Our History

Our Trustee Jean, speaks about the history of Elmbridge Mencap

  • 1946

    The organisation is formed

    In 1946 the late Judy Fryd, who received the M.B.E. for her services to Royal Mencap, wrote a letter to Nursery World magazine asking for other people in the same situation as her (caring for a mentally handicapped child) to get in touch to try and make their children’s life more interesting. A tabloid newspaper ran the story and she was overwhelmed with the response she received. Along with three other mothers, they formed The Association of Parents of Backward Children.

  • 1955

    The name is changed

    In 1955 ‘The National Association of Parents of Backward Children’ was changed to ‘The National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children’. Later that year, the word ‘Adults’ was added

  • 1955

    Local Branch is formed

    Walton and Weybridge branch of The National Society for Mentally Handicapped Children, which would later become Elmbridge Mencap, was formed by Elsie and Tom Baker.

  • 1955

    Mrs Elsie Ness (Jean Rigden’s mother) joins the Association

  • 1966

    The Baker family are honoured

    The Baker family were honoured at a presentation at Walton Leigh. At the presentation were Mrs Elsie Baker, Miss Joyce Baker, Mrs Elsie Ness (Jean’s mother) and Mr Thomas Baker.

  • 1967

    First Burview Hall opened

    The first 1st Burview Hall, a prefabricated building, opened for ‘Walton & Weybridge Society for Mentally Handicapped Children’ on Walton Charity land next to Ellesmere Hospital’s entrance. It cost £5,500 to build and was formally opened by Mrs “Bunty” Haigh of St Martin’s School (in Rydens Road). Seventy parents and guests attended. Mr Thomas Baker (of Garrick Close) was the chairman or secretary.

  • 2000

    Current Burview Hall Opened

    A modern, multi-purpose facility was opened on 23rd September 2000 by the Mayor of Elmbridge, Councillor Alan Hopkins.