Our History

How it all started

The Percy Hedley Foundation was set up by a group of parents in 1953 with a special school for children with cerebral palsy.

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Back then, the Foundation’s formation was met with scepticism by many, but over the years we have extended and developed the work we do to make sure children, young people and adults with cerebral palsy and other communication and sensory impairments have equal opportunities in life.

In the 1950s, it was not expected that anymore could be done for children with cerebral palsy beyond what was already being done, but we have made it our mission to improve and maximise the opportunities on offer to our services users.

How we have developed

So who is Percy Hedley? Well, he actually passed away before the Foundation was formed and was never personally involved in any way with a project that would bear his name.

Percy Hedley

Percy Hedley

Before his passing in 1941, Percy Hedley decided to create a trust – the Percy Hedley Will Trust – to leave all his money to be used for charitable purposes in the North East.

After a chance meeting between the parents who founded the school and Percy Hedley’s solicitor, we became one of three charities to benefit from the trust.

Percy Hedley never knew how his accumulated wealth would benefit so many or that his name would become so well-known in the region.

In over 60 years we have grown from supporting 12 children to over 1000 disabled people and their families and that number continues to grow every year.