Founder’s Day 2015
22 May 2015
by Tracey Gooch
Today marks the 67th anniversary of the day when Leonard Cheshire invited a dying man into his home at Le Court in Hampshire, starting the charity which now continues this work worldwide.
By the summer of 1949 Le Court, in Hampshire, had grown and 24 people had moved in to make it their home.
As Le Court became established, people from different parts of the UK and then the world started to spread this support in communities in the UK and many other counties. The charity now known as Leonard Cheshire Disability had begun.
Although the original home is no longer there, a memorial garden was installed to commemorate the beginnings of our charity.
The plaque reads, ‘In memory of all who lived and worked at Le Court, the first Cheshire Home, 1948–2007, and of Group Captain Lord Cheshire VC, OM, DSO, DFC, who founded the charity which bears his name today: Leonard Cheshire Disability.’
I visited Le Court Rose Garden in Hampshire, maintained in perpetuity in honour of those who lived and worked in the first ever Cheshire Home.
It was a privilege to be able to visit the garden, to see where the staff, residents and the founder of the charity are all remembered.
We’ll soon be submitting an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant to support a project to record new stories about our charity’s history and present day activities to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. The project will also see part of our archive digitised and heritage workshops taking place in six services in the south east.
We’re excited about the application and would like to take the opportunity to thank all the staff, volunteers and residents who have helped shape the project. We will find out if we have been successful in late September, so fingers crossed!
We would welcome expressions of interest in our future project plans from those with memories of our Founder and the first ever Cheshire Home Le Court. Please contact us on this email firstname.lastname@example.org or 01283 763951.
Tracey Gooch is Heritage Project Manager at Leonard Cheshire Disability. Find out more about our history.