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Our History

In The Beginning

The Wanganui Branch of the Crippled Children Society was incorporated 24 July 1935 as a result of the poliomyelitis epidemic of 1916 and 1924/25.

The local society has been serving the Wanganui region for over 65 years. In 1990 the name was changed to New Zealand CCS Wanganui Inc. In 1957 Mrs Sommerville Grosvenor bequeathed her property at 45 Campbell Street, Wanganui in the memory of her late husband Major Charles Sommerville, who was killed in battle in 1918. This became the home of the Wanganui Branch of the Crippled Children Society. It was called the “Sommerville Centre” in the memory of Major Sommerville.

The National Review

In 1995 NZCCS nationally had a review of its existing structure. A new constitution was presented and adopted at the 1997 National Annual General Meeting. CCS Wanganui (Sommerville Centre) declined to adopt the new constitution as the organisation would lose the ability to self govern locally and some funds raised in Wanganui would go to the National Office in Wellington.

After a lengthy consultation with members and the people who use the services, CCS Wanganui put the new National constitution to its members at its 1998 local AGM.

It was rejected unanimously as people wished to see the organisation retain its ability to self govern. Also there was a strong feeling that all funds that are raised in Wanganui should remain in the region.


As a result of the organisation declining to accept the new national constitution, CCS in Wanganui has become an independent disability service provider, and is no longer a member of New Zealand CCS.

This also meant that the local organisation has remained locally owned and operated and the decision making has stayed with the local committee and voting members.

All funds raised in Wanganui and districts stay within the area. The new name of “Sommerville Centre for Special Needs Wanganui Inc.” (Sommerville Disability Support Services) was adopted at a Special General Meeting in 1999

Our Roles

View our roles in the amazing quest

Contact Us

45 Campbell Street, P.O Box 540 Wanganui New Zealand
(06) 345 0566 0508 | 0508 Support (0508 787-7678)