Valerie Ann Taylor: Founder and Coordinator of CRP
Valerie Ann Taylor was born on 8th February 1944, in Bromley, Kent, UK to parents Marie and William Taylor.
Valerie is a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (FCSP) and first came to Bangladesh with the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) in 1969 to work as a physiotherapist in the Christian Hospital, Chandraghona in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. At that time Bangladesh was still known as East Pakistan.
During the 1971 War of Independence, Valerie was evacuated but returned to the country in October 1971, two months before the independence of Bangladesh.
In 1973 Valerie returned to England to attempt to raise funds to establish a rehabilitation centre for paralysed people. She stayed in England for two years before returning in 1975. It took another four years before CRP was able to admit its first patients in 1979. During this time, Valerie worked in the Shaheed Suhrawardy Hospital in Dhaka and it was in the grounds of this hospital that CRP had its first premises, two cement store rooms which were used to treat the first spinally injured patients. CRP then found a permanent home and moved to Savar in mid 1990 where the head office is situated.
Valerie received the OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1995 from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Arthur Eyre Brook Gold Medal in 1996 and the Bangladesh Independence Award in 2004. She has also received:
National Social Service Award (2000), by the Ministry of Social Welfare; Anannya Top Ten Awards (2000); Millennium Award (2000), by the Cultural Reporters Association; Dr. MR Khan and Anwara Trust Gold Medal (2001); Hakkani Mission Bangladesh Award (2001); Rokeya Shining Personality Award (2005); Mahatma Gandhi Peace Award (2009); Lifetime Achievement Award (2009), by Hope Foundation for Women & Children of Bangladesh (USA); Nova Southeastern University Award (2009) and innumerable other awards.
In 1998 Valerie was granted Bangladeshi citizenship by the Bangladesh Government.
Valerie has been legal guardian to two Bangladeshi girls Poppy and Jyoti for several years. She continues to live adjacent to the CRP-Savar premises with her younger adopted daughter, Poppy while Joyti, the eldest, who works as a computer operator in the CRP office was married in 2007.