Fundraising and Charity
Beginning with caring for the returning wounded from the First World War and ending at a special school for disabled children in the early 1990s, these films exemplify how the charitable response to disability was the predominant one for many disabled people.
The great and the good, notably Royals and film stars, are marshalled to capture the audience’s attention and solicit donations to help good causes. Two things are less prominent, though - the voices of those disabled people who (with some revealing exceptions), are cast as passive and grateful receivers of charity; and the idea that disabled people can live an independent and useful life as citizens outside of institutions.
Graham Findlay (disability equality consultant)
Please note: titles in this collection may contain language or other content that reflect views prevalent in their time but that may cause offence today. They are included here for historical reasons and are in no way endorsed by the BFI or its partners.
Charity appeal19378 minsSilent Location: Andover
Charles Laughton stars in this appeal film for Enham Village Centre, where WWI servicemen with disabilities are cared for.
East End Cripples Enjoy a Happy Days Outing in Epping ForestEast End Cripples Enjoy a Happy Days Outing in Epping Forest
Non-Fiction19112 minsSilent Location: Epping Forest
Disabled East End ‘ragged’ children go on a trip to the country - but not everyone seems happy
Short documentary197013 mins
Thanks to the Winged Fellowship Trust disabled guests at Crabhill House enjoy a fortnight’s holiday that can make a real difference
Charity appeal19624 mins
In the same year as James Bond made him famous, Sean Connery puts in an awkward plea to help blind people live an independent life.
Campaigning film197817 mins
A brief encounter between film director David Lean and Leonard Cheshire, who speaks about his work in India for disabled people
Charity appeal19655 mins Location: Southport
A charity appeal film promoting guide dogs comparing the daily lives of blind people with and without them.
Behind the Scenes at the Boys' and Girls' Refuges (Estd. 1870)Behind the Scenes at the Boys' and Girls' Refuges (Estd. 1870)
Charity appeal19374 minsSilent Location: Old Colwyn
A look at an organisation providing care and support to children in need in the interwar years.
Non-Fiction19281 minsSilent Location: Richmond
Countess Haig, beaming, opens a block of flats for disabled ex-service employees at the Poppy Factory in Richmond.
Documentary198132 mins Location: Middlesbrough
A film which shows the desire and dedication of those with disability to become integrated into the world of work.
Duke of Gloucester opens new unit for mentally ill in PeterboroughDuke of Gloucester opens new unit for mentally ill in Peterborough
News19773 mins Location: Peterborough
Peterborough's new live-in facility for learning-disabled patients offers woodwork and pottery as therapy.
Amateur film19904 minsSilent Location: Cheadle
Timperley's most famous resident, and his sidekick, are school visitors with a difference.
Amateur film196410 minsSilent Location: Rivoulich
Assorted entertainments in Lancashire - a brass band, Scottish reels, and a chance to meet the great Stan Ogden.
Short documentary195717 mins Location: Southsea
This poignant film shows how the BLESMA charity provides comfort, care and rehabilitation for limbless ex-servicemen at their Southsea home
Amateur film194613 mins Location: Winchmore Hill
Try your luck on the Tombola and help raise money to buy a lift for Halliwick School's disabled girls
Activities at the Sir Robert Jones Memorial Workshop for Cripples - LiverpoolActivities at the Sir Robert Jones Memorial Workshop for Cripples - Liverpool
Charity appeal193626 minsSilent Location: Liverpool
Bookbinding and a bagatelle: training for disabled people in the interwar years.
Leicester Guild of the Crippled: Some Events of 1930Leicester Guild of the Crippled: Some Events of 1930
Amateur film193014 minsSilent Location: Welby Grange
Caring for disabled people 1930s style: The Leicester Guild of the Crippled take to the road with spinal carriages and bath chairs.
News19746 mins Location: Wakes Colne
Screen favourites Michele Dotrice, Sylvia Syms, and Gerald Flood speak to Anglia TV about the charity 'Stars Organisation for Spastics'.