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In the late 1970s, government research grants were increasingly scarce. To avoid cutting back on its work, the then Professor of Child Growth at London’s Institute of Child Health asked the families of six of his patients to help raise funds for research into growth and related problems. The Child Growth Foundation was born!

The new charity soon realised, that to raise enough money, it needed to educate potential donors and health professionals in the importance of growth. Neither was going to be easy. CGF’s founders decided that as well as being a support group, education and awareness were top priorities. The hope was that the donations would then follow.

It was when a full-length peak time BBC TV drama called Being Normal was shown five years after the CGF was formed, in July 1983, and the phone rang non-stop, that the charity knew it had a mission.

The following year, it joined forces with the Health Visitors’ Association and devised professional growth awareness courses and began to market measuring equipment, having found a gap in the market.

By 1989, and the launch of provider/purchaser arrangements in the new NHS, the Foundation feared growth monitoring was under threat. It helped draft Health for all Children, the ‘gold standard’ for UK child health surveillance, to ensure it included positive growth monitoring recommendations.

Throughout the 1990s, the Foundation forged ahead with its mission to raise awareness of growth conditions to ensure early diagnosis, and to support those whose lives were being affected by them.

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