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60 years of FitzRoy celebrated at Petersfield Museum

13th May 2022

The people we support, staff, trustees and supporters gathered to celebrate 60 years of FitzRoy with the unveiling of a display case showing our history at The Petersfield Museum.

The display case celebrates our founder Elizabeth FitzRoy and includes her MBE and pictures from FitzRoy’s earliest days. Elizabeth pioneered the idea of family-sized homes that enabled people with learning disabilities to receive individual support in a comfortable environment. In 1962, her dream became a reality when she purchased the charity’s first ever service, Donec, in Hampshire.

At the event, FitzRoy patron, Nigel Atkinson HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, welcomed supporters to the Petersfield Museum to celebrate the legacy Elizabeth FitzRoy has left and what FitzRoy has achieved in her name over 60 years.

FitzRoy’s chief executive, Anna Galliford, said: “Seeing the person and putting the people we support at the forefront of everything we do sets us apart – and is why we are here today, celebrating our 60-year anniversary.

“Our values thread through every action we take. Since beginning at Donec 60 years ago, we now have 70 services across the country and are supporting more than 800 people to live the life they choose.”

Phillipa was six years old when she came to live at what is now Donec Mews, and is the person FitzRoy has been supporting the longest.

Phillipa attended the events with her sister Caroline, who said: “Donec Mews has always been a very happy home for Phillipa, thanks to the love and dedication of the staff.”

FitzRoy’s Chair of Trustees, Martin Kyndt, said: “60 years ago, Elizabeth FitzRoy and John Williams believed people with learning disabilities should not be isolated and sent to institutions but should be fully integrated members of their community. This was a radical and pioneering idea and took huge courage and determination to make a reality.

“Courage and determination continue to be the hallmark of FitzRoy and it has never been more severely tested than over the past couple of years in keeping the people we support safe during the pandemic.

“If Elizabeth FitzRoy were here today, I am sure she would be hugely proud of the legacy she has left.”

Clive Madison from the Petersfield Lions presented a cheque on the evening to FitzRoy for £200 to support the Above and Beyond Appeal. The FitzRoy Above and Beyond appeal helps us to give the people we support the extra things that matter, whether that’s a day trip out or a holiday abroad.

You can also support this appeal by clicking here.