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

St Mary's Home For Boys, Runwell

No image of this Home exists in the Children's Society Archive. If you have an image of this home please let us know at hlr@childsoc.org.uk.

St Mary's Home For Boys, Runwell

Runwell, Essex

(1901 - 1915)

St Mary's was a purpose built house, funded and furnished by the Revd HK Harris. After the Home opened in 1901, Mr Harris carried on his work by acting as St Mary's Warden. He also organised all the Home's finances and administration by working as its Honorary Secretary and Treasurer. It was common for the Society's small cottage homes to be run in this way, through the initiative of one local individual. This is in contrast to the larger homes, which tended to be centrally organised by the Society.

St Mary's housed 12 boys aged 7-12. Local people were asked to 'sponsor' a child by providing £3 every year, which would cover the cost of one boy's clothing. Initiatives like this one were encouraged by the Society, as they allowed children's homes to lay down roots in the local community and ensure a degree of long-term stability.

Although the First World War did not dramatically disrupt the Society's work, some of the smaller homes stopped running. One of the casualties was St Mary's Home, which closed in 1915.

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