Our history

Outside Lil Stockdale CentreLil







Outside the Lil Stockdale Centre                                 Lil Stockdale – our founder

Back in 1953, four local women with a passionate interest in disability placed an advert offering to provide casual support to families who had children with learning disabilities. And that’s how our journey began.

The response to this simple advert revealed a big need in the local community. Soon, a group of volunteers established a service for children and their families, offering medical advice, physiotherapy, play support and everyday help out of local community centres.

By 1958, after a period of successful fundraising, we were able to purchase a permanent base. This was Pictor House, right next door to where we are today. By now we were offering health, community and educational support services.

Growth was steady. Still mainly run by volunteers, with help from outside experts, we offered our first overnight stay in 1961. In the early 1970s, education for children with learning disabilities became the responsibility of local authorities; that gave us the opportunity to refocus our services.

We sold Pictor House, and bought the house next door, Harboro (pictured), which was a more suitable base from which to deliver our care services. The number of children we were able to support continued to grow, and services on offer included afternoon and weekend care, overnight stays and holiday breaks.

Demand for our services required us to make the move into permanent residential care, and care for young adults. So, in 1992 we opened Headonhey and, in 1997, Hayling – both homes responding to an urgent need for quality residential care in the heart of the community.

We opened yet another home, Ashton, in 2004, and in 2007 introduced Lifeskills – a community-based range of activities that addressed the need for people to continue to develop both socially and educationally after school and college.

The latest in our innovative range of services has been to introduce Community and Home Support. This means we can now offer our excellent brand of care to people in their own homes, and in the community.

We’ve grown from strength to strength over the years, thanks to a combination of dedication and quality from our team, and immense support from the public. We love what we do. And every day, we see lives improved by the support we offer.

Our history to date would not be complete without a tribute to our founders: one in particular, Lil Stockdale, was the driving force and inspiration that helped us become the outstanding organisation we are today.

As part of our 60th celebrations, Local resident Dr. Eric McPherson put together a comprehensive history of Stockdales. It’s a really interesting read, detailing the changes and challenges that have taken Stockdales from our small beginings in 1953, to the organisation we are today.

If you would like to know more and recieve a copy of “60 Years of Service” please give us a call on 0161 973 2296.


Find out more about:

What is a Learning Disability?

Our Team

Our Mission Statement


Good Practice

What People Say About Us