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

Hawk's Lease Home, Lyndhurst

Photograph of Hawk's Lease Home, Lyndhurst

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Hawk's Lease Home, Lyndhurst

Lyndhurst, Hampshire

(c1961 - c1982)

The Hampshire Girls and Boys Home, Lyndhurst was transferred to the Children's Society in 1961. The Chairman of the Executive Committee, Sir Keith Officer arranged the transfer through his connections in the Hampshire area. He went on to become a member of the House Committee.

In 1965 The Children's Society reviewed the procedure of moving children from nurseries to Homes when they became old enough. In order to give more continuity to a child's life the decision was made to convert four homes to house larger age groups, with a small nursery group. These were Hawk's Lease Home at Lyndhurst, Dacre House Home at Rock Ferry, Court Lodge Home at Knockholt, and Pickering Garth in Hull.

Hawk's Lease Home catered for four babies in its separate nursery unit, in addition to the 20 children that were accommodated in the main Home. Two trained nursery nurses lived at the Home and were assigned two babies each.

A new playroom and garage were added to the Home in 1966 through a donation given by Sir Russell Bancroft. The new extensions were dedicated by the Bishop of Southampton. In 1968 a short film 'Look at Life' was made showing life in modern voluntary and local authority homes. Residents of Lyndhurst took part in the film along with Houseparents Mr and Mrs Douglas.

Full ownership of the Home, including the Trust which supported the Home, was transferred to The Children's Society in 1971. New Houseparents and some residents were relocated to the Home from the recently closed St Luke's Home For Boys, Burgess Hill, and the building was modernised and fitted with high standard fire precautions.

The Home was a big part of village life, playing host to the annual summer fete and cheese and wine parties. All the residents of Hawk's Lease attended the local school apart from two children with physical disabilities. An extension was also added to the back of the Home in 1980, to be used as a workshop for woodwork.

By 1982 the Home began to move towards taking 'more disturbed young people', which effectively marked the end of the residential care home.

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