Step One celebrates over 75 Years of royal patronage

Queen Elizabeth II waving and smiling

As Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations continue across the nation, Step One looks back at almost eight decades of royal support.

The Platinum Jubilee milestone is particularly close to our hearts as it marks not only 70 years of Her Majesty’s reign as monarch of the United Kingdom, but it also represents 76 years of Elizabeth Windsor supporting our work by being the patron of our organisation.

Step One (then known as St. Loye’s College) was established by Dame Georgiana Buller DBE in 1937. Dame Buller was one of the earliest and most passionate disability rights activists in the UK, and was instrumental in shifting the focus of care towards independent living and community support.

Her mission was fuelled by a vision of supporting people with physical disabilities to overcome barriers to inclusion in society, and driven by the desire to help them develop the skills required to live independently.

Her Majesty, The Queen (then known as Her Royal Highness The Princess Elizabeth) first visited St. Loye’s College in 1946. Shortly after the visit, she became patron of the college and has continued to give us her stamp of royal approval to this day, which we are deeply honoured by.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

Her Majesty, The Queen and HRH Prince Phillip on their last royal visit to Step One Charity in 2010

Jubilation And Celebrations

The Platinum Jubilee brings back many happy memories for us; in 2010, The Queen – along with His Royal Highness, The Duke Of Edinburgh – paid a visit to St. Loye’s Exeter offices to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee year, where she met our staff to commend them on their work with people living with disabilities in the Devon area.

Then in 2016, it was also our privilege to attend The Patron’s Lunch at The Mall in London, which marked Her Majesty’s 90th birthday. Attending with us were 600 other charities which Her Majesty has graced with her patronage.

We have come a long way since our founding in 1937 – not least rebranding as Step One in 2017 – and we feel blessed to have had The Queen’s support at every step of the way. For instance, she has honoured us with her presence at many of our facility openings and special events, where she has approved the quality of support we offer.

About Our Work

At Step One, we have 85 years’ experience working with people with mental health conditions and disabilities in the Devon area. We work alongside a variety of public health and community services to deliver mental health support that educates and empowers local people to manage their mental health.

Our most recent service, BeWell@StepOne, was developed as an urgent response to the rapid rise in mental health problems brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. All courses are run by professionally qualified tutors with lived experience of mental health conditions and are available to anyone who would like to register. For further information about what courses are on offer, click here.

we are immensely grateful for Her Majesty’s patronage, which allows us to continue our work.

To learn about fun ways to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Devon, across the UK, and on social media, please visit this page.

And finally, with 1 in 5 people in the UK now experiencing a mental health problem, our work is more important than ever. So if you’re able to make a donation, raise money, or simply attend one of our fun events and help raise awareness of what we do, please click here to learn how to support us.

Thank you.

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