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

St Faith's Home For Girls, Torquay

Photograph of St Faith's Home For Girls, Torquay

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St Faith's Home For Girls, Torquay

Wellswood, Torquay, Devon

(1896 - c1992)

We believe that St Faith's Home was transferred to the Society in 1896. It was a small Home and could only accommodate 15 girls aged 6-12.

In 1919 St Faith's moved to bigger premises. The new building could house twice as many children as the old Home. The Home's Honorary Secretary, Miss Philpotts steered the Home through this important time. Having successfully managed this transition Miss Philpotts decided it was time to retire and let someone younger take the reigns. The new building was dedicated to St Faith on 15 June, 1919. The Bishop of Crediton conducted the service with both Edward Rudolph and the Archdeacon of Totnes in attendance.

It was important to the Society that the children attended church and had regular prayer meetings. Many Homes had their own Chapel and Chaplain. In 1915 St Faith's Chaplain, the Revd EP Gregg - Rector of St Mary Magdalen, sadly passed away. He was a great friend to the girls and a familiar face around the Home - never missing their yearly Christmas gatherings, which were always successful.

St Faith's was highly supported in the local community. Fundraising 'Pound days' were very successful at this home, even during the First World War when both belts and purse strings were tight. The local community always gave generously. The Matron, Miss Burton gratefully received all gifts, from 'the golden pound of the Privy Councillor to the pound of soap of the milk boy'. In 1921 the children of Babbacombe in Devon formed St Faith's Guild. They organised events to raise money to sponsor a child in St Faith's.

In 1947 St Faith's started caring for both boys and girls. In 1965 St Faith's was forced to close when the House Father became seriously ill. It was reopened a year later when the House Parents and children of the Droitwich Home moved to Torquay. From 1972 the Home provided an emergency place of safety service to the local authority.

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