75th Anniversary Celebrations

QEF celebrates 75 years of helping disabled people.

2010 marks the official 75th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People . Celebrations for this very special landmark year officially commenced on Wednesday, 27 January with a Thanksgiving Service at  St. George’s Chapel followed by a reception in The Undercroft, Windsor Castle, attended by His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex.

This prestigious event provided the perfect opportunity for QEF to thank the 230 guests representing donors, supporters, clients and long-serving staff who had gathered together to celebrate the charity’s work both past and present and look forward to future challenges.

Speaking at the Thanksgiving Service, Peter Sedgwick, Chairman of QEF, commented:

“Attitudes towards disability have varied over our 75-year history and, while we have not shied away from change and have been prepared to adapt, we have remained true to our original objective that disabled people should have the same opportunities as everyone else.”

In the 1930s, there was little or no provision for disabled people. Dame Georgiana Buller and Stanley Evans, an orthopaedic surgeon, encouraged by Queen Elizabeth, the then Duchess of York, proposed the setting up of a training college where disabled people may gain the skills to find employment which would ultimately lead to a greater level of independence. The Cripples College, as it was known then, first opened with 16 male trainees on 1 November 1934 and was officially opened by The Duchess of York in June the following year.

Since then, QEF has developed its services to help and encourage thousands of disabled people achieve their individual goals and lead a more independent life within the community. Today, QEF focuses on providing specialist skills in neuro-rehabilitation, independent living, vocational training and mobility tuition and advice.

Jonathan Powell, newly appointed CEO of QEF, welcomed the guests to the reception in The Undercroft commenting:

“This is an excellent opportunity to thank all our benefactors for their dedicated and much appreciated support. As QEF does not receive government funding for new capital projects or service development, it is only with your continuing generosity that we can keep our services relevant and fresh.”

A host of varied events are planned throughout this celebration year including an exclusive lunch with celebrity guests this February, an evening at the Leatherhead theatre featuring Penelope Keith in the Regina Monologues and our official 75th Birthday Party to be held at Goldsmiths’ Hall, London. Please visit our Events Diary for further information.

Download the Chairman’s Speech in Adobe PDF format

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