Margaret Susan Ryder, known as Sue Ryder, was born on 3 July 1923 in the municipal hospital in Leeds in the landowning family living in the Suffolk county. From her family home, she walked off with a need to support poor and disadvantages persons.
Sue Ryder, British charity activist that carried out widely understood charity activity in the world. She established an international foundation as a tribute to victims of the Second World War. As Lady Ryder of Warsaw, she was a member to the British House of Lords. She was a great friend of Poland and Poles. In Poland, she founded care centres, hospitals and hospices in 30 locations.
After the outbreak of the Second World War, when she was only 16, she voluntarily joined the First Aid Nurses Formation. During the Second World War, Susan Ryder served in the Polish section of the British Social Operation Executive, which dealt with sabotage in occupied Europe. In August 1944, she dispatched airdrops of weapon to Warsaw. She cooperated with Cichociemni, whose courage, determination and sacrifice had a great influence on her future. During her service, she came into direct contact with human suffering. After the war, she helped former prisoners of German camps. At the same time, she visited Allied prisons and saved the life of many persons sentenced to death. That experience made her unreservedly committed to charity work for ill or homeless persons or those that were left with no means of subsistence. Her aid soon reached other continents.
In 1953, she established a foundation of her name. “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance, pray, love, remember”: a quotation from Hamlet and a rosemary branch became symbols of the Foundation, which is a living monument of millions of people that sacrificed their lives to defend human values during the war. The Sue Ryder Foundation constructed over eighty houses in fifteen countries of the world, which take care of ill and suffering people to date.
Till 1978, she arranged for recreational and rehabilitation trips to Great Britain for former prisoners of concentration camps. Such support was provided to approximately 8000 persons, mainly Poles. Together with her husband, Leonard Cheshire (1917-1992), famous hero of the Second World War and distinguished charity activists, she initiated humanitarian actions in various countries touched by human tragedy.
To finance the operation of the foundation, Sue Ryder established over 600 charity stores. Poland was always a special place for Sue Ryder. Directly after the war, with an international group of volunteers, she came to support the Polish capital and helped Poland and Poles even later. In Poland, she constructed 30 Sue Ryder Houses, which take ill, single and homeless persons in.