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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 £162 million. placing it in the top 40 of UK charities.[1] Around 90% of its income is from government grants, with around £18 million in donations (2013/14),[2]


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.[3]

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.[4] By 1992 there were 270 homes in 49 countries.[5]

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.[6]


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."[7]


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.[8]

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.[9]

Related organisations[edit]

The Ryder-Cheshire Foundation[10] 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[11]
  • the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis, through Target Tuberculosis.[12]

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).[13] The Centre is dedicated to generating applied research on disability in development, with particular emphasis on poverty and economic development in terms of livelihoods, inclusive education and public health. Centre staff also work closely on policy issues at a global level, serving in an advisory capacity to a number of UN agencies (including UNDESA, UNICEF, ILO, World Bank) and bilateral organisations (including DFID, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia)). The Centre is based in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London.

Cheshire founded the Raphael Pilgrimage to support sick and disabled people to travel to Lourdes.[14]

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.[15]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Top 10 charities by income". Charity Commission. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  2. ^ "Too many of our 'charities' are nothing of the sort". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-02. 
  3. ^ "Press release". 
  4. ^ Chennai news
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ "Global Alliance - Leonard Cheshire Disability". Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  7. ^ "Charity Commission for England and Wales: Charity Number 218186". Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  8. ^ Leonard Cheshire Disability
  9. ^ http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=14883 2010 Ability Media International Awards
  10. ^ Charity Commission for England and Wales: Charity Number 285746
  11. ^ Registered Charity No. 1088623 Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers
  12. ^ Registered Charity No. 1098752 Target Tuberculosis
  13. ^ Leonard Cheshire Disability & Inclusive Development Centre
  14. ^ The Raphael Pilgrimage was later constituted as a registered charity: Charity Commission. The Raphael Pilgrimage, registered charity no. 1098328. .
  15. ^ Ranked by expenditure. Source: Charities Direct: Top 500 Charities - Expenditure
  16. ^ '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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2831 news items

Weston & Somerset Mercury (registration)

Weston & Somerset Mercury (registration)
Thu, 07 Apr 2016 04:26:15 -0700

Leonard Cheshire Disability, which is based at Birnbeck House in St Pauls Road, is looking for people to help its residents with various activities. This can include helping with cooking, arts and crafts or bowling. Drivers are also needed for a few ...

Charity Today News

Charity Today News
Wed, 27 Apr 2016 06:46:36 -0700

A total of 80 runners pounded the streets of the capital on Sunday to support their vital work for disabled people in the UK and abroad, with friends, family and the Leonard Cheshire Disability team cheering them on throughout. Nick Stretton from ...
Business News Wales (press release)
Mon, 02 May 2016 23:20:40 -0700

“At Leonard Cheshire Disability we work to ensure disabled people are treated fairly and offered the same opportunities as everyone else. With that in mind, we are delighted Barclays has produced this resource as a demonstration of their commitment to ...

World Bank Group

World Bank Group
Thu, 03 Mar 2016 17:30:00 -0800

WASHINGTON, March 1, 2016 - The World Bank and Leonard Cheshire Disability are joining forces to put persons with disabilities at the heart of social and economic development, and to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals ...

Third Sector

Third Sector
Fri, 11 Mar 2016 02:25:31 -0800

Clare Pelham, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire Disability, is to leave the charity after five years. A spokeswoman for the charity said Pelham, who has no immediate role to move to, would stay in post until her successor was appointed and had no set ...

Bedford Today

Bedford Today
Sun, 03 Apr 2016 00:04:54 -0700

Cerebral palsy is the general term for a number of neurological conditions that affect movement and co-ordination. It is caused by a problem in the parts of the brain responsible for controlling muscles. The Leonard Cheshire Disability charity supports ...

Yorkshire Post

Yorkshire Post
Tue, 19 Apr 2016 02:22:30 -0700

The day will also be supported by Leonard Cheshire Disability, a charity supporting disabled people in the UK and around the world to fulfil their potential and live the lives they choose. During the day groups from Mickley Hall and Gloucestershire ...

Rochdale Online

Rochdale Online
Wed, 27 Jan 2016 10:05:01 -0800

Honresfeld Leonard Cheshire Disability Care Home, in Littleborough, is to close down - staff are to be made redundant and residents will need to be found a new home. A letter was distributed on Wednesday (27 January) to all staff, announcing that the ...

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