In 1967 Gerry Simon became Medical Director of Lea and Lea Castle Hospitals, in Worcestershire. He was convinced there should be better support in the community for people with learning disabilities and their families, and he devoted the next 25 years of his life to ensuring this happened, locally and nationally.
A vital strand of this endeavour was to ensure that there was a transformation in the attitudes and skills of the professionals supporting people with learning disabilities and BILD was launched in 1971. Its remit was educational: running conferences, courses and workshops, publishing research findings and good practice guidance, and providing information through the library and 'current awareness service'.
Equally important was the recognition of the role of family carers, and, for example, courses and publications were developed to help them teach new skills and manage challenging behaviour.