Leeds nostalgia: Wheatfields history - from family home to home for families

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WHEATFIELDS Hospice in Headingley has a long association with the Yorkshire Evening Post, as our Half & Half appeal directly benefits the care home.

The hospice itself is housed in what once was regarded as the ultimate gentleman’s residence - a substantial manor house set in the leafy hinterland of Headingley.

Founded by Margaret Susan Ryder in 1978 by her charity Sue Ryder Care, the hospice caters for people with life-threatening illnesses and offers support to the families of its patients.

The Half & Half Appeal was launched in 1982. It is the longest-running newspaper charity campaign in the country and to date has raised over £3m, the money being split between Wheatfields and St Gemma’s Hospice.

Wheatfield House is what’s known as an Italian villa-style property built out of local sandstone with a low pitched slate roof and bracketed eaves. It’s a Grade II listed building.

In the 1850s it was a famiy home. During the Second world War, Wheatfield House was a regional seat of government. When peace returned it became a base for the West riding Squadron of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force before becoming a special school.

During the 1960s and up to 1976 it was used as a Training Centre for people with mental or learning difficulties, under the control of the Council’s Mental Health Department.

The full story of the building is told in The Wheatfields Story 1854 - 2002 from Family Home to Care Centre, by Ronald Nelson Redman, priced £6.99 (ISBN 0-9539740 - 9 -X).