Timeline of Scope's history

Our first 60 years as a disability charity

1952 – the charity is founded

The National Spastics Society (the original name of Scope) is founded by three parents of disabled children (Ian Dawson-Shepherd, Eric Hodgson and Alex Moira) and a social worker (Jean Garwood). They want disabled children to have equal access to education.

1957 – employment support

Our first employment officer, Bill Hargreaves, supports hundreds of disabled people to find their first jobs. We’re still supporting disabled people today to get into and stay in work with our ground-breaking services like Support to Work, Kick Start and Starting Line.

1970 – our first charity shop

We open our first charity shop in Sevenoaks, Kent. There are now more than 240 shops nationwide which raise money for our work and provide volunteering opportunities for over 4000 people..

1990 – helpline

TV personality and celebrity agony aunt Clare Rayner launches our telephone helpline, to provide free information and support to disabled people and their families. The helpline is still going today and supports over 22,000 people a year.

1994 – name change

The Spastics Society changes its name to Scope. Ben Elton presented William Hague, Minister for Disabled People, with a flag signed by 40 celebrities and 12,000 signatures endorsing equal rights for disabled people.

2016 - 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, tackling it head on with some good old-fashioned British humour. Our research suggests we succeeded in changing the perceptions of 88% of people who saw our campaign.

2017 – Everyday Equality 

Our ambitious five-year strategy, sets out how we will work to drive social change so that disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else.

2017 – Work With Me

We work with Virgin Media to launch our Work With Me campaign, to raise awareness of and tackle the barriers disabled people face getting into and staying in work.

2018 - Scope = Equality for disabled people 

Scope develops a new brand to make our strategy, Everyday Equality a reality. Our new brand articulates our work to disabled people, key supporters and the general public at large. We want everyone who sees Scope to know who we are and what we stand for.

Historic moments

Historic moments on Pinterest - links to pinterest

See some more blasts from the past 60 years on our Pinterest board

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