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A York mental health charity's celebrating it's Silver Jubilee.


7:10am 16th March 2011

Clifton-based mental health charity “Our Celebration” is twenty five years old this month, and staff, trustees, volunteers, clients and supporters from the last quarter of a century will be marking the occasion at a Silver Jubilee Reception York Mansion House on Wednesday 16th March.

Our Celebration was founded by Emmy Burdon in 1986 as a group to
support people with severe and enduring mental health conditions, and in the early days, they met around her kitchen table! She comments that the unusual name was born out of the group initially specialising in making very high-quality wedding invitations, Christmas crackers and various other items for similar occasions.

Emmy said:

“When it came to choosing a name for the group we felt that as we were making things for other people’s celebrations, that this could be ‘Our Celebration’! The ethos of the group was always that we wanted to celebrate what people with mental health problems could achieve with the right support, rather than dwelling on the barriers they faced, so the name seemed perfect!”.

A move to premises in Tadcaster Road followed in 1989, and the group registered as a charity in 1991, which enabled them to apply for grants and funding which was previously not available to them.

A successful bid was made to the National Lottery to enable Our Celebration to move in 1998 into its own purpose-built premises in Highcliffe Court, off Clifton Green, where they remain to this day.

Emmy, who was an incredible campaigner for mental-health issues in the local area remained as chair for all of this time, until she eventually decided to retire in 2002.

She remains a great supporter of the work done at Our Celebration to this day, and will be the guest of honour at the Mansion House event on 16th March. There, she will talk about the early days of Our Celebration, and the numerous changes the charity has been through over the last 25 years.

The Rt Hon Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Susan Galloway has chosen Our Celebration as one of her supported charities for her term of office this year, and she will also be in attendance at the event.

Current Chief Executive of Our Celebration, David Smith commented that the charity was very proud of its history;

“Emmy’s persistence and determination to give people in the York area who are recovering from mental ill-health the kind of support they need was unbelievable."

“The charity has undergone great changes over the years, and continues to
do so, but we will always remember the beginnings and the incredible story
of what Emmy established a quarter of a century ago.”


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