Chaseley Residents 1947
Chaseley is home for everyone who lives here and visits, but we also think it is more than that. In 1945 the house was donated by Lady Michaelis, along with £50,000 to become a home for ex-servicemen with spinal injuries, at the request of Dr. Ludwig Guttmann who believed that injured soldiers should not be defined by their disabilities and deserved to live a full and active life..
The home was officially opened on Monday 28th October 1946 and the first patients arrived from Stoke Mandeville Hospital a few days later on 6th November.
In 1948 Dr. Guttmann started the Stoke Mandeville games, which would later become the Paralympic Games. In the London 2012 Paralympic games, 4,032 athletes from 164 countries proved that a disability does not stop you from achieving amazing things.
In 1958 the ‘Friends of Chaseley’ were formed to raise funds for Chaseley through social events.
Countess Mountbatten opening the new wing in 1990
In 1968 Chaseley launched their first fundraising appeal to raise £30,000 for an extension to increase capacity and over the years there were several more appeals for pieces of equipment and an ambulance, but the biggest achievement was the redevelopment appeal launched in May 1987 for a whopping £950,000.
The redevelopment was to include a new two-storey extension and to refurbish the inside of home to remove the shared wards and create single rooms for all residents. The work were completed in November of 1989, costing a grand total of £1.2 million and the extension was officially opened on 9th May 1990 by the Countess Mountbatten of Burma, with the Duke of Devonshire and the Mayor of Eastbourne in attendance.
The Friends of Chaseley disbanded in December 1995 and the Chaseley team continues to raise funds to this day.