The film, No Place Like Home: The Story of the Foundling Hospital, was created as part of Coram’s ‘Voices Through Time: The Story of Care’ programme, made possible by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. It reveals fascinating details of the lives of some of the 27,000 children who grew up at the Foundling Hospital between 1741 and 1954, exploring their admission, their daily life, the education they received, and their lives beyond the Hospital. Foundling pupils who forged successful careers in music and art, fought in battle, and inspired one of the characters in Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, are just some of the rich stories uncovered.
It also tells the stories of the desperate mothers who came to the Foundling Hospital seeking a better life for their child, and of philanthropist Thomas Coram, who was appalled by the conditions facing children abandoned on the streets of London and campaigned for 17 years for the Hospital’s creation. Through interviews, contemporary images and archival records, the film explores the Hospital’s unique place in the history of social care and the work of its successor, Coram, the national children’s charity that continues to create better chances for children today.
View the film, created by production company Northern Town, below.
If you have any issues seeing the video, you can view the film directly on YouTube.
A key part of the ‘Voices Through Time’ programme is engaging with care-experienced young people today. A group of young people worked with the film makers at Northern Town to create their own films on the theme of ‘home’, giving them chance to learn about the Foundling Hospital’s history and gain new skills in ideas generation, film shooting and editing.
Dr Carol Homden, CEO of Coram, said:
“The film brings to life the daily lives of children and their mothers and the agonising choices they faced in what was a very different time but also shines a spotlight on the enduring issues and challenges of care which continue today.
“Every child deserves a fair chance in life and Coram is the champion of children – now and forever. In order to achieve our mission we need to treasure the past and we need to change the future. Just as Thomas Coram did, we will change the entire system around children. We have to innovate and never give up on creating a society that cares.”