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 support across the UK and internationally.

Her work was expansive and international, so when she died on 2nd 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 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

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