Since he first offered to support Muscular Dystrophy UK, Lord Attenborough spent fifty years consistently raising our profile and generated hundreds of thousands of pounds for our work. He remained one of our most inspirational supporters, until he passed away in August 2014.

Watch this short video of Lord Attenborough describing how he got involved in the charity.

1962 Richard Attenborough meets some young boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at a local hospital fete, and despite having never heard of the condition before, promises to do what he can to support the work of the charity (then known as the Muscular Dystrophy Group).
1966 Following an invitation from Richard Attenborough HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh becomes Patron of the charity
1967 Richard Attenborough is appointed a CBE
1971 Lord Richard Attenborough becomes President of the Muscular Dystrophy Group of Great Britain alongside Professor John Walton who is appointed Chairman
1976 Richard Attenborough receives a knighthood
1977 Sir Richard Attenborough takes part in a BBC television appeal that raises £41,112 and the first National Occupational Therapy Advisor is appointed
1980s Lord Attenborough sets up an appeals committee and raises millions of pounds for research into muscular dystrophy and related neuromuscular conditions, enabling us to make a growing investment in scientific research
1993 Lord Attenborough launches the ‘Batteries Not Included’ Campaign advocating government funding of powered wheelchairs at the House of Lords
1995 The ‘Batteries Not Included’ campaign scores a remarkable victory when the Department of Health allocates £27 million to fund powered wheelchairs in England
2004 After 33 years of dedicated service as President of Muscular Dystrophy UK, Lord Attenborough becomes the charity’s Honorary Life President
2012 The Richard Attenborough Fellowship Fund is established tohonour his commitment to world-class research and offer Fellowships to enable clinical research and training at leading neuromuscular centres in the UK
2014 Lord Richard Attenborough passes away, aged 90. Many tributes were made to recognise his vast contribution to film, sport and charity.
2015 Friends and family gather together at Westminster Abbey to celebrate his life. Muscular Dystrophy UK is honoured to be chosen as the beneficiary of the retiring collection, which raises £26,000.

Muscular Dystrophy UK has been extremely close to my heart since I first joined in 1962. I have never forgotten learning at first hand of the impact of muscular dystrophy on boys with Duchenne and being so moved and indeed distressed to find that there were really no effective treatments and indeed no sign of a cure even on the far horizon in those days.

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