Celebrating the Crabb Family’s Legacy

Celebrating the Crabb Family’s Legacy

Celebrating a Legacy

We at Grove Cottage are delighted to honor the incredible legacy of Brian Crabb and his family, whose dedication and generosity have deeply shaped our community.

Founding Vision: A Safe Space for All

Back in 1966, Brian’s parents, Stanley and Margery Crabb, joined forces with George Hall and Edna Halnon to create a safe space for children with learning disabilities.  This vision has flourished over the decades, offering vital social and practical support to countless families.

Founders’ Commitment: Transforming a Dream into Reality

Brian Crabb was a central figure at Grove Cottage, enjoying our clubs and services for 53 years, into his eighties. His life was enriched by the friendships and experiences he gained here, all made possible by the pioneering efforts of his parents. Stanley and Margery Crabb, with the unwavering support of their fellow founders and other dedicated parents, purchased 151 London Road, transforming it into the beloved community hub that officially opened in June 1972. Their commitment provided Brian and many others with a brighter future, which continues to inspire our mission today.

A Generous Legacy: Building for the Future

The Crabb family’s impact expands far beyond the establishment of Grove Cottage. In a profoundly moving gesture, Brian’s entire estate was generously left to our charity upon his passing in 2019. This unexpected gift has given us the means to rebuild and modernise Grove Cottage, to ensure we can continue fulfilling the Crabb family’s wishes and serve our community for years to come.

Richard Smith, Treasurer, expressed the immense gratitude everyone felt upon learning about this incredible legacy. “When news of Brian’s generosity reached us during the first lockdown, we realised that we could finally begin to address the need for a better building for local people with learning disabilities and special additional needs. This is all thanks to foresight of Brian’s parents and the support of our donors over the years.”

Supporting Our Mission

However, despite this extraordinary generosity, our journey isn’t over. Grove Cottage receives no direct funding from Mencap, and Early Years government funding only covers a fraction of our costs. The rest must be met through our various fundraising efforts.

Delia Greenall, daughter of co-founder Edna Halnon, fondly recalls those early days.

Our founders’ hard work and the community’s early support were crucial in those initial years, as they still are now, and their legacy remains a source of pride and inspiration. Delia Greenall, daughter of co-founder Edna Halnon, fondly recalls those early days: “As a young girl, I can still remember committee meetings at our house in Fulton Crescent when they were fundraising to try to buy 151 London Road. The committee all worked so hard and had the support of the whole town. What a thrill it was attending a special fundraising midnight showing of Dr Zhivago at the local cinema with the actress, Valerie Hobson, who became the first President.”

Join Us in Building a Brighter Future: Together We Can Make a Difference

We invite everyone in our community to join us in continuing this legacy. By supporting our new build project, you’re not just contributing to a building; you’re investing in the future of our community and the lives of local individuals with learning disabilities and special additional needs.

Imagine a new, purpose-built Grove Cottage where friendships are formed, skills are learned, and every individual has the opportunity to lead a full and happy life. This vision can become a reality with your help. Just as Brian’s parents did for him nearly 60 years ago, your support can change lives and create a brighter future for many more.

How You Can Help: Taking Action to Create Change

  • Donate: Every contribution, no matter how small, brings us closer to our goal.
  • Fundraise: Organise community events, sponsored activities, or personal challenges.
  • Volunteer: Give your time and skills to help us in this transformative project.
  • Spread the Word: Share our vision with friends, family, and on social media.

A Brighter Future Together: Join Our Community

Be a part of our story. Be a part of our community.  Together, let’s build a better Grove Cottage and a brighter future.

We extend our heartfelt thanks to the Crabb family for their incredible generosity and to all our supporters who have pledged grants and donations. Together, we can realise our dream of a new Grove Cottage, providing a vital resource for our community for the next 60 years and beyond.


Join us in building a brighter future together: Grove Cottage: A Better Building for a Brighter Future.

Read the Bishop’s Stortford Indepedent news article: Grove Cottage can build a better future thanks to ‘incredible legacy’ of Brian Crabb and his family

Grove Cottage: A Better Building for a Brighter Future

Founder members Stanley Crabb, left, and Edna Halnon, second right, celebrate the charity’s 21st anniversary with then mayor of Bishop’s Stortford Chas Gill, centre, president Dame Betty Paterson and Ann Fuller


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