our History

Established in 1984

Rescare: the society for families of children and adults with learning disabilities

Rescare is a charity, registered with the Charity Commission (Reg. No. 1112766) 

Rescare was formed when the Cranage Hall Parents Relatives and Residents’ Welfare Society Committee agreed to a proposal by its chairman Richard S Jackson that they become the Steering Committee for a new national society to be named ‘The National Society for Mentally Handicapped People in Residential Care’

Rescare is now known as a unique nationwide charity that has been supporting families who have loved ones with a learning disability by promoting quality and choice in care, education and health since 1984.


Rescare represents hundreds of families and friends within the UK. It also has members living abroad and affiliations in New Zealand and Australia. Families are at the centre of what we do.


Rescare supports choice and quality care options for people with a learning disability and people with autism

Initially, Rescare campaigned for the conversion of redundant ‘mental hospitals’ into residential communities, and ran a number of high profile campaigns. It presented a petition with over 70,000 signatures, about the closure of a hospital in Blackburn, to Parliament through the local MP. It has also organised campaigns about closures of other facilities.

Since its inception Rescare has grown and evolved to be a charity that today represents the views and concerns of the families and carers of people with a learning disability; and that is concerned generally with the well-being and best interests of the people with a learning disability, including those without a family to speak for them. 

Rescare continues to support the validity of residential provision, i.e. in villages and intentional communities; but now campaigns more widely for the availability of choice, in housing, health care, care provision, and education.

Rescare helpline image

Rescare the charity run "by families for families"

Rescare has always been run ‘by families for families’, and attempted to represent the views and concerns of its members, by making representation to local and central government, campaigning for law change, and contributing to consultations by government and others agencies e.g. the Law Commission. Rescare participated in the consultation processes which led to the White Paper ‘Valuing People’, published in March 2001 and the first White Paper on learning disability for thirty years, which set out a programme of action for improving services based on four key principles: ‘civil rights, independence, choice and inclusion’. Rescare was also consulted during the drafting of the legislation which became the Mental Capacity Act 2005; which has had major implications for persons with learning disabilities and how decisions affecting them should be made.

In 2010, the moving force behind the foundation of Rescare, Richard S Jackson MBE retired as Honorary Chairman. Rescare continues to serve families nationally.