Screen Shot 2016-01-13 at 13.20.16Walsingham Support, a national disability charity, is celebrating 30 years of supporting people with disabilities in 2016.

The charity was founded as Walsingham Community Homes in 1986 when many people with learning disabilities were living in long-stay hospitals.

A group of parents led by Mark Snell wanted to offer people with disabilities the opportunity to live in houses within their local communities and closer to their families.

The charity has been supporting people in Middlesbrough for 23 years and now supports 25 people through different services, including supported living, support at home and residential care.

Today the charity supports 370 people, employs 900 members of staff and has offices in Cumbria, London, Middlesbrough, Somerset and Swansea.

Paul Snell, Chief Executive of Walsingham Support, said: “We are very proud to have supported people with disabilities for 30 years. The organisation started with one service in Watford and today we support people in more than 180 locations.

To mark its 30th anniversary, Walsingham Support has planned a series of fundraising events, including a skydive and entering a team of runners in the 2016 Vitality British London 10K Run, to raise £30,000.

The organisation is also inviting the public to help it reach its target by holding their own fundraising event. A fundraising pack has been developed and is available to request from the Walsingham Support website from January 2016.

Walsingham Support intends on using the funds to launch new projects and purchase equipment that will support people with disabilities to achieve their goals and live a more independent life.

Mr Snell added: “This is a very exciting time for Walsingham Support as it’s our first step into fundraising as an organisation. Over the years we have developed some strong relationships with the local communities where we support people and are keen for everyone to be a part of our celebrations.”