Harpenden charity founder celebrated with stamp

PUBLISHED: 15:02 26 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:36 06 May 2010

HARPENDEN resident Judy Fryd, the founder of learning disability charity Mencap, put her own very special stamp upon the town, and now she is being commemorated with her own stamp in Royal Mail s latest world famous special edition series. Judy s granddau

HARPENDEN resident Judy Fryd, the founder of learning disability charity Mencap, put her own very special stamp upon the town, and now she is being commemorated with her own stamp in Royal Mail's latest world famous special edition series.

Judy's granddaughter Elly Downes, who also lives in Harpenden, said: "I have always felt very proud of my grandmother's remarkable achievements and her lasting legacy. It is a huge honour to have her included on the new set of stamps."

The stamp is part of a collection celebrating Eminent Britons which includes William Gladstone and Fred Perry. Judy Fryd was chosen to feature on the stamp as a celebration of her achievements in transforming the lives of millions of people with a learning disability.

The mother of a child with a learning disability herself, she wrote a letter to Nursery World magazine in 1946 asking other parents to share their stories over the lack of services for their children. That same year Judy formed The National Association of Parents of Backward Children, now known as Mencap.

Judy Fryd was born in Hornsey, on October 31 1909 and moved to Harpenden in 1941. She was an active member in the local community, setting up Harpenden Mencap, the first local Mencap group in the UK, and she was part of the Harpenden Choral Society. She died in Harpenden in 2000 and the release of the new stamp marks the 100th year since her birth.

Until 40 years ago children with a learning disability were denied the right to an education. Judy's tireless campaigning secured the right for every child with a learning disability to receive an education with the passing of the Education Act in 1971.

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