Saturday 2nd February 2019
In February The Sue Ryder Remembrance Room was opened in the old Sue Ryder Home in Cavendish, Suffolk. This is where Sue Ryder, her husband Leonard Cheshire and their children Jeromy and Elizabeth lived; it was also the headquarters of her charity.
Anchor Trust who now own the property - which today is the care home Devonshire House - is pleased to be able to pay tribute to this great woman by having a Remembrance room in the house. There is a fascinating selection of photographs illustrating the work of Sue Ryder, images of her with her family along with some interesting memorabilia of her life's work.
This is the speech given at the opening of the Remembrance Room by Michael Cutting, Trustee and Treasurer of The Lady Ryder of Warsaw Memorial Trust.
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen
On behalf of the LRWMT I would like to say how delighted we are to have the Sue Ryder Remembrance Room here at Devonshire House.
This house, which originally belonged to Sure Ryder’s mother, was not only a Home for so many sick and disabled, but also the Headquarters of the Sue Ryder Foundation which at the time of Lady Ryder's death had over 80 homes across the world and over 500 Sue Ryder Shops in the UK.
There was also a small flat upstairs where Sue Ryder and her husband Group Captain Leonard Cheshire lived, in great simplicity, with their two children, Jeromy and Elizabeth and who I am delighted are with us today.
It is very important that Lady Ryder's example of service and frugality are remembered and shown to succeeding generations. The first residents who came here were survivors from the concentration camps of the Second World War. They were brought here by Sue Ryder herself. She had no money, but it was an act of Faith and from that precarious beginning her Foundation grew.
Her whole life was given to others and was based on her deep Faith. Thousands of individuals across the world were either helped by her, or inspired by her to join her in this work.
I feel very privileged to have known both Sue Ryder who later became Lady Ryder of Warsaw, and Group Captain Leonard Cheshire who later became Lord Cheshire of Woodhal,l having lived directly opposite during my childhood. My family were invited by Sue Ryder to attend Mass at the chapel she had built in the Home and I found her deep Catholic faith a true inspiration.
I was saddened that Sue Ryder’s name, which was synonymous with Cavendish, was all but forgotten when the Home was sold by the Foundation after her death and am so pleased her name is now returned to her home.
The Memorial Trust are very grateful to Anchor Homes for acknowledging Sue Ryder in this way and for continuing the tradition of care in this House.
If you have not already visited the Sue Ryder Remembrance Room it is on the left hand side in what was the Dining Room when the house was a Sue Ryder Home. I would like to thank local historian, Phyllis Felton, who very kindly arranged the Room on behalf of the Trust with Jeromy’s help. Phyllis will be in the Room and is very happy to answer any questions Finally,may I thank you all for coming to mark this very special occasion.
The Lady Ryder of Warsaw Memorial Trust is a company limited by guarantee and is registered in England No.3935283 | Registered Charity No: 1082295