How it all started

The Elsie Normington Foundation was created by learning disability campaigner Elsie Normington, whose son Andrew was diagnosed with a severe and intractable form of epilepsy when he was just four years old. Elsie wrote about her experiences of parenting a disabled child in her book, The Silent Doorbell, which became the start of her journey campaigning for better services and facilities for children and young adults with severe learning disabilities and complex needs in the Highlands and Islands. Andrew now lives a happy, fulfilled life in his own home, with full support.


The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasised the desperate need to support families living with disability. Today, we’re more aware than ever of the impact that loneliness and isolation have on mental health. The Elsie Normington Foundation was formed to address the inequality faced by so many, to provide a specialist space where children and young people with severe learning disabilities and complex needs in the Highlands and Islands could come together and socialise, and where parents and carers could feel supported. It is this desperate need that has driven the charity’s passion for The Haven Centre.



The Elsie Normington Foundation is a small charity supported by a Board of Trustees, who meet on a regular basis to oversee and guide the charity’s work. Each member brings different skills, experience and expertise which will support the development of the charity. It is also supported by a committed team of volunteers, who support fundraising.

Elsie Normington

Founder & Chairperson

Jonathan Innes

Trustee & Treasurer

Rosie Jardine

Trustee and Vice Chairperson

Heather Bain

Trustee and Secretary