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

Corfield House Home, Rustington

Photograph of Corfield House Home, Rustington

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Corfield House Home, Rustington

Rustington, Sussex

(1951 - c1981)

Shaftesbury House was bought by the Society in February 1949 and in 1951 became its third diabetic hostel. The other two were St George's at Kersal near Manchester and St Monica's in Kingsdown, Kent. Dr Carruthers Corfield who was the Chairman of the Society's Executive Committee (forerunner of the Board of Trustees) and Medical Officer to the Fairlight Home in Rustington played a key role in the Home's establishment.

The establishment of Shaftesbury House Diabetic Hostel was a direct consequence of the 1949 Henderson Report for the Ministry of Education which 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. At Shaftesbury House 20 boys and girls aged 8-16 were accommodated, though in special circumstances the Hostel would take much younger or slightly older children. Younger residents would sleep in rooms with up to five others and also share a playroom with their own locker for toys and possessions. Older residents would have their own room and be taught skills such as dietry requirements and cooking to equip them for life after leaving the Home.

In 1962 the Hostel received 24 children from the British Diabetic Association to stay and take part in a holiday camp. The Hostel was renamed Corfield House in 1963 when Dr Corfield, who was still acting as the Home's Medical Advisor, celebrated his 90th birthday.

In 1971 the Home closed as a diabetic hostel and reopened as a family Home. The existing residents were dispersed to Foster Homes or returned to their own family. Residents from the Fairlight Home in Rustington, as well as their Matron, Miss Diehl, moved to the Home in the same year. It is unclear when precisely the Home closed.

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