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Joyce Fieldhouse – Founder Member and Honorary President of Leeds Mencap 1953 – 2021

  • By Charlotte Stone
  • 17th December 2021

We would like to commemorate and celebrate the life and contribution of Joyce Fieldhouse who died on 1st December 2021.


Joyce was one of a group of parents of children with learning disabilities or autism who set Leeds Mencap up back in 1953 when there was very little support available for children or families. Over the years Joyce gave an enormous amount of time and energy to the organisation, influencing local policy, particularly around education for children with learning disabilities, and setting up and improving services. Joyce was particularly dedicated to Leeds Mencap’s Holiday Home (1968 – 1991) at Bridlington, arranging breaks for families and the upkeep of the house.


Joyce’s unstinting service was recognised in 2013 when she was awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for service to people with learning disabilities. In the same year she became Honorary President of Leeds Mencap as she retired (aged 83) from more active involvement in the day to day running of the charity.


Supportive throughout, Joyce was pleased to join Anneka Rice on a trip down memory lane in 2015 when Anneka, who had transformed the burnt-out shell of Leeds Mencap’s ‘new’ building in East End Park in 1992, came to help us launch the last leg of our fundraising campaign for our current home, The Vinery Centre.


Without Joyce and others who had the vision, commitment and determination to found Leeds Mencap 68 years ago we would not be the organisation we are today. Joyce has touched the lives of so many people who have benefited from her dedication and hard work over the years. We have always been proud to be associated with Joyce and will be forever grateful to her for all she has done. We offer her family our condolences and hope they can draw comfort from knowing the high regard in which Joyce will be remembered.


Cath Lee, CEO, on behalf of everyone past and present at Leeds Mencap.

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