The story of our founder, Lady Sue Ryder

Our founder, Lady Sue Ryder, was a humanitarian who was dedicated to the relief of suffering. Her work started in WWII, helping people displaced from their homes as a result of war. After the war she widened the scope of her work, supporting people in need of palliative and neurological care across the UK and internationally.

Her work was expansive and international, so when she died on 2 November 2000 she left behind a legacy of charities around the world, including ours, who continue to provide care based on her principles: compassion and the relief of suffering.

Watch this video about her life and legacy

This video, narrated by Tim Key, shows a history of Lady Ryder and the work she did. Please note that the video contains scenes that some people may find upsetting.

Watch: A history of Sue Ryder

Image credit and thanks to Leeds Library and Information Service.
Lady Ryder

Lady Sue Ryder's story: 1924-2000

What Sue Ryder saw and experienced during the war almost inevitably resulted in her committing the rest of her life to relieving suffering. She lived by a simple ethos: do what you can for the person in front of you.

Do what you can for the person in front of you."

Lady Sue Ryder, our founder

Sue Ryder and Nurses

An interview with Lady Ryder

With special thanks to the Imperial War Museum, you can listen to a 1987 interview with Sue Ryder.

Our Sue Ryder image gallery

Lady Ryder at the first Sue Ryder care centre
Sue Ryder walking with husband Leonard Cheshire
Lady Ryder
Lady Ryder meeting famous people
Sue Ryder driving a truck in the war
Lady Ryder and Leonard Cheshire and her daughter
Lady Ryder as a child on a bicycle
Lady Ryder and Leonard Cheshire
Sue Ryder cycling during her early years
The first Sue Ryder care centre
Lady Ryder building a care centre
Lady Ryder meeting the Queen
Lady Ryder and children
Lady Ryder during World War II
Lady Ryder with a patient
Lady Ryder meeting famous people
Lady Ryder with Leonard Cheshire
Lady Ryder cuddling children
Lady Ryder as a young woman during the war
Lady Ryder meeting Prince Charles
Lady Ryder
The first Sue Ryder care centre
Sue Ryder and Nurses