Charity appeals for descendants of earliest children’s home residents

By Rosemary Collins, 2 April 2019 - 3:41pm

Action for Children has released photographs of children in Victorian homes as part of a nationwide search for their descendants

Children's home 1909
Children's home in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, 1909 (Credit: Action for Children)

If your Victorian ancestor grew up in one of Britain’s earliest children’s homes, charity Action for Children wants to hear from you.

The children’s charity is celebrating its 150th anniversary by marking the lives of the first children it cared for, and looking for their descendants.

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Action for Children was founded in 1869 under the name National Children’s Homes to provide care for children who were orphaned or abandoned, or whose families were too poor to care for them.

The charity has already tracked down Lance Richardson (60) from Coventry.

His great aunt Emily ‘Emmie’ Rhymes was admitted to the Princess Alice Orphanage in Warwickshire in 1898, aged 8, along with her sister Lillie.

Lance said: “To hear exactly when the girls arrived and left the home and the skills they learnt to help prepare them for life outside has been a real voyage of discovery.”

Carol Iddon, Action for Children’s managing director of services, said: “This search is a reminder of how far we’ve come when it comes to helping the most vulnerable in society, but also how far we still have to go to make sure children today have a safe and stable future.”

To help with the search, Action for Children has released a gallery of photographs from its archives, showing children in the first homes playing and learning skills.

If you recognise anyone from these images, or you know of an ancestor who was in a home run by the National Children’s Homes, please email 150@actionforchildren.org.uk.

 

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