 years ago by qualified primary school teacher Georgina Lester. The nursery caters for babies and children up to the age of five.

Team Leader Assistant Angie Hogg, Nursery Nurse Molly Holmes and Apprentice Leah Norris accompanied the children on their visit and told us how much the nursery children enjoyed meeting everyone at the care home. “The children love the praise they are given by the Charlotte Straker residents, and they really enjoy visiting.” she said.

Lucy, (aged 2) spent time sitting on Olive’s knee, cuddling her Peter Rabbit soft toy and chatting away happily.

Matilda (aged 4) and her sister Harriet (aged 2) jumped around excitedly catching bubbles and singing loudly to residents Margaret and Renee.

Marilyn Hunter, our Manager said, “our residents adore the children’s visits. The joy and excitement that they bring has become a highlight and you can see the positive stimulation it creates.”

Research has shown that adults who experienced close “intergenerational interaction” are less prone to depression and have better physical health, as well as being happier with their present life and more hopeful for the future.

Resident Margaret (aged 90) told us that the visit made her “feel very cheerful” and she loved “listening to the children chat”.

Milo (aged 4) rushed over to tell us that he “likes playing here” before dashing off to sing the next nursery rhyme.

Georgina Lester, owner of Little Tinklers nursery added that “bringing children and elderly people together is actually a very natural concept and definitely benefits both groups. I’m so pleased that we have this special relationship within Corbridge”.

(Thanks to Ian Wylie for the gorgeous pictures!)


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