History of the Foundation
This is a synopsis of notable dates and events in the Foundation’s history. It does not mention the names of founding members, supporters, volunteers or staff, without whose hard work and determination none of this could have happened.
On 8th February 1952 the inaugural meeting of the Croydon branch of the Spastics Society was held. It was formed as an independent group to provide treatment and nursery education for young people with Cerebral Palsy. Later in the year the Society rented the Old Vicarage at 27 Bramley Hill for these purposes. Bramley Hill was the first specialist day nursery and clinic in the country for children with cerebral palsy.
1956 – A small workroom was created upstairs at Bramley Hill to cater for a group of adults with Cerebral palsy. A special class for school age children, who had not reached the required standard for admission to any other school, was also set up.
1961 - 'Rutherford', a large house in Melville Avenue, South Croydon, was purchased by the society and became the Children’s Centre. It provided nursery and school education, a clinic and special classes.
1963 - The Croydon group name was officially changed to ‘The Croydon Spastics Society’.
1965 - The new Work Centre at Bramley Hill opened, catering for 23 adults.
1966 - The Children’s Centre provided schooling for a group of five children who were not up to the standard for school but were able to learn at a slow pace. In addition, 44 children attended the Children’s Centre or received home treatment.
1971 - The Children’s Centre became a joint service with close liaison and half funding with Croydon Council. The extension to the Work Centre was opened, enabling it to cater for over 65 adults. By the end of the year there were 60 adults at the Work Centre and 30-40 children at the Children’s Centre.
1972 - The Hostel committee was inaugurated to set up Jean Garwood House, a home for adult spastics, and the Society purchased 25 Bramley Hill for this purpose.
1975 - The Society changed its name to ‘The Croydon Sutton and District Spastics Society’ as it was offering equal services to adults and children both in Croydon and Sutton.
1979 - Jean Garwood House officially opened.
1984 - The ‘flat’ in the Coach House next to Rutherford was converted into a large room to be used by the Appeals committee and other meetings, while the downstairs was made into a room primarily for the use of the House - to - House organisers.
1985 - Rutherford School received notification of registration as a Special Needs School under the 1981 Education Act.
1989 - The hydrotherapy pool at Rutherford was completed and was used by the children and the adults from Bramley Hill.
1993 - Ruth Garwood Lodge, a purpose built five bedded respite care home for children and young adults, situated next to Rutherford School, was officially opened.
1995 - The first phase of the refurbishment of Bramley Hill was completed.
1996 - The first charity shop, situated in South Croydon, was opened.
1999 - The second charity shop, in South Norwood, was opened.
2000 - The refurbishment of Bramley Hill was finally completed and was officially opened.
2001 - On 2nd April, the Society officially changed its name to ‘The Garwood Foundation’. This was due to the outdated word ‘Spastic’.
2001 - The charity shop in South Norwood was closed, due to lack of business.
2001 - Ruth Garwood Lodge was closed, due to financial reasons and changes in legislation.
2001 - Building work was completed on the Ruth Garwood Lodge building. A knock-through to the school was built and the rooms were adapted, creating a new class and a soft play area. This enabled Rutherford School to expand and admit more pupils.
2008 - The old Ruth Garwood Lodge was demolished and a large new annexe, with new classrooms and modern facilities was completed and opened by HRH The Princess Royal on the 23rd January 2008.
2009 – A new charity shop was opened in Coulsdon.
2011 - The second phase of improvements to Rutherford School completed. These comprised the creation of a Sensory Room and a Multi-Sensory Area for the pupils and the conversion of the upstairs rooms to form a dining room and staff common area and offices for the Head, therapy staff and teaching staff.
2012 - The Foundation celebrated its Diamond anniversary with a tea party in the grounds of Rutherford School attended by service users and staff past and present.
2013 - On 12th June at an Extraordinary Meeting the members agreed to adopt new Articles of Association for the charitable company.
2013 - A new shop opened at 294 Lower Addiscombe Road, Croydon.