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Disability History Month 2021

Published: 25 November 2021

Celebrating the lives of disabled people in the past and now

UK Disability History Month starts on 18 November and runs through to 20 December aiming to promote disabled people's rights and their struggle for equality now and in the past. The joint themes for this year are Disability and Hidden Impairments and Disability, Sex and Relationships.

Surrey History Centre


Many of the historic collections at Surrey History Centre highlight the experiences of disabled people in Surrey, especially in mental institutions. Surrey History Centre were able to rescue records from closing mental hospitals which allow us to trace the ways in which care was provided from the early 18th Century until almost the present day. Some of it makes emotional reading when you see how disabled and those suffering mental health issues were treated back in the day.

You'll also find out the fascinating history of many of our hospitals in Surrey such as Ewell Epiletic Hospital, Royal Holloway Sanitorium in Egham, Manor Hospital in Epsom and many more. Watch the short video below which will give you a flavour of what you can expect to see at the Surrey History Centre. The centre will also be running some virtual events see below.

Virtual events

Surrey Heritage are holding two sessions to celebrate Disability History Month, hosted by Surrey History Centre's Public Services and Engagement Manager, Julian Pooley.

Wednesday 8 December from 1pm to 2pm, Surrey's psychiatric and learning disability hospitals, 1700 - c.1990 - Book a place on Surrey's psychiatric and learning disability hospitals.

Thursday 16 December from 1pm to 2pm, A Day in the Life: Netherne Psychiatric Hospital, c.1955 in pictures - Book a place on A Day in the Life: Netherne Psychiatric Hospital.

Visit the Surrey History Centre in Woking

For more information about this collection and other collections that can be viewed vIsit the Surrey History Centre website.

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