Thistle Foundation – then and now

Credit: David Cadzow

In advance of the Doors Open Day for the new Centre of Wellbeing, which you can find out about here, the Thistle Foundation would like to share with you a brief history of the organisation and how it has grown over the years.

It all began in 1944 when Sir Francis and Lady Tudsbery set up Thistle Foundation and built the Thistle Estate in Craigmillar to provide homes for disabled ex-servicemen that would, in the words of Sir Francis, enable them “to live in homes of their own, surrounded by their own families, by their own friends, and by their own belongings.”

This was a truly pioneering move – for the first time, wounded war veterans could live at home with their families whilst receiving the skilled medical attention that was essential to their recovery and wellbeing.

The world has changed immeasurably since then, but the Thistle Foundation say they still share the Tudsberys’ conviction that disabled people can and should live as part of their local community.

The Thistle Foundation currently supports over 200 people every day with long term health conditions (including disabilities) to maintain and improve their health and wellbeing so they can better manage life with a condition and live the life they want.

They work with a wide range of people: from young people with additional support needs who are leaving school, to veterans who are adjusting to civilian life with long term conditions, to adults with long term conditions.

Through its training and consultancy arm, it also works with over 350 health and social care workers each year to develop best practice. The charity delivers services across the central belt of Scotland, while training and consultancy work has national reach.

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