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Group Captain Geoffrey Leonard Cheshire, Baron Cheshire, VC, OM, DSO and Two Bars, DFC, founder of the charity

Leonard Cheshire Disability is a major health and welfare charity working in the United Kingdom and running development projects around the world. It was founded in 1948 by RAF pilot Leonard Cheshire.

The philosophy of Leonard Cheshire Disability is to encourage and move disabled individuals toward independent living and with the freedom to live life their way. The charity supports disabled people through local care services include residential homes, supported living, domiciliary support, day services, activity centres, respite care, transition services, and employment and skills support. It also runs political campaigns on issues affecting disabled people.

In 2013–14 it had a total income of over £154 million, placing it in the top 40 of UK charities.[1]


The charity was originally known as The Cheshire Foundation Homes for the Sick. In 1976 it became the Leonard Cheshire Foundation and in 2007 adopted its current name, Leonard Cheshire Disability.[2]

Cheshire started the charity in 1948 with a residential home for disabled ex-servicemen at Le Court, a large country house near Liss in Hampshire. By 1955 there were six Cheshire homes in Britain. The first overseas Cheshire Home was established in Mumbai, India, in 1956.[3] By 1992 there were 270 homes in 49 countries.[4]

Each of these "Cheshire Homes", as they came to be called were similarly set up: local communities came forward, assembled a group of volunteers, found whatever suitable accommodation they could, set up administrative committees and began raising funds for development. This gave each Cheshire Home a local structure closely knit to the community they were serving while being affiliated with an international organization.

The homes and services in the UK and Isle of Man are run by the UK charity. Over 200 other Cheshire homes and organisations around the world exist, run independently but affiliated to a Leonard Cheshire Global Alliance.[5]


The UK charity is headquartered in London and its main stated objectives are "to provide effective and efficient community-based services to disabled people that respond to their preferences" and to "campaign in partnership with disabled people, allies and supporters for a society that provides equality to disabled people."[6]


Leonard Cheshire Disability provides support to disabled people through a variety of different services including care at home, residential care and training and skills programmes. It describes itself as "the UK's leading voluntary sector provider of support services for disabled people". Its goal is to change attitudes to disability and to serve disabled people around the world.[7]

The charity's activities are particularly focused on guiding and encouraging the disabled to move toward independence and live life their way. It formerly ran the Ability International Media Awards, recognising disabled people in the media.[8]

Related organisations[edit]

The Ryder-Cheshire Foundation[9] was set up by Leonard Cheshire and his wife Sue Ryder at the time of their marriage in 1959. It now mainly operates in two fields:

  • the rehabilitation of disabled people, through Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers[10]
  • the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, through Target Tuberculosis.[11]

The Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre is a joint project by Leonard Cheshire Disability and University College London (originally set up in 1997 as the Leonard Cheshire Centre of Conflict Recovery).[12]

Cheshire founded the Raphael Pilgrimage to support sick and disabled people to travel to Lourdes.[13]

Sue Ryder Care, a charity founded in 1953 by Sue Ryder, before she met Leonard Cheshire, is also one of the 50 largest charities in the UK.[14]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

Cheshire Home, Chung Hom Kok


  1. ^ "Top 10 charities by income". Charity Commission. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  2. ^ "Press release". 
  3. ^ Chennai news
  4. ^ Christopher Foxley-Norris, "Cheshire, (Geoffrey) Leonard, Baron Cheshire (1917–1992)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, May 2008 accessed 18 July 2008
  5. ^ "Global Alliance - Leonard Cheshire Disability". Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  6. ^ "Charity Commission for England and Wales: Charity Number 218186". Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  7. ^ Leonard Cheshire Disability
  8. ^ http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=14883 2010 Ability Media International Awards
  9. ^ Charity Commission for England and Wales: Charity Number 285746
  10. ^ Registered Charity No. 1088623 Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers
  11. ^ Registered Charity No. 1098752 Target Tuberculosis
  12. ^ Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre
  13. ^ The Raphael Pilgrimage was later constituted as a registered charity: The Raphael Pilgrimage, Registered Charity no. 1098328 at the Charity Commission .
  14. ^ Ranked by expenditure. Source: Charities Direct: Top 500 Charities - Expenditure
  15. ^ 'Dutton, Maj.-Gen. Bryan Hawkins (born 1 March 1943)' in Who's Who (London A. & C. Black)

Further reading[edit]

  • Morris, Richard. Cheshire: The Biography of Leonard Cheshire, VC, OM. London: Viking Press, 2000. ISBN 0-670-86735-7.

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Cheshire_Disability — Please support Wikipedia.
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32605 news items

PR Week
Sun, 17 May 2015 23:11:15 -0700

Leonard Cheshire Disability, the UK's largest voluntary sector provider of services for disabled people, has appointed Macmillan Cancer Support head of public affairs Gus Baldwin to a new, expanded corporate affairs role. News ...

Third Sector

Third Sector
Fri, 01 May 2015 02:00:00 -0700

The national charity that supports disabled people has created a spoof property website called Can't Move to highlight how hard it is for disabled people to find suitable housing. Each visitor is asked to type in their postcode in order to find their ...

East Grinstead Courier & Observer

East Grinstead Courier & Observer
Thu, 28 May 2015 22:37:30 -0700

But Heatherley, part of the Leonard Cheshire Disability group, was praised for having an active social scene, good food and good communication between the staff and residents. Inspectors added that annual satisfaction surveys carried out revealed most ...

Bournemouth Echo

Bournemouth Echo
Thu, 28 May 2015 10:37:30 -0700

THIS Volunteers Week (1-7 June), our charity Leonard Cheshire Disability wants to send a special thank you to all our amazing volunteers who give their time so selflessly to help disabled people. I also want to use it as an opportunity to invite new ...
Falmouth Packet
Mon, 25 May 2015 10:15:00 -0700

The staff from Stephens Scown LLP's offices in Truro and St Austell volunteered at St Teresa's Leonard Cheshire Disability in Penzance. Volunteers included partners, associates, trainees and legal secretaries, who swapped a day in the office for ...

NW Evening Mail

NW Evening Mail
Thu, 28 May 2015 07:37:30 -0700

In addition, youngsters from Leonard Cheshire Disability and Barrow Borough Sports Council's equity programme will also take part – ensuring children of all abilities will have a chance to be part of the special atmosphere. With the warm-up for the ...

South Wales Argus

South Wales Argus
Wed, 27 May 2015 12:58:15 -0700

He has also volunteered for the Leonard Cheshire Disability Can Do project, Keep Wales Tidy and Newport Night Shelter earning him two volunteering awards last year. He recently had a setback in his progress following a serious accident, which left him ...

Yorkshire Post

Yorkshire Post
Thu, 30 Apr 2015 07:15:00 -0700

Research by Leonard Cheshire Disability last year revealed there to be around 33,500 disabled people on housing waiting lists across Yorkshire and the Humber. Just 11 per cent of the region's local authorities had an accessible housing register.

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