Our history

Hannahs was founded in 1767 through the generous £10,000 legacy of Dame Hannah Rogers – the wife of a Plymouth MP – who had a passion for working with children. Although our proud history has been varied, the aim has been simple: to help enrich and empower the lives of children and adults in need.

In 1925 and after much modernisation, Hannahs opened one of the UK’s first orthopaedic hospitals at Ivybridge, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. Some 30 years later, we were the first to open a school for children with Cerebral Palsy. Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength, enabling and enriching the lives of more than 500 disabled children and their families annually. In 2008, we saw a desperate need for young adults with disabilities. As a result we opened Hannahwood; a transition programme for 19-25yr olds. Hannahwood supports our students choice to live independently in specially adapted, bright and modern bungalows.

Eager to expand our reach, and bursting with more innovative ideas, Hannahs acquired a 90 acre site at Seale-Hayne in December 2009. After months of sorting out 5,000 keys, frozen pipes, leaks, and clearing the grounds, we opened our sustainable vibrant community to the public in May 2010. For almost 9 years Seale-Hayne has been a place where the ideas and visions we had for Hannah’s were realised. But in 2019 with the increasing costs of maintaining the large site, grade II listed building and outer buildings mounting the sad decision was made by the board of trustees to sell the site.

Around 50 tenants remain on the Seale-Hayne site until its sale and Hannah’s story is not over as we continue to provide support, care and friendship for children and young adults at our site in Ivybridge.