A NEW `CHESHIRE' ON THE MAP
And the homes just grow and grow
youNG Jeromy Charlet: Cheshire arrived in the world on Sunday. He wouldn't know yet, but Sunday was World Day for Lepers : A day on which we remembered the 15,000,000 lepers in the world, prayed for them, and gave what we could.
And although his father and mother will in a few months be oft again on their travels it will be a few years before Jeromy can realise what World Leper Day means, and what the work of his mother and father means to thousands of incurably sick people in many parts of the world.
His father is Group-Capt. Leonard Cheshire, V.C., one of the greatest bomber pilots of World War II; official observer at the A-bombing of Nagasaki. who now devotes his life to helping the sick. His mother is the former Sue Ryder untiring worker for survivors of Nazi concentration camps.
The story that follows is a small sample of what it means to work for the Cheshire Foundation: * * *
QUNDAY for Cyril and Stella Lyle of Bournemouth, Hampshire. was "World Day with the Lepers."
Cyril and Stella are thousands of miles away now: they are at Debra Dun, north of Delhi in India and they are helping to build a village for lepers lepers who until months ago lived on the local refuse dump.
These two are in fact part of the wonderful crowd of really amazing people whose lifework is now to spread the ideals and objects of the Cheshire Foundation.
* * *
In 1955 Op. Capt. Leonard Cheshire, V.C., went to India. He acquired a piece of land then built some huts which were immediately occupied by patients as always the incurably sick Within months more homes were on the way. One was at Dehra Dun. Here. Princess Nabha gave the Foundation a house. A long-disused but nevertheless lovely house. Help arrived. Two weeks passed and the house was filled with patients.
Another home was needed. The government gave a piece of ground nearby and helpers were recruited from different parts of the world making this new centre truly international.
They started with tents and as usual no money.
* * *
MEA NWH I LE, hundreds of miles
away in Singapore. Cyril Lyle, a Senior Technician with the R.A.F. had spent his spare time with friends working on yet another Cheshire Home.
A former gun emplacementused by both British and Japanese during the war -was the site. Cyril and his friends bought their own tools and an old car. Weekends and leave were then spent on the roofless. jungle-overgrown. derelict building.
Within 12 months 10 patients had moved in. That was the beginning. There are now several more wings --and Cyril Lyle has been demobbed.
* * *
RETURN to Bournemouth? Oh
no. It was next stop India with his wife Stella (who can turn her hand to almost any job on the site). And Debra Dun. And the Leper Colony.
Small houses the Cheshire Foundation never houses many people in one home to guard against the institutional atmosphere -arc going up around a central block. At least four hundred incurably. sick and the lepers now turn gratefully to the Cheshire Foundation.
Mentally handicapped and physically handicapped children are happily in the charge of Miss Burton. S.R.N.. whose home is in Brighton. and Miss Jane Wehncr, also from England.
* * * CYRIL and Stella Lyle are just `"' two of the many dedicated people who work for the Cheshire Foundation in the homes and sites now strung out across the globe.
A second home has been built in Malaya, India has nine in all, Nigeria is to have one, Poland has two in the charge of Mrs. Leonard Cheshire (Sue Ryder); 17 are in full working order in Britain while five or six are at the committee stage.
Two more are nearly ready to open their doors: One in Edinburgh -the first for Scotland, the other in South Wales. near Carmarthen.