Disability Charity Enrych Celebrates Thirty Years of Enriching Lives

Enrych, previously Ryder Cheshire Volunteers, is celebrating three decades of tackling the social isolation and low self-esteem often experienced by people with a disability. 

Set up by husband and wife Leonard Cheshire and Sue Ryder in 1986, the charity has a ‘rych’ heritage. 

“By the time they married, each had established charities of their own, but went on to co-found Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers to provide opportunities for adults with a disability to reach their potential through two of life’s greatest pleasures, leisure and learning. They were keen to ensure that disability was no barrier to opportunity,” said Enrych Branch Manager Colin Edis. 

Many will know that Leonard Cheshire and Sue Ryder had a strong connection with Leicestershire and in fact owned Staunton Harold Hall, rescuing it from demolition to become a Cheshire Home. In 1980 the Home moved to purpose built premises at Netherseal and the Hall was converted into a Sue Ryder Hospice from where the Ryder Cheshire Volunteers worked. Ryder Cheshire and the Sue Ryder Hospice ceased to use the premises in 2002. 

From 2011, the charity was rebranded as Enrych, carrying forward the initials of its visionary founders in the new name. Enrych is honoured to have comedian Graeme Garden OBE as patron. 

Colin Edis goes on to describe the present day work of Enrych “Being able to enjoy a hobby or interest and promoting independence is at the heart of our work. Our core service is matching disabled people living in Leicestershire and Derbyshire with either one to one volunteer support, or one to one Personal Assistant support so that they can access their favourite pastimes and recreational activities, or just receive support that will help them in their daily lives. The impact can be life changing for them and their families. They feel less isolated, more confident, and have a better quality of life.” 

Enrych also organises a varied programme of events that promote social inclusion, including days out, group activities and an accessible allotment. 

Enrych is always looking for volunteers to support it in a number of ways, whether it’s partnering with one of our members, organising an event or group activity, fundraising, helping in the office, or becoming a trustee. Also, Enrych is always on the lookout too for people who may like to become paid PA’s. Both PA’s and volunteers can play significant roles in the lives of disabled people in our community. 

To mark the anniversary, Enrych are organising a special celebratory day on 23rd September at their base in the Marlene Reid Centre in Coalville. 

For further information, please check the Enrych website at www.enrych.org.uk or call the office at 01530 832 926, or find us on Facebook.