Ryder-Cheshire Foundation Collection

Scope and Content

This collection contains material from various projects undertaken by the charity. It includes correspondence, project files, newsletters, information leaflets, reports and film scripts. It includes correspondence of the Ryder Cheshire Film Unit and copied of the newsletter of Ryder-Cheshire Australia.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Ryder Cheshire Foundation was set up in 1959 jointly by Leonard Cheshire and his wife Sue Ryder. It was known then as the Ryder Cheshire Mission for the Relief of Suffering, later as the Ryder Cheshire Mission, then as the Ryder Cheshire Foundation, and finally simply as Ryder Cheshire.

From the outset, the founders intended it as a vehicle for projects which they wished to take on but which fell outside the remit of their two larger Foundations. They intended that the organisation's remit should be wide and flexible, that the administrative structure should remain minimal, and that they should both be able to get as personally involved in projects as they wished. Over time, the organisation's work became concentrated in the developing world and covered a wide variety of areas including rehabilitation, Tuberculosis treatment and eradication, and refugee relief.

Their largest project was their first - Raphael, a settlement in India which offered shelter and opportunities to people with many kinds of support needs. They also developed a successful project in the UK called the Ryder Cheshire Volunteers.

Historically, a good deal of the voluntary funding for Ryder Cheshire work came from Australia and New Zealand. Following the deaths of the two founders, the charity's trustees reviewed the organisation's work and decided that it was best concentrated in those areas where they had gained most expertise. By 2004, Ryder Cheshire had become an administrative and grant making vehicle for two successor projects, each registered as separate charities. These are Enrych (previously Ryder-Cheshire Volunteers) and Target Tuberculosis (2003-2015, now closed). The archive material for these two projects is held and catalogued separately at this repository.

This reduced role of Ryder Cheshire finally came to an end in its turn and on 29 April 2009 it ceased to exist.

Ryder-Cheshire Australia was registered as a separate charity in 2012 with the Australian Charities and Not for Profits Commission (ACNC).


Arranged as deposited across 32 boxes.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is granted by appointment with the Archivist, address: Leonard Cheshire Disability Archive Centre, Newlands House, Main Street, Netherseal, South Derbyshire, DE12 8DA email archivecentre@leonardcheshire.org.

Acquisition Information

Between 1993 and 2004 there were 33 donations of material from the Director of the Ryder-Cheshire foundation. In 2014 there was 1 deposit from an ex employee of Ryder-Cheshire.

Separated Material

Material relating to Ryder-Cheshire can be found in the following collections:

  • GLC Group Captain Leonard Cheshire Collection
  • AV-S Leonard Cheshire Sound Archive
  • AV-F Leonard Cheshire Film Archive
  • LCF:UK Leonard Cheshire UK Collection
  • LCF:INT Leonard Cheshire International Collection.
  • LCF:SC/Ramsbotham Sir Peter Ramsbotham Collection

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is subject to copyright law and access is subject to the Data Protection Act and other relevant legislation.

Location of Originals

Some Ryder-Cheshire films are at the British Film Institute. Their catalogue can be searched by clicking this link http://www.bfi.org.uk/archive-collections/searching-access-collections