John Williams, co-founder of FitzRoy celebrated his 90th birthday at the weekend. The huge impact he has had on many people throughout his life was clear in the mood of excitement and celebration at the party. Surrounded by family, friends, and well-wishers of all ages, he popped many champagne corks and with his legendary energy and sense of fun managed to party for over two days.
Anna Galliford, Chief Executive of FitzRoy, made a moving speech reflecting on his life and work.
While I have known John for less time than many people here at the party he has had an enormous impact on me. Back in the fifties John’s vision for a better life for people with disabilities and their families went against the received wisdom of the day. Undeterred, he and Elizabeth worked round the clock and overcame many odds to fundamentally improve lives for many families.
This legacy lives on in the work not only of FitzRoy, but many other organisations like ours that support people with disabilities to lead happy fulfilling lives. John’s determination and vision remains a guiding light for me as we continue to face many challenges to providing the best support for people with learning disabilities and their families.