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

Worthing Home For Girls

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.

Worthing Home For Girls

83 High Street, Worthing, Sussex

(1890 - 1893)

The Worthing Home became part of the Waifs and Strays' Society in 1890, though we believe it was running for some time beforehand. As a training school for 12 girls (aged 8-14), the Home provided an opportunity for children to learn some valuable skills in housework and laundry. The girls were also taught needlework, so they could make and repair their own clothes. Most of the girls used their training to pursue careers in domestic service.

The affairs of the Worthing Home were managed by the Honorary Secretary, Miss Aveline Green, who found some innovative ways to raise funds. In 1891 she organised a 'rummage sale' whereby local people were invited to donate anything they no longer needed. These goods were then sold at different stalls in the Home's garden, with all the proceeds going to the Worthing branch of the Waifs and Strays' Society. The Home received a wide range of items including 'old clothes, old furniture, carpets, crockery, books and toys.' The event made more than £35 - around £2,000 in today's money.

In the Summer of 1891, the Home's garden provided the setting for an 'American Fair'. Many local visitors turned out for the occasion, including some of the Home's 'old girls' who were now working in domestic service. Entertainment was provided by the girls of the Home who held a candlelit singing concert in the dining room. They were assisted by a group of amateur actors, who performed a play entitled The Fairy at the Well, which taught 'the benefit of an unselfish character and good manners'.

The Worthing Home was only part of the Society for three years, and closed in 1893 because of an outbreak of typhoid fever, which saw the town deserted between May and September of that year. The girls moved temporarily to the Byfleet Receiving Home, where they stayed until being re-settled in homes around the country. The Home was used instead as a local authority fever hospital.

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