Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People was founded in 1934 by Dame Georgiana Buller and Stanley Evans. With the support of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (then Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York) the College was officially opened on the 27th June, 1935. The initial purpose of the College was to provide employment training for disabled people. Over the years QEF opened a sheltered workshop, a holiday home, a neuro rehabilitation and mobility centre, and although centres have changed purpose over the years, QEF is still committed to helping disabled people and people with acquired brain injuries achieve their goals.
In 2015 QEF celebrated its 80th anniversary. With extra funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund we were able to undertake a one year heritage project which aimed to widen knowledge and understanding of QEF’s work, and explore changing attitudes towards disability and employment. We digitised over 1000 photographs, numerous film reels and 1000s of pages of documents, and recorded oral histories from past beneficiaries and staff members, all of which are available to view online. We also worked with disabled actors to take a performance about disability and technology to fifteen schools in Surrey, which you can watch on our YouTube account. QEF’s physical archive is being stored at the Surrey History Centre in Woking, and you can explore the records online below.
To view our photographic archive of over 1500 images dating back to the 1930s, go our Flickr archive.
To read more about the history of QEF’s services and listen to oral histories, go to Exploring Surrey’s Past.