Batley-based HSL sends special surprise delivery to 100th birthday

Hazel Crowther in her Aysgarth Riser recliner alongside Diane Heath, Customer Service Advisor at HSL

Hazel Crowther, who will soon be celebrating her 101st birthday, lives independently in a former fire brigade therapeutic housing complex in Penrith.

Ms Crowther was looking for a new chair to provide the support she needs to manage her neck and spine issues.

With the help of her carer, Sarah Yallop, Ms Crowther purchased the Melrose chair from HSL’s handcrafted furniture range.

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Hazel Crowther while serving in the Auxiliary Territorial Services (ATS) in World War II

HSL has over 50 years of experience in posture support and aims to ensure that all customers experience maximum comfort from the furniture they receive.

When Mrs Crowther’s Melrose chair was delivered, the HSL team expressed concern that although the chair provided the correct postural support that all HSL furniture is designed with, it did not provide Mrs Crowther the correct functionality she needed due to her additional health issues.

After HSL Managing Director Guy Critchlow saw an image of her in the original Melrose chair, he immediately insisted that Ms Crowther be given a chair with extra support and the lift and tilt functionality to help to sit and stand.

After speaking to the customer service team and finding out that HSL was going to provide her with a brand new chair, Ms Crowther said: “I am completely overwhelmed with the generosity, compassion and kindness I have received.

“It’s not often that I get unexpected gifts, and this just blew my mind.”

A few days later, Ms Crowther was surprised by a special delivery from HSL, who had arranged for her to receive a new chair from its Riser Recliner range – an upgrade to her previous chair.

Ms Crowther’s new Riser Recliner was personally delivered to her address in Cumbria by home consultation driver Paul Surman and HSL customer service advisor Diane Heath.

After receiving the chair, Ms Crowther said: ‘I am so overwhelmed. The chair has changed my life, made it easier to get around and saved me from having to go to a retirement home.

“I love where I live and couldn’t imagine leaving. I love my garden very much and my new chair has been placed in front of the window, so I can look outside and enjoy the scenery.

“This is my favorite place to sit on a sunny afternoon.”

Ms Crowther’s carer, Sarah Yallop, added: ‘As an observer, not a shopper, I find the level of customer service has been exceptional. The chair was everything Hazel could have hoped for and more.

“Hazel’s independence is amazing. She can perform many tasks on her own – however, this chair gave her the extra support she needed.”

Ms. Crowther served in the Second World War in the Auxiliary Territorial Services (ATS) from April 2, 1942 to February 21, 1946.

Speaking about her experiences, she said, “I came into the ATS as a reluctant draftee and came out a lot better.”

When Ms. Crowther returned from the army, she wanted to pursue her passion for designing, so she attended a local college where she studied art and tapestry.

Moving into the former firefighter therapy unit 20 years ago, Ms Crowther spent a lot of time painting, decorating and gardening.

She has one relative she is particularly close to, however, she has found herself spending more and more time alone due to pandemic restrictions.

Ms Crowther said: “I have made new friends with the HSL team, and I am so grateful for the sincere care and support they have shown me.”

For more information about HSL, visit

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