The Norman Laud Association goes back 50 years when a group of local enthusiastic volunteers supported by Doctor Preston, the then local Medical Officer of Health, acquired rooms at a nearby clinic, from where, in July 1961 a nursery for a small group of ‘handicapped’ children aged from 2 to 11 years was opened for a few hours one afternoon a week.
Mr Norman Laud, a local councillor, soon became aware of ‘this little nursery’ and encouraged the support of local groups to fundraise for basic equipment. The number of children and volunteers soon grew and the nursery moved to bigger premises.
A purpose-built building became a necessity, so with more fundraising and an anonymous donation of £5000, in December 1962 building plans were drawn up.
In early 1964, the land on Birmingham Road became available and by October, still supported by Councillor Laud, the nursery opened on its present site. Sadly in April 1966 Norman Laud died suddenly aged 60.
After 10 years of providing respite care for nursery age children, this was extended to older children and by 1974 the building of a short stay respite home had been agreed and in 1978 the first building extension was completed and officially opened by HRH Princess Alexandra in July 1979.
By 1996 care was extended to the over-18’s. With the help of Sutton Coldfield Municipal Charities, extensive fundraising and a large grant from the National Lottery, Emscote House was opened in January 1996.
The Association has undergone several name changes over the years. Known locally as ‘the Norman Laud’, the present title of ‘The Norman Laud Association’ was formally registered with the Charity Commission in June 1996.