Chipchase and Able 2 celebrate Foundation’s 65th anniversary

The Percy Hedley Foundation celebrated its 65th birthday today!

On the same day in 1953, our story began when Percy Hedley School opened its doors for the first time to 12 children with cerebral palsy.

Residents from Chipchase House and Ferndene Bungalows came together with people from Hedleys Able 2 to have a celebratory coffee and cake morning.

Chipchase resident Stephen Darke, who was one of the first children at Percy Hedley School in 1953 did the honours and cut the cake for everyone to enjoy.

It was Stephen’s parents, Stephen and Molly Darke, who first campaigned for a school where their disabled son, and others like him, could go.

They wrote to the Evening Chronicle, appealing for other parents for cerebral palsy children to come forward.

Funding came from the Percy Hedley Foundation, a Trust created after the death of a local engineer to support charities in the North East.

Over six decades, the Foundation has grown from a small school to provide support for 1,000 families a year, offering a range of residential and day services.