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Norah Fry

Norah Fry (also known by her married name Norah Cooke-Hurle) was an advocate and campaigner for disabled children and those with learning difficulties. She was a mental health pioneer.

Fry was a member of the Bristol Quaker Fry family of the J. S. Fry & Sons company who made chocolate and cocoa. She became Norah Cooke-Hurle in 1915 when she married Joseph Cooke-Hurle.

She was extremely concerned about the lack of proper schooling for disable children and the shortage of housing for those with learning difficulties and became a well known as an advocate and campaigner for change. She served as the chair of the statutory mental deficiency committee and a key member of the Somerset Association for Mental Welfare (SAMW). She was also the first female councillor in Somerset in 1918.

For over fifty years she was a member of the council of Bristol University. Fry donated the money for the university to set up the Department of Mental Health. The Norah Fry Research Centre for learning difficulties at the University of Bristol is named after her, as is a hospital in Shepton Mallet.

Sources here, here and here.

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