Rewind — 7 decades of stories from Leonard Cheshire Disability

Le Court residentsAs a charity we’ve supported disabled people to live fuller and more independent lives for seven decades. 

Rewind is an exciting project giving people the chance to learn more about our history and disability in years gone by — through films, photographs and journals.

Residents looking through the archive materialsWe are currently in the process of digitising some of the material in our archive and preparing a new website to show this, including: 

  • films and audio recordings created by and about the charity, including films made by disabled film makers who lived at the first ever Cheshire home, Le Court  
  • over 500 photographs from the charity’s archives 
  • copies of the ‘Cheshire Smile’, the in-house journal created by and for Leonard Cheshire Disability. 

Examples of past work

The film below is an extract from a film made by the Le Court Film Unit in the 1960s.

Cover of The Cheshire Smile from Christmas 1961

The unit was made up of disabled people who lived at Le Court, the first care home set up by Leonard Cheshire. They produced a number of short films about disability and their lives.

This film shows some of the ingenious gadgets the residents and volunteers came up with to assist them with day to day activities.

The image above is the front cover of the Christmas Cheshire Smile 1961-2. The Cheshire Smile was our first inhouse journal.

It was written, designed, published and distributed by residents at Le Court Cheshire Home

The Rewind workshops — sharing stories past and present 

Leonard Cheshire and the Queen Mother at Le CourtThrough our workshops, people who live, work and volunteer in six of our services, as well as their wider communities, can discover and enjoy the history of their homes and the charity. 

During the workshops, we will be recording some people’s experiences so they can be preserved for the future in our archive.

These will help tell an important story about how support services for disabled people have changed over time, and how disabled people live their lives. 

The Leonard Cheshire Disability services involved are: 

Get involved in Rewind 

Volunteer with us 

If you live in or near one of the Leonard Cheshire Disability services taking part in Rewind, you can help support this work. Contact us at

Tell us your story 

If you have a story to tell or a photo to share about the history of Leonard Cheshire Disability, get in touch

Follow our progress 

Join us on Twitter, @LCDArchive and #Rewind, and read our blog posts.

Rewind is supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and funding from the Sobell Foundation and Brighton and Worthing Charitable Trust.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund