04 April 2007

Boo, hiss

From the Daily Mail:
The charity founded by war hero Leonard Cheshire VC is planning to change its name.

The Leonard Cheshire group, which works with 21,000 disabled people around the world, says the name of the RAF bomber commander 'can be a barrier to achieving the organisation's goals'.

Its leaders have canvassed staff, volunteers and residents in some of its 50 homes for suggestions for a new title in which the Cheshire name would have only a minor role.

Among the possibilities are Equability UK, A-BL UK, which stands for Ability Beyond Limitations, Disability UK and eQual UK.

News of the planned change has appalled many supporters. The family of Lord Cheshire will meet the charity's chief Sir Nigel Broomfield, a former diplomat, tomorrow in a bid to stop the move.

Group Captain Cheshire, who was later made a peer and died in 1992, won the Victoria Cross in 1944. He founded his charity soon after the war and it has grown into an organisation which had an income of £135million last year, most of it in public money.


Charity chiefs say a recent survey showed that one in five people under 35 did not recognise the Cheshire name. Critics say this means that an overwhelming majority did. Some £8million of the charity's income last year came from legacies and donations by individuals and companies.

One in five? That means four in five - eighty percent - did recognise the name. Sounds to me like these people are mucking with something that doesn't need it.

So who was Cheshire? From the same article:
Leonard Cheshire, the son of a university professor, became one of the most famous commanders of the Second World War.

He held the two highest awards for valour and merit that can be awarded in Britain.

Cheshire won the VC in 1944 for, uniquely, courage sustained over four years of immensely dangerous operations for RAF Bomber Command.

Some 37 years later he was awarded the Order of Merit for devoting his life to the sick, dying and disabled.

I really hope the family succeeds in talking some sense into these people....

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