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  • Writer's pictureThe British Polio Fellowship

BPF Patron: Joseph Fisher dies aged 100

Patron and dear friend of the British Polio Fellowship, Joseph Fisher has died aged 100, his family confirmed.

Joe dedicated his life to helping polio survivors and in honour of his service to charity and the British Polio Fellowship, he received an MBE from the Queen in 2015.

While serving the Army in Burma, Joe contracted polio aged 23, and had to return to England to recover. He had 95% disability and paralysis down one side of his body. Joe was left in poor health and struggled to earn a living in post-war London. But he was always sure of one thing – that people with polio can and should work.

When living in London, Joe began to attend meetings of the British Polio Fellowship (formally known as the Infantile Paralysis Fellowship) but was determined to do something to help polio survivors in his hometown. When he returned to Newcastle, he set up a branch in the North East and began helping to rebuild members’ self-esteem and find employment.

In 1954, with a large donation from RAG week at Newcastle University, Joe purchased a house in Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne and converted it into a hostel and training centre for 15-20 polio survivors to live and work.

Joe leaves behind his wife Christine, two sons and grandchildren.

Reacting to the news Kripen Dhrona, Chief Executive Officer on behalf of the Fellowship commented "We don't have the words, we just have love, affection and respect for our friend and long-term supporter, the wonderful Joe Fisher. We will really miss you, Joe."

Joe’s funeral will be held at 10.30am on Wednesday 23 November at North Shields Crematorium.

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