Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

St Monica's Home for Diabetic Children, Kingsdown

Photograph of St Monica's Home for Diabetic Children, Kingsdown

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St Monica's Home for Diabetic Children, Kingsdown

Kingsdown, Deal, Kent

(1949 - 1971)

After the Second World War there were a number of diabetic children who were without homes or living in and out of hospital. The establishment of St Monica's in 1949 cameas a direct response to this. The 1949 Henderson Report for the Ministry of Education was also an important factor in St Monica's establishment as it stated that of the 1,200 children in England and Wales with diabetes, 150 needed residential care.

As a rule diabetic hostels were made 'bright and airy' and as much like home as possible. Fully trained diabetic workers in the form of 'Mother' or Matron would teach each child how to inject their own insulin and regulate their own diet. St Monica's was the first diabetic hostel to be opened by the Society and accommodated 24 children.

In 1961 all residents attended County Schools in the area and many learnt musical instruments, going onto pass their exam grades one to five. The children were members of the Brownies, Guides and Cubs and would also take part in other activities such as dancing, sport and trips.

By 1967 St Monica's accommodated 20 children aged 5-13. Residents would be referred to the Home by doctors or the Local Authorities.

In the 1970s greater emphasis began to be given to keeping children in their own homes and with their families rather than residential care. As a result St Monica's saw less uptake of places and closed in 1971.

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