History of Scope

1952: birth

Three parents and a social worker Jean Garwood met to form our charity. Ian Dawson-Shepherd, Eric Hodgson and Alex Moira wanted their children with cerebral palsy to have equal access to education.

To find out more about life for people with cerebral palsy born at this time, watch our Speaking for Ourselves video.

Listen to our Scope history podcast on YouTube.

Read Changing Society: a personal history of Scope 1952 to 2002 (Amazon ebook)

1957: employment support

Our first employment officer, Bill Hargreaves, supported hundreds of disabled people to find their first jobs. We’re still supporting disabled people today to get into and stay in work. Find out about our employment services.

Read Bill Hargreaves life story (Amazon ebook).

1962: 62 Clubs

Bill Hargreaves created 62 Clubs. These were groups run by disabled people to organize their own leisure activities and holidays.

1970: our first charity shop

We opened our first charity shop in Sevenoaks, Kent. There are now 190 shops nationwide which raise money for our work. They provide volunteering opportunities for over 4,000 people.

1983: attitudes posters

We created a nationwide poster campaign based on attitudes towards disabled people.

1984: Disability Now

Disability Now became a platform where disabled people had their voices heard. The back issues and podcasts of this influential publication are archived in the Wellcome Collection.

1990: helpline

We launched our telephone helpline for disabled people and their families. The helpline is still going today and supports nearly 30,000 people a year.

1994: name change

We changed our name to Scope. Read our Amazon ebook on name change.

2004: Time to Get Equal

Nelson Mandela launched our Time to Get Equal campaign. This highlighted the social model of disability and disablism, discrimination against disabled people.

2014: End the Awkward

Two thirds of non-disabled people admit to feeling awkward around disability. We launched our End the Awkward campaign to change this.

2017: Work With Me

We launched our Work With Me campaign with Virgin Media. The aim is to tackle the barriers disabled people face getting into and staying in work.

2022: 70th anniversary

Our 70th anniversary focused on changing attitudes towards disability.

Read more about our attitudes research.

2024: An Equal Future

Read more about our new 10-year strategy, An Equal Future.

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